Sunday, June 16, 2013

Steve Jobs: A Book Review

I definitely love my iPhone … and my MacBook Pro … and my mom just received an iPad for Christmas so I spend quite a bit of time on that.  It’s no secret that both my family and I enjoy Apple products, however, I never knew much about their creator.  I received this book from some relatives for Christmas because they know of all the Apple products I own.  I never thought that I would read this book when it was published, due to its size, (so I didn’t ask for it) until I unwrapped it, and I am definitely glad that my family knows me so well!  The size is a bit intimidating, but the story was really interesting and worth the read if you are interested in Steve Jobs, computers, and Apple products!

Title: Steve Jobs
Author: Walter Isaacson
Genre: Biography, Non Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: October 24, 2011
Pages: 656
Out in Paperback?: No
My Rating: 4/5


Goodreads Summary:
Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years--as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues--Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.

Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.

Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple's hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.


Since this is a biography, the term “character” isn’t really appropriate, but I really enjoyed reading and learning about Steve Jobs, his childhood, and Apple.  I know many people have their own opinions on Apple products and Steve Jobs himself, usually loving him or hating him.  My family and I do own several Apple products, including iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and MacBook Pros, which we all really enjoy.  Through reading this book, I know many people disagreed with some of Jobs’s actions and methods for running a company, especially on a moral and ethical level.  I can definitely see how they would think and feel that as I was reading the book; however, his perfectionism allowed me to connect with him and understand where he was coming from.  Although I don’t agree with the treatment of many of his co-workers, I did enjoy learning that Steve Jobs was a perfectionist similar to me.  :)


This book focused on the life of Steve Jobs, beginning with his birth and following his rise to fame through his company, Apple.  I found many of the smaller details very interesting as it allowed a “behind the scenes look” at many iconic moments in his life and the creation of Apple products.  I also enjoyed the moments that came directly through a Steve Jobs interview, specific for the book.  Although his quirky characteristics created a lot of controversy after the release of his novel, I did find it interesting to read about.

Writing Style:

I really feel that the writing style of Walter Isaacson really made this book for me.  I really enjoyed reading about the life of Steve Jobs, but I really appreciated the way Isaacson wrote this book.  The style was easy to follow and the description was understandable yet interesting and sophisticated.  I will be the first to admit that I do not understand much (if anything, let’s be honest) about the inner workings of a computer or the creation of software; however, I felt that Isaacson really wrote this book in a way that allowed me to understand what he was talking about (there wasn’t too much computer jargon) without “dumbing” it down and losing most of the story regarding the creation of these technological products.  Overall, I loved the writing and found the subject matter very interesting!

Have you read this book?  I remember quite a bit of controversy regarding Steve Jobs’s actions in his company after this novel first came out.  What did you think?  How did you feel about the writing style in regards to understanding all the technological elements?

FTC Disclaimer:
All items mentioned were purchased by me.  This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.  No affiliate links were used.

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