Feeds
75%
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs: the Exclusive Biography

A life less ordinary

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Review If you're looking for any fresh insight into the character of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, you won't get it from Walter Isaacson's biography.

Likewise, if you hope that some real, private Jobs will rise from the pages to give the lie to the erratic, abusive, vehement control freak that was the CEO's public persona, you'll be disappointed.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

That was indeed Jobs' character, here given testament by many of the men and women who lived and worked with him through his college years, his early work life, the establishment of Apple, the wilderness years an NeXT and his return to the first company he founded, all detailed chronologically in well-written but standard American journalistic prose.

Isaacson's biography was written at Jobs' behest, though the author insists the Apple founder accepted he would have no editorial control or even a say in the published work. It's certainly no hagiography, though, like so many others before him, it's clear even Isaacson succumbed to Jobs' infamous charm. Fortunately, that doesn't appear to have deprived him of his journalistic senses, and the book neither flatters Jobs nor brushes over his bad behaviour. Reality is not distorted.

The barefoot CEO

Isaacson spares Jobs no blushes. He doesn't avoid Jobs' near-abandonment of his first daughter and her mother, and his attempts to deny paternity even after a positive DNA test. He gleefully mentions the younger Jobs' poor personal hygiene - he believed living the vegan life meant showering was largely unnecessary - and his willingness to sit with his grubby, bare feet on others' desks.

Not that the CEO was ever one to blush, though for a man seemingly unable to empathise with almost all other human beings, including his lovers, his wife and his children, he could be starkly over-emotional at time.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak

A beardy wierdy. And Steve Wozniak

Isaacson frequently reveals how often Jobs would burst into tears, though not always at the moments in his life you might expect him to. Genuine feelings or emotional manipulation? Isascson doesn't comment.

Perhaps Isaacson stresses Jobs' ability to blub at the drop of a hat in order to show that the CEO's emotional spectrum extended beyond anger - a very quick temper was one of Jobs' hallmarks - and sheer pleasure at putting others down, though he could occasionally be quick to praise too.

Jobs was a character defined by his work, not by his life outside of the companies he created. There is nothing here about Jobs' hobbies, how he relaxed, or what he enjoyed doing in his spare time. Journalistic omission? More likely it's because Jobs had none of these things. His drive for perfection in the products he was trying to create, or others were creating for him, was his whole life.

High performance access to file storage

Next page: Working man

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.