There was certainly little enough time for the people in Jobs' life. Though he became more engaged with his family in his later, more emotionally mature years, Jobs clearly sought immortality through products rather than progeny.
Apple's DNA of design purity and an ability to provide emotional engagement at the product level are the (very selfish) genes Jobs passes on.
Steve and (yet another) father figure
Isaacson is content to accept the 'flawed genius' view of Jobs. He signs up to the notion that Jobs was ultimately driven to overcome the abandonment he felt after learning at an early age that he had been adopted.
There's little or no consideration of alternatives: that, for instance, Jobs' massive ego and willfulness were legitimised by his adoptive parents, a couple unable to have children of their own and who accommodated the young Jobs' every demand. Paul Jobs was clearly a hard-working, no-nonsense man, but he and his wife Clara put up with and thus encouraged so much of little Steve's bullshit. Isaacson recites many examples but doesn't draw the obvious conclusion.
But the biographer is right to view Jobs as a man with an instinct for getting things right rather than an ability to determine the correct path analytically.
Not any human heart
That was certainly true of Jobs and, in turn, Isaacson avoids analysis of his own. He never really attempts to gets into Jobs' head to try and really understand what made him the man he was. He doesn't approach his subject with a view to examining how Jobs' character was molded by the many events that shaped his life beyond his adoption, or to explore his contradictions.
Despite being hugely wealthy Jobs was rarely ostentatious, a result of his quasi-Buddhist minimalist philosophy which sought to reject materialism. Yet this was a man who exhorted millions of people to consume his computers and consumer electronics products.
The NeXT years. The less said about those the better?
Isaacson's work, then, isn't great biography, rather a more straightforward story of Jobs life. It's not an even tale: more than half the book covers the period from Jobs' return to Apple through to his early death at the age of 56 - the last 14 years of his, albeit the most productive.
The NeXT period is largely glossed over. Jobs attempt to build a better-Mac-than-Mac doesn't get the detail that the creation of the Macintosh itself does. The acquisition of Pixar has to be covered here too, and Isaacson also uses this part of the book to discuss Jobs' major relationships - all with women: Joan Baez; his two biggest loves, Tina Redse and Laurene Powell, who became his wife; and his biological mother and sister, both met after his ejection from Apple. Jobs found out who his biological father was too, but expressed no interest in meeting him and, according to Isaacson, never did so.
Next page: His story not history
It still amazes me to no end
How every "historian" or "Apple Fan" wants to attribute Steve with inventing everything under the Apple brand.
Hot tip: he invented nothing. Not one single concept that Apple has ever or will ever sell was invented by Jobs, not was it significantly changed from it's original concepts.
The Computer? Already there.
The GUI? Already created and shown to him during a visit to PARC.
The tablet? Already created and developed into prototypes by Alan Kay.. shown to Jobs during a visit to PARC
The mouse? The desktop concept? Shown to Jobs on a visit to (you guessed it) PARC, on a working machine that was production-ready but not sold.
The iPod? Nope. MP3 players were already rusting by the time iPods came out.
What he did was envision ways to bring products to the market, and to convince people to buy them. In other words: a sales guy, or a marketing guy; hell I'll go so far as visionary. To put him in any category other than the thieving scumbag he was is an insult to those that created what he stole.
I have more respect for Bill Gates than this guy, and that's unfortunately not very much.
We all know the story - angry nasty hippy guy drops acid, steals ideas, markets them as his own, makes a packet, gets shafted, is resurrected, steals more ideas and markets them as divine objects, makes a killing, shafts and belittles a whole bunch of people along the way and then dies.
What more do we need to know?
Read the book...
Or any of the other biographical accounts on the subject of Pixar's creation. Pixar was a research center and software products outfit in the hands of Lucas. It wasn't bringing in enough money and was not deemed much valuable, attested by the fact that Lucas chose to sell it when first requiring funding for his other ventures.
Steve Jobs did not design, write, animate, nor produced Toy Story in any direct way; that much is true. However, it is indisputable that he facilitated Lasseter and his team, and at the very least saw enough talent in them to leave them well alone in running the enterprise by themselves.
Toy Story was such a great work *because* Lasseter was left to his own devices, but this ostensibly would *never* had happened had it not been Jobs at the helm of Pixar. Certainly not under Lucas.
Toy Story ? Jobs ?
Oh come on. Toy Story was John Lasseter's baby not Steve Jobs'. As the earlier reg article pointed out Jobs wanted to shut the animation studio down:
Jobs just got VERY lucky with Toy Story. No vision of his involved.
Also, remember that it was Jobs payment to George Lucas for Pixar that allowed Howard The Duck to be released. No sensible film-goer has any reason to thank Steve Jobs.
In the UK at least, it's £12.99 on Kindle, £12.99 on iBooks, and (you've guessed it) £12.99 on Kobo.
Almost as though there's a cartel in operation...