Steve Jobs – book review

“Picasso had a saying – ‘good artists copy, great artists steal’ – and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”
― Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs

“He had the uncanny capacity to know exactly what your weak point is, know what will make you feel small, to make you cringe,” Joanna Hoffman said. “It’s a common trait in people who are charismatic and know how to manipulate people. Knowing that he can crush you makes you feel weakened and eager for his approval, so then he can elevate you and put you on a pedestal and own you.”
― Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs

Steve JobsSteve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t read a lot of biographies but felt that the authorized biography of one of the most influential people in Silicon Valley would make an interesting jaunt down computer histories memory lane. I was not disappointed. Appropriately, I downloaded it to my iPod touch and listened to it on the beach in Italy.

If you ever wondered if Steve Jobs was a jerk, this book will confirm it. But he was also an artist, drug user, yoga practitioner, vegetarian, anorexic, manipulator, Dylan fan, perfectionist, thief, student of Dale Carnegie. He even dated Jennifer Egan – I thought I recognized the description of him in A Visit From the Goon Squad.

I don’t know if I believe that Steve Jobs was a genius, because I think a genius could have created some of these products on his own. I think Steve Jobs was a crazy dictator, in the same class as Caesar, Napoleon and Hitler; he also left a deep mark on the people and the world around him.

You say you want a revolution? Thank goodness Jobs was just interested in the home entertainment market. Jobs aside Isaacson did a wonderful job sketching out this difficult person and drew me deeply into the story.

View all my reviews

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