Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!
What can I say that hasn't been said about this book.
Incredible biography and a study in leadership. A prickly personality along with being adopted, growing up in the 60's in a middle class family in the bay area, love of art/music/craftmanship, drive for simplicity, success and failures weaved together created Steve Jobs.
Isaacson does not pull punches - Jobs was a gifted leader who was a control freak and a certified "ass-hole". He only wanted "A" players on his team, and strove for focus and perfection. Perfection and simplicity is at the base of his "closed" systems - which helped me understand why I love my iPad, but miss my iPhone since others products feel clunky in comparison.
Jobs was an innovator in personal computers, cell phones, tablets, music, and digital entertainment (Pixar and iBooks). He has touched our lives in so many ways.
Great book - and Dylan Baker's narration was excellent. I'll re-read again and use as a study in Leadership. I'll also read more bios by Walter Isaacson
mostly nonfiction listener
I went into the biography somewhat skeptical about the potential value of the book. How much is there really left to know or say about Steve Jobs and Apple, given the obsessive manner that the press and the blogosphere write about Apple. This is why I was surprised at how much I learned from reading Isaacson's book, and how I finished the book with some changed opinions about Apple and Jobs.
Isaacson does an excellent job untangling the roots of Jobs aesthetic perfectionism and technical vision, as well as his tendency towards cruelty. Taken apart, none of the individual events in Jobs life or the history of Apple can explain how the products that Apple created have had such a large impact on how we work, learn, create, consume and play. Taken together, however, the weaving together of Jobs personal narrative with the history of Apple adds up to a rich an nuanced story, one that brings into focus how both Jobs and Apple came to dominate such large sectors of computing, media, music, publishing and music.
The overriding theme of Jobs' creations at Apple and Pixar has been products (and experiences) that reside at the intersection of technology and the humanities. Jobs was neither a pure technologist nor an artist, but a translator and connector between these two often separate and opposing worlds.
This intersection between technology and humanities is where, I think, many of us believe that we also need to situate our institutions of higher learning. We understand that the skills, knowledge, and ethics embodied by the liberal arts constitute an essential skill-set for thriving in a rapidly changing, technologically driven information economy.
Jobs succeeded so spectacularly at Apple in large measure because of his ability to create a corporate culture that was uncompromising in its quest to achieve the highest possible results in both art (and design) and technology. In Isaacson's telling, the creation of products like the iPhone or the iPad or the iPod or the MacBook Pro (that I'm typing on now) become inseparably intertwined with the experiences, world-view, and management practices of Steve Jobs.
The value of Isaacson's biography rests on three elements:
1. The extraordinary access that Jobs and his family gave to Isaacson when writing the book.
2. The lack of other sources of information about Jobs life and the inner workings of Apple.
3. Isaacson's consummate skill as a biographer.
Each of these elements come together in an extraordinary work of biography.
I love learning, teaching, and exploring!
I didn't read the print version. I rarely read print ever since I signed up for Audible. I enjoy listening to books on the way to school, when doing chores, etc. This cannot be done with print books.
Hearing about the insights behind some of the great products that I use everyday.
He was a pleasure to listen to.
Hearing about his fight with cancer and his own personal statement.
Constantly in search of the perfect listen.
I am still not sure what to think of Steve Jobs. He was not particularly kind or warm to those around him. I cannot tell if he served as an inspiration, or if it was just his micro management and high demands that made those who worked for him perform so brilliantly. Luck and neuroses cannot be the only things that lead to his enormous success. In my opinion, you cannot deny his genius despite these character flaws.
While it is possible that fate and chance initially brought him and Woz together, leading to the birth of Apple, his continued success and “re-birth” were all Job’s doing. It was a result of persistence, and was accomplished with his full will and effort behind it. His ideas can sometimes be thought of as more design than substance, but I disagree. Apple design is a huge part of what makes Apple products so “substantial.” Without Job’s being so obsessively focused on the details, they would never be what they are today.
Learning about his life, one can try to guess what experiences influenced Steve Jobs the most. It seems to me that his success was a combination his innate talent, and the place and time he was born into. A California boy who becomes a part of the counter culture of the 60’s and 70’s combined with the unique world of the Silicon Valley. There will never be another Steve Jobs.
Excellent insight into a man with an unwavering vision. He was absolutely correct, "A" players do in fact love to work with other "A" players and that they can be driven to great successes. He will be missed by those who strive to do and be better.
I love the balance that is portrayed about Steve. I came away having more respect and more dislike for Steve jobs. You really saw the fire in the belly that dictates everything Steve jobs did and what made his work great. I am writing this review on an iPad2 having given away my iPad1. I really understand why I love my iPad and my iPhone so much. It's all about design! The iPod, iPhone and iPad where not the first of their kind, but most would agree they are the best designed. The book really highlighted Steve's obsession with design, but it also highlighted some of the failings in that obsession.
It was very balanced. It was detailed but not boring in its amount of detail.
It was well read. The voice was easy to listen to and I found it a good conversation not a sermon like some audio books.
Several times I was close to tears. As a person who often does not march to the same drum as masses it was inspiring to hear how many people did not belive in Steve's ideas and that usually he was right.
Everyone under 25 should read this book as a history of computers and how they got where they are now. It has some great history on Microsoft and windows aswell. Anyone wanting an interesting history of how the personal computer went from really complicated geeks only tool to a universal easy to use indispensable tool for the masses should read this book.
This is one of the best listens thus far! I would listen every chance I could get because I wanted to hear more.
the book was very easy to follow from the narration.
I had heard the rumors about Steve and thought they couldn't all be true. This book confirms that they were all true and worse. To every part where I thought the guy made a smart move, I heard at least 20 parts where I felt that this guy was an absolute jerk and worthless human being. The book was honestly written, but I don't think that was a great move by Jobs considering his personality.
Isaacson wrote a great book which I felt gives the reader a real idea of who Jobs was. It is just unfortunate that Jobs was such a despicable human being. The guy shunned philanthropy and then made fun of Bill Gates for embracing it!? Wow. The beauty of the book is that the author lays it out and lets the reader decide. I can say that I was truly shocked and felt guilty that I ever bought an Apple product if it meant propagating a personality like Jobs. In a couple hundred years, no one will know what an iPod is, they will just read this book and wonder why this heartless and cold individual was so revered by society.
Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.
As biographies go (and I do really like reading them), this is one of the better ones. Isaacson does not try to paint Jobs as something he was not, but rather tries to tell it like it really was. It is well written, and gives a lot of insight into the life of one of the most influential men in America. I came away feeling like I really knew Steve Jobs. I'm not sure I would have liked him had I really known him, but I would have found him fascinating. His life is a tough one for someone to write about, but Jobs granted Isaacson the information that he wanted to do a thorough job. In a way, it made it so Steve was in control of the story of his life. He knew people would be writing about him, and he couldn't leave it to chance. He decided to cooperate with Isaacson so that someone could get the facts right before other people messed it all up. Steve was a control freak. He was also a detail person. The design of things was as important to him as the functionality. Every time I look at my ipod now, I understand why it looks and acts the way it does. I saw a man playing with his iphone today. It had a rubberized cover on it, and I found myself thinking that Jobs would have had a fit if he saw his beautiful design desecrated in such a way.
I am grateful that there are people like Steve Jobs in the world. He pushed others to "think outside the box" (sorry for the cliche, but it just fits so well). He caused others to be better than they started out to be because of the challenge to "be as good as Apple" or Pixar, or whatever else Steve had his influence on. The ripple effect from his innovations will continue to be felt for many generations. RIP Steve. The world is a better place because you were here.
The narrator, Dylan Baker, was perfect for this book. I started to believe he was actually Steve Jobs at times. He has that same straight forward, tell-it-like-it-is feeling to his voice.
Historically speaking, a insiders look at the computer age. It will explore your previous version of these 3+ decades. You will be talking about this and recommending it.