Back in the early Eighties when I had business cards which read “Apple Evangelist” I had the pleasure of meeting the amazing Mr. Jobs in the UK. Like the mighty Oz he would arrive to spread the good word about the “next big thing” then disappear just as mysteriously, leaving us in rapt awe….”who was that guy?” He had rock star status back then with we, the adoring members of the Apple Clan. A couple of years later he was fired by the company he founded. I have been in his industry ever since, and although I was fairly familiar with the back story and the progress he made with Next, Pixar and then Apple again this book fills in the details in a compelling and fascinating way. There are countless “oh wow” moments as the author weaves the amazing tale of the incredible Mr. Jobs.
The question that you should be asking is not whether you should read this book, but when will you find the time to fit this into your listening schedule. It’s a masterpiece of journalism and biography. The performance is less spectacular. I just don't much care for the narrators style. Maybe the fact that I first encountered him when he read the dreadful "The Face" by Dean Koontz and I still hear that in this reading. If you can get past the narrator (and you should) you will be enthralled and occasionally horrified by his technological and design genius and weird management style. I run a tech company and I can’t imagine treating the people who work for me like he treated his…but then I’m not Steve Jobs...not even close. He was an intolerant, arrogant, unscrupulous, fanatic, perfectionist, genius who demanded the same kind of unquestioning devotion from everyone in his life. The book is comprehensive and immensely powerful, it actually made me cry towards the end. The saddest takeaway was that maybe, if he had treated his cancer with modern medicine as his doctors pleaded when it was discovered, rather than waste nine crucial months with fad diets and eastern quackery he would still be with us today.
Irrespective of your interest in technology you will find this story fascinating and absorbing, it is the amazing tale of a man whose like we will likely not see again in our lifetime. If you live in our modern society so much of what you take for granted in computing, design, music, movies, communication and the media was directly or indirectly the product of just this one guy. We have lost a modern Da Vinci, this timely masterpiece sets out the saga of that man, warts and all. This book will help you to better understand his life, and his role in yours.
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