I’m a fan of the detail of Walter Isaacson’s work and whether you like him as a biographer or not, he does a great job capturing Steve Jobs. Speaking of Jobs, he too may be someone you like or don’t but you can’t deny his impact on culture and the computing world. For me, I was on the fence about Jobs and I think the book gives us the facts of Steve’s life without justifying his bad behavior or deifying his good works.
I still use some of Jobs’ products, like the old iPod I take everywhere, but the man was both brilliant in his way and volatile. He was quirky and driven, crass and condescending, but he never failed to strive for perfection. I really enjoyed this bio because it allowed us to see all the bits and pieces of a pop culture and computer icon.
For me, the best books, be they novels or biographies, show us the imperfections of our character (or subject) and also their journey. I think it’s amazing that Jobs took his company from a little garage shop tinkerer’s club to a billion dollar company and changed the personal computing world. He also, in my opinion, was vital in the development of Pixar into the company we know now.
I know the man had his faults as well, which no one is making excuses for, but I really enjoyed the balance this book gives to the man without justifying his behavior. Also, we saw the tragic end of Jobs’ life where, despite the fortune he’d amassed and the technology he’d brought to the world, he was overcome by cancer and we lost an amazing creator. The book also highlights the people behind the scenes that were so very important to the rise of Apple, without whom Jobs could have accomplished very little…in my opinion.
Again, this book focuses on a man that is divisive and no matter whether you loved or hated or have no opinion of him, I think Walter Isaacson does a great job of showing us the life and world of Apple Computers’ founder and visionary.