Book Review: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

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Very aptly, Walter Isaacson has been able to depict the lives and times of the celebrated genius, Steve Jobs. The book talks about the emergence of Silicon Valley and the contemporary tech aficionados as well. It begins with his rebellion attitude towards life and his contemptuousness towards his biological parents who left him for adoption.

Right from Steve’s first job at Atari, perfectionism could be seen as one of his major character trait. One probable reason could be his father’s influence who was very particular even about the look of the parts that one cannot see otherwise. His father was passionate about vehicles and the electronic circuits within. Accordingly, his garage became Steve’s first school and his father became his first mentor, where he’d spend most of his earlier times. His father was very supportive throughout, he had hardly scolded his son except on two occasions, first being his addiction to marijuana during his teens and second the way he handled his girlfriend’s pregnancy, when he was 23.

The book gives view of times when the world of gadgets was only to be seen in Star Wars. Laptops, desktops and windows were slowly making way into the lives of humanity. Today it’s difficult even to realize such a scenario but Isaacson made it possible to make reader see them as the then metaphors.

Chronologically, the writer takes us to the journey of Apple innovations right from its inception. The book also envelops Job’s equally wonderful and aesthetic creations of NeXT and Pixar.

Along with eulogization, the book also surfaces his weirdness like not taking regular showers, walking barefoot most of the time within and outside office, temper tantrums, fruitarian diet, steeling credit for ideas, how he abandoned his daughter,  his love affairs etc.

Isaacson did not fall back on portraying the character sketch of Bill Gates as well and I have developed more respect towards him. His attitude towards his staff and other people in general was quite commendable and unlike Steve’s he knew that all people are not of the same caliber within office or let me be more specific; people involved within same project do not necessarily lie on the same intellectual level and so one must not expect much from such individuals but at the same time, focus on the deadline is also not neglected. Steve was a person with extreme nature, he believed that either people are very good programmers or are dunces. (Period)

It also presents the extraordinary perspective on the lives of equally important individuals that have crossed Steve’s life like John Sculley, Clinton, Obama, Disney’s Katzenberg, Eisner and Iger. Accounts of Bono, singers Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. Yoko Ono, Steve Wozniak, Oracle’s Larry Ellison, Google’s Schmidt and Larry Page, Intel’s Grove and likewise.

I was hoping to have more pictures of the times, although there were some or maybe I’m being too intrusive :-l

Anyways, the book did touch upon the main turning points of Steve’s life and while I was going through his phase of illness, I felt a tinge of sadness within me as well. This book surely is an inspiration to many. Well worth read, am happy I bought it, after all, denting the universe ain’t that easy 🙂

About Pooja Kashyap

Pooja Kashyap likes reading and writing on topics related to scientific research and technology. Located in New Delhi, she also enjoys reviewing books and taking interviews of creative/innovative people. She is also on Google Plus l Quora l Twitter or LinkedIn.