Skip to main content
Now building my TET.Life Store.

Book Review: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

I'm neither an Apple sycophant nor a devoted fan of Steve Jobs. I've never personally bought an Apple product, though, over the years I have used or tried nearly all of Apple's most iconic products from the Apple II and the original Macintosh personal computers through to the various versions of the iPod, iPad and iPhone.

So when I received Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson, a paperback tome of 568 pages, as a gift, I was some what sceptical that I'd make it all the way through.
There was no question that I wasn't going to give it a real good go. It is Steve Jobs after all. No matter what you think about him there's no doubting he's had a massive impact on the world and the way we use technology.

Much to my relief, and most unexpectedly, Walter Isaacson's writing style is extremely accessible and never gets bogged down in so much detail that you lose interest in the section you're reading. At the same time he provides enough information that by the end you feel you've got a fairly complete picture of Steve Jobs the man, his life, vision and Apple as a company.

Walter Isaacson began writing the book at Steve's request and was given plenty of access to Steve, his family, friends and key players in the rise and rise and fall and rise again of Apple. It makes for a complete picture of not just Steve but also the inner workings of Apple, NeXt and Pixar, all businesses that Steve helped either start, change and evolve.

You also get insights into Steve's relationships with other key industry figures, in particular Steve Wozneak (Apple's original co-founder), Jony Ive (chief designer at Apple), Bill Gates (Microsoft's founder and former CEO) and John Lasseter (co-founder of Pixar).

It feels like nothing is hidden. It's not all about Steve's genius, you also get to see him at his worst with his appalling way of treating and manipulating people he had no respect for. To be honest my overall impression of Steve is that I'm thankful I've never had to work with anyone even remotely like him when it comes to poor treatment of people who didn't measure up.

As interesting as the whole book is, what really left the biggest impression on me is that iPad's, which seem like common place now, were first launched half way through President Obama's first term, roughly six years ago. Even in my own blog I was writing about The Mythical World of Tablet Computing as recently as December 2009. For me that was a bit of a reality check on how fast technology has progressed.

Steve Jobs has undoubtedly changed the world for the better, particularly in technology and the arts. However, he didn't do it alone. If you have a real interest in knowing the key players that shaped much of the world you live in then this book is very much a look behind the curtain.

I'm not sure I'd describe it as inspirational but if you have a garage business, Steve's biography is the ultimate in how far a garage business can go with plenty of hard work, determination and an uncanny ability to distort reality to suit your purpose.

Comments


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog, Creating My Oddessey.

You should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse.

We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against - the original exterior of the house - and the light …

Kids today are smarter than their parents?

How often have you heard it said that kids today are smarter than their parents? I’ve heard it quite frequently in the media – even Dr Phil has said it. I say speak for your self. It’s not true and don’t let the media fool you.

Today’s kids may have access to more information that may give them more choices but in my experience, they only take in what they want to hear and still make stupid, uninformed decisions. Just like we used to at their age.

Like any cross section of people there will be exceptions. There are kids that are genuinely smarter, more mature and responsible for their age. However the vast majority know everything they need to know by the time they turn fourteen. They’re ‘adult’ enough to be responsible for all their own decision making so parents should just let them do what they please…right? Just like we thought at fourteen.

Don’t be fooled. Just because your son knows how to download MP3’s onto an ipod, or your daughter can chat to five friends at the same time on he…

Boom Crash Opera Born Classic But Not Again

Boom Crash Opera are an Australian Band that reached the peak of their popularity in the mid to late nineteen eighties. They are a band that I knew about at that time but was never really excited by until they released their ill fated double album Born and Born Again in 1995 (Album cover pictured).

At the time of its release I was very much into emerging Australian musical acts and was also looking out for new sounds that were different and had kind of a futuristic/electronic sound. Artists that I was buying at the time included; Swoop, Nine Inch Nails and Pop Will Eat Its Self. As well as a really interesting release by David Bowie, the concept album, Outside.

Born was a fairly radical departure for Boom Crash Opera (BCO). The first single, Gimme, was often compared to the sounds of Gary Glitter, particularly his single, Rock n Roll part 2, because of the pounding drum loops. Watch the video below.



My favorite single from the album is dissemble which probably went nowhere on the char…

What If Being Yourself Isn't Good Enough?

One of my most personal public videos is a collection of outtakes edited together with my narration, read word for word, from my blog post written back on August 5th, 2007 titled Is Being Me Good Enough? I made the similarly titled video the next day.

At the time the video (which you can view below) generated some discussion in the comments and was a real turning point for me personally in how I thought about myself and how I presented on camera. It took a weight off my shoulders.


[Note that especially for this article I've re-edited and re-uploaded the video to Youtube because the last sentence on the original version was cut off by Youtube's uploader. The new version is identical other than I've added a title screen at the beginning and cropped the footage for 16:9 ratio - plus added some length to the end to ensure it doesn't get the last line cut again.]

I came to be thinking about this video again because of my latest video diaries - which I will be the first to a…

"You are the Generation that bought more shoes..."

"You are the generation that bought more shoes, you get what you deserve." This quote is a song lyric that I heard on the radio (my apologies to the writer and artist that it belongs too because I don't know who either of you are). It's a great line and I can only assume it refers to the apparent lack of interest today's eighteen to twenty somethings appear to have in more serious and deeper issues.

Not that I'm trying to hold myself up as someone who campaigns strongly for the greater good of human kind or that I spend significant amounts of time raising awareness of important issues. I'm certainly not a poster boy for changing the attitudes of people with too many shoes but lyrics like that do make you think.

It's at this point that I really don't know where to go with this article. Should I focus on the material nature of modern society and its obsession with having more stuff? Or should I mention a few important issues, like Human Rights Abuses,…

Finding Time to Skate - Swap a Skateboard Session into Your Weekly Workout Routine

A common problem among skaters dealing with work/life commitments (typically older skaters with families, careers, or both) is finding the time to actually spend on a skateboard. In fact, life in general getting in the way of skateboarding, is what often leads so many to drop out of the sport, only to rediscover it later, once everything else starts to even out.

I'm certainly in that category. Never really giving skateboarding away altogether but only using a skateboard to get from A to B, when I didn't have a vehicle, for many years. In the last couple of years I've been trying to get back into the sport properly, i.e. building up my trick list and skating for fun and not just to get from A to B.

The problem is I have so many interests, projects, paid work, and more, that I would often leave skateboarding to the end of my day. Kind of as something to look forward to. Except I wouldn't be that motivated to really improve because my mind would be fried from everything …

Multiculturalism, Muslims and Australian Immigration

Recently a friend sent me (and a number of others on their email list) the following chain email, that has been circulating around Australian email boxes, asking for my opinion on the message.

Just before you read it I'll pre-warn you that it relates to immigration laws and ideas that I'm sure many countries are grappling with in this post 911 world.

I've reproduced the email as closely as I can to how I received it, complete with large typeface. Have a read and then read my response. The email is titled 'Go the Dutch'. The comment in red is by the last person to forward the email to my friend.


About time the Australian government did the same......why do we suck up to these people whose "values" are from beyond the dark ages ,who still live the way they did 2000 years ago. 

Go the Dutch - but why wait until 2013?

The Netherlands, where six per cent of the population is now Muslim, isscrapping multiculturalism:

The Dutch government says it will abandon the l…