Written by: Walter Isaacson
I have been a fan of Apple products for awhile. It's odd to say that I am a fan of a company versus a music group or other sort of media. But Apple's perfectionist design fills me with so much appreciation and joy on a daily basis. It feels good to know that someone took their time designing every aspect of the products that I own and perfecting it with lots of thought behind it.
This book is about the person behind the genius of those products that I appreciate in my daily life. It is based on close to fifty interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years as well as interviews from family, friends, rivals that interacted with Jobs during his lifetime.
Interaction seems to be enough, in this book you get a really good idea of why Steve Jobs is as famous as he is. He was a fireball of intensity and this book covers a lot of his high points and low points throughout his life.
He was a guy who was either completely pleasant to be around or he was yelling madly, cursing, crying and fighting to get his own way. He was a control freak and an egotist but despite all of these negative views that you get to read about in this book, I couldn't help but be awestruck and inspired. Much in the same way many people who have been verbally harassed by Jobs clearly admit it in the book but without any hint of remorse; their admiration for the man trumped over any lingering negative views they could feel for him.
I believe Jobs was a rare talent. Talent that few of us we get to experience in our lifetimes. His attention to detail and his drive for "insanely great" products revolutionized and touched many different areas of media and design. Some of these include computer hardware and software, forming the arguably best animation studio in our human history, revolutionizing the music world with iPods and iTunes, and finally changing the way we communicate with the amazing commercial success of the iPhone.
This book paints a great view of the man and you learn to love to hate him by the end. His life was highly inspired and his ability to get things seemingly impossible tasks done was a feat of greatness that I am not sure I completely comprehend even after reading the book.
I highly recommend it to anyone with a curious mind about how a crazy dreamer changed many aspects of our history, and also how behind the myth there is just a simple man with intense focus that has many lessons that can be easily applied to your own life to achieve similar results. It is a book that can inspire you while also sucking you into what made this man such a enigma.
This post is part of Think Kit 2011.