First Published: 2011
Pages: 598 (excluding index)
The extraordinary tale of one of the brilliant wizards of our times. Rich with product stories, Steve's personal struggles and his vision and idealism.
“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs said. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”
In a meeting with Eric Schmidt, who was the CEO of Google and Apple board member at that time, Steve Jobs told Schmidt that he wasn't interested in settling the lawsuit:
"I don't want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won't want it. I've got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that's all I want."
My personal problem with biographies is they don't generate enough interest and seem to be rambling on about someone I barely know. In this case the person in question is a growing up idol and I have enjoyed his products thoroughly. Hence reading the biography seemed something obvious to me.
But the fact that it would happen after his demise was a bit of a shock. And that is why the entire reading experience felt very personal. Like losing someone you very well know. Considering how well known rather well rehearsed all anecdotes from his life are, in popular culture.
And that was the biggest plus of this book. Despite knowing what is going to happen, Walter Isaacson presents Steve Job's story in a very lucid manner. Even if you are not a technology oriented person, the book will engage you at various levels, the amazing insights of Mr. Jobs being one of them. The writer claims that he tried his hard to not get influenced by Steve's RDF (reality distortion field). And his human portrayal of Steve Jobs proves that point. Also something I noted, even though Steve Jobs was a cruel manager, none of his co-workers/competitors/enemies speak ill of him. They seem to have accepted the genius with his flaws. That in itself explains quite a lot about the enigmatic person.
Apart from that the rise-fall-rise of apple computers is a legend of our times. And every time you get to know some minute detail about it, or who was involved, it adds to the curiosity. Why Lisa failed, why Sculley drove Steve away, how buzz and woody the symbols of modern animation came to being, - like this there are various stories which will appeal to the product guy/girl in you.
All in all, a very very interesting read if you want to know what drove this genius, his grey shades and what made him work and how. Amazing story.
Price: 479 (flipkart - pre-ordered)