2004 when Walter Isaacson, who also wrote biographies of Benjamin Franklin and
Albert Einstein, was asked by Steve Jobs to write a biography about his life.
At first, he refused and jokingly asked him if he saw himself as the natural
successor of these persons. “Maybe in ten or twenty years, when you
retire,” Isaacson said. But when he got a phone call in 2009 from Laurene
Powell, Jobs’ wife, and she told him, “If you ever want to write a book
about Steve, then you should do it now.” Finding out Jobs had cancer and
so he started with the biography.
Isaacson interviewed over a hundred friends, relatives, colleagues,
ex-girlfriends, competitors and opponents. And 40 times Steve Jobs personally. The
result is a perfectly researched and unsparing work about the IT prodigy, who
was not a dreamer but a doer.
benefits a biography, Walter Isaacson initially talks about Jobs’ childhood,
his adoption, and Apple’s beginnings in the form of a story. Later, the
turbulent career, from the development of the Apple I on the first Macintosh,
the flop NeXT, his success with Pixar to the legendary iPhone and iPad, is
chronologically described in detail. Partly with leaps in time into both the
future and the past, which was sometimes confusing but not disturbing.
What was incredibly interesting are
the sections on Pixar. Under his direction, Pixar delivered one blockbuster
(Toy Story, Monster AG, Finding Nemo, Above, …) after another, leaving some
reputed production companies far behind. This look behind the scenes is very
impressive and the meaning of the Pixar lamp jumping on the I before the Pixar
movies start now finds its origin.
course, not only the story of PIXAR is interesting, but also the career of
Apple and the emotional insight into the life of Steve Jobs. Ultimately, I concluded
that Steve Jobs was not a simple contemporary. Sometimes he appears to the
reader as a defiant child, then as the irresponsible and ice-cold man or as a
manipulator who rarely really has his feelings and emotions under control and
for whom the word empathy is a strange word. This relentless portrayal shows,
however, why Apple is booming with this radical focus on the production of new
and more innovative products.
yet, Jobs grows more towards you with each chapter, so the chapters from his
cancer to his death is very intriguing. Walter Isaacson arrived just in time to
see the dying Steve Jobs, who could not leave his sickbed, in August 2011, one
last time before the book was published. In this last chapter, the reader get
touched through the personal impressions Walter Isaacson so skillfully puts on
paper with his words, he grants a very emotional and private insight. And this
makes this biography an incomparable masterpiece! It’s just as perfect as the
Steve Jobs products.