I enjoyed Walter Isaacson’s massive, authorized biography of Steve Jobs. It was a big bestseller when it was published in 2011 so soon after its iconic subject died. The book was filled with sensational stories highlighting Jobs’s infamous temperament, and it was a decent history of the early days of the technology revolution. (Though, the author didn’t always seem to get technology.)
But the book seemed like a missed opportunity. Isaacson was granted access to Jobs in a way no other writer had been, but the “why’s” weren’t explored nearly as well as I had hoped. For such a thick book, it was surprisingly thin on takeaways, other than knowing I didn’t want to be Steve Jobs or to work for anyone like him.
I was hoping to see more into the day-to-day life of one of the key business innovators of our time. How did he structure his day? How did he spend his time? Why did he think so differently? How did he grow from such an idiosyncratic and often childishly cruel young entrepreneur into arguably the most dynamic and successful CEO and technology visionary of our generation?
My favorite writer on all things related to Apple, John Gruber, just posted on Daring Fireball about a new biography coming out later this month: Becoming Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli. It looks like exactly what I was hoping for in a Steve Jobs biography. From the book’s description on Amazon.com:
Becoming Steve Jobs answers the central question about the life and career of the Apple cofounder and CEO: How did a young man so reckless and arrogant that he was exiled from the company he founded become the most effective visionary business leader of our time, ultimately transforming the daily life of billions of people?
The authors interviewed key people from Steve’s life, including his wife. Gruber read an advanced copy and raves about the quality of the book while calling it “an essential reference for decades to come”.
Pre-ordered. Hardcover. (That shows how high my expectations are. I’m thinking it’s a keeper, one my kids might want eventually.)