Daily Archives: February 24, 2012

** Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Biographies can be fawning or boring (and in some sad cases, both!) but Steve Jobs is a page-turner. It overdoes the fawning only occasionally, and since it also includes a sobering amount of critical stories, including Jobs’s famous dressing downs of employees, it’s not a problem. As for the boring bits, they don’t constitute more than a few pages (out of over 600), when the Apple board intrigues to oust Jobs and then to bring him back — or perhaps I’m just allergic to board stories. For the rest, it’s a surprisingly frank and personal view of the man behind the company, with nice glimpses of his parents (were they ever patient and supportive of him!), his elementary school teachers, and of course his exploits as the product marketer extraordinaire that he was (and the book very clearly and satisfyingly distinguishes the engineering feats, mostly by others, from the visionary product conception breakthroughs that were his alone). One of the advantages of a balanced stories is that one can see the stumbles alongside the victories, and in this case, beyond the dressing downs mentioned earlier, the relative neglect of his children, which tugs at the heart a bit since they lost him so young.

Happy birthday, Steve!

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