Becoming Steve Jobs
The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader
Brent Schlender & Rick Tetzeli
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There have been many books—on a large and small scale—about Steve Jobs, one of the most famous CEOs in history. But this book is different from all the others.
Becoming Steve Jobs takes on and breaks down the existing myth and stereotypes about Steve Jobs. The conventional, one-dimensional view of Jobs is that he was half-genius, half-jerk from youth, an irascible and selfish leader who slighted friends and family alike. 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?
Drawing on incredible and sometimes exclusive access, Schlender and Tetzeli tell a different story of a real human being who wrestled with his failings and learned to maximize his strengths over time. Their rich, compelling narrative is filled with stories never told before from the people who knew Jobs best, and who decided to open up to the authors, including his family, former inner circle executives, and top people at Apple, Pixar and Disney, most notably Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Eddy Cue, Ed Catmull, John Lasseter, Robert Iger and many others. In addition, Brent knew Jobs personally for 25 years and draws upon his many interviews with him, on and off the record, in writing the book. He and Rick humanize the man and explain, rather than simply describe, his behavior. Along the way, the book provides rich context about the technology revolution we all have lived through, and the ways in which Jobs changed our world.
Schlender and Tetzeli make clear that Jobs's astounding success at Apple was far more complicated than simply picking the right products: he became more patient, he learned to trust his inner circle, and discovered the importance of growing the company incrementally rather than only shooting for dazzling game-changing products.
A rich and revealing account that will change the way we view Jobs, Becoming Steve Jobs shows us how one of the most colorful and compelling figures of our times was able to combine his unchanging, relentless passion with a more mature management style to create one of the most valuable and beloved companies on the planet.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
By far the greatest biography yet, perhaps the best possible
Written with a scope and nuance entirely beyond Mr. Isaacson, Mr. Schlender and Mr. Tetzeli’s book have largely written the beginning and end of what a biography of Jobs can hope to be. As there are only so many people who knew him over many years and who also have the chops of a biographer, it is unlikely to be surpassed.
A flawed apologia that is a disservice to Jobs
It's a common stereotype that Steve Jobs was a brilliant jerk, and this book aims to soften his image. Unfortunately, it's a unconvincing portrait that is highly selective about his story and fawning over the man. The Walter Isaacson biography is a much better portrait of Jobs, a true genius and visionary who also was a very difficult, often mean person who over time learned to channel his darker impulses into a positive discipline that remade Apple into a huge success. The Schendler bio's cherry-picked, whitewashed anecdotes in effect hide that remarkable journey, doing a disservice to Jobs the man. Still, you do see a more intimate, positive side of Jobs that his family, friends, and close associates knew — that's good to show the world. And the book has more details on Jobs's Pixar experience than I've seen anywhere else.
I can't rate this book highly enough! Less biography and more meat and potatoes. Looking in on key decisions and events, how they came about and why. There's a lot more to learn from reading this book than just about Steve Jobs. The evolution of the human being and what's possible could well be inspiring to many. Definitely more than I'd hoped for picking it up!