Steve Jobs is the authorized self-titled biography of American business magnate and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The book was written at the request of Jobs by Walter Isaacson, a former executive at CNN and TIME who has written best-selling biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein. Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—in addition to interviews with more than one hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Isaacson was given "unprecedented" access to Jobs's life. Jobs is said to have encouraged the people interviewed to speak honestly. Although Jobs cooperated with the book, he asked for no control over its content other than the book's cover, and waived the right to read it before it was published. Describing his writing, Issacson commented that he had striven to take a balanced view of his subject that did not sugarcoat Jobs' flaws. The book was released on October 24, 2011, by Simon & Schuster in the United States, 19 days after Jobs's death.
Author Walter Isaacson Cover artist Albert Watson Country United States Language English Genre Biography Publisher Simon & Schuster (U.S.) October 24, 2011 Media type E-book, Print(Hardback and Paperback), and Audiobook Pages 656 pp. ISBN 1-4516-4853-7
Steve Jobs is the authorized self-titled biography of American business magnate and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The book was written at the request of Jobs by Walter Isaacson, a former executive at CNN and TIME who has written best-selling biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.
Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—in addition to interviews with more than one hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Isaacson was given "unprecedented" access to Jobs's life. Jobs is said to have encouraged the people interviewed to speak honestly. Although Jobs cooperated with the book, he asked for no control over its content other than the book's cover, and waived the right to read it before it was published. Describing his writing, Issacson commented that he had striven to take a balanced view of his subject that did not sugarcoat Jobs' flaws.
The book was released on October 24, 2011, by Simon & Schuster in the United States, 19 days after Jobs's death.
When the photograph was taken, he said he insisted on having a three-hour period to set up his equipment, adding that he wanted to make "[every shoot] as greased lightning fast as possible for the [subject]." When Jobs arrived he didn't immediately look at Watson, but instead at the equipment, focusing on Watson's 4×5 camera before saying, "wow, you're shooting film."
If you look at that shot, you can see the intensity. It was my intention that by looking at him, that you knew this guy was smart. I heard later that it was his favorite photograph of all time.
Jobs gave Watson an hour—longer than he had given most photographers for a portrait session. Watson reportedly instructed Jobs to make "95 percent, almost 100 percent of eye contact with the camera," and to "think about the next project you have on the table," in addition to thinking about instances when people have challenged him.
The title font is Helvetica.
The back cover uses another photographic portrait of Jobs taken in his living room in Woodside, California in February 1984 by Norman Seeff. In a Behind the Cover article published by TIME magazine, Seeff recalls him and Jobs "just sitting" on his living room floor, talking about "creativity and everyday stuff," when Jobs left the room and returned with a Macintosh 128K (the original Macintosh computer). Jobs "[plopped] down" in the lotus position holding the computer in his lap when Seeff took the photograph.
We did do a few more shots later on, and he even did a few yoga poses—he lifted his leg and put it over his shoulder—and I just thought we were two guys hanging out, chatting away, and enjoying the relationship. It wasn't like there was a conceptualization here—this was completely off the cuff, spontaneity that we never thought would become an iconic image.
The book's working title, iSteve: The Book of Jobs, was chosen by publisher Simon & Schuster's publicity department. Although author Walter Isaacson was "never quite sure about it", his wife and daughter reportedly were. However, they thought it was "too cutesy" and as a result Isaacson persuaded the publisher to change the title to something "simpler and more elegant."
The title Steve Jobs was allegedly chosen to reflect Jobs's "minimalist" style and to emphasize the biography's authenticity, further differentiating it from unauthorized publications, such as iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business by Jeffrey Young.
Many of the chapters within the book have sub-headings, which are matched in various audiobook versions resulting in listings showing 150+ chapters when there are only 42 chapters. The audiobook contains a mistake on one chapter title, listing Chapter 41 as "Round Three, A Never-ending Struggle" instead of "Round Three, Twilight Struggle" as published.
|Chapter No.||Chapter Title||Sub-Heading No.||Sub-Heading Title||Approx. AudioBook Mark|
|Introduction||How this book came to be||00:00:00|
|Chapter 1||Childhood, Abandoned and Chosen||1.1||The Adoption||00:13:02|
|Chapter 2||Odd Couple, The Two Steves||2.1||Woz||01:05:56|
|2.2||The Blue Box||01:21:37|
|Chapter 3||The Dropout, Turn On, Tune in...||3.1||Chrisann Brennan||01:30:36|
|Chapter 4||Atari and India, Zen and the Art of Game Design||4.1||Atari||01:59:40|
|Chapter 5||The Apple I, Turn On, Boot Up, Jack In...||5.1||Machines of Loving Grace||02:33:32|
|5.2||The Homebrew Computer Club||02:42:29|
|5.3||Apple is Born||02:51:56|
|Chapter 6||The Apple II, Dawn of a New Age||6.1||An Integrated Package||03:13:27|
|6.4||The First Launch Event||03:38:11|
|Chapter 7||Chrisann and Lisa, He Who Is Abandoned...||03:51:29|
|Chapter 8||Xerox and Lisa, Graphical User Interface||8.1||A New Baby||04:06:51|
|8.3||Great Artists Steal||04:22:35|
|Chapter 9||Going Public, A Man of Wealth and Fame||9.1||Options||04:32:45|
|9.2||Baby You're a Rich Man||04:38:28|
|Chapter 10||The Mac is Born, You Say You Want a Revolution||10.1||Jef Raskin's Baby||04:46:11|
|Chapter 11||The Reality Distortion Field, Playing by His Own Set of Rules||05:06:51|
|Chapter 12||The Design, Real Artists Simplify||12.1||A Bauhaus Aesthetic||05:26:42|
|12.2||Like a Porsche||05:34:31|
|Chapter 13||Building The Mac, The Journey Is The Reward||13.1||Competition||05:52:12|
|13.3||Machines of the Year||06:03:10|
|13.4||Let's Be Pirates!||06:09:32|
|Chapter 14||Enter Sculley, The Pepsi Challenge||14.1||The Courtship||06:26:07|
|Chapter 15||The Launch, A Dent in the Universe||15.1||Real Artists Ship||06:52:32|
|15.2||The "1984" Advert||06:59:25|
|15.4||January 24, 1984||07:12:51|
|Chapter 16||Gates And Jobs, When Orbits Intersect||16.1||The Macintosh Partnership||07:24:56|
|16.2||The Battle of the GUI||07:39:51|
|Chapter 17||Icarus, What goes up...||17.1||Flying High||07:47:33|
|17.3||Thirty Years Old||08:10:45|
|17.5||Showdown, Spring 1985||08:26:04|
|17.6||Plotting a Coup||08:39:18|
|17.7||Seven Days in May||08:43:15|
|17.8||Like a Rolling Stone||08:59:15|
|Chapter 18||NeXT, Prometheus Unbound||18.1||The Pirates Abandon Ship||09:08:55|
|18.2||To Be On your Own||09:27:34|
|18.4||Perot to the Rescue||09:50:09|
|18.5||Gates and NeXT||09:55:41|
|18.7||The Launch, October 1988||10:05:37|
|Chapter 19||Pixar, Technology Meets Art||19.1||Lucasfilm's Computer Division||10:18:42|
|Chapter 20||A Regular Guy, Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word||20.1||Joan Baez||10:48:26|
|20.2||Finding Joanne and Mona||10:55:08|
|20.3||The Lost Father||11:03:58|
|Chapter 21||Family Man, At Home with the Jobs Clan||21.1||Laurene Powell||11:31:43|
|21.2||The Wedding, March 18, 1991||11:43:48|
|21.3||A Family Home||11:51:16|
|21.4||Lisa Moves In||12:02:15|
|Chapter 22||Toy Story, Buzz and Woody to the Rescue||22.1||Jeffrey Katzenberg||12:16:46|
|Chapter 23||The Second Coming, What Rough Beast, Its Hour Come Round at Last...||23.1||Things Fall Apart||12:42:10|
|23.3||Slouching toward Cupertino||12:57:10|
|Chapter 24||The Restoration, The Loser Now Will Be Later to Win||24.1||Hovering Backstage||13:14:44|
|24.2||Exit, Pursued by a Bear||13:37:57|
|24.3||Macworld Boston, August 1997||14:01:30|
|24.4||The Microsoft Pact||14:05:29|
|Chapter 25||Think Different, Jobs as iCEO||25.1||Here's to the Crazy Ones||14:16:28|
|25.3||Killing the Clones||14:36:06|
|25.4||Product Line Review||14:40:50|
|Chapter 26||Design Principles, The Studio of Jobs and Ive||26.1||Jony Ive||14:49:26|
|26.2||Inside the Studio||15:01:45|
|Chapter 27||The iMac, Hello (Again)||27.1||Back to the Future||15:09:53|
|27.2||The Launch, May 6, 1998||15:25:06|
|Chapter 28||CEO, Still Crazy after All These Years||28.1||Tim Cook||15:34:11|
|28.2||Mock Turtlenecks and Teamwork||15:42:47|
|28.3||From iCEO to CEO||15:51:45|
|Chapter 29||Apple Stores, Genius Bars and Siena Sandstone||29.1||The Customer Experience||15:59:31|
|29.3||Wood, Stone, Steel, Glass||16:15:58|
|Chapter 30||The Digital Hub, From iTunes to the iPod||30.1||Connecting the Dots||16:24:58|
|30.6||The Whiteness of the Whale||16:56:47|
|Chapter 31||The iTunes Store, I'm the Pied Piper||31.1||Warner Music||17:06:39|
|31.4||Mr. Tambourine Man||17:42:46|
|Chapter 32||Music Man, The Sound Track of His Life||32.1||On His iPod||17:53:26|
|Chapter 33||Pixar's Friends, ...and Foes||33.1||A Bug's Life||18:32:46|
|33.2||Steve's Own Movie||18:44:06|
|Chapter 34||Twenty-First-Century Macs, Setting Apple Apart||34.1||Clams, Ice Cubes, and Sunflowers||19:20:24|
|Chapter 35||Round One, Memento Mori||35.1||Cancer||19:41:35|
|35.2||The Stanford Commencement||19:52:09|
|35.3||A Lion at Fifty||19:56:07|
|Chapter 36||The iPhone, Three Revolutionary Products in One||36.1||An iPod That Makes Calls||20:16:05|
|Chapter 37||Round Two, The Cancer Recurs||37.1||The Battles of 2008||20:43:19|
|Chapter 38||The iPad, Into the Post-PC Era||38.1||You Say You Want a Revolution||21:22:39|
|38.2||The Launch, January 2010||21:30:43|
|38.5||Publishing and Journalism||21:58:20|
|Chapter 39||New Battles, And Echoes of Old Ones||39.1||Google: Open versus Closed||22:18:13|
|39.2||Flash, the App Store, and Control||22:27:46|
|39.3||Antennagate: Design versus Engineering||22:40:33|
|39.4||Here Comes the Sun||22:54:44|
|Chapter 40||To Infinity, The Cloud, the Spaceship, and Beyond||40.1||The iPad 2||22:57:34|
|40.3||A New Campus||23:23:32|
|Chapter 41||Round Three, The Twilight Struggle||41.1||Family Ties||23:32:37|
|41.3||Third Medical Leave, 2011||23:58:04|
|41.5||That Day Has Come||24:19:43|
|Chapter 42||Legacy, The Brightest Heaven of Invention||42.1||FireWire||24:32:27|
|42.2||And One More Thing...||24:50:55|
Janet Maslin's review of the book for The New York Times mixed mild criticisms with praise. Maslin wrote that Isaacson's biography presented "an encyclopedic survey of all that Mr. Jobs accomplished, replete with the passion and excitement that it deserves."
A number of Steve Jobs' family and close colleagues expressed disapproval, including Laurene Powell Jobs, Tim Cook and Jony Ive. Cook remarked that the biography did Jobs “a tremendous disservice", and that "it didn’t capture the person. The person I read about there is somebody I would never have wanted to work with over all this time.” Ive said of the book that “my contempt couldn’t be lower.”
Commercially, the biography was a notable success, selling more than three million copies in the United States alone by 2015.
Steve Jobs is a drama film based on the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, starring Michael Fassbender in the title role. The film is directed by Danny Boyle, produced by Scott Rudin, and written by Aaron Sorkin (with a screenplay adapted both from Isaacson's Steve Jobs as well as from interviews conducted by Sorkin).
Extracts from the biography have been the feature of various magazines, in addition to interviews with the author, Walter Isaacson.
To memorialize Jobs's life after his death on October 5, 2011, TIME published a commemorative issue on October 8, 2011. The issue's cover featured a portrait of Jobs, taken by Norman Seeff, in which he is sitting in the lotus position holding the original Macintosh computer. The portrait was published in Rolling Stone in January 1984 and is featured on the back cover of Steve Jobs. The issue marked the eighth time Jobs has been featured on the cover of Time. The issue included a photographic essay by Diana Walker, a retrospective on Apple by Harry McCracken and Lev Grossman, and a six-page essay by Walter Isaacson. Isaacson's essay served as a preview of Steve Jobs and described Jobs pitching the book to him.
Bloomberg Businessweek also released a commemorative issue of its magazine remembering the life of Jobs. The cover of the magazine features Apple-like simplicity, with a black-and-white, up-close photo of Jobs and his years of birth and death. In tribute to Jobs's minimalist style, the issue was published without advertisements. It featured extensive essays by Steve Jurvetson, John Sculley, Sean Wisely, William Gibson, and Walter Isaacson. Similarly to Time's commemorative issue, Isaacson's essay served as a preview of Steve Jobs.
Even after a late release that year, the book became Amazon's #1 seller for 2011.
- 2012 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award, shortlist
- 2011 The New York Times bestseller
- 2011 Christian Science Monitor Best Book, nonfiction
- 2011 Time Magazine's Best Books of the Year
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- Maslin, Janet (October 21, 2011). "Making the iBio for Apple's Genius". The New York Times. RetrievedMay 17, 2021.
- Elmer-DeWitt, Philip (October 11, 2015). "What does Steve Jobs' widow have against 'Steve Jobs'?". Fortune. RetrievedMay 14, 2021.
- Parker, Ian (February 23, 2015). "The Shape of Things to Come". The New Yorker. RetrievedMay 18, 2021.
- Weintraub, Seth (October 19, 2011). "Steve Jobs Biographer to be on 60 Minutes Sunday". 9 to 5 Mac. 925. RetrievedOctober 20, 2011.
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- Presentation by Isaacson on Steve Jobs, December 13, 2011, C-SPAN
- Presentation by Isaacson on Steve Jobs, September 22, 2012, C-SPAN