Inventor. Visionary. Genius. Dropout. Adopted. Steve Jobs was the founder of Apple and he was all of these things.
Steve Jobs has been described as a showman, artist, tyrant, genius, jerk. Through his life he was loved, hated, admired and dismissed, yet he was a living legend; the genius who founded Apple in his parent’s garage when he was just 21 years-old, revolutionising the music world. He single-handedly introduced the first computer that could sit on your desk and founded and nurtured a company called Pixar bringing to life Oscar wining animations Toy Story and Finding Nemo.
So how did the man, who was neither engineer nor computer geek change the world we live in, making us want every product he touched?
On graduation day in 2005, a fifty-year-old Steve Jobs said: ‘Today I want to tell you three stories from my life, That’s it. Just three stories’. The first story is about connecting the dots. My second story is about love and loss. My third story is about death.
This is his story…
I’ll be honest. I’m a bit of an Apple fanboy. I have had or owned a number of iPods, an iPhone, a MacBook Pro, and if could convince myself of the need I’d have an iPad, but even before I could justify the more expensive prices (especially for the MacBook), I’ve admired their products and design.
I was a child during most of the rise of the home computer era, probably taking and interest and being more of aware of them around the time of the Macintosh (though admittedly living in the UK, I was a Sinclair Spectrum fan at the time) so any book that covers that era is going to hold an extra interest.
I nearly bought Walter Issacson’s official biography of Steve Jobs when it came out shortly after his death, but in recent years, I’ve not had a lot of luck with biographies (especially the longer ones) so gave it a miss.
So when a review copy of this one dropped through the letterbox unexpectedly a few weeks ago, it immediately went near the top of the TBR pile.
From the off, it’s clear that Steve Job’s: The Man Who Thought Different isn’t intended to be the detailed portrait that would be found in Walter Issacson’s book]. But one that attempts to be an engaging snapshot of the man, that covers all the salient points in Steve Jobs’ & Apples life, and it does that really well.
I found it to be well organised and informative, delving below the surface, just enough to remain interesting without getting bogged down in the detail. It’s said to have been written with a YA market in mind, and I can see that in the presentation, but it certainly shouldn’t put off older readers, who would like to know more one of the biggest business icons of the last few decades.
One of the more obvious ways you can see that this book is aimed at a younger crowd, is the little explanations of things, I would take for granted:
“The computer would have a new kind of floppy disk drive, which used three-and-a-half-inch disks encased in hard plastic – small enough to fit in a shirt pocket – instead of the flimsy bigger ones. (Though rarely used now, these square disks are the ‘save’ icons in most computer programs)
And I found that to be one of the joys of the book, remembering how things used to be, stuff I’d forgotten about, and just how far things have progressed. And just how may advancements, Steve Jobs and Apple were responsible for directly and indirectly.
If you would like to know more about Steve Jobs the man, but have been put off by the size of his official biography, then Steve Job’s: The Man Who Thought Different could be just the book for you.
My copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.