Steve Jobs Summary

Steve Jobs Summary, Analysis and Criticism | Walter Isaacson

The autobiography.

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DISCLAIMER : This is an unofficial summary and analysis.

About Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson is a Professor of History at Tulane. He is also an advisory partner at Perella Weinberg, a financial services firm based in New York City. Walter is the past CEO of the Aspen Institute, where he is now a Distinguished Fellow. Finally, he has been the chairman of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine. 

Isaacson is well-known for his biographical accounts of influential people’s lives. For example, he has written successful biographies on Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Kissinger, and DaVinci.


Steve Jobs: The Biography is an unfiltered account of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ life. Isaacson was able to engage in more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs taking place over two years. He also interviewed more than a hundred people who knew Jobs well. For example, family members, friends, colleagues, and competitors. This biography invites readers into the life and personality of Steve Jobs. Steve was an intense man with a rollercoaster life, but he did not want any control over this biography. He put nothing off-limits and chose not to read the biography before it was published. So, this biography offers a uniquely genuine portrayal of who Steve Jobs was and what he achieved. 

StoryShot #1: Childhood, Abandoned and Chosen

Steve Jobs was the biological son of John Jandali and Joanne Schieble. Schieble’s family disapproved of her relationship with Jandali as he was a Muslim. So, the two were forced to put Steve up for adoption. Subsequently, he was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs.

Paul was an engine technician who turned to car mechanics. He was the first person to introduce Steve to engineering and design. Steve was initially unsure of how he felt about having two sets of parents.

When Steve was young, his family moved to Palo Alto, California. This area included the famous “Silicon Valley.” He was brought up during the technological boom within the technological epicenter.

Steve was often bored in school and found himself in trouble for things like pranks. His parents realized that he was only playing up because he was bored. He was too intelligent for the work he was being given. The only time Paul was ever mad at Steve was when he found out he had experimented with LSD and Marijuana.

High school was also when Steve found his appreciation for things other than electronics, like music and arts.

StoryShot #2: Odd couple: The Two Steves

Steve Wozniak was five years older than Steve Jobs. That saidHowever, their minds were very alike. They first met in a mutual friend’s garage and worked together on technological projects. For example, their first project together was called “Blue Box.” This project used frequencies to allow people to make long-distance calls for free. When they began selling it, someone stole one right from them at gunpoint.

StoryShot #3: The Dropout

Jobs’ ‘different’ personality seemed to develop significantly during late high school. Jobs tried everything from strange diets to various drugs.

Jobs then attended Reed College. Here, despite the ‘Hippie’ reputation, he did not enjoy college. Jobs met Robert Friedland while at college. Jobs initially adopted Friedland’s quirks but . However, he eventually dismissed Robert as a gold-digger. Jobs dropped out of Reed after only a year but was allowed to take courses he enjoyed as he wished.

StoryShot #4: Atari and India: Zen and the Art of Game Design

A year and a half after dropping out of Reed, Jobs returned to Silicon Valley. He promptly walked into Atari’s head office and said he would not leave until he had a job. Steve was offered a job. That said, most of his coworkers were quickly alienated by his personality.

Temporarily, Jobs left Atari to go to India. In India, he pursued his interest in eastern culture. Atari’s head challenged Jobs to create a one-player version of Pong when he returned and offered a bonus for using little computer chips. He enlisted Wozniak to help him, and they finished the game in four days.

StoryShot #5: The Apple I

While the computer revolution was being born in Silicon Valley, Wozniak saw a microprocessor for the first time. This gave him the idea for the modern computer: Keyboard, screen, and computer in one. Wozniak wanted to give the design away for free. However, Jobs found a way to make money off of it. Jobs had been walking back from an apple orchard on that day and decided the name “Apple” stuck. Thus, Apple Computers was founded.

Jobs and Wozniak labored hard to produce over a hundred computers in one month, which they sold to friends and a local computer dealer. Apple was profitable within just thirty days.

StoryShot #6: The Apple II: Dawn of a New Age

Jobs quickly realized the Apple computer lacked something other larger companies had: presentation and money. He used his Atari connections to find a retired 33-year old millionaire, Mike Markkula. Mike had the connections to get Apple running. Markkula even hired a publicist for Apple. When the Apple II was released, the success was astounding.

Eventually, Markkula hired Mike Scott as President of the company, mainly to manage Jobs. The two clashed on many points, but the Apple II sold over six million units.

StoryShot #7: Chrisann and Lisa

Jobs had been dating Chrisann Brennan on and off for five years, and they had their first child in 1978. The child was a girl and was named Lisa. Jobs dismissed that the child was his throughout the pregnancy. He later expressed regret over the way he handled the situation.

StoryShot #8: Xerox and Lisa: Graphical User Interfaces

Jobs moved onto other projects after the Apple II but was unsatisfied with the Apple III and the Lisa computers.

Xerox was said to be the major technological innovator at the time. Jobs struck a deal with them that provided Apple with access to some of Xerox’s technologies, like the Graphical User Interface (GUI). The GUI allowed users to view text and graphics simultaneously.

Jobs applied this new technology to the Lisa, as well as the modern computer mouse. 

Despite this innovation, the management at Apple demoted Jobs by the summer of 1980. He was no longer in control of large projects due to his quirky behavior.

StoryShot #9: Going Public: A Man of Wealth and Fame

Apple went from being worth $5,309 in 1977 to $1.79 billion by the end of 1980. After Apple’s stock market launch, Jobs was worth $256 million at the age of twenty-five. Despite this wealth, Jobs didn’t show much interest in material things other than fine sports cars and German knives.

Jobs excluded even some of the earliest employees from the stock market launch to retain his stocks. Wozniak eventually gave away many of his stocks to these people.

StoryShot #10: The Mac is Born

Jeff Raskin originally headed the Macintosh project. However, Jobs eventually won a power struggle by assuming full control over the project. He strengthened his power at the Apple head office when Mike Scott was removed as president after a round of lay-offs.

StoryShot #11: The Reality Distortion Field

Jobs had a way of motivating people to do extraordinary things that his employees called the “reality distortion field.” Jobs could convince people anything was possible by willfully distorting reality.

Jobs also only saw the world in black in white. People were either “enlightened” or an “asshole.” Also, many employees complained of Jobs stealing their ideas. Later, Apple started giving out an award to the employee who most bravely stood up to Jobs each year. Jobs’ coworkers realized that at the heart of Jobs’ quirkiness was an absolute commitment to perfection.

StoryShot #12: The Design: Real Artists Simplify

Jobs’ perfectionism was exemplified by the Macintosh project. He wanted everything to be beautiful — packaging, interface, screens, and even the computer’s inside itself. This drove engineers crazy.

Jobs wanted artists and engineers to feel the same. He had the name of every engineer and artist that worked on the Macintosh engraved on the inside of the computer.

StoryShot #13: Building the Mac

Jobs competed everywhere, including within his own company. He competed against the product Lisa to ship the Mac first. Lisa eventually flopped, leaving only the Macintosh as the backbone of the company.

Later in the year, Jobs was led to believe that he was named the man of the year by Time Magazine. However, they instead named his Macintosh “Machine of the Year.”

StoryShot #14: Enter Sculley

Jobs believed that he was still too immature to run Apple himself, so he recruited John Sculley. Sculley was a former Pepsi marketing director who was responsible for the Pepsi Challenge campaign. Sculley was initially reluctant, but Jobs won him over.

The Macintosh was designed to cost $1,995. However, Sculley insisted on including the marketing costs for a big launch. This pushed the cost to $2,495. Jobs later blamed this decision as the primary reason Microsoft won control of the personal computer market.

StoryShot #15: The Launch

Even as Apple was growing, IBM was slowly starting to win the lion’s share of the PC market. Apple’s response was the launch of the Macintosh in 1984. The Macintosh launch would set the blueprint for Jobs’ future product launches.

First, Jobs hired Ridley Scott and spent $750,000 on the famous “1984” television commercial. This was the first broadcast at the Superbowl that year. He then began giving interviews with magazines. This publicity had a significant impact on the Macintosh’s success.

StoryShot #16: Gates and Jobs

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were both born in 1955. While Jobs grew up like a hippie in California, Gates was the son of a prominent Seattle attorney and attended a private school.

Gates was soft-spoken and almost shy. He had a sense of business and strategy that eluded the more artistic style of Jobs. They first started working together when Microsoft was writing some software for the Macintosh. Despite this, their relationship soon soured when Microsoft produced Windows, which mirrored the Mac operating system.

Gates argued that both the Macintosh and Windows systems were rip-offs of a Xerox technology. Jobs never forgave Gates for this perceived betrayal.

StoryShot #17: Icarus

While the Macintosh created a lot of buzz initially, sales eventually slowed as people realized some of the machine’s limitations. Also, Jobs’ personality began to clash even further within the company. He eventually decided to leave Apple after toying with the idea of running AppleLabs.

StoryShot #18: NeXT

Jobs started “NeXT” with his own money and hired some of his favorite engineers from Apple. This cooled relations with his first company.

NeXT was designed to respond to the needs of educational institutions for computing power. During his time with NeXT, Jobs made some of the biggest mistakes of his career. He learned from these mistakes.

StoryShot #19: Pixar

Jobs acquired a 70% stake in Lucasfilm’s animation division for $10 million and renamed it Pixar. This name was based on the division’s most important piece of hardware. Eventually, Jobs realized he should focus primarily on the animation of Pixar. The reason for this change in focus was that one of the shorts they produced was named the best of the year.

StoryShot #20: A Regular Guy

Jobs waited until after his adoptive mother died in 1986 to seek out his biological mother. He eventually reconnected with both Joanne Simpson and his sister Mona. In an ironic twist, Jobs had often dined at his father’s Mediterranean restaurant in San Jose, without even realizing it. 

His daughter was very much like him in that she was temperamental. Subsequently, they sometimes did not speak for months.

StoryShot #21: Family Man

Jobs met his future wife, Laurene Powell when he was giving a talk at Stanford Business School. This is where Laurene was a student.

Laurene got pregnant during their first vacation together in Hawaii. They got married in a small ceremony in 1991 and moved into a modest house in Palo Alto.

Jobs’ daughter Lisa moved in with them when she was in eighth grade, and she lived there until she went to college at Harvard. Jobs also had three more children with Laurene.

Some readers may find that the author has glorified Jobs’ accomplishments at the expense of his shortcomings.

We rate this book 4.5/5.

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Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson - Book Summary

steve jobs biography chapters

This book chronicles the daring and adventurous life of Steve Jobs, an innovative businessman and eccentric founder of Apple. Drawing on Jobs' early experiences with the spirit and aspiration to reach the pinnacle of becoming a worldwide technology icon, Steve Jobs describes his successful business journey as well as his battles. that he had to confront on his journey.

This book is for:  

  • Anyone curious about the interesting life of Steve Jobs;
  • Anyone curious as to how Apple managed to achieve the enormous success it is now;
  • Anyone inspired by the man who made Apple's tech giant today.

About the author:

Walter Isaacson is an American writer and biographer. He was one of the original editors of TIME magazine and is also the president and CEO of the CNN news network. Isaacson has written two best-selling biographies of Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin, and he is also the author of American Sketches (2003) .

What does this book have for you? Find out why Steve Jobs' Apple became an icon of technology around the world.    

There's absolutely no denying the role Steve Jobs played in shaping our tech world today.  

A minded perfectionist, Steve Jobs had a vision of changing the world through technology.

In this best-selling biography, you'll learn that while perfectionism and desire drove Jobs to achieve greatness, it was his personality that was the cause of discord and conflict. In his relationships with employees and co-workers, Jobs' behavior was often viewed as highly offensive, although he frequently argued that he was simply trying to motivate his employees to achieve success. get what's best.

The summary pages that follow detail the enchanting life of one of the most influential tech entrepreneurs of our time, while also telling the delightful story of the childish prank brought partnership that later built one of the most valuable technology companies in the world.

Also in these summary pages you will learn:

  • How LSD led to the formation of today's technology;
  • Why Woody and Buzz Lightyear wouldn't exist without Steve Jobs;
  • Why Jobs believes he can cure his cancer with acupuncture and eating fruit.

A skillful father and a naughty best friend made Jobs bring with him a passion for engineering and design.

On February 24, 1955, a boy was born to Abdulfattah Jandali and Joanne Schieble.

However, they did not raise the child. The reason is because Schieble comes from a very strict Catholic family, they did not accept her having a child with a Muslim man and they were forced to take the child away for adoption.

And so, the child grew up in the arms of Paul and Clara Jobs, a couple living in Silicon Valley. They named the baby Steven.

Paul Jobs was a mechanical engineer specializing in cars and it was he who opened the door that brought Steve into the world of engineering.

From an early age, Paul tried to instill his love of mechanics with Steve. Steve once said that he was impressed by his father's focus on the profession. If the family needed a cabin, Paul could easily make it and he let Steve help with the work.

In addition, the family's smart yet very affordable Eichler home - a modern home with floor-to-ceiling glass walls and expansive floors - ignited Steve's passion for clean design. will and luxury.

Then, in high school, Steve Jobs met Steve Wozniak, the two quickly became close friends.

Wozniak is 5 years older than Jobs and is a genius computer engineer, from which Jobs learned a lot about computers.

In many ways, Jobs and Wozniak were both kids and both loved to be naughty. But they also love the world of electronics and want to be able to create something.

Combining the two personalities, in 1971, they released their first product: the "Blue Box", a device that allowed users to make calls from long distances and completely free.

Wozniak provided the design and Jobs brought it to business, each investing $40 and selling the device for $150.

The pair sold nearly 100 units, showing them what they could do with Wozniak's mechanical engineering and Jobs' vision, and it was also the beginning of the path to creating Apple.

Spirituality, LSD, and the arts shaped Jobs' taste and intense focus.

By the late 1960s, cultural interest and curiosity among computer geeks and "hippie" lifestyles had begun to overlap.

So perhaps, in addition to his fascination with math, science, and electronics, Jobs immersed himself in cross-culturalism and started taking LSD (strong hallucinogens).

Jobs later demonstrated a refined aesthetic sense and intense focus on experiences with hallucinogenic drugs.

In 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College, a libertarian private school in Oregon, and since then both thinking and using LSD with friends has become serious.

Jobs felt that taking these drugs reinforced his sense of the important things in life, by showing "there is no flip side of the coin". For Jobs, creating great things was more important than anything else.

Eager to explore the spiritual culture of the East, Jobs even went to India, where he stayed for seven months. Buddhism in particular became an important part of his personality, influencing his minimalist aesthetic and exposing him to the power of intuition.

Both interests - LSD and spirituality - helped develop a steady focus, what has come to be known as Jobs's reality-distorting expertise: What if he had decided what should have happened? , then he made it happen simply by bending reality with his will.

Another factor that shaped Jobs' minimalist aesthetic was his devotion to art. Throughout his career, Jobs emphasized many times that Apple products should be neat and simple.

This idea was formed during my college years. Despite dropping out of his studies, Jobs was allowed to continue taking classes, which he did solely for the purpose of enriching himself. One of them was a calligraphy class, his skill in which later became a key element of the Apple Mac's graphical user interface.  

A visit to the apple farm gave them a name; A reverse vision and hard work made a company.

It seems like a strange combination: a spiritual person, fond of LSD and a background in the computer industry. In the early 1970s, many people began to see computers as symbols of personal expression.

When Jobs was hooked on ecstasy and Zen, he dreamed of starting his own business. And around the same time, his friend Steve Wozniak got the idea for the modern personal computer.

In the early days of Silicon Valley's technological revolution, Steve Wozniak joined the Homebrew computer club, a place where computer geeks meet to exchange ideas and where opposites go Tradition, combined with technology becomes the perfect thing.

It was also here that Steve Wozniak got his idea. Computers at that time needed many separate hardware devices to operate, making management and use extremely complicated. Wozniak envisions a device as a self-contained package with an all-in-one keyboard, computer, and monitor.

At first, Wozniak hesitated to make his design available to everyone for free, which is also a Homebrew tradition. However, Jobs insisted that they should profit from Wozniak's invention.

So in 1976, with just $1,300 starting a business, Jobs and Wozniak founded the Apple computer company.

On the day they came up with the name, Jobs visited an apple farm; and because it's so simple, fun, and relatable – the name Apple was born.

Jobs and Wozniak worked extremely hard for a month to build 100 computers by hand. Half of it was sold to a local computer dealer, and the other half went to friends and other customers.

After just 30 days, Apple's first computer, the Apple I, turned a profit.

Jobs and Wozniak made a very strong team – Wozniak was a tech wizard and Jobs was a visionary who saw the world-changing potential of the personal computer.

Jobs was a controlling and capricious boss, driven by perfection.

Those who know Jobs will agree that he is a dominant and exceptionally capricious personality. If the work does not meet the standards, he will get angry and may scold others.

But why did Jobs have such a bad temper?

In short, he is a very perfectionist. Jobs wanted the Apple II to be the perfect design, fully equipped and integrated with everything. But when the Apple II team made it a success when it was released in 1977, it also drained people of energy and spirit.

If Jobs felt that an employee's job was bad, he would tell them it was a pile of rubbish and that things would become extremely serious if he found even a small mistake.

As Apple grew stronger, Jobs became increasingly erratic. Mike Scott was even appointed as Apple's director, with the main task of curbing that temper of Jobs.

Scott essentially confronts Jobs about issues other employees don't have the energy to do. This often led to disagreements, sometimes even bringing Jobs to tears because he felt that giving up control of Apple was really difficult.

Jobs felt extremely frustrated when Scott tried to put limits on his perfectionism. For his part, Scott didn't want Jobs' perfectionism to rise above pragmatism.

For example, Scott intervened when Jobs thought that none of the nearly 2,000 shades of gray were good enough for the Apple II, and similarly when Jobs spent days just deciding how the computer's corners should be rounded. Anyway, Scott just focused on making and selling them.

However, because the company is still running smoothly, these personalities are still manageable. But as you will see later, this is not the end.

The Macintosh made Jobs a technology icon, but Jobs' temperament brought him down.

The Apple II, with about 6 million copies sold, is seen as the spark that led to the birth of the personal computer industry.

But for Jobs, it was not a complete success because the Apple II was Wozniak's masterpiece, not his.

Jobs wanted to create a machine that could, in his words, “create a pattern in the universe.” Driven by this ambition, Jobs began working on the Macintosh – a successor to the Apple II that would change the look of the personal computer and make him a technology icon.

However, the Macintosh was not Jobs's invention, because Jobs actually stole the Macintosh project from its creator, Jef Raskin, a computer interface expert. Jobs took this idea and built a machine that ran on a microprocessor powerful enough to accommodate sophisticated graphics, and could be controlled with a mouse.

The Macintosh became an unprecedented achievement, thanks in part to a lavish promotional campaign that included a sensational TV commercial – now known as the “1984 commercial” – directed by Mr. Hollywood filmmaker Ridley Scott. Attached to the popularity of commerce, the Macintosh set off a chain reaction in the community with Jobs as well as with the product.

With inherent ingenuity, Jobs succeeded in giving high-profile interviews to a number of prominent magazines, by manipulating journalists into thinking that he was giving them "exclusive" interviews.

His strategy worked, and the Macintosh made Jobs rich and famous. He became such a celebrity that he was able to invite singer Ella Fitzgerald to perform at his splendid 30th birthday party.

However, the same personality that helped Jobs create success for the Macintosh also got him fired.

Jobs' perfectionism and repressive attitude toward Apple employees did not diminish. He would constantly call people "assholes" if they weren't focused on perfection.

Those attitudes and expressions of Jobs drained the patience of the company's leadership. And in 1985, they decided to fire Jobs.

Jobs failed with NeXT and then succeeded with Pixar, an animation company.

After recovering from being fired from Apple, Jobs realized he could be exactly what he wanted—with his good points and bad points.

He first started a company focused on the education market, a computer company called NeXT.

With the NeXT project, Jobs brought his passion to design. He paid $100,000 to design the logo, and insisted that NeXT would be a perfection.

But Jobs' perfectionism made engineering and production extremely difficult. For example, the two sides of the block must be manufactured individually, using molds costing up to $650,000.

Jobs' determination became the death knell for NeXT. The project was almost financially exhausted, the product was delayed for years, and in the end, the machine was too expensive for consumers. And because of its high price tag and small software library, NeXT barely made its mark in the computer industry.

During the same period, Jobs bought a large amount of shares from the company Pixar. As chairman, Jobs invested in a business—a perfect blend of technology and art.

By 1988, Jobs had invested $50 million in Pixar while still losing money on NeXT.

But after years of tough financial times, the studio released Tin Toy , a film that showcased Pixar's unique vision for computer animation. Tin Toy won the Best Animated Feature category at the 1988 Academy Awards.

So Jobs felt that he should shift his focus from hardware and software production, which he lost a lot of money to, to Pixar, an advanced and potential animation company.

And finally, Pixar teamed up with Disney to produce its first movie, Toy Story . Released in 1996, Toy Story reached the top of the highest-grossing films of the year. When Pixar went public, Jobs' shares (80% of the company) were worth 20 times what he had invested: $1.2 billion.

Away from Apple, Jobs improved his personal life, reconnecting with his biological family.  

Besides learning during his 12 years away from Apple, Jobs has also developed his personal life.

In 1986, after the death of his adoptive mother, Jobs was curious about his origins and decided to find his biological mother.

When he found Joanne Schieble, she was very emotional and regretted giving Jobs to someone else to raise.

Jobs was also surprised to learn that he also had a younger sister, Mona Simpson. Both people with strong passion for art and strong will, the two have become close to each other.

In 1996, Simpson published a novel with the title A Regular Guy . The main character is based on Jobs and shares many aspects of Jobs' personality. However, because he didn't want any conflict with his newly found sister, Jobs never read the novel.

Around the same time, Jobs met Laurene Powell. The couple married in 1991, with prayers from Jobs' former patriarch. Powell was previously pregnant with their first child, Reed Paul Jobs. They also had two more children, Erin and Eve.

With encouragement from Powell, Jobs also tried to spend more time with Lisa Brennan, the daughter he had with his first relationship, who had become estranged from him.

Jobs tried to be a better father to Lisa; and eventually, she moved in with him and Powell until she attended Harvard.

Lisa grew up with the same temperament as Jobs and both are not very good at reaching out and correcting, they can be apart for months without saying a word to each other.

In a broader sense, the way he treats people around him is similar to the way he works. Jobs' approach: either very passionate or very cold.

Apple was on the verge of decline, Jobs returned as a child and led the company as CEO.

After years of firing Jobs, Apple gradually went downhill and was in danger of bankruptcy.

To prevent this, Gil Amelio was named CEO in 1996. Amelio knew that to get Apple back on track, it needed to merge with a company with new ideas.

And for that reason, in 1997, Amelio chose NeXT and Jobs became an advisor to Apple.

Once back at Apple, Jobs gathered as much power as he could. He has quietly built a power base by placing his favorite employees at Next in high positions within Apple.

During this period, Apple's management realized that Amelio would not be able to become Apple's savior, but perhaps the company would have a chance again with Jobs.

So the board asked Jobs to return to the position of CEO. However, the unexpected happened, Jobs declined the offer. Instead, Jobs wanted to stay on as an advisor and help find a new CEO.

Jobs as a consultant increased his influence inside Apple. He forced the board to resign—the board that had offered him the CEO position—because he felt they were too slow to change the company.

As a consultant, Jobs also succeeded in partnering with rival Microsoft, prompting them to make a new version of Microsoft Office for Mac, thus ending a decade of competition and dramatically accelerating the pace. sell Apple products.

And finally, after much hesitation, Jobs became CEO and suggested the company make fewer products.  

Jobs terminated the licensing agreements Apple had with a few other manufacturers and decided to focus the company on making just four great computers: A desktop computer and a laptop for both. professional market and consumer market.

In 1997, Apple lost $1.04 billion. But in 1998, Jobs' first year as CEO, the company made $309 million in profits. Jobs really saved Apple.

Bold ideas and forward-thinking designs made the first iMac and Apple Store hugely successful.

When Jobs saw Jony Ive's design talent, he made Ive the second most powerful person in Apple - just behind him. From there began a collaboration that became the most important combination in the design industry of this era.

The first product that Jobs and Ive designed together was the iMac, a desktop computer that cost about $1,200 and was designed for everyone.

With the iMac, Jobs and Ive challenged conventional ideas about what a desktop computer should look like. In choosing a blue, matte frame, the pair reflected their obsession with creating the perfect computer, inside and out. This design also gives the computer a playful look.

Released in May 1998, the iMac became the best-selling product in Apple's history.

However, Jobs began to worry that Apple's unique products would become out of place among the electronics in the vast technology market. His solution was to create an Apple Store as a way for the company to manage the entire retail process.

Gateway Computer Company suffered financial losses after opening retail stores, so management opposed Jobs' idea. However, convinced that they were right, management agreed to test four Apple Store stores.

Jobs started by building a prototype store, equipping it to perfection, and paying attention to every detail of the service and overall aesthetic. He emphasizes minimalism throughout the entire process, from the moment customers enter the store to the moment they leave.

In May 2001, the first Apple Store opened. It was a resounding success, as Jobs' careful design pushed retail and the brand's image to the next level.

In fact, the Manhattan store went on to become the highest-earning of all New York stores, including established brands like Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale's.

Desperate for total digital control, Jobs created the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

Following the success of the Apple Store and iMac, Jobs came up with a completely new strategy. His vision is a personal computer at the heart of a new digital lifestyle.

He calls it a digital-centric strategy.

This strategy envisions the personal computer as a control center comprising devices ranging from music players to cameras.

As a first step in shaping this idea, Jobs decided that a music player would be Apple's next product.

In 2001, Apple released the iPod, a streamlined device with the one button that has become famous today, a small screen, and a new hard disk technology.

Critics questioned whether consumers would shell out $399 for a music player, but Apple succeeded, by 2007 sales of iPods accounted for half of Apple's sales. Apple.

The next step was to design a cell phone for Apple, because Jobs had this in mind before, a cell phone with a built-in music player would make the iPod superfluous.

In 2007, Apple released the first generation of iPhone. Two seemingly impossible technologies have been applied: a touch screen, which can run multiple applications at the same time, and a solid glass cover, called Gorilla glass.

Once again, critics cast doubt on Apple's strategy, arguing that no one would shell out $500 for a cell phone — and again Jobs proved them wrong. By the end of 2010, profits from iPhone sales accounted for more than half of all mobile profits worldwide.

The final step in Jobs' strategy was the iPad tablet.

Apple officially started building the iPad in January 2010. However, Jobs revealed the product before it was made public, the press underestimated it when they hadn't tried it yet.  

And when the iPad was officially launched, it became a resounding success. In fact, Apple sold more than a million units in the first month and 15 million in the next nine months.

With the release of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, it became clear that Jobs' bold ideas succeeded in changing the electronics industry.

Jobs' insistence on perfect and closed systems reflects his obsession with control.

Throughout his career, Jobs maintained that a closed, tightly integrated system would give customers the best experience. This idea reflects Jobs' desire for control, since he launched his system, preventing users from modifying it.

The obsession with control has caused major conflicts – especially with Microsoft and Google.

Bill Gates has many different ideas about business and technology, in which he is always willing to license his company's systems and software to partners. In fact, Bill Gates wrote software for the Macintosh.

However, the friendly business relationship between Jobs and Gates turned into a lifelong rivalry.

When Gates released the Windows operating system, Jobs accused him of copying the Macintosh's interface. In fact, both systems "borrow" ideas from another tech company, called Xerox.

Towards the end of his career, Jobs also attacked Google. In the company's design of the Android system, Jobs argued that Google copied a lot from Apple.

While both Microsoft and Google believed that the expansion of the computer system and natural competition would determine which technology was superior, Jobs maintained that in the end both companies stole the ideas. idea from Apple.

But Jobs' goal wasn't just competition between companies. Jobs also fought relentlessly for perfection within Apple, resulting in employees who didn't resign themselves and were fired. Under Jobs, there was no tolerance for undermining Apple's quality.

Whenever he thinks someone isn't an "A" and doesn't work 90 hours a week, he doesn't remind them to strive. Instead, he fired them immediately.

And when a company had problems getting its chips on time, Jobs became furious and cursed them ferociously. This reaction was a sign of Jobs's terrible perfectionism.

Jobs ignored all treatments for his cancer and died in 2011.

Jobs first found out he had cancer during a checkup in October 2003.

Unfortunately, Jobs tackled cancer the same way he did with his designs: ignoring all the conventional wisdom and deciding to fight his own battles.

He refused an operation for 9 months, instead receiving acupuncture and a vegetarian diet. As time went on, the tumor grew and eventually, Jobs had to undergo surgery so it could be removed.

Then cancer returned in 2008, once again Jobs insisted on eating fruits and vegetables to cure the disease, causing him to lose 40 pounds.

Finally, Jobs was persuaded to have a liver transplant; but after that, his health deteriorated seriously and could not be restored to the original.

Jobs died in 2011. He left behind a legacy of being one of the biggest technology companies in the world.

Everything Jobs did in life was the product of unbelievable strength, and before he died, Jobs said, “I've had a blessed life, a wonderful career. I did everything I could.”

Unlike other individuals, Jobs' personality is fully portrayed in his inventions as all Apple products are a tightly closed system and integrate both hardware and software.

And while Microsoft's expansion strategy – allowing its Windows operating system to be licensed – led them to dominate the operating system industry for years, Jobs' sample proved advantageous in long-term use, as it ensures a seamless user experience from start to finish.

Shortly before his death, Jobs was able to see Apple surpass Microsoft as the most valuable technology company in the world.

The main message of this book is:

Steve Jobs grew up in Silicon Valley at the intersection of art and technology, ecstasy and computer tech enthusiasts. Here, Jobs had a friendship that led to the birth of Apple as well as the change of world technology. During his lifetime, Jobs succeeded in transforming our relationship with technology, inventing digital devices with streamlined designs and user-friendly interfaces.

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About The Author

Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson is the bestselling author of biographies of Jennifer Doudna, Leonardo da Vinci, Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, and Albert Einstein. He is a professor of history at Tulane and was CEO of the Aspen Institute, chair of CNN, and editor of  Time . He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2023. Visit him at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 5, 2021)
  • Length: 672 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982176860

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Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson – review

P erhaps the funniest passage in Walter Isaacson's monumental book about Steve Jobs comes three quarters of the way through. It is 2009 and Jobs is recovering from a liver transplant and pneumonia. At one point the pulmonologist tries to put a mask over his face when he is deeply sedated. Jobs rips it off and mumbles that he hates the design and refuses to wear it. Though barely able to speak, he orders them to bring five different options for the mask so that he can pick a design he likes. Even in the depths of his hallucinations, Jobs was a control-freak and a rude sod to boot. Imagine what he was like in the pink of health. As it happens, you don't need to: every discoverable fact about how Jobs, ahem, coaxed excellence from his co-workers is here.

As Isaacson makes clear, Jobs wasn't a visionary or even a particularly talented electronic engineer. But he was a businessman of astonishing flair and focus, a marketing genius, and – when he was getting it right, which wasn't always – had an intuitive sense of what the customer would want before the customer had any idea. He was obsessed with the products, rather than with the money: happily, as he discovered, if you get the products right, the money will come.

Isaacson's book is studded with moments that make you go "wow". There's the Apple flotation, which made the 25-year-old Jobs $256m in the days when that was a lot of money. There's his turnaround of the company after he returned as CEO in 1997: in the previous fiscal year the company lost $1.04bn, but he returned it to profit in his first quarter. There's the launch of the iTunes store : expected to sell a million songs in six months, it sold a million songs in six days.

When Jobs died , iShrines popped up all over the place, personal tributes filled Facebook and his quotable wisdom – management-consultant banalities, for the most part – was passed from inbox to inbox. This biography – commissioned by Jobs and informed by hours and hours of interviews with him – is designed to serve the cult. That's by no means to say that it's a snow-job: Isaacson is all over Jobs's personal shortcomings and occasional business bungles, and Jobs sought no copy approval (though, typically, he got worked up over the cover design).

But its sheer bulk bespeaks a sort of reverence, and it's clear from the way it's put together that there's not much Jobs did that Isaacson doesn't regard as vital to the historical record. We get a whole chapter on one cheesy ad ("Think Different"). We get half a page on how Jobs went about choosing a washing machine – itself lifted from an interview Jobs, bizarrely, gave on the subject to Wired . Want to know the patent number for the box an iPod Nano comes in? It's right there on page 347. Similarly, the empty vocabulary of corporate PR sometimes seeps into Isaacson's prose, as exemplified by the recurrence of the word "passion". There's a lot of passion in this book. Steve's "passion for perfection", "passion for industrial design", "passion for awesome products" and so on. If I'd been reading this on an iPad, the temptation to search-and-replace "passion" to "turnip" or "erection" would have been overwhelming.

Isaacson writes dutiful, lumbering American news-mag journalese and suffers – as did Jobs himself – from a lack of sense of proportion. Chapter headings evoke Icarus and Prometheus. The one on the Apple II is subtitled "Dawn of a New Age", the one on Jobs's return to Apple is called "The Second Coming", and when writing about the origins of Apple's graphical user interface ( Jobs pinched the idea from Xerox ), Isaacson writes with splendid bathos: "There falls a [sic] shadow, as TS Eliot noted, between the conception and the creation."

But get past all that pomp and there's much to enjoy. Did you know that the Apple Macintosh was nearly called the Apple Bicycle? Or that so obsessed was Jobs with designing swanky-looking factories (white walls, brightly coloured machines) that he kept breaking the machines by painting them – for example bright blue?

As well as being a sort-of-genius, Jobs was a truly weird man. As a young man, he was once put on the night-shift so co-workers wouldn't have to endure his BO. (Jobs was convinced his vegan diet meant he didn't need to wear deodorant or shower more than once a week.) He was perpetually shedding his shoes, and sometimes, to relieve stress, soaked his feet in the toilet. His on-off veganism was allied to cranky theories about health. When he rebuked the chairman of Lotus Software for spreading butter on his toast ("Have you ever heard of serum cholesterol?"), the man responded: "I'll make you a deal. You stay away from commenting on my dietary habits, and I will stay away from the subject of your personality."

That personality. An ex-girlfriend – and one, it should be said, who was very fond of him – told Isaacson that she thought Jobs suffered from narcissistic personality disorder. Jobs's personal life is sketchily covered, but what details there are don't charm. When he got an on/off girlfriend pregnant in his early 20s, he cut her off and aggressively denied paternity – though he later, uncharacteristically, admitted regretting his behaviour and sought to build a relationship with his daughter. (Jobs himself was adopted, and seems to have had what Americans call "issues around abandonment".)

He cheated his friends out of money. He cut old colleagues out of stock options. He fired people with peremptoriness. He bullied waiters, insulted business contacts and humiliated interviewees for jobs. He lied his pants off whenever it suited him – "reality distortion field" is Isaacson's preferred phrase. Like many bullies, he was also a cry-baby. Whenever he was thwarted – not being made "Man of the Year" by Time magazine when he was 27, for instance – he burst into tears.

As for critiquing the work of others, Jobs's analytical style was forthright: "too gay" (rabbit icon on desktop); "a shithead who sucks" (colleague Jef Raskin); "fucking dickless assholes" (his suppliers); "a dick" (the head of Sony music); "brain-dead" (mobile phones not made by Apple).

Nowadays we are taught that being nice is the way to get on. Steve Jobs is a fine counter-example. In 2008, when Fortune magazine was on the point of running a damaging article about him, Jobs summoned their managing editor to Cupertino to demand he spike the piece: "He leaned into Serwer's face and asked, 'So, you've uncovered the fact that I'm an asshole. Why is that news?'"

Sam Leith's You Talkin' to Me? is published by Profile Books.

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In 1976, Steve Jobs cofounded Apple Computer Inc. with Steve Wozniak. Under Jobs’ guidance, the company pioneered a series of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone and iPad.

steve jobs smiles and looks past the camera, he is wearing a signature black turtleneck and circular glasses with a subtle silver frame, behind him is a dark blue screen

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Quick Facts

Steve jobs’ parents and adoption, early life and education, founding and leaving apple computer inc., creating next, steve jobs and pixar, returning to and reinventing apple, wife and children, pancreatic cancer diagnosis and health challenges, death and last words, movies and book about steve jobs, who was steve jobs.

Steve Jobs was an American inventor, designer, and entrepreneur who was the cofounder, chief executive, and chairman of Apple Inc. Born in 1955 to two University of Wisconsin graduate students who gave him up for adoption, Jobs was smart but directionless, dropping out of college and experimenting with different pursuits before cofounding Apple with Steve Wozniak in 1976. Jobs left the company in 1985, launching Pixar Animation Studios, then returned to Apple more than a decade later. The tech giant’s revolutionary products, which include the iPhone, iPad, and iPod, have dictated the evolution of modern technology. Jobs died in 2011 following a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

FULL NAME: Steven Paul Jobs BORN: February 24, 1955 DIED: October 5, 2011 BIRTHPLACE: San Francisco, California SPOUSE: Laurene Powell (1991-2011) CHILDREN: Lisa, Reed, Erin, and Eve ASTROLOGICAL SIGN: Pisces

Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco to Joanne Schieble (later Joanne Simpson) and Abdulfattah “John” Jandali, two University of Wisconsin graduate students. The couple gave up their unnamed son for adoption. As an infant, Jobs was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs and named Steven Paul Jobs. Clara worked as an accountant, and Paul was a Coast Guard veteran and machinist.

Jobs’ biological father, Jandali, was a Syrian political science professor. His biological mother, Schieble, worked as a speech therapist. Shortly after Jobs was placed for adoption, his biological parents married and had another child, Mona Simpson. It was not until Jobs was 27 that he was able to uncover information on his biological parents.

preview for Steve Jobs - Mini Biography

Jobs lived with his adoptive family in Mountain View, California, within the area that would later become known as Silicon Valley. He was curious from childhood, sometimes to his detriment. According to the BBC’s Science Focus magazine, Jobs was taken to the emergency room twice as a toddler—once after sticking a pin into an electrical socket and burning his hand, and another time because he had ingested poison. His mother Clara had taught him to read by the time he started kindergarten.

As a boy, Jobs and his father worked on electronics in the family garage. Paul showed his son how to take apart and reconstruct electronics, a hobby that instilled confidence, tenacity, and mechanical prowess in young Jobs.

Although Jobs was always an intelligent and innovative thinker, his youth was riddled with frustrations over formal schooling. Jobs was a prankster in elementary school due to boredom, and his fourth-grade teacher needed to bribe him to study. Jobs tested so well, however, that administrators wanted to skip him ahead to high school—a proposal that his parents declined.

While attending Homestead High School, Jobs joined the Explorer’s Club at Hewlett-Packard. It was there that he saw a computer for the first time. He even picked up a summer job with HP after calling company cofounder Bill Hewlett to ask for parts for a frequency counter he was building. It was at HP that a teenaged Jobs met he met his future partner and cofounder of Apple Computer Steve Wozniak , who was attending the University of California, Berkeley.

After high school, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Lacking direction, he withdrew from college after six months and spent the next year and a half dropping in on creative classes at the school. Jobs later recounted how one course in calligraphy developed his love of typography.

In 1974, Jobs took a position as a video game designer with Atari. Several months later, he left the company to find spiritual enlightenment in India, traveling further and experimenting with psychedelic drugs.

In 1976, when Jobs was just 21, he and Wozniak started Apple Computer Inc. in the Jobs’ family garage. Jobs sold his Volkswagen bus and Wozniak his beloved scientific calculator to fund their entrepreneurial venture. Through Apple, the men are credited with revolutionizing the computer industry by democratizing the technology and making machines smaller, cheaper, intuitive, and accessible to everyday consumers.

Wozniak conceived of a series of user-friendly personal computers, and—with Jobs in charge of marketing—Apple initially marketed the computers for $666.66 each. The Apple I earned the corporation around $774,000. Three years after the release of Apple’s second model, the Apple II, the company’s sales increased exponentially to $139 million.

In 1980, Apple Computer became a publicly-traded company, with a market value of $1.2 billion by the end of its first day of trading. However, the next several products from Apple suffered significant design flaws, resulting in recalls and consumer disappointment. IBM suddenly surpassed Apple in sales, and Apple had to compete with an IBM/PC-dominated business world.

steve jobs john sculley and steve wozniak smile behind an apple computer

Jobs looked to marketing expert John Sculley of Pepsi-Cola to take over the role of CEO for Apple in 1983. The next year, Apple released the Macintosh, marketing the computer as a piece of a counterculture lifestyle: romantic, youthful, creative. But despite positive sales and performance superior to IBM’s PCs, the Macintosh was still not IBM-compatible.

Sculley believed Jobs was hurting Apple, and the company’s executives began to phase him out. Not actually having had an official title with the company he cofounded, Jobs was pushed into a more marginalized position and left Apple in 1985.

After leaving Apple in 1985, Jobs personally invested $12 million to begin a new hardware and software enterprise called NeXT Inc. The company introduced its first computer in 1988, with Jobs hoping it would appeal to universities and researchers. But with a base price of $6,500, the machine was far out of the range of most potential buyers.

The company’s operating system NeXTSTEP fared better, with programmers using it to develop video games like Quake and Doom . Tim Berners-Lee, who created the first web browser, used an NeXT computer. However, the company struggled to appeal to mainstream America, and Apple eventually bought the company in 1996 for $429 million.

In 1986, Jobs purchased an animation company from George Lucas , which later became Pixar Animation Studios. Believing in Pixar’s potential, Jobs initially invested $50 million of his own money in the company.

The studio went on to produce wildly popular movies such as Toy Story (1995), Finding Nemo (2003), The Incredibles (2004), Cars (2006), and Up (2009) . Pixar merged with Disney in 2006, which made Jobs the largest shareholder of Disney. As of June 2022, Pixar films had collectively grossed $14.7 billion at the global box office.

In 1997, Jobs returned to his post as Apple’s CEO. Just as Jobs instigated Apple’s success in the 1970s, he is credited with revitalizing the company in the 1990s.

With a new management team, altered stock options, and a self-imposed annual salary of $1 a year, Jobs put Apple back on track. Jobs’ ingenious products like the iMac, effective branding campaigns, and stylish designs caught the attention of consumers once again.

steve jobs smiling for a picture while holding an iphone with his right hand

In the ensuing years, Apple introduced such revolutionary products as the Macbook Air, iPod, and iPhone, all of which dictated the evolution of technology. Almost immediately after Apple released a new product, competitors scrambled to produce comparable technologies. To mark its expanded product offerings, the company officially rebranded as Apple Inc. in 2007.

Apple’s quarterly reports improved significantly that year: Stocks were worth $199.99 a share—a record-breaking number at that time—and the company boasted a staggering $1.58 billion profit, an $18 billion surplus in the bank, and zero debt.

In 2008, fueled by iTunes and iPod sales, Apple became the second-biggest music retailer in America behind Walmart. Apple has also been ranked No. 1 on Fortune ’s list of America’s Most Admired Companies, as well as No. 1 among Fortune 500 companies for returns to shareholders.

Apple has released dozens of versions of the iPhone since its 2007 debut. In February 2023, an unwrapped first generation phone sold at auction for more than $63,000.

According to Forbes , Jobs’ net worth peaked at $8.3 billion shortly before he died in 2011. Celebrity Net Worth estimates it was as high as $10.2 billion.

Apple hit a market capitalization of $3 trillion in January 2022, meaning Jobs’ initial stake in the company from 1980 would have been worth about $330 billion—enough to comfortably make him the richest person in the world over Tesla founder Elon Musk had he been alive. But according to the New York Post , Jobs sold off all but one of his Apple shares when he left the company in 1985.

Most of Jobs’ net worth came from a roughly 8 percent share in Disney he acquired when he sold Pixar in 2006. Based on Disney’s 2022 value, that share—which he passed onto his wife—is worth $22 billion.

steve jobs and wife laurene embracing while smiling for a photograph

Jobs and Laurene Powell married on March 18, 1991. The pair met in the early 1990s at Stanford business school, where Powell was an MBA student. They lived together in Palo Alto with their three children: Reed (born September 22, 1991), Erin (born August 19, 1995), and Eve (born July 9, 1998).

Jobs also fathered a daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, with girlfriend Chrisann Brennan on May 17, 1978, when he was 23. He denied paternity of his daughter in court documents, claiming he was sterile. In her memoir Small Fry , Lisa wrote DNA tests revealed that she and Jobs were a match in 1980, and he was required to begin making paternity payments to her financially struggling mother. Jobs didn’t initiate a relationship with his daughter until she was 7 years old. When she was a teenager, Lisa came to live with her father. In 2011, Jobs said , “I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, such as getting my girlfriend pregnant when I was 23 and the way I handled that.”

In 2003, Jobs discovered that he had a neuroendocrine tumor, a rare but operable form of pancreatic cancer. Instead of immediately opting for surgery, Jobs chose to alter his pesco-vegetarian diet while weighing Eastern treatment options.

For nine months, Jobs postponed surgery, making Apple’s board of directors nervous. Executives feared that shareholders would pull their stock if word got out that the CEO was ill. But in the end, Jobs’ confidentiality took precedence over shareholder disclosure.

In 2004, Jobs had successful surgery to remove the pancreatic tumor. True to form, Jobs disclosed little about his health in subsequent years.

Early in 2009, reports circulated about Jobs’ weight loss, some predicting his health issues had returned, which included a liver transplant. Jobs responded to these concerns by stating he was dealing with a hormone imbalance. Days later, he went on a six-month leave of absence.

In an email message to employees, Jobs said his “health-related issues are more complex” than he thought, then named Tim Cook , Apple’s then–chief operating officer, as “responsible for Apple’s day-today operations.”

After nearly a year out of the spotlight, Jobs delivered a keynote address at an invite-only Apple event on September 9, 2009. He continued to serve as master of ceremonies, which included the unveiling of the iPad, throughout much of 2010.

In January 2011, Jobs announced he was going on medical leave. In August, he resigned as CEO of Apple, handing the reins to Cook.

Jobs died at age 56 in his home in Palo Alto, California, on October 5, 2011. His official cause of death was listed as respiratory arrest related to his years-long battle with pancreatic cancer.

The New York Times reported that in his final weeks, Jobs had become so weak that he struggled to walk up the stairs in his home. Still, he was able to say goodbye to some of his longtime colleagues, including Disney CEO Bob Iger; speak with his biographer; and offer advice to Apple executives about the unveiling of the iPhone 4S.

In a eulogy for Jobs , sister Mona Simpson wrote that just before dying, Jobs looked for a long time at his sister, Patty, then his wife and children, then past them, and said his last words: “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”

flowers notes and apples rest in front of a photograph of steve jobs

Jobs’ closest family and friends remembered him at a small gathering, then on October 16, a funeral for Jobs was held on the campus of Stanford University. Notable attendees included Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates ; singer Joan Baez , who once dated Jobs; former Vice President Al Gore ; actor Tim Allen; and News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch .

Jobs is buried in an unmarked grave at Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto. Upon the release of the 2015 film Steve Jobs , fans traveled to the cemetery to find the site. Because the cemetery is not allowed to disclose the grave’s location, many left messages for Jobs in a memorial book instead.

Before his death, Jobs granted author and journalist Walter Isaacson permission to write his official biography. Jobs sat for more than 40 interviews with the Isaacson, who also talked to more than 100 of Jobs’ family, friends, and colleagues. Initially scheduled for a November 2011 release date, Steve Jobs hit shelves on October 24, just 19 days after Jobs died.

Jobs’ life has been the subject of two major films. The first, released in 2013, was simply titled Jobs and starred Ashton Kutcher as Jobs and Josh Gad as Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak. Wozniak told The Verge in 2013 he was approached about working on the film but couldn’t because, “I read a script as far as I could stomach it and felt it was crap.” Although he praised the casting, he told Gizmodo he felt his and Jobs’ personalities were inaccurately portrayed.

Instead, Wozniak worked with Sony Pictures on the second film, Steve Jobs , that was adapted from Isaacson’s biography and released in 2015. It starred Michael Fassbender as Jobs and Seth Rogen as Wozniak. Fassbender was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor, and co-star Kate Winslet was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Apple and NeXT marketing executive Joanna Hoffman.

In 2015, filmmaker Alex Gibney examined Jobs’ life and legacy in the documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine .

  • Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world? [Jobs inviting an executive to join Apple]
  • It’s better to be a pirate than join the Navy.
  • In my perspective... science and computer science is a liberal art. It’s something everyone should know how to use, at least, and harness in their life.
  • It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.
  • There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love—‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been’—and we’ve always tried to do that at Apple.
  • You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.
  • I think humans are basically tool builders, and the computer is the most remarkable tool we’ve ever built.
  • You just make the best product you can, and you don’t put it out until you feel it’s right.
  • With iPod, listening to music will never be the same again.
  • Things don’t have to change the world to be important.
  • I would trade all of my technology for an afternoon with Socrates .
  • If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away.
  • Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful—that’s what matters to me.
  • I like to believe there’s an afterlife. I like to believe the accumulated wisdom doesn’t just disappear when you die, but somehow, it endures. But maybe it’s just like an on/off switch and click—and you’re gone. Maybe that’s why I didn’t like putting on/off switches on Apple devices.
Fact Check: We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us !

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The staff is a team of people-obsessed and news-hungry editors with decades of collective experience. We have worked as daily newspaper reporters, major national magazine editors, and as editors-in-chief of regional media publications. Among our ranks are book authors and award-winning journalists. Our staff also works with freelance writers, researchers, and other contributors to produce the smart, compelling profiles and articles you see on our site. To meet the team, visit our About Us page:

Headshot of Tyler Piccotti

Tyler Piccotti first joined the staff as an Associate News Editor in February 2023, and before that worked almost eight years as a newspaper reporter and copy editor. He is a graduate of Syracuse University. When he's not writing and researching his next story, you can find him at the nearest amusement park, catching the latest movie, or cheering on his favorite sports teams.


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Steve Jobs Biography

“Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson is a certified self-titled biography of the long-lasting parent, commissioned by means of Jobs himself and penned by way of Walter Isaacson. Isaacson, famed for his bestselling biographies of luminaries like Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, become handpicked to chronicle Jobs’ life.

The Silicon Valley odyssey of Steve Jobs stands as a grand creation delusion. It started out with the common-or-garden beginnings of a startup germinating in a modest circle of a relative’s garage, evolving into the juggernaut of a global corporation. While Jobs wasn’t the sole inventor of every element, his prowess lay in his adeptness at orchestrating a harmonious fusion of concepts, artistry, and technologies, birthing a trailblazing imaginative and prescient vision of the future.

Page Contents Toggle Steve Jobs Biography Summary Chapter 1: Childhood Chapter 2: Odd Couple Chapter 3: The Dropout Chapter 4: At Reed College Chapter 5: The Apple I Chapter 6: Chrisann and Lisa Chapter 7: The Lisa Chapter 8: Xerox and Lisa Chapter 9: Going Public Chapter 10: The Mac Is Born Chapter 11: Building the Mac Chapter 12: The Reality Distortion Field Chapter 13: Going Public Chapter 14: The Design Chapter 15: And Then Steve Said, “Let There Be an iPhone” Chapter 16: Round One Chapter 17: Changing the World Chapter 18: Round Two Chapter 19: Pixar’s Friends Chapter 20: The Valley Chapter 21: CNeXT Chapter 22: Return Chapter 23: Apple Industrial Design Lab Chapter 24: Family Man Chapter 25: Design Principles Chapter 26: ICEO Chapter 27: The Apple Stores Chapter 28: Round Three Chapter 29: The iPhone Chapter 30: The iPad Chapter 31: Round Four Chapter 32: Cancer Chapter 33: Legacy Steve Jobs Biography Summary

Chapter 1: Childhood

This chapter delves into the early life of Steve Jobs’ lifestyles, tracing his adoption with the aid of Paul and Clara Jobs, his upbringing in a center-magnificence family, and his early publicity to generation. It explores his curious nature and his father’s affect on his interest in electronics. These early experiences set the level for Jobs’ future endeavours inside the tech industry.

Chapter 2: Odd Couple

“Odd Couple” explores the dynamic partnership between Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, distinct personalities who came together to create the Apple I laptop. It examines Jobs’ vision and his ability to inspire and lead, contrasting with Wozniak’s technical brilliance and engineering information. The bankruptcy highlights how their combined abilties brought about the beginning of Apple and its groundbreaking improvements.

Chapter 3: The Dropout

This bankruptcy delves into a pivotal period in Jobs’ lifestyles whilst he dropped out of Reed College. It captures his look for that means and identification, inclusive of his travels to India and experimentation with psychedelics. It additionally examines how his publicity to calligraphy and design during this time later formed his emphasis on aesthetics and consumer experience in Apple’s products.

Chapter 4: At Reed College

“At Reed College” further explores Jobs’ time on the organization, delving into his fascination with literature, philosophy, and Eastern spirituality. It illustrates how these numerous influences broadened his perspective on creativity and innovation. This bankruptcy additionally foreshadows his destiny integration of technology and the arts in groundbreaking merchandise.

Chapter 5: The Apple I

Focused on the creation of the Apple I computer, this chapter information the technical demanding situations confronted by means of Jobs and Wozniak in bringing their imaginative and prescient to existence. It explores the storage startup way of life that birthed the pc, their efforts to promote it to hobbyists, and the founding of Apple Computer Company. This chapter marks the inception of Jobs’ role as an entrepreneur and his dedication to revolutionize the computing enterprise.

Chapter 6: Chrisann and Lisa

“Chrisann and Lisa” delves into the personal facet of Steve Jobs, exploring his courting with Chrisann Brennan and the impact in their daughter, Lisa, on his life. The bankruptcy portrays Jobs’ struggles with fatherhood and his evolving connection with Lisa over time. It also provides insights into Jobs’ complicated character, losing mild on his emotional journey and his attempts to reconcile his non-public and professional roles.

Chapter 7: The Lisa

Focused at the Apple Lisa laptop, this chapter delves into the demanding situations and innovations that went into its introduction. It discusses the bold aim of developing a device with a graphical user interface and the big engineering and layout efforts required. The bankruptcy additionally delves into the naming of the computer after Lisa Brennan-Jobs, showcasing the personalized touch that regularly observed Jobs’ initiatives.

Chapter 8: Xerox and Lisa

“Xerox and Lisa” explores a pivotal second in the evolution of private computing—the visit to Xerox’s PARC facility. The bankruptcy highlights how Jobs and his crew were inspired via Xerox’s advanced graphical consumer interface concepts, which includes the mouse and desktop metaphor. It info how Jobs saw the ability to include those modern thoughts into his own merchandise, sooner or later leading to the improvement of the Macintosh.

Chapter 9: Going Public

This bankruptcy chronicles Apple’s transformation from a small startup to a publicly traded business enterprise. It captures the exhilaration and demanding situations of going public via an preliminary public presenting (IPO). The chapter discusses the financial implications, the influx of capital, and the developing responsibilities that came with being a publicly owned company. It also highlights how this milestone marked a brand new segment in Apple’s records.

Chapter 10: The Mac Is Born

“The Mac Is Born” focuses on the acute and groundbreaking development of the Macintosh computer. It info the dedication of the Macintosh crew as they labored to create a user-pleasant and innovative non-public computer. The chapter explores the design decisions, technical breakthroughs, and the charismatic management of Steve Jobs that culminated within the launch of the Macintosh, forever changing the landscape of computing.

Chapter 11: Building the Mac

In “Building the Mac,” the focal point is on the development and introduction of the Macintosh laptop. This bankruptcy delves into the collaborative efforts of the Macintosh crew as they work tirelessly to bring Steve Jobs’ imaginative and prescient of a user-friendly and revolutionary personal computer to existence. It explores the demanding situations, breakthroughs, and layout concepts that formed the Macintosh’s iconic design and interface.

Chapter 12: The Reality Distortion Field

“The Reality Distortion Field” examines Steve Jobs’ specific capability to encourage and encourage his crew to gain apparently impossible desires. The chapter explores Jobs’ charismatic leadership style, which regularly led colleagues to trust they may accomplish greater than they idea changed into possible. It delves into how Jobs’ persuasive powers, ardour, and backbone created an surroundings wherein his imaginative and prescient have become a using force at the back of Apple’s innovation and achievement.

Chapter 13: Going Public

This bankruptcy focuses on Apple’s transition from a non-public corporation to a publicly traded one thru an preliminary public imparting (IPO). It examines the financial and operational implications of going public, along with the influx of capital and the elevated scrutiny from buyers. The bankruptcy additionally delves into the leadership challenges Jobs confronted as Apple’s profile grew, and the enterprise started out to navigate the needs of a public marketplace.

Chapter 14: The Design

“The Design” chapter emphasizes Steve Jobs’ unwavering dedication to the aesthetics and person enjoy of Apple’s merchandise. It explores his ardour for stylish and minimalist design, drawing from impacts such as his interest in calligraphy and his appreciation for simplicity. The chapter showcases how design have become a cornerstone of Apple’s brand identification and contributed to the fulfillment of merchandise like the Macintosh and iPod.

Chapter 15: And Then Steve Said, “Let There Be an iPhone”

This bankruptcy marks a pivotal moment in technological history—the revealing of the iPhone. It recounts the lead-as much as the iPhone’s advent, discussing the collaborative efforts of Apple’s groups in hardware, software program, and layout. The bankruptcy captures the exhilaration and anticipation surrounding the iPhone’s announcement, as Steve Jobs introduces a tool that could redefine the telephone industry and pave the way for a new generation of cell computing.

Chapter 16: Round One

“Round One” explores the complex relationship between Steve Jobs and John Sculley, who Jobs recruited to Apple to convey his advertising information to the corporation. The chapter delves into the conflict of personalities, differing management styles, and the eventual energy war that led to Jobs’ departure from Apple. It offers insight into the demanding situations of leadership and choice-making inside the agency.

Chapter 17: Changing the World

This chapter captures the profound impact of Steve Jobs’ go back to Apple after his departure. It outlines his efforts to revitalize the employer and bring it back to innovation and achievement. The chapter discusses pivotal selections such as streamlining Apple’s product lineup, fostering a lifestyle of innovation, and introducing iconic merchandise like the iMac, which played a crucial role in reshaping Apple’s image and influence inside the generation industry.

Chapter 18: Round Two

In “Round Two” the narrative continues with Steve Jobs’ ongoing adventure at Apple. It covers his leadership as the employer ventures into new areas which includes digital tune and online content material distribution. The chapter explores the development of products like iTunes and the iPod, which revolutionized the song enterprise and set the level for Apple’s future dominance in the digital realm.

Chapter 19: Pixar’s Friends

This chapter delves into Steve Jobs’ function because the owner of Pixar Animation Studios. It highlights the collaborative relationships among Pixar and businesses like Disney, as well as the creative and technological improvements that brought about the fulfillment of groundbreaking movies like “Toy Story.” The bankruptcy showcases Jobs’ affect on both the animation and leisure industries and his ability to foster innovative partnerships.

Chapter 20: The Valley

“The Valley” examines the dynamic panorama of Silicon Valley and its position as a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. The bankruptcy discusses Steve Jobs’ interactions with different tech leaders, his presence inside the tech network, and his effect at the Valley’s subculture. It sheds mild on how Jobs’ vision, leadership, and impact prolonged past Apple and left a long-lasting mark on the era environment.

Chapter 21: CNeXT

The “NeXT” bankruptcy follows Steve Jobs’ journey after leaving Apple and founding NeXT, a pc agency aimed at generating excessive-end workstations. The chapter explores NeXT’s progressive technologies, which includes the NeXT Computer, and Jobs’ persisted awareness on design and aesthetics. It delves into the demanding situations NeXT faced, the corporation’s effect at the technology industry, and Jobs’ evolving position as a visionary entrepreneur.

Chapter 22: Return

“Return” makes a speciality of Steve Jobs’ reentry into Apple after the agency’s acquisition of NeXT. The chapter highlights Jobs’ renewed involvement and his efforts to reshape Apple’s product lineup and regain its revolutionary area. It covers his initial advisory function and eventual ascent to meantime CEO, marking the beginning of his transformative leadership that would reshape Apple’s trajectory.

Chapter 23: Apple Industrial Design Lab

This chapter takes readers inside Apple’s Industrial Design Lab, exploring the organization’s emphasis on growing products with extremely good design and user revel in. It showcases the collaborative efforts of designers, engineers, and Jobs himself in crafting products that have been not only purposeful however also aesthetically beautiful. The bankruptcy presents perception into Apple’s layout philosophy and the way it contributed to the organization’s fulfillment.

Chapter 24: Family Man

“Family Man” delves into Steve Jobs’ personal lifestyles and the complexities of his relationships. It offers glimpses into his interactions together with his circle of relatives, together with his spouse Laurene Powell Jobs and their youngsters. The chapter portrays Jobs’ efforts to stability his demanding expert interests along with his position as a husband and father, dropping mild on the human aspect of his character.

Chapter 25: Design Principles

Focused on Apple’s layout concepts, this chapter explores Steve Jobs’ unwavering dedication to simplicity, beauty, and functionality in product layout. It delves into his perception in creating products that seamlessly integrated generation and aesthetics, regularly drawing inspiration from various assets consisting of calligraphy and art. The bankruptcy emphasizes Jobs’ function in shaping Apple’s iconic layout language.

Chapter 26: ICEO

The “iCEO” bankruptcy chronicles Steve Jobs’ legit return as Apple’s CEO and the pivotal position he played within the employer’s revitalization. It highlights his instant impact on streamlining Apple’s product lineup, revitalizing the Macintosh, and forging partnerships with different tech groups. The chapter showcases Jobs’ visionary leadership and his capacity to rally Apple’s personnel and supporters.

Chapter 27: The Apple Stores

This bankruptcy explores the introduction of Apple’s retail stores, a project driven by means of Jobs’ choice to provide a unique and immersive consumer enjoy. It discusses the challenges of launching a successful retail chain, Apple’s modern keep design, and the organisation’s attention on customer service. The bankruptcy showcases how the Apple Stores became an crucial part of Apple’s logo identification and contributed to its economic success.

Chapter 28: Round Three

“Round Three” covers the 1/3 phase of Steve Jobs’ leadership at Apple, highlighting his function in remodeling the company all over again. This chapter explores the introduction of latest merchandise and improvements that solidified Apple’s function within the generation industry. It discusses Jobs’ leadership fashion, his cognizance on innovation, and his ability to count on and meet converting purchaser wishes.

Chapter 29: The iPhone

Focused on the modern launch of the iPhone, this bankruptcy marks a defining moment in technological records. It delves into the development of the iPhone’s touch interface, its integration of diverse technologies, and its impact on the cell enterprise. The bankruptcy captures Jobs’ visionary presentation of the iPhone and how it modified the way people interacted with technology.

Chapter 30: The iPad

“The iPad” chapter explores the advent and creation of the iPad, every other groundbreaking product that redefined the tablet market. It discusses the demanding situations of designing a tool that struck a stability among a smartphone and a laptop. The bankruptcy showcases Jobs’ dedication to growing a tool that offered a brand new computing experience and his knack for figuring out untapped market segments.

Chapter 31: Round Four

In this chapter, the narrative keeps with the fourth section of Steve Jobs’ leadership at Apple. It covers the employer’s persevered growth, its growth into new markets, and its ongoing consciousness on innovation. The chapter discusses the creation of merchandise like the MacBook Air and the Mac OS X Lion, illustrating Jobs’ ongoing dedication to pushing limitations.

Chapter 32: Cancer

“Cancer” delves into the non-public fitness demanding situations faced through Steve Jobs. The chapter discusses his prognosis of a rare form of pancreatic most cancers and his choice to pursue opportunity treatments to begin with. It covers his scientific journey, his eventual return to Apple after a medical depart, and the public speculation approximately his fitness. The chapter offers insights into the intersection of Jobs’ non-public life and his function at Apple.

Chapter 33: Legacy

The final chapter, “Legacy,” displays on Steve Jobs’ effect on the arena and his enduring affect. It explores his lasting contributions to technology, layout, and innovation. The bankruptcy discusses the outpouring of public tributes after his passing and how his vision and management keep to shape Apple and the era enterprise. It underscores the profound and lasting legacy Jobs left at the back of.

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Steve Jobs /

Steve Jobs /

"FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BESTSELLING BIOGRAPHIES OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND ALBERT EINSTEIN, THIS IS THE EXCLUSIVE BIOGRAPHY OF STEVE JOBS. Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years--as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, c...

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  • Ch. 1. Childhood: abandoned and chosen
  • Ch. 2. Odd couple: the two Steves
  • Ch. 3. The dropout: turn on, tune in
  • Ch. 4. Atari and India: Zen and the art of game design
  • Ch. 5. The Apple I: turn on, boot up, jack in
  • Ch. 6. The Apple II: dawn of a new age
  • Ch. 7. Chrisann and Lisa: he who is abandoned
  • Ch. 8. Xerox and Lisa: graphical user interfaces
  • Ch. 9. Going public: a man of wealth and fame
  • Ch. 10. The Mac is born: you say you want a revolution
  • Ch. 11. The reality distortion field: playing by his own set of rules
  • Ch. 12. The design: real artists simplify
  • Ch. 13. Building the Mac: the journey is the reward
  • Ch. 14. Enter Sculley: the Pepsi challenge
  • Ch. 15. The launch: a dent in the universe
  • Ch. 16. Gates and Jobs: when orbits intersect
  • Ch. 17. Icarus: what goes up
  • Ch. 18. NeXT: Prometheus unbound
  • Ch. 19. Pixar: technology meets art
  • Ch. 20. A regular guy: love is just a four-letter word
  • Ch. 21. Family man: at home with the Jobs clan
  • Ch. 22. Toy story: Buzz and Woody to the rescue
  • Ch. 23. The second coming: what rough beast, its hour come round at last
  • Ch. 24. The restoration: the loser now will be later to win
  • Ch. 25. Think different: Jobs as iCEO
  • Ch. 26. Design principles: the studio of Jobs and Ive
  • Ch. 27. The iMac: hello (again)
  • Ch. 28. CEO: still crazy after all these years
  • Ch. 29. Apple stores: genius bars and siena sandstone
  • Ch. 30. The digital hub: from iTunes to the iPod
  • Ch. 31. The iTunes store: I'm the Pied Piper
  • Ch. 32. Music man: the sound track of his life
  • Ch. 33. Pixar's friends
  • Ch. 34. Twenty-first-century Macs: setting Apple apart
  • Ch. 35. Round one: Memento mori
  • Ch. 36. The iPhone: three revolutionary products in one
  • Ch. 37. Round two: the cancer recurs
  • Ch. 38. The iPad: into the post-PC era
  • Ch. 39. New battles: and echoes of old ones
  • Ch. 40. To infinity: the cloud, the spaceship, and beyond
  • Ch. 41. Round three: the twilight struggle
  • Ch. 42. Legacy: the brightest heaven of invention.
  • Steve Jobs : a biographic portrait / by: Lynch, Kevin (Kevin M.) Published: (2018)
  • Leading Apple with Steve Jobs management lessons from a controversial genius / by: Elliot, Jay Published: (2012)
  • Steve Jobs : one last thing / Published: (2011)
  • Steve Jobs - consciously genius : unauthorized documentary / Published: (2012)
  • Steve Jobs : visionary entrepreneur of the digital age / by: Isabella, Jude, et al. Published: (2014)

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Steve Jobs - Chapter 26: Design Principles Summary & Analysis

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In 1997, Jobs gave a pep talk to the Apple executives and managers. One of the employees in attendance was Jony Ive, a London born and educated designer and the head of the hardware design team. Interestingly enough, Ive was about to resign (he disagreed with the company’s primary motive: profit), but Jobs’ speech motivated him to stay with the company. Jobs and Ive became friends as they both cared about design, especially minimalism. Ive particularly appreciated Jobs’ philosophy that design comes first. Together, Ive and Jobs filed 212 patents together, most originating from Jobs’ visits to the design studio and giving his feedback to Ive based on foam mockups.

The author uses this chapter for a very specific purpose, and that purpose becomes clear when its position in the book is realized. This chapter about Ive and Jobs’ relationship is positioned...

(read more from the Chapter 26: Design Principles Summary)

View Steve Jobs Chapter 25: Think Different


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Steve Jobs

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Steve jobs audible audiobook – unabridged.

Featuring a new epilogue read by the author.

From the author of the best-selling biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, this is the exclusive biography of Steve Jobs.

Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years - as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues - Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the 21st century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.

Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.

Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple's hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.

  • Listening Length 25 hours and 18 minutes
  • Author Walter Isaacson
  • Narrator Dylan Baker
  • Audible release date October 24, 2011
  • Language English
  • Publisher Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Version Unabridged
  • Program Type Audiobook
  • See all details

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Steve Jobs, The 5 Chapters You Need to Read

March 6, 2012 - Last Modified: March 15, 2012 by Jen Brass Jenkins 5,859

Steve Jobs

  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 4 Stars stars
  • Reviewed by: Jen Brass Jenkins
  • Published on: March 6, 2012
  • Last modified: March 15, 2012

In October I caught the fever and downloaded Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. It’s a little long (656 pages), but I thought surely I could read straight through it pretty quickly and join the throngs of bloggers posting reviews . But then it got intense, in the way a story driven by Steve Jobs could, and only now, three months later, have I finally closed the cover on the life of Steve Jobs.

In order to keep this post relevant then, since we have all read the shining reviews that the book received and many of the stories about Jobs’s life included in the book, I’m going to recommend five chapters that really intrigued me as a reader and save you a little time in reviewing the journey that was the life of Steve Jobs .

1 – Chapter 1: Childhood, Abandoned and Chosen

In this first chapter we learn not just where Jobs’s parents both biological and adoptive are from and how/why he was adopted, but also Isaacson explores what some speculated were Jobs’s formative views of himself, abandoned and chosen:

There’s some notion that because I was abandoned, I worked very hard so I could do well and make my parents wish they had me back, or some such nonsense, but that’s ridiculous…Knowing I was adopted may have made me feel more independent, but I never felt abandoned. I’ve always felt special. My parents made me feel special. (p. 5)

Chapter one also includes the inspirations for two of Jobs’s other obsessions: design and craftsmanship (but you will have to read those bits for yourself).

2 – Chapter 3: The Dropout

Jobs’s parents expected him to go to college, and he did—sort-of. The experiences he had and the choices he made during the years of his life covered in this chapter go a long way towards explaining his behavior later on. Jobs was becoming Jobs: fiercely independent, a hippy with an extreme diet, a Zen devotee and a master manipulator.

3 – Chapter 16: Gates and Jobs

For most of us, the technology of our lifetimes has been defined by the companies that Jobs and Gates built. Understanding the quintessential differences between Jobs and Gates leads to an understanding of one of the major issues in technology today: closed vs. open, or, as Jobs liked to say, integrated vs. fragmented. Plus, once you understand the arc of their thirty-year relationship you are able to really appreciate the time they spent together talking before Jobs’s death .

I also have to say here, that once I read about a situation where Jobs’s anger was almost seemingly righteously turned on a competitor, it was a great relief (p. 177). As a friend of mine said, Jobs’s life does tend to read like a soap opera.

4 – Chapter 33: Pixar’s Friends and Foes

Pixar, the-company-I-never-knew-Jobs-was-part-of, was hugely influenced by Jobs. In a previous chapter Isaacson recounts the story of Pixar, how Jobs got involved, how Toy Story was nearly strangled by Disney execs and how it was then reworked into the blockbuster it became.

As fascinating as it is reading about an industry-changing event you remember from your childhood, it is even more engaging to read about the final showdown between Disney and Pixar’s major executive players before Pixar officially became part of Disney in this chapter. We may not remember the names of the big wigs who made the deals, but we definitely remember the films that were created because of them.

5 – Chapter 49: Round Three, The Twilight Struggle

Essentially the last chapter, this one documents Jobs’s final months from when the cancer reappeared to his resignation as Apple’s CEO . It also sums up Jobs’s family relationships as they stood at the end, his joy at seeing his oldest son graduate, his wife’s passion for educational reform and a hint at the way his daughters viewed him. Because of their financial means, the Jobs’ were also able to remain at the front of the fight against cancer, sequencing Jobs’s entire DNA thus allowing Jobs’s doctors to use a molecular targeted therapy that is more effective than the more general chemotherapy.

Steve Jobs

It’s difficult to stop at just those five chapters, but they really do sum up some lesser known turning points of Jobs’s life journey and give you the sense of what made the man.

And, love him or hate him, Jobs the man has affected all of us in ways we know or don’t. Not bad for a hippy fruitarian from California.

P.S. If you have a little more time check out chapter twelve about Jobs’s design sense, the “Bauhaus aesthetic” or chapter forty about the iCloud and the design of Apple’s new campus. Of course, if you have time, maybe you really should consider reading the whole book. I definitely recommend it.

steve jobs biography chapters

About Jen Brass Jenkins

Jen Jenkins, founder of the Punctuation and Language Appreciation Society, is currently a freelance content strategist and blogger. With a background in arts production (and a few years dabbling in costume design and construction), Jen is a bibliophile, fashion addict, and twitter aficionado.

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40 pages • 1 hour read

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Introduction-Chapter 7

Chapters 8-14

Chapters 15-21

Chapters 22-28

Chapters 29-35

Chapters 36-42

Key Figures

Symbols & Motifs

Important Quotes

Essay Topics

Discussion Questions

Introduction-Chapter 7 Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Introduction summary.

Isaacson introduces the book by explaining that Jobs had called him in 2004, asking him to write his biography, a task that felt premature for Isaacson at the time considering his career trajectory and track record of oscillation between success and failure. However, after Jobs became sick with cancer for the second time, Isaacson finally accepted the assignment. Based on more than 40 interviews and conversations over a period of two years, Isaacson hoped to write a book that would capture the essence of Jobs’s life, “filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values” (xxi).

Chapter 1 Summary

Isaacson contrasts the stories of two sets of parents: Jobs’s birth parents, Joanne Schieble and Abdulfattah Jandali, who gave him up for adoption , and Clara and Paul Jobs , the adoptive parents who raised him. Joanne and Abdulfattah were not married at the time, largely because Joanne’s father strongly disapproved of their relationship. When Joanne became pregnant, the only feasible option was to arrange for a closed adoption, with the caveat that the adoptive parents must be college graduates.

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'This is a riveting book, with as much to say about the transformation of modern life in the information age as about its supernaturally gifted and driven subject' - Telegraph Based on more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years - as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues - this is the acclaimed, internationally bestselling biography of the ultimate icon of inventiveness. Walter Isaacson tells the story of the rollercoaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written, nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted. And as Isaacson shows in a new afterword commemorating the tenth anniversary of Jobs's death, that vision remains even more vital today.

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