back to article Steve Jobs: the Exclusive Biography

If you're looking for any fresh insight into the character of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, you won't get it from Walter Isaacson's biography. Likewise, if you hope that some real, private Jobs will rise from the pages to give the lie to the erratic, abusive, vehement control freak that was the CEO's public persona, you'll be …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Currently reading it on my jailbroken iPad 2 :)

    In your face Steve!

    1. Wize


      Should be reading on an Android to be truly in his face.

  2. JDX Gold badge

    Cheaper on Kindle

    How delicious.

    1. RichyS

      [citation needed]


      In the UK at least, it's £12.99 on Kindle, £12.99 on iBooks, and (you've guessed it) £12.99 on Kobo.

      Almost as though there's a cartel in operation...

    2. dcd

      Even cheaper via BitTorrent

      What? As a hater you think I would buy it?

      Read/Listened (got the audio version as well) and must say it reinforces what I think most of us already knew:

      1) He was a pathological liar

      2) He was a complete knob

      On a personal note. I suspect without the ear bashing and interfearance he made, and given that there *IS* a lot of talent at that company, they may get on better without him.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Even cheaper on the USENET.

  3. Richard Wharram
    Thumb Down

    Toy Story ? Jobs ?

    Oh come on. Toy Story was John Lasseter's baby not Steve Jobs'. As the earlier reg article pointed out Jobs wanted to shut the animation studio down:

    Jobs just got VERY lucky with Toy Story. No vision of his involved.

    Also, remember that it was Jobs payment to George Lucas for Pixar that allowed Howard The Duck to be released. No sensible film-goer has any reason to thank Steve Jobs.

    1. Dapprman

      Was he ever even interested in the end product ?

      Jobs only took Pixar as a mechanism to sell NeXT computers are he tried to force them on Lasseter and co as the tools they were to use.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I thought

        Toy Story was rendered on a Linux farm. Nothing to do with Apple of NeXt tech anyhow.

    2. DZ-Jay

      Read the book...

      Or any of the other biographical accounts on the subject of Pixar's creation. Pixar was a research center and software products outfit in the hands of Lucas. It wasn't bringing in enough money and was not deemed much valuable, attested by the fact that Lucas chose to sell it when first requiring funding for his other ventures.

      Steve Jobs did not design, write, animate, nor produced Toy Story in any direct way; that much is true. However, it is indisputable that he facilitated Lasseter and his team, and at the very least saw enough talent in them to leave them well alone in running the enterprise by themselves.

      Toy Story was such a great work *because* Lasseter was left to his own devices, but this ostensibly would *never* had happened had it not been Jobs at the helm of Pixar. Certainly not under Lucas.


    3. MrF

      Lasseter joins the many cheated of their due... Steve Jobs, 1st-order hypocrite and master manipulator.

      And how much credit for Pixar's eventual success should go to their then-owner? True, Jobs kept the enterprise afloat during tough times and was never late with the paychecks. But he did so at the cost of calling in 100% of their outstanding shares. And long before 'Toy Story -- heck, even before the release of their first short subject, 'Luxo, Jr.' -- Mr. Jobs tried to sell Pixar. _Twice_.

      With Pixar, as in many previous ventures (I'm looking at you, 'Lisa', 'Mac Cube', etc.) Jobs' vaunted instincts were dead wrong...excepting perhaps those of self-preservation & self-aggrandizement. Would that Isaacson had investigated the angle of Steve Jobs as phenomenal success _in spite of himself_, his fat pulled from numerous fires by passionate hirelings with genuine talent.

      1. Ian Davies


        So "Lasseter joins the many cheated of their due" and yet it's his name on the Oscars (not Jobs's), is readily viewed by most normal, level-headed people as being the leading creative light at Pixar, and has made a staggering amount of money from Pixar's success?

        So "Jobs kept the enterprise afloat during tough times" but deserves no credit for there actually being a company still around when success finally called?

        The examples you list of where "Jobs's vaunted instincts were dead wrong" are a stretch, at best. Off target? Maybe. "Dead wrong"? Nonsense. The Lisa wasn't a million miles away from where the Mac was headed, and the fanless technology and compact design sensibility developed for the cube helped spawn products like the Mac Mini and flat screen iMac.

        No-one has ever claimed Jobs was perfect, least of all the man himself. Only those racing to proclaim their apparent immunity from Jobs's achievements have ever made such a strawman argument.

  4. Mondo the Magnificent

    You've ruined it!

    After reading The Register's "The Life And Times Of Steve Jobs" parts 1 and two, I have no need to buy the biography

    I believe you guys pretty much covered it all!

    Well done..

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Costs More on iBooks..

    The iBooks version still doesn't work correctly (even after an update)!

    So we have the iBooks version costing more than the Kindle version, and buggy... Nice one Apple.

  6. SarahParker

    the most interesting thing about the bio is the knowledge that Apple will no doubt be launching its very own TV very soon....

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Steve Jobs: A Biography (condensed)

    A clever bloke builds a computer in his garage, becomes very rich, sells out to corporate greed and power and uses these to steal ideas that are wrapped in shiny bling to enslave silly people with their unfathomable loyalty.

    Clever bloke dies , nothing changes, nobody really cares, corporate greed continues.

    (Not even close to) The End,

  8. Ian Davies

    You lost me...

    ...when you succumbed to the lazy cliché of writing stuff like "it's clear even Isaacson succumbed to Jobs' infamous charm".

    Why? Why is it "clear" that Isaacson "succumbed"? Is it not conceivable for a rational, intelligent person to independently come to view things a certain way anymore? Must everyone with anything remotely favourable to say about Jobs/Apple be merely an obedient zombie doing and saying what they've been "charmed" into?

    There is a rapidly emerging test to identify clowns who are guilty of the very close-minded attitude that they accuse Apple users of having.

    And Tony Smith just failed that test.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a twist!

    >> Jobs found out who his biological father was too, but expressed no interest in meeting him and, according to Isaacson, never did so. <<

    the part about steve jobs never meeting his biological father is not exactly true.

    they actually did meet, however they were not aware of their relationship at the time.

  10. Anonymous Coward


    We all know the story - angry nasty hippy guy drops acid, steals ideas, markets them as his own, makes a packet, gets shafted, is resurrected, steals more ideas and markets them as divine objects, makes a killing, shafts and belittles a whole bunch of people along the way and then dies.

    What more do we need to know?

    1. Nikolaus Heger

      A Great Approach To All Things

      You should definitely avoid the book as it would show you just how clueless you are. It would be embarrassing. Better stay away.

    2. Sean Baggaley 1

      The "steals ideas" meme? Seriously?

      Everyone has ideas. Ideas alone are worthless. It's their *implementation* that counts.

  11. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @Read the book.

    Toy Story under Lucas - would have had Jar Jar in it, so moviegoers can thank Job's for that!

  12. Nikolaus Heger

    I thought there were lots of interesting details in this book. It is a tale of a deeply conflicted man, who is in a constant state between genius and madness. I previously knew about all the great things Steve Jobs had done - but there was another side, stuff that he did with just the same level of energy and conviction, that was just nuts. His diet for example, but there's others. For every fantastic invention, for every impossible achievement, there was another thing that was just out there.

    The most astounding - and I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere - to me was his rejection of Larry Ellison's proposal. When Apple was down and out under Amelio, Ellison proposed to Jobs that he would buy Apple for $3Bn, and make Jobs CEO and give him 25% of the company just for becoming CEO.

    If you think about that, had Jobs agreed, then both Jobs and Ellison would be the richest men in the world at Apple's stock price. Ellison would be worth $220Bn! It would also have saved Apple from another year under clueless leadership until Jobs would return as actual CEO.

    And why did Jobs say no? He thought a hostile takeover was "not the way" he wanted to come back. That's all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Crazy Larry

      Was a big pal of Stevie Boy.

      Both batshit insane.

  13. mego

    It still amazes me to no end

    How every "historian" or "Apple Fan" wants to attribute Steve with inventing everything under the Apple brand.

    Hot tip: he invented nothing. Not one single concept that Apple has ever or will ever sell was invented by Jobs, not was it significantly changed from it's original concepts.

    The Computer? Already there.

    The GUI? Already created and shown to him during a visit to PARC.

    The tablet? Already created and developed into prototypes by Alan Kay.. shown to Jobs during a visit to PARC

    The mouse? The desktop concept? Shown to Jobs on a visit to (you guessed it) PARC, on a working machine that was production-ready but not sold.

    The iPod? Nope. MP3 players were already rusting by the time iPods came out.

    What he did was envision ways to bring products to the market, and to convince people to buy them. In other words: a sales guy, or a marketing guy; hell I'll go so far as visionary. To put him in any category other than the thieving scumbag he was is an insult to those that created what he stole.

    I have more respect for Bill Gates than this guy, and that's unfortunately not very much.

  14. eddiewrenn

    I was never a fan of Steve Jobs, and I wuldn't give Apple 20p even if it needed it for the bus ride home, but I loved this book.

  15. PhilipN Silver badge

    Watch out - biographer at work

    Suffice it to say that when, early on in the book, in the context of Japanese design skills the "biographer" mentions I. M. Pei, the rest of the book takes on the aroma of the popular press. That's commenting from the polite end of the spectrum,

    So there you go and I did not even have to mention Ste..... Oh damn!

  16. JaitcH

    Are you waiting for the video?

    This strange display of worship continues with the Discovery Channel airing a video version of the life and times of whomever under their Mythbusters program.

    So presumably it will be on PirateBay shortly thereafter and iPhans can play it, ad nauseum, to their hearts content.

  17. JaitcH

    What a waste of trees and bloody paper

    You would have thought since the object of this tome was into electronics they would have only published in e-format.

  18. Jemma

    Is it me, or does the picture of Stevie-boy on the first page remind you far to closely of Mr Zorg out of Fifth Element too?

    Im sure a person who buys a new car every 6 months just to get out of paying the fee for a licence plate and happily parks in disabled parking pays is a wonderful person... but of course he is, alfter all he is the one who took all the credit for the iPhone...

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