I really, really enjoyed this book. As the many people who had to put up with my 'Fun facts about Steve Jobs rants' can attest to. And I'm not even an Apple fan-girl. The only Apple product I own is an old, battered iPod Classic.
I think the reason I enjoyed it so much is because I knew very little about Steve Jobs before I started.
I knew he was famous. I knew he was despised by some, loved by others. I knew my Android-loving stepdad was adamant he was an asshole, and my Apple-loving friends were adamant he was an inspirational genius. I knew he delivered an amazing speech to Stanford graduates in 2005. I knew he died too young.
But those snippets of information were enough to convince me his biography was bound to be interesting. And I wasn't let down. I think everyone who owns a personal computer should read this book. Because it's not just a book about Steve Jobs - it's a book about how personal computers came to be in nearly every home over a relatively short space of time.
This biography is about how our appetite for technology has grown rapidly over the past few decades. It's about the war between Microsoft and Apple and the mutual hostility-cum-admiration between Jobs and Gates.
On a deeper level, it's also a story about childhood and friendship, education and work, illness and health, love and family. It's about the decisions people make when placed in challenging situations and the sacrifices they have to concede to succeed.
Steve Jobs had a big life and an even bigger personality. The impact he has made on our generation is enormous. But I think this has caused some people to paint him as a flawless figure, when really he led quite a fractious life. Walter Isaacson does his best to provide an accurate account of Steve Jobs, shedding light on the good, the bad and the genius. I can't recommend the book highly enough.
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
"We are inventing the future," [Jobs told a job applicant]. "Think about surfing on the front edge of a wave. It's really exhilarating. Now think about dog-paddling at the tail end of that wave. It wouldn't be anywhere near as much fun. Come down here and make a dent in the universe."
“I want it to be as beautiful as possible, even if it's inside the box. A great carpenter isn't going to use lousy wood for the back of a cabinet, even though nobody's going to see it.”