Book Review: Steve Jobs Biography (by Walter Isaacson)

When Steve Jobs retired I posted an entry recognizing him for his rebound/recovery from obvious failures.  I have always been impressed with that – even more so than the products he created.

I just finished his biography, and posted a review on LinkedIn.  For this blog entry I thought I would post a few thoughts for those of you thinking about reading it or those wanting to compare notes.

  1. Is it a book about being an effective leader?  Yes and no – there are great leadership lessons in it, but I still ascribe to the Blanchard definition of leadership – “Leadership is an influence process.  It is about working with people to accomplish their goals and the goals of the organization.”  This is worth a longer conversation – but do not make it a book study for your exec team or high potential leadership group. 🙂
  2. Is it for an Apple product lover or a non-Apple product owner?  Yes and yes.  Based on sales numbers, I am not sure there are too many of the latter, but the product chapters are fascinating.  Remember my perspective is that of a new iPhone owner (4 months) and I bought it for two reasons:  1) Look cool(er) to my kids  2) Explore all the Apple hype many of my friends have been preaching for years.  (fyi – it is still just a phone, but a cool phone. 🙂 )
  3. The best part of this book for me is the completeness of the story.  The good and the bad are told, and in the end Steve Jobs was just a guy doing lots of great things and making lots of mistakes along the way.  Some he fixed, and many he did not, and that is what all our stories would look like if they were written down.  It is well written and when I finished the book I felt like I do not need to read any more about him – I get him.

Below is a picture of the pages that I really liked reading – page number on the left and a few words describing it on the right.  I do this in many of my books so I can go back and find passages I liked.  It is a good read!