The title says it all: “Letters to Steve: Inside the E-mail Inbox of Apple’s Steve Jobs“. A new book penned by CNN technology writer Mark Milian takes a look at the hundreds of emails between Jobs and the people that discovered his publicly available email address. It also includes never-before-published e-mails exclusive to the book, which is available starting today for $2.99 on Amazon.
This book is based on interviews with many of the customers and fans Jobs communicated with. These tales reveal the intricacies of how Jobs portrayed himself as likable and accessible through direct interaction with fans. He handled customer-service inquiries himself and carefully revealed hints about upcoming Apple products, guaranteeing headlines on blogs. However, some of these letters, when analyzed, provide a glimpse into his “reality distortion field,” in which he lobs insults, bends the truth and uses misdirection in order to manipulate anyone on the receiving end.
To accompany the release of the book, CNN is running a three-part series on their website. The first part in that series was published today and details Jobs’ emails related to customer service. Here’s an excerpt where customer Scott Steckley recalls receiving a phone call from Jobs after emailing him regarding a long wait for his Mac repair:
“Hi Scott, this is Steve,” Steckley recalled hearing from the other end of the phone.
“Steve Jobs?” he asked.
“Yeah,” Jobs said. “I just wanted to apologize for your incredibly long wait. It’s really nobody’s fault. It’s just one of those things.”
“Yeah, I understand.”
Then Jobs explained that he expedited the repair. “I also wanted to thank you for your support of Apple,” Jobs said. “I see how much equipment you own. It really makes my day to see someone who enjoys our products so much and who supports us in the good times and bad.”