March 17, 2015

Fast Company has today published a sizeable excerpt from Becoming Steve Jobs ($12 Amazon, $13 iBook), the upcoming book about the Apple cofounder’s’ life and his mannerisms. Unlike previous efforts, Apple is openly promoting this book and many executives, CEO Tim Cook included, have participated in interviews. This has yielded some very in-depth, intimate and interesting stories.

Following the story of Cook offering to give Jobs his liver, Cook is quoted as saying the Isaacson book did the late CEO a ‘disservice’. In very similar words to how Cue described the (unrelated) film about Jobs at SXSW, Cook says ‘The person I read about there is somebody I would never have wanted to work with over all this time’.

“The Steve that I met in early ’98 was brash and confident and passionate and all of those things. But there was a soft side of him as well, and that soft side became a larger portion of him over the next 13 years. You’d see that show up in different ways. There were different employees and spouses here that had health issues, and he would go out of his way to turn heaven and earth to make sure they had proper medical attention. He did that in a major way, not in a minor, ‘Call me and get back to me if you need my help’ kind of way.

Cook also recalls how Jobs would call up his mother on the pretense of finding Cook, but in reality just wanted to talk to his parents about convincing Cook to have more of a social life. ‘Someone who’s viewing life only as a transactional relationship with people…doesn’t do that’.

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October 7, 2014

Steve Jobs Biographer Walter Isaacson is back with Digital Revolution backstory called ‘The Innovators’

I listened to an NPR interview with Walter Isaacson yesterday where he excerpted some fascinating tales from his latest book called The Innovators which goes on sale today

Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail? In his masterly saga, Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page. This is the story of how their minds worked and what made them so inventive. It’s also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative. For an era that seeks to foster innovation, creativity, and teamwork, The Innovators shows how they happen.

(iBooks: $8.99Amazon free preview, Kindle edition $8.49 , Hardcover $21.81, Free audiobook with Audible Trial or $27)

If you enjoyed Steve Jobs, this seems a great way to put perspective on his work at Apple and how it fit into the Digital Revolution.

January 31, 2014

A couple of weeks after describing Google as more innovative than Apple, and suggesting that Tim Cook was vulnerable to a shareholder revolt if he didn’t quickly release disruptive new products, Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson has downplayed his remarks in a round-table discussion on Bloomberg TV.

I think [Google is] very innovative. I was not trying to contrast it to Apple or something. I know, all the Apple fans got mad […]

The one thing I will say is innovation is great, but it ain’t everything. It’s not the holy grail. Execution is what really matters, and Apple is the best at execution …  expand full story

January 16, 2014

Walter Isaacson, author of the biography Steve Jobs, said in a CNBC TV interview that Apple is now less innovative than Google, and that while securing the China Mobile agreement was a big deal, it was less important than Google’s acquisition of Nest.

Google buying Nest shows an amazingly strong, integrated strategy that Google has to connect all of our devices, all of our lives … the Internet of things is actually real, there are these devices we’re gonna want to have and Google’s going to get ahead of that game […]

The greatest innovation today is coming from Google. Fadell was one of the team that created the iPod. He was very deep into the Apple culture … when Apple was so innovative … Now Tony Fadell is going to Google because he’s part of the Nest deal …

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December 30, 2013

Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson crowdsources new book on digital innovators

Anyone who has ever written anything on the Internet and read the comments it attracts will salute the bravery of Walter Isaacson, author of the highly-acclaimed biography Steve Jobs, who is inviting comments on drafts of his next book before it is even published.

The book, which Isaacson describes as “a multi-part history of innovators of the digital age”, is due to be published in around a year’s time, and Isaacson has so far put online drafts of two chapters on several blogging sites, including LiveJournal, Medium and Sribd.

Online collaboration is why the Internet was originally built, and I’m interested in any comments or corrections readers might want to make before I publish in a year.

It should be entertaining, not least because many of the people featured in the book are still living and able to comment on Isaacson’s telling of their stories. You can see an example of this here.

Via TechCrunch

August 23, 2012

Walter Isaacson reflects on The Genius of Steve Jobs in Smithsonian Magazine cover feature

Author of the Steve Jobs biography Walter Isaacson has penned an exclusive piece for the upcoming September issue of Smithsonian magazine titled, “How Steve Jobs’ Love of Simplicity Fueled a Design Revolution”. For the piece, Isaacson reflects on tapes of Jobs speaking at an Aspen Design Conference in the early 80s, which Isaacson also made mentions of in the official biography. An audio recording of Jobs speaking at the 1983 International Design Conference in Aspen is available here, and an excerpt from Isaacson’s lengthy piece in Smithsonian Magazine’s September “Style and Design” issue is below:

July 30, 2012

Judge rules Walter Isaacson notes on Steve Jobs can’t be used as evidence in price-fixing lawsuit

The plaintiffs in the massive eBook price-fixing lawsuit involving Apple and five publishers sent a subpoena in May to famed Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson. They demanded he turn in his notes that were taken while writing his biography. The notes, of course, include quotes and ideas from the late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs. The plaintiffs believed the notes could show Jobs orchestrated a cabal against Amazon, which in-turn would be used as strong evidence in the case against Apple.

Isaacson rejected to turn-in his notes as evidence. His lawyers asked the District Attorney to rid of the subpoena two-weeks ago, citing the journalist Shield law. A judge then ruled that Isaacson does not have to turn-in his notes as evidence, reported Publishers Weekly. Interestingly, Isaacson’s lawyer noted his notes and recordings do not contain any talk about eBook pricing with Jobs.

This is not the first time Isaacson’s work has been called into the courtroom. A judge recently ruled that Jobs’ thermonuclear comments, which appeared in the biography, could be used in the Motorola vs. Apple patent case. Samsung also hopes to use the quotes in its legal fight against Apple that began this week.

With the Isaacson business out the way, the case still has a long way to go. Three of the five accused publishers already settled, while Apple and others plan to fight the case. Apple issued a fiery response on the matter earlier this year: [Publishers Weekly via PaidContent]

In a related note, the Jobs bio is $15.97 today only—an all time low if you do not consider the free Audible deal.

April 4, 2012

Walter Isaacson, author of the Steve Jobs biography, said in the past he omitted certain details and even referred to the book as a “first or second draft” when discussing plans to expand it with an addendum in a future re-release of the best-selling bio. While we have heard nothing official on those plans since, Isaacson just published a lengthy piece for Harvard Business Review titled “The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs.”

As noted by Isaacson, he was inspired to write the piece after many attempted to draw management lessons from the biography that he claims, “fixate[s] too much on the rough edges” of Jobs’ personality. Most of the piece focuses on Jobs’ management style, but Isaacson also once again talked about the late chief’s desire to produce “magical tools for digital photography and ways to make television simple and personal.” Here is an excerpt:

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December 16, 2011

Walter Isaacson plans to expand Jobs biography, release annotated version with addendum

Walter Isaacson cannot write an alternate ending for Steve Jobs in his famed biography, but the author is entertaining plans to expand the 630-page book in the future. Isaacson shared his upcoming plans, and numerous anecdotes about the two years he spent with the late Apple CEO, at a Dec.14 event hosted by the Commonwealth […]

November 10, 2011

Steve Jobs’s authorized biographer Walter Isaacson and Fortune’s managing editor Andy Serwer on stage at NASDAQ | Photo: Tanner Curtis

In a series of tweetsFortune released some interesting new quotes by Steve Jobs’ authorized biographer Walter Isaacson, who sat down for a “breakfast conversation” with the magazine’s managing editor Andy Serwer.

“It’s good that we’ve made a big deal out of a creative business leader, rather than a celebrity,” Isaacson told Serwer, describing his rock star status as a cultural icon of our time. “There’s an emotional connection Steve Jobs made across the world – like a rock star or a prince”.

“Steve thought the digital hub had moved from the computer to the cloud,” Isaacson said. Over the years, Jobs changed as a manager in a way that “he didn’t become sweeter or kinder, he learned to channel his energy and passion.”

Walter Isaacson signing books in Times Square | Photo: Tanner Curtis

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October 26, 2011

Daily Show interview with Jobs Biographer Walter Isaacson [Video]

Here’s the Daily Show link for non-Flash and international (still has ads). “One guy made the Zune, another guy made the iPod”. Colbert talks about the book as well, below…

October 24, 2011

Isaacson interviewed Jony Ive in his bunker, here’s what came out with him

The world’s most famous industrial design lab is found at the ground floor of Apple’s corporate campus at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California. It’s arguably one of the most closely guarded offices on the planet. Even Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson was asked to interview Apple’s leading designer elsewhere most of the time. But […]

October 21, 2011

Jobs told Isaacson that he was either going to be one of the first “to outrun a cancer like this” or be among the last “to die from it”

Details from the upcoming Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson continue trickling in as big media got an early copy of the book. Both the Associated Press and the New York Times have published excerpts that offer a unique insight into the life of the famously private Silicon Valley luminary. According to a New York […]

October 20, 2011

60 Minutes preview with Walter Isaacson touches on cancer treatment

The blurb from CBS seems to eerily echo a Quora post by a Harvard Cancer Doctor Ramzi Anri that basically said that his cancer was mild and treatable but spread while he was trying to treat it holistically. While Mr. Jobs was trying all sorts of alternative [medicine] his tumor grew, and grew, and grew… […]

October 6, 2011

Time Magazine stops presses, to release special Steve Jobs issue with Walter Isaacson essay

Time is doing a special run of its magazine this week. Today, TIME releases a special commemorative issue on Steve Jobs to hit newsstands and tablet devices tomorrow, Friday, October 7. To produce this special issue, TIME stopped the presses on its previously planned issue in order to devote its cover and 21 pages of […]

July 5, 2011

As noted by Fortune, Steve Jobs’ biography now has a more pleasant sounding name than its previous working title: iSteve: The Book of Jobs *cringe*

It’s got a new title.  But it isn’t the one that Amazon has listed above… expand full story

February 15, 2010

Here’s something we’re really glad to see.  According to the NYTimes, Steve Jobs is letting former Time editor Walter Isaacson write a book covering the entire life of the Apple CEO, from his youth in the Silicon Valley through his years at Apple, NeXT, Pixar and Apple again.

Mr. Jobs, who will turn 55 on Feb. 24, has invited Mr. Isaacson to tour his childhood home, one person with knowledge of the discussion said.

Isaacson is currently the chief executive and president of the Aspen Institute, a nonprofit education and policy studies organization based in Washington.

He is the author of two best-selling biographies,

October 3

AAPL: 154.48

0.67

Speaking at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit this afternoon, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel touted how many units of the Snapchat Spectacles the company has sold. Spiegel said the company has sold around 150,000 of the camera glasses during the first year of availability – a number he’s proud of based on first year iPod sales (via CNBC).

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June 20

AAPL: 145.01

-1.33

The book claiming to explore the secret history of the iPhone, The One Device, is now on sale in physical form ($19 at Amazon). You can also buy the digital ebook on Kindle and iBooks (international availability varies).

Authored by Brian Merchant, the book promises to detail the ‘untold account’ of how the iPhone was made. It features anecdotes from ex-Apple executives and top employees about the development of the secret project, as well as an ‘undercover’ trip to Foxconn and more. Early reviews of ‘The One Device’ are mixed …

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May 16

AAPL: 155.47

-0.23

Wired has been given an exclusive look inside the spaceship ring of the Apple Campus, revealing the ‘pod’ approach that was the brainchild of Steve Jobs.

As with any Apple product, its shape would be determined by its function. This would be a workplace where people were open to each other and open to nature, and the key to that would be modular sections, known as pods, for work or collaboration. Jobs’ idea was to repeat those pods over and over: pod for office work, pod for teamwork, pod for socializing, like a piano roll playing a Philip Glass composition. They would be distributed demo­cratically. Not even the CEO would get a suite or a similar incongruity. And while the company has long been notorious for internal secrecy, compartmentalizing its projects on a need-to-know basis, Jobs seemed to be proposing a more porous structure where ideas would be more freely shared across common spaces. Not totally open, of course—Ive’s design studio, for instance, would be shrouded by translucent glass—but more open than Infinite Loop.

The site has posted a small selection of teaser photos (below), and promises that video is coming soon …

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