The following review was written by a Guest Reviewer and self proclaimed Apple fan, she ‘drank the Kool-Aid’. Enjoy.
“I didn’t realize the importance of my iPad until I was sitting in my room this evening and didn’t feel like going downstairs to bring it up. Suddenly I was faced with getting out of my warm bed and trudging downstairs to get my iPad which is waiting patiently being charged for morning to go to work with me or pulling out my netbook on my nightstand with its Window’s operating system and MS Word to type up this review. For a moment as I typed on the keyboard I realized how much my life has changed because of one man and his irrepressible need to control things and people.
I finished reading the authorized biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. I’ve always cherished biographies of people I respected, usually because they reveal tiny pieces of their lives I didn’t know. This revealed huge chunks of Mr. Jobs’s life I had little knowledge of. He was a public figure, to be sure, but Isaacson talked to everyone and left very little out of the book. More than just chronicling the life of a multi-millionaire genius, a-rags-to-riches story, he peeled back the layers of a complicated man with a less than pleasant personality. Instead of just reporting on how narcissistic Jobs could be, his obsession with things being done to his standards, which seemed impossible to attain, Isaacson helped the reader develop a bit of a compassion for a man who was plagued by his own demons, a man who vaguely appreciated his intractable nature, but seemed powerless to correct it. By the time I finished the book I realized I knew Steve Jobs almost like a personal friend,
Like any friend, you understand their foibles and idiosyncrasies. I realized half way through the book that Steve Jobs was not just a brilliant visionary, but a human being with pain deeper than others may have understood. I am married to a man who could be his twin. Were it not for the fact that Jobs managed to get some good business advice and my husband did not I could be living in the lap of luxury with an egocentric, impulsive, perfectionist. Instead, we get along with far less. I felt a real bond with Mr. Jobs while reading this book. The imagery was detailed enough to recall similar incidents in my own marriage, including the loss of a job for my husband because his employers couldn’t figure out how to work with him. They lost a genius; much like Apple almost lost their company dumping Jobs when they did in the 80’s. When Isaacson described the anguish Jobs felt leaving his company, the baby he’d brought into the world, I could feel his pain. The still young man with millions to burn in his portfolio lost the one thing he wanted most. Throughout his life his interpersonal relationships were still unpleasant for most. He credits much of the change in her personality to marrying his wife of twenty years. My husband does the same.
When I put the book down, having read the last chapter three times and feeling like I was listening to the reports of his death over and over again I felt a deep sadness that the story had come to its end. When I touch my iPad now I understand why it is such a flawless piece of technology, a brilliant man who once insisted his computer factory had to have white walls and a spotless floor envisioned a tablet I must take with me everywhere I go. I still admire Steve Jobs, respect his genius and wish he were still alive, but mostly I miss him. I got to know him, almost like a friend. My biggest regret is that he and my husband never got to spend one hour in a room together. It would have been a sight. The two of them challenging each other and reverting to quite a bit of infantile name-calling that would have resulted in a product the world would be in awe of for generations. Isaacson would have enjoyed describing that meeting and I would have loved to see my husband finally meet his match and Steve Jobs would have been thrilled to meet a man he ultimately would not have insulted. I just would have loved that chapter in the book.
The biography was authorized and Isaacson assured Jobs he wouldn’t sugar-coat anything. Yet, somehow in not softening him I felt a strong sense of compassion in the admiration. Perhaps, the book should be required reading for CEO’s who need to understand that brilliance isn’t always easy to live with, in fact, we cannot afford to live without it.
Thank you, Mr. Isaacson. RIP Steve.”