We just can’t get enough of the guy behind the iPad, as a new book and a movie slated for release this fall have proven. This title, penned by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli–a long-time interviewer of the iconic Apple founder and the editor of Fast Company, respectively–not only sheds new light on the personal relationships in Jobs’ life and his rise to building Apple into a powerhouse empire despite some of its early foibles, it also undoes a number of previously held beliefs about Jobs that have been published in earlier biographies.
Luke Dormehl for Cult of Mac provided a seriously in-depth look at this book and its differing views from other titles, which is interesting given Dormehl’s source was the LookInside! feature on Amazon’s sales page for Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader. Some of his findings include:
- A touching story in which Tim Cook had initially offered to donate part of his liver to Jobs, who eventually received a full-liver transplant in 2009 after turning down Cook’s offer.
- Jobs’ early plan for Apple to buy Yahoo! in order to break into the search engine space before ultimately deciding against it.
- A complete 180 on Jobs’ plans for Apple and television, along with his statement that he hated television and a vow that Apple would never again produce one.
One of the more interesting distinctions that Dormehl uncovered is the fact that the two authors of Becoming Steve Jobs are themselves tech experts, or at least great tech “understanders.” This is in contrast to the previously dubbed definitive Jobs biographer Walter Issacson, whose 2011 biography was called a “tremendous disservice” to Jobs by none other than current CEO Tim Cook. Issacson has been criticized for not understanding the importance and nuances of crucial technological developments that came about due to Jobs’ influence, and painting him as a far more difficult person than friends and colleagues claim.
“I thought the Isaacson book did [Jobs] a tremendous disservice,” Cook states in the new biography. “It was just a rehash of a bunch of stuff that had already been written, and focused on small parts of his personality.”
Unfortunately, Amazon has removed the LookInside! feature for this title, which will be released on March 24. Whether it’s simply a marketing tactic or is in response to the already-circulating criticism of previous versions that the sample selection allowed is uncertain, but offering a free sample that directly refutes books that are currently available for purchase can be bad for other titles’ business.