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Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader

Now in paperback, the #1 New York Times bestselling biography of how Steve Jobs became the most visionary CEO in history.  

With a new foreword by Marc Andreessen  and new afterword by the authors, Becoming Steve Jobs is a narrative on Jobs’ evolution as a manager and leader, as an astute CEO, as a father, and as a visionary with an unparalled sense of what consumers wanted—before they knew what they wanted themselves. But he didn’t start out with those skills. When he first left Apple in 1985 and struck out to form his own company, NeXT, he knew little about running a company, holding to a budget, or developing successful products. It was during his years in the wilderness, unsuccessfully launching NeXT and helping to revitalize Pixar, that he learned the skills that would make him so successful upon his return to Apple in 1996.

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Tags: Visionary, Jobs, Evolution, Reckless, Upstart, Leader, Steve, Becoming

2 Comments

  1. Phil (not) in Mågnoliá says:

    The ‘unauthorized’ Jobs biography that has earned the praise of those who knew him best (and fills in details not known before) This is a fascinating biography that I enjoyed very much, but before getting into the details of the book itself I want to quickly go back in time to when Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011 (it’s hard to believe that three and a half years have already gone by since that date). At that time, the Walter Isaacson biography () had already been written.Jobs had agreed to be interviewed by Isaacson over the course of the final two years of his life, and when Isaacson’s biography of Jobs was published less than three weeks after his death, on October 24, 2011, it immediately became a bestseller. His book was taken as the most thorough and authoritative description of Jobs that had been written. It did have the cooperation of Jobs himself, and did become the benchmark biography of Jobs (until today). It pulled few punches in describing Jobs volatility throughout his life and in managing his businesses. The view of most was probably that the Isaacson book was tough but fair, because the stories of how difficult Jobs could be were well known and undisputed.Now that a couple of years have gone by and people have had a chance to adjust to Jobs death and reflect, it turns out that there was a need for a more balanced look at his life, one that doesn’t overlook his failings but also gives more credit to not only his great technological leadership but also his humanity and his great talents as a leader of men and women. Especially interesting are the stories of his growth as a person, and how he did learn to be more understanding and compassionate in dealing with people. We learn through reading this book that this was something he acknowledged and worked hard at improving. He knew he had faults and he tried to limit them (not always successfully). We are all aware of his accomplishments – he led and inspired (and demanded) the talented people at Apple to innovate and exceed their own expectations time after time, and although he was a stern taskmaster he also drove them to design and engineer products that were sensational to use and experience. They were transformative to industries. Jobs may not have been perfect, nobody is claiming that, but these things do not happen solely through bullying, there has to be more to it than that.And there is more to it than that. This new biography of Jobs brings out those other aspects of Jobs life and personality. And no doubt it benefits from the time that has gone by since his death, which has given everyone involved a chance to get some distance from the events of his life and put them in perspective.This book also has an even more significant difference, I feel: the authors, Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, are two gentlemen who have known the computer industry and Jobs for many years. Schlender in particular had a relationship with Jobs that spanned almost 25 years. He did not meet Jobs for the first time when they began working on the book (and this is one of the most important differences in comparing this book to the earlier biography, because Isaacson did not know Jobs prior to working on that book, and he did not have the strong background in the computer industry that both Schlender and Tetzeli possess. He was, and is, an accomplished and well respected biographer and business executive, and among other things has been the CEO of the Aspen Institute for a number of years). Bringing out this personal connection right at the beginning, the book starts with Schlender talking about his first meeting with Jobs, in April of 1986, when he was working for the Wall Street Journal and stationed in San Francisco and he drove down to Palo Alto to meet with Jobs at the NeXT headquarters.A couple of years ago, when Schlender and Tetzeli approached Apple with their plan to write this book, they were not able to obtain the cooperation of the company or its executives. Then, after a year and a half of continued effort, the door was finally opened. They were able to meet with Apple people, as well as with Jobs widow, and the resulting fresh materials, together with the notes and documents they had already gathered, going back many years, gave them an unequalled resource of information to produce this new biography.This book provides a more comprehensive look at Jobs full career, not just the Apple years (parts I and II). There is a great deal of material describing his time at both NeXT and Pixar that I was unfamiliar with. Those years when he was separated from Apple were very important in understanding and illustrating the evolution Jobs went through as a manager and as a person over the course of his life. The executives Ed Catmull, and John Lasseter at Pixar, and Bob Iger at Disney, for example, were very influential to Jobs and this was interesting to read about. (This is a time period of his life that was almost completely overlooked in…

  2. Alberto Vargas says:

    All about explaining and forgiveness but less comprehensive than Isaacson’s book

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