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

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

#1 New York Times Bestseller There have been many books—on a large and small scale—about Steve Jobs, one of the most famous CEOs in history. But this book is different from all the others.Becoming Steve Jobs takes on and breaks down the existing myth and stereotypes about Steve Jobs. The conventional, one-dimensional view of Jobs is that he was half-genius, half-jerk from...

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Title:Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader
Author:Brent Schlender
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Edition Language:English

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

  • Eeoo

    I devoured this book in two days after I found it one and a half weeks early (before its on sale date) at my local book store! It was a very unique read. It covered a timeline of Steve Job's professional career, much like his autobiography did, but the interviews with those who were closest to him show a different perspective on those moments than what's highly publicized in the media. I really enjoyed seeing this side of him and marvelling again at the true genius he really was. It's a crazy lo

    I devoured this book in two days after I found it one and a half weeks early (before its on sale date) at my local book store! It was a very unique read. It covered a timeline of Steve Job's professional career, much like his autobiography did, but the interviews with those who were closest to him show a different perspective on those moments than what's highly publicized in the media. I really enjoyed seeing this side of him and marvelling again at the true genius he really was. It's a crazy loss to humanity and technology advancements that we no longer have him around.

  • Jacob Mclaws

    There's quite a bit of press about this book setting the record straight vis a vis Walter Isaacson's authorized biography, but I don't really like all that fuss. Let's leave negative talk about Walter Isaacson's book out of it.

    This book is really good. I'm inspired by Steve Job's restlessness and insatiable quest for building insanely great products. His focus and passion just gives me a bit more energy to work harder to try to make a difference. It's the same inspiration I got from reading Zen

    There's quite a bit of press about this book setting the record straight vis a vis Walter Isaacson's authorized biography, but I don't really like all that fuss. Let's leave negative talk about Walter Isaacson's book out of it.

    This book is really good. I'm inspired by Steve Job's restlessness and insatiable quest for building insanely great products. His focus and passion just gives me a bit more energy to work harder to try to make a difference. It's the same inspiration I got from reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The feeling that what really matters is quality. From the smallest minutia to the broadest strokes. It's all about quality.

    I felt like I had a good sense for Steve Job's life and work after Walter Isaacson's biography on him which covers all the major parts of his life (in some aspects more completely than this biography, if my memory serves me correctly), but Brent Schlender had a different, perhaps more intimate, vantage point from which to narrate the story of Steve Jobs. My favorite parts of this book were accounts of the little moments in Steve Job's life that could only be spoken about by people who knew him closely. First-hand accounts of interactions with John Lasseter, Jony Ives, Tim Cook, and Bill Gates made Steve Jobs come to life in a new way.

    Brent Schlender went out of his way to make the case that Steve transformed from the brash, punk, capricious founder of Apple into a strong, disciplined leader, who was a good friend and a good father and husband. It is a story of change and growth, the archetype we all love, and it makes him and his story that much more endearing.

    I often feel a bit sad at the end of a biography when the subject dies, as if I am losing a friend I have grown to care a lot about, but I felt especially reluctant to finish this book today. I don't want to be Steve Jobs, but I sure like his story. Would've been a thrill to know him.

    ---

    Below are notes and quotes for my personal reference:

    Steve to John Lasseter: "You know, when we make a computer at Apple what's it's lifespan? About three years? At five years it's a doorstop, but if you do your job right, what you create can last forever." An interesting perspective on tech vs content. Tech gets stale much faster, while great content can live for many, many years.

    "I watched Bob Dylan as I was growing up and I watched him never stand still. If you look at true artists, if they get really good at something it occurs to them that they can do this for the rest of their lives and they can be really successful at it to the outside world, but not really successful to themselves. That's the moment that an artist decides who he/she is. If they keep on risking failure they're still artists. Dylan and Picasso were always risking failure... I finally decided I don't really care, this is what I want to do. And if I tried my best and fail, well I tried my best." - Steve Jobs

    "The reason you sugarcoat things is that you don't want anyone to think you're an asshole. So that's vanity... If he really cared about the work, he would be less vain and talk directly about the work." - Jony Ives

    "On almost every film they make something turns out to be not quite right, and they have an amazing willingness to turn around and do it again until they do get it right. They have always had an amazing willingness to not be governed by the release date.It's not about how fast you do something. It's about doing your level best." Steve Jobs talking about something he learned at Pixar.

  • Matt Beckwith

    Steve Jobs selected someone else to write his autobiography. I read that one, too. And I enjoyed it. But I kept thinking it was the iconic leader's attempt to control his story. When the company he founded endorsed it I thought that made it the true and complete story.

    Then I caught wind of this book and that many people closest to Jobs felt the previous book didn't do him justice. So, I started this one. And devoured it.

    Becoming Steve Jobs was wonderful! It was a very different look at Steve Job

    Steve Jobs selected someone else to write his autobiography. I read that one, too. And I enjoyed it. But I kept thinking it was the iconic leader's attempt to control his story. When the company he founded endorsed it I thought that made it the true and complete story.

    Then I caught wind of this book and that many people closest to Jobs felt the previous book didn't do him justice. So, I started this one. And devoured it.

    Becoming Steve Jobs was wonderful! It was a very different look at Steve Jobs than the ones I've read in other works.

    Amazing story.

  • Elyse Walters

    Loved this audiobook!

    "Becoming Steve Jobs", by Brent Schlender, is not to be confused with the biography by Walter Isaacson

    I found this audiobook 'more' satisfying than all other books and movies I've seen.

    It feels more balanced ---I learned more about his personal life - things that were missing in other Books and movies--and I felt I had a greater understanding of who he was as a human being: the good and the bad. The last half of the book we see a real major shift in Steve. He transformed hi

    Loved this audiobook!

    "Becoming Steve Jobs", by Brent Schlender, is not to be confused with the biography by Walter Isaacson

    I found this audiobook 'more' satisfying than all other books and movies I've seen.

    It feels more balanced ---I learned more about his personal life - things that were missing in other Books and movies--and I felt I had a greater understanding of who he was as a human being: the good and the bad. The last half of the book we see a real major shift in Steve. He transformed himself- matured - grew into himself- became the powerful leader for Apple. ----

    What I love best is how deeply personal this book is -painting a more accurate biography.....with tons of details. More information about his family - work ethics growing up. An only child -- had been adopted. I loved reading about when he was young and first worked at Atari-- all that he learned at Pixar... and the narration of this audiobook is top notch terrific. I was never bored.

    Inspiring! Interesting! Informative! Emotional!

    A great tribute to the legendary Steve Jobs! It's still sad for me that he's no longer living.....Truly the Disney or Einstein of our day!

  • Sarthak Pranit

    To give it to you in one line - its the better biography of the icon.

    I truly believe that there were greater visionaries than Steve Jobs. But, the person called Steve Jobs is far more interesting that the visionary we all knew, or atleast thought that we knew.

    It's a decently engaging book, but its the experiences and interviews narrated in this book that set it apart. It's the transition of the man from the incorrigible punk to the hardcore follower of essentialism that sticks with you after you

    To give it to you in one line - its the better biography of the icon.

    I truly believe that there were greater visionaries than Steve Jobs. But, the person called Steve Jobs is far more interesting that the visionary we all knew, or atleast thought that we knew.

    It's a decently engaging book, but its the experiences and interviews narrated in this book that set it apart. It's the transition of the man from the incorrigible punk to the hardcore follower of essentialism that sticks with you after you read it. It takes out Steve from the stage and puts him in a room for a conversation. If you have read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, you will come across a lot of 'Hey, the same thing I read it in' moments.

    One conversation that will stick with me is his narrative about the crazy ones...

    "I watched Bob Dylan as I was growing up and I watched him never stand still. If you look at true artists, if they get really good at something it occurs to them that they can do this for the rest of their lives and they can be really successful at it to the outside world, but not really successful to themselves. That's the moment that an artist decides who he/she is. If they keep on risking failure they're still artists. Dylan and Picasso were always risking failure... I finally decided I don't really care, this is what I want to do. And if I tried my best and fail, well I tried my best." - Steve Jobs

  • Kyla Chen

    There's been a lot of hoopla about this biography in the press, and I must say I agree with most of it.

    I was working on an assignment project on the history of computing, so I did quiet an intense study about Apple and Steve Jobs.

    It is far superior to Walter Isaacson's

    and in my opinion second only to the much lesser known and kinda obscure

    .

    That said, I did find the description of the early part of his tenure a bit negative, or to quote A

    There's been a lot of hoopla about this biography in the press, and I must say I agree with most of it.

    I was working on an assignment project on the history of computing, so I did quiet an intense study about Apple and Steve Jobs.

    It is far superior to Walter Isaacson's

    and in my opinion second only to the much lesser known and kinda obscure

    .

    That said, I did find the description of the early part of his tenure a bit negative, or to quote Andy Hertzfeld:

    "In the early days of Apple, Steve helped instigate the personal computer industry with the Apple II, starting from scratch, and then revolutionized it again with the Macintosh, achievements which would be the most significant of a lifetime for practically anyone else. The authors hardly interviewed any Apple employees from the early days, so there’s no new reporting here to justify their negativity; they seem to be trashing Steve’s early career simply to accentuate the contrast with his later one."

    All in all I greatly recommend it

  • Carl

    A way more nuanced version of Steve Jobs' story than Isaacson's account, offering a glimpse into a more human and vulnerable side of the often misunderstood Jobs.

    I don't believe in worshipping people. When you meet them, they are normal people like you and me. However, it's impossible to deny Steve Jobs was truly an inspiring person that helped change things for the better. He did so by becoming insanely good at something through finding and pursuing what he really loved. Ordinary people can ach

    A way more nuanced version of Steve Jobs' story than Isaacson's account, offering a glimpse into a more human and vulnerable side of the often misunderstood Jobs.

    I don't believe in worshipping people. When you meet them, they are normal people like you and me. However, it's impossible to deny Steve Jobs was truly an inspiring person that helped change things for the better. He did so by becoming insanely good at something through finding and pursuing what he really loved. Ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things.

    In India, my friend, conveying what his guru taught him, told me the other day about how to give. You should always do so discreetly, and it shouldn't be for any other reason than purely for the sake of helping others. It was profound. I think Steve chose to kept large parts of his life private, and as a result was misunderstood. And he was fine with that.

  • Abilash Amarasekaran

    The author explains the part of Steve that is not known to the public , most of it is not known well to the author himself. He is one of the few reporters who were close to him and cause of this it allowed him to understand Steve as a person rather than the tech genius the world sees him to be.

    It is not a book on how to be Steve Jobs, it is foolish to think that you can become Steve Jobs just by reading the book. What made Steve his is ability and desire to bring new technology to the people. I

    The author explains the part of Steve that is not known to the public , most of it is not known well to the author himself. He is one of the few reporters who were close to him and cause of this it allowed him to understand Steve as a person rather than the tech genius the world sees him to be.

    It is not a book on how to be Steve Jobs, it is foolish to think that you can become Steve Jobs just by reading the book. What made Steve his is ability and desire to bring new technology to the people. It is a growth story of how an dreamy super hero who one shots to fame fails on his second and third act and finally realizes that he needs the help of people around him to achieve his goals. Sounds like a plot of any Pixar movie. LOL.

    Steve is made a human in this book.The author shows of Steve's sensitive side and at the same time his well known arrogant side. Going through it you will see that Steve 1.0 had strong beliefs and thought that he was correct 110% of the time and all others were wrong.

    Personally I think Steve is just an ordinary man born at the right time at the right place to make this happen. More of an "Outlier" than ordinary if you get what I mean. I also believe that the becoming a father pushed his growth and allowed him to understand how to handle people and working with Pixar he learned how to leave people when they are best at what they do.

    I hope people like this and try to relate their own problem with Steve and never give up on their dreams.

  • Marks54

    There has been a lot of press about this book on Steve Jobs. Most recently, the senior management at Apple made a point in emphasizing their support of the Schlender and Tetzeli book as superior to the Walter Isaacson authorized biography that was published shortly after Jobs died. The claim is that the Isaacson book overemphasized the negatives of Jobs' personality to the point where people who worked with him did not see how they could have worked with him had the portrait painted of him by Is

    There has been a lot of press about this book on Steve Jobs. Most recently, the senior management at Apple made a point in emphasizing their support of the Schlender and Tetzeli book as superior to the Walter Isaacson authorized biography that was published shortly after Jobs died. The claim is that the Isaacson book overemphasized the negatives of Jobs' personality to the point where people who worked with him did not see how they could have worked with him had the portrait painted of him by Isaacson been true. The broader story of this book is that the key to the success of Jobs in his return to Apple came as a result of his learning from his failures at Apple and Next Computing. The book also emphasizes the importance of his work with Pixar as a source of mentoring for Jobs on how to successfully manage high level creative people.

    The book is fairly effective and easy to read. It provides interesting detail on how Jobs managed at various points in his career and how his management improved over time. The sections on Pixar are especially interesting.

    On the whole, however, the book was a disappointment given the hype. I drew the same story from the Isaacson book as is claimed for this book - the Jobs learned from his failures and grew to be a world class manager whose success at Apple was totally justified. At the same time, the details on the behavior and personality of Jobs does not differ between the books to the extent that Isaacson's critics - and this book's promoters - claim.

    There is a difference between the books, however, and I think Isaacson's book is superior to the Schlender/Tetzeli book. The difference has to do with the point of view provided by the author. "Becoming Steve Jobs" looks backward from the huge success that Jobs achieved after returning to Apple and interprets the experiences prior to his return in light of his later success. This perspective sheds a more positive light on Jobs and provides more order to his thinking and behavior than there may well have been. The Isaacson book does not do this -- leaving more of the task of making sense of Jobs' occasionally odd and even objectionable behavior to the reader. I am much more comfortable with letting the reader think about what has been read and what type of a person Steve Jobs was. There is much to like in the life of Steve Jobs, just as there is much to be puzzled about. It is reasonable that those who worked with Jobs would wish to see as favorable a perspective as possible presented, especially one that reflects favorably on Apple and its current projects. While reasonable, providing a more positive perspective does not make for a better biography and it has not done so here. While the book is not an exercise in hagiography, the intent to improve the way in which the Jobs legacy is received is clear.

    Nobody really disputes the accomplishments of Steve Jobs or the strength of his legacy at Apple. Jobs did not tolerate excuses and I suspect he would not tolerate editorial excesses in explaining away what he did and what he was like. That is part of what makes his story -- warts and all -- so fascinating.

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