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Spot-on review, Jobs was passionate, heck I cry when projects go wrong. Walter Isaacson's version is just right. Pity Steve could not read it, but his family can.


8,000 words? Please… :)


I'm sure Paul McCartney would appreciate the analogy...not.

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I was not sure I want to read Jobs' biography. But now I'm sure: I do!
Thank you for the article. Such articles, as well as the book itself are the great memory of Steve.


Trust you know that there's a one-man show on B'Way that lashes out at Jobs and Apple for the horrible place where the Apple products are made. Jobs was brilliant, yet he was a "bastard" to many(including employee). I saw Issacson on 60 Minutes and hope to get to his book. I'm just getting to know you by reading "Where Good Ideas Come From." Love it. At age 77, I still have so much to learn.


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Sunday we got up to a down-pour, and headed to the early service at our church. Our church has just completed a huge add on that has more than doubled the size of the church and it was the first Sunday in the new sanctuary. It was a beautiful service, and it was packed! After church we headed home to change since it was much cooler than expected, then we headed out to my parents and it rained the entire drive, thankfully nothing severe although we were a little late. We had a delicious lunch and then the kids had egg hunt #2. My mom has a huge basket of fake apples in her living room, and David always plays with them, instead of putting eggs in his basket, he loaded it up with apples.

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In the tech world, most people have an opinion on Steve Jobs. And in the past couple of years, quite a few people outside of the tech world have learned about Steve Jobs as well due to the success Apple has enjoyed in the consumer space. Great post.

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While Jobs historically had a reputation for being a nightmare to work with, one of the defining patterns of his career was his capacity for deep and generative partnerships with other people.

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Thanks for sharing your reviews on this book, i might read this as well

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This theme has interested me! But for all his obnoxiousness with his colleagues (and the book has endless anecdotes documenting those traits), Jobs had a rich collaborative streak as well. He was enough of an egomaniac to think of himself as another John Lennon, but he was always looking for McCartneys to go along for the ride with him.

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Thanks for this post! There is not a lot of editorializing or broader cultural analysis, just an incredibly careful and nuanced narrative of Jobs' life. Which, I think, is what most of us want to read right now.

Michael O'Brien

Isn't it part of the problem that people consider it important that their lives be 'interesting'? And, it seems important that Jobs, while garnering vast wealth for stockholders, oversaw the terrible abuse of thousands on the production side of his new and improved cool gadgets. Exploitation is hardly a feat worth celebrating.

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I've read that book too. I was actually surprised to know how much of a "control freak" Mr. Jobs is. I mean he looks cool and calm when he talks in his keynote.


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    The Basics

    • I'm a father of three boys, husband of one wife, and author of eight books, and co-founder of three web sites. We spend most of the year in Marin County, California though I'm on the road a lot giving talks. (You can see the full story here.) Personal correspondence should go to sbeej68 at gmail dot com. If you're interested in having me speak at an event, drop a line to Wesley Neff at the Leigh Bureau (WesN at Leighbureau dot com.)

    My Books

    • : Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

      Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
      An exploration of environments that lead to breakthrough innovation, in science, technology, business, and the arts. I conceived it as the closing book in a trilogy on innovative thinking, after Ghost Map and Invention. But in a way, it completes an investigation that runs through all the books. Sold more copies in hardcover than anything else I've written.

    • : The Invention of Air

      The Invention of Air
      The story of the British radical chemist Joseph Priestley, who ended up having a Zelig-like role in the American Revolution. My version of a founding fathers book, and a reminder that most of the Enlightenment was driven by open source ideals.

    • : The Ghost Map

      The Ghost Map
      The latest: the story of a terrifying outbreak of cholera in 1854 London 1854 that ended up changing the world. An idea book wrapped around a page-turner. I like to think of it as a sequel to Emergence if Emergence had been a disease thriller. You can see a trailer for the book here.

    • : Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter

      Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter
      The title says it all. This one sparked a slightly insane international conversation about the state of pop culture -- and particularly games. There were more than a few dissenters, but the response was more positive than I had expected. And it got me on The Daily Show, which made it all worthwhile.

    • : Mind Wide Open : Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life

      Mind Wide Open : Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life
      My first best-seller, and the only book I've written in which I appear as a recurring character, subjecting myself to a battery of humiliating brain scans. The last chapter on Freud and the neuroscientific model of the mind is one of my personal favorites.

    • : Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software

      Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software
      The story of bottom-up intelligence, from slime mold to Slashdot. Probably the most critically well-received all my books, and the one that has influenced the most eclectic mix of fields: political campaigns, web business models, urban planning, the war on terror.

    • : Interface Culture : How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate

      Interface Culture : How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate
      My first. The book I wrote instead of finishing my dissertation. Still in print almost a decade later, and still relevant, I think. But I haven't read it in a while, so who knows what's in there!

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