Rosie Reads: Walter Isaacson – Steve Jobs


I’m a bit of an Apple fan girl, I love the simplicity and design of their products and how beautiful they look. So when someone I worked with offered to lend me Steve Jobs biography, I jumped at the chance.

After turning the first couple if pages I became slightly daunted, it’s the only biography I’ve ever read where there were a list of people and how they knew Jobs, so I was quite worried it might be difficult to follow. Thankfully I was completely wrong.

The book starts by looking at his childhood, how he grew up and then delves into his hippy years and starting Apple, where they’d quite often have to force him to shower, as he didn’t believe in it.

At the beginning Jobs comes off as a bit of an arrogant ass, but further into the book you begin to understand why and that he was just acting in the interest of his company to create a company full of A Players.

We then follow his ousting from Apple, the creation of Next, his time at Pixar and then his return to Apple.

The books moves in a fairly chronological order, sometimes the beginning of the chapters would talk about things which happened before the end of the last chapter, though it really wasn’t that hard to keep up with it.

In terms of detail, it’s by far the most in depth biography I’ve ever read, by the end of the book I really felt like I had a pretty good grasp on who he was and what motivated him.

One thing that really fascinated me was Steve’s ‘Reality Distortion Field’ as it was called. He had the power to empower people and make them think that they could actually do things that they didn’t think they could do. Without that, there’s no doubt that Apple wouldn’t have been able to create the products they did, they would have created B Class products, which left users frustrated.

It’s fantastically written, and interviews with Steve, his family and people he worked with, even the likes of Bill Gates, allows the reader to get the full picture.

On starting this book I really didn’t know a lot about Jobs at all, so I learnt an awful lot from it, I can’t believe I had no clue he had something to do with Pixar.

As odd as it might sound, after reading it I’ve got a whole new appreciation for my Apple products, even the iPad I’m writing this on now. Jobs accepted nothing less than perfection and convinced Apple’s engineers they could do things they didn’t think we’re possible.

I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good biography, not just Apple fans.