Steve Jobs Biographer Crowdsources Help For New Book About Digital Innovators


Acclaimed biographer Walter Isaacson is crowdsourcing editorial comments for his new book — which will focus on innovators of the digital age. The book will begin with 19th century computer pioneer Ada Lovelace, and continue to the present day.

So far Isaacson has released a draft section — entitled “The Culture That Gave Birth to the Personal Computer” — that “sets the scene” in Silicon Valley during the 1970s: the decade in which Steve Jobs and Wozniak first started Apple.

“I would appreciate notes, comments, corrections,” Isaacson writes. “I’ve actually done this on Scribd once and also on LiveJournal a week or so ago.”

The goal, he continues, is not just to make edits and corrections but,

“… also one of the things I learned is the original intention of the Internet was to allow collaboration on projects, and we got away from that, especially with the World Wide Web, which became a publishing medium where people just post stories as opposed to collaborating on them. I’m trying to find a good service that will allow people to collaborate or to crowdsource some ideas.”

So far, Isaacson has received feedback from names including Stewart Brand: the Whole Earth Catalog founder who Steve Jobs namechecked in his classic graduation address to Stanford students.

The book (Isaacson’s first since Steve Jobs was published in 2011) is currently half complete, and should be ready in about a year, the author claims.

It will be published by Simon & Schuster.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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