Is Steve Jobs’s Biography An Inspiration To Entrepreneurs, Or A Warning?

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The Albert Watson photo graces the cover of Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs.
The Albert Watson photo graces the cover of Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs.

Blogger Jason Kottke has noticed an interesting pattern: Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who take Steve Jobs’s biography not as a guide to success, but as a warning.

Kottke points to four entrepreneurs who are scaling back on work to focus on their families, lest they turn out like Steve Jobs.

New York Times: Apple’s Already Prototyping Siri-Powered Television For Release In 2013

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We thought we’d put this Apple television business to rest as a pipe-dream, but then Steve Jobs’s biography came out, where he claimed he had finally “cracked” the TV problem. Now the rumor mill has started itself up again with renewed vigor, and the latest report from Nick Bilton over at The New York Times: his sources tell him that Jobs thought that the “industry was totally broken” a real Apple-branded television set “isn’t a matter of if, but when,” a “guaranteed product.”

Steve Jobs: The World Class Asshole Who Dented The Universe [Walter Isaacson Biography Review]

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The Albert Watson photo graces the cover of Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs.
The Albert Watson photo graces the cover of Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs.

There have been a lot of complaints on Twitter that most of the best bits of Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs have already leaked. After reading sundry blog posts, news stories and tweets about Jobs’s life, is there anything left to read in the actual book?

Yes, there is. There’s plenty. Although the arc of Steve’s story is generally well known, Isaacson has added a ton of new detail to even the most well-trodden stories from Jobs’s life. Trouble is, a lot of it is about Jobs mistreating people.

Walter Isaacson’s book is an unflinching biography of a manifestly great man. But it’s not a fun read. In fact, sometimes it’s a lot like being locked in a room with a borderline sociopath. Powering through Isaacson’s bio will give you unique insight into how Steve Jobs changed the world, but it’s not necessarily a comforting one.

These Were Steve Jobs’ Favorite Books and Bands

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Steve Jobs once famously said that people don’t read anymore, but he did, and amongst the revelations of Walter Isaacson’s upcoming biography of Apple’s co-founder are his favorite books and bands.

You probably won’t be surprised by the bands — hey, Steve loved the Beatles, go figure! — but would you ever have guessed that his favorite books include both Moby Dick *and* Mucusless Diet Healing Systems?