Whether you’re a casual iPhone owner or the head of a tech startup, Steve Jobs is a man you want to get to know. Fortunately, a new biography of the iconic tech giant has come out recently and finally provided the public with an accurate portrayal of the man who helped shape the current tech climate.
Before Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli wrote Becoming Steve Jobs, the world had been subjected to a few half-hearted attempts at biographies of Apple’s founder. But the previous biographies–including one well-known title that has been summarily trashed by people who actually knew Jobs–focused on the legendary jerk he was rumored to be. Other titles aired dirty laundry about his rants, his single-minded focus at the expense of the people around him, and worse. As long-time friend and current Apple CEO Tim Cook once said of Walter Isaacson’s biography, Steve Jobs, “The person I read about there is somebody I would never have wanted to work with over all this time.”
But Schlender and Tetzeli have written a whole new perspective on Jobs, and instead of focusing on his personality conflicts with basically the entire world, it focused on the growth the Jobs experienced as a person and a leader. From the now-questionable start in the garage (Steve Wozniack has stated that Jobs’ parents’ garage was important to the creation of Apple, but that the stories about building the first fifty Apple computers in the garage aren’t accurate) to his 1980s departure from Apple, from his tenure at Pixar to his return to Apple, Becoming Steve Jobs focuses on the long-term growth that Jobs experienced.
Hence the subtitle: “The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader.” Steve Jobs exploded into the early tech scene with big plans that the brightest minds in engineering didn’t know how to put into action. By the time the universe caught up with what he wanted to create, he’d become a much more focused, driven individual who still understood that it took people to make it happen.
Long-time friend and employee Jony Ive told the authors about Jobs’ measure of success:
“I remember a conversation in which we talked about how do we define out metrics for feeling like we have really succeeded? We both agreed clearly it’s not about share price. Is it about number of computers we sell? No, because that would still suggest that Windows was more successful. Once again, it all came back to whether we felt really proud of what we collectively had designed and built. Were we proud of that?…It wasn’t a vindication of ‘I’m right’ or ‘I told you so.’ It was a vindication that restored his sense of faith in humanity. Given the choice, people do discern and value quality more than we them credit for. That was a really big deal for all of us because it actually made you feel very connected to the whole world and all of humanity…”
That represents that human who was Steve Jobs, not the tyrant that other writings have made him out to be. Becoming Steve Jobs is available now.