Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Apple executives participate in, praise 'Becoming Steve Jobs' bio

Apple executives participate in, praise 'Becoming Steve Jobs' bio
Thread Tools
NewsPoster
MacNN Staff
Join Date: Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 23, 2015, 11:57 AM
 
After a long period of refusing to participate, and following some "reflection" on how Jobs was portrayed in his own authorized biography, Apple executives reversed course and agreed to be interviewed for a new biography on the mercurial co-founder and twice-CEO of Apple. Due to go on sale tomorrow, Becoming Steve Jobs, by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, includes statements made by CEO Tim Cook and numerous other Apple executives, a first for the company since Jobs' death in 2011.

While the authors of the new biography were able to speak with a number of key people in Jobs' life, the access wasn't immediately available. Initially, the journalists approached Apple about the book in 2012, but were informed that executives would not be interviewed, a policy reversed by the company 18 months later.

Part of the reason for Apple's change of heart may be from some general dissatisfaction with the portrayal of Jobs in the authorized biography, simply entitled Steve Jobs by noted historian Walter Isaacson, among Jobs' inner circle. Cook complains that Isaacson did a "tremendous disservice" to Jobs, according to the New York Times. "It didn't capture the person. The person I read about there is somebody I would never have wanted to work with over all this time."

Isaacson's tome focused heavily on Jobs' early years before and after founding Apple, during which the younger Jobs was said to be frequently abusive to employees and prone to emotional outbursts. The book was also criticized for lacking an author that was technologically savvy enough to balance the emotional episodes with an understanding of what drove Jobs, and the enormous influence Jobs had on technology in general. Some critics felt that Isaacson did too little to document the changes to Jobs' life and personality after the many tumultuous events that befell him following his initial exile from Apple.

Perhaps as result, Apple executives were persuaded to participate in the Schlender and Tetzeli project due to a desire to burnish the legacy of Jobs, and to provide more insight in the pre- and post-return Steve Jobs that they knew. The book is also notable for having secured the participation of Jobs' widow, Laurene Powell-Jobs.

On Twitter, chief of software and Internet services Eddy Cue gives offered praise for Becoming Steve Jobs, declaring the "best portrayal is about to be released," and it is the "first to get it right." The Apple iBooks Twitter feed linked to the biography, proclaiming "Becoming Steve Jobs is the only book about Steve recommended by the people who knew him."



Though Apple did not have "any editorial input whatsoever," something it would have under an authorized biography, fact-checking was conducted with Apple and other sources, with the final book also presented to the company. Schlender's coverage of Jobs for close to 25 years, and the good relationship the men shared during that time, is believed to be the reason the two authors were granted access to executives.

"After a long period of reflection following Steve's death, we felt a sense of responsibility to say more about the Steve we knew," said Apple spokesman Steve Dowling in a statement. "We decided to participate in Brent and Rick's book because of Brent's long relationship with Steve, which gave him a unique perspective on Steve's life. The book captures Steve better than anything else we've seen, and we are happy we decided to participate."

Going on sale tomorrow, and subtitled "The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader," the book will be available through iBooks as well as Kindle and in hardback on Amazon and other booksellers.
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Mar 23, 2015 at 01:27 PM. )
     
Inkling
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Seattle
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 23, 2015, 01:35 PM
 
The iBooks edition is $12.99, the same price as Isaacson's biography for iBooks and Kindles. However, the iBooks edition of Becoming Steve Jobs is $12.99 pre-order, while Amazon is offering the Kindle edition for $11.99. Since Apple's leadership wants Becoming to be the biography that people read, they might want to encourage sales and substantially beat that lower Amazon price, perhaps by including a $5 iTunes coupon with each copy sold.
Author of Untangling Tolkien and Chesterton on War and Peace
     
Charles Martin
Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maitland, FL
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 23, 2015, 02:00 PM
 
Speaking for myself and as someone that has both iBooks and Kindle apps on his devices, a difference of $1 is not going to make any meaningful difference to me in terms of choosing which vendor to buy from. I always order books about Jobs from iBooks, since that is what Steve would have wanted.
Charles Martin
MacNN Editor
     
Ham Sandwich
Guest
Status:
Reply With Quote
Mar 23, 2015, 03:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by NewsPoster View Post
"The book captures Steve better than anything else we've seen, and we are happy we decided to participate."
Did they not read the first book "Steve Jobs"? That was thoroughly researched by someone close enough to Steve (while he was alive) to let him do interviews and so I do not agree with Dowling.
     
Charles Martin
Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maitland, FL
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 23, 2015, 05:29 PM
 
And.reg: Dowling is the spokesperson, but that statement was probably written by the executive team. It's not his personal opinion.

I don't think anyone's said that Isaacson didn't do a lot of research. Many, however, have complained that he just wasn't the right man for the job -- he's certainly a well-regarded historian, but it seemed obvious to a lot of people who read the book (myself included) that he simply didn't understand the technological side Jobs and Apple and thus underplayed it. We'll have to see how the new book works out, but it has garnered raves from early reviewers -- including the Apple executive team, who one would think would know more about it than for-hire biographer Isaacson.
Charles Martin
MacNN Editor
     
Inkling
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Seattle
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 23, 2015, 06:16 PM
 
Charles, keep in mind that, with that iTunes discount, I was suggesting that Apple sell the biography that its executives praise for $7.99, quite a bit less than the Kindle price. Yes, it is just money, but money is one way to honor someone. Another option might be, for each purchase at that $12.99 price, Apple donates $5 in Steve Jobs name to one of several charities of the purchaser's choice. That'd be an even better way to honor his memory.
Author of Untangling Tolkien and Chesterton on War and Peace
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 23, 2015, 07:00 PM
 
Why? With executives praising it, this is the one that will sell, long-term. It's certainly the one that I'm buying.

No need to discount it.
     
mac_in_tosh
Forum Regular
Join Date: Dec 2011
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 23, 2015, 07:38 PM
 
"Isaacson's tome focused heavily on Jobs' early years before and after founding Apple, during which the younger Jobs was said to be frequently abusive to employees and prone to emotional outbursts.".......

And in his later years he was a compassionate, loving boss?...So if a book is at all critical of someone, you blame the author and then try to revise history?
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 23, 2015, 07:43 PM
 
Well, I'll take it from the people who were close to him, and frankly, there was no shortage of criticism of the book when it was first released.
     
mac_in_tosh
Forum Regular
Join Date: Dec 2011
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 23, 2015, 08:38 PM
 
"Well, I'll take it from the people who were close to him..."...Maybe the people that were close to him have a vested interest in perpetuating the myth.
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 24, 2015, 03:34 AM
 
Obviously.

You may choose to believe whomever you like.

But following developments fairly closely for the past twenty-five years, it does seem that yes, there was a substantial change from the brash, unwashed asshole who refused to acknowledge his own daughter, to the (still brash) technology leader who was at least occasionally prone to random (covert) acts of kindness.
     
mac_in_tosh
Forum Regular
Join Date: Dec 2011
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 24, 2015, 07:35 AM
 
"who was at least occasionally prone to random (covert) acts of kindness."...and maybe not so occasional, not so random acts of taking the credit and the limelight for the work and ideas of other people.
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Mar 24, 2015, 05:35 PM
 
Guess who tells those stories? Yeah - the people close to him. And oddly, they (for the most part) don't seem too pissed off about it.

The same people who are now saying that this new book represents Jobs a lot better than the "official" one.

Look, I'm not trying to paint Jobs as some sort of angel. And from the looks of it, neither is this book.

If it's important to you to believe that he was a complete asshole - which is how you're coming across -, then go right ahead.
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:19 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,