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Original Mac designer Andy Hertzfeld says Jobs would not have liked ‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ book

Andy Herzfeld & Steve Jobs at Steve Wozniak's wedding

Andy Hertzfeld & Steve Jobs at Steve Wozniak’s wedding

Becoming Steve Jobs, the latest Jobs biography, written by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, received high-praise and support from Apple and its executives. One of the original members of the Macintosh development team, however, has published a post on Medium outlining why he thinks Steve Jobs would have not liked the biography. Andy Hertzfeld says that the harsh and negative tone applied to the early part of Jobs’ career at Apple and NeXT is unfair and not true.

Hertzfeld, who worked closely with Jobs on the original Macintosh, believes that the authors of the biography did not do their due diligence when it came to interviewing early Apple employees on the attitude and character of Jobs. Hertzfeld also wrote that he believes the authors spent too much time focusing on the early part of Jobs’ career and not enough on his maturation as a person and leader.

Hertzfeld on the harsh telling of Jobs’s early career at Apple:

In the early days of Apple, Steve helped instigate the personal computer industry with the Apple II, starting from scratch, and then revolutionized it again with the Macintosh, achievements which would be the most significant of a lifetime for practically anyone else. The authors hardly interviewed any Apple employees from the early days, so there’s no new reporting here to justify their negativity; they seem to be trashing Steve’s early career simply to accentuate the contrast with his later one.

The Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson was seen as the gold standard of Jobs biographies until both Tim Cook and Jony Ive expressed their dismay towards it recently. Hertzfeld disagrees with the remarks of Cook and Ive, but notes that they are probably trying to do what they believe is right for Jobs’ family.

What’s going on here? This sentiment is obviously extremely convenient for Brent and Rick, since it provides a raison d’etre for their book, but that doesn’t explain why Apple is going out of their way to promote it, especially given the sour treatment of early Apple and NeXT. My regard for Tim Cook and Jony Ive couldn’t be any higher, so I think they are somehow trying to do what they think is best for Steve’s legacy and family.

Finally, Hertzfeld notes that while Becoming Steve Jobs is worth a read, it doesn’t live up to the Isaacson biography. Hertzfeld claims that the Isaacson book is what Jobs wanted in a biography, and also what he deserved.

Steve Jobs got the biography that he wanted and deserved: a best selling, well written, unbiased, comprehensive account of his life and work by the biographer of Einstein and Franklin. As much as he valued simplicity, Steve was a complicated man, full of contradictions, so there’s plenty of room for many different takes on his life and legacy.

You can read our review of Becoming Steve Jobs here and our other coverage of the book here. Becoming Steve Jobs is available on Amazon for $11 and iTunes for $13.

Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Andy Hertzfeld, Becoming Steve Jobs, Biography, interview, Jonathan Ive, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, Walter Isaacson

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Chance Miller

April 15th



CarPlay support added to Audio Books iPhone app for listening on the road

Audio Books CarPlay 5

Apple has only sanctioned a small set of App Store apps to support its CarPlay feature with Audio Books for iPhone today joining that limited list. The latest version of Audio Books adds integration with CarPlay head units for easily finding audiobooks to play through your car stereo on your drive.

Audio Books is a free iPhone and iPad app from AudioBooks.com with a collection of over 60,000 audiobooks including 2500 free titles. New Audio Books users can claim one paid title for free after signing up for an account including the new Becoming Steve Jobs biography (Review$12+Amazon$13 iBooksFree Audible/Audio Books).

The CarPlay interface for Audio Books presents both saved books in your library as well as featured books from the service. You can also easily navigate through genres of audiobooks and quickly find free titles to listen to on your drive without signing up for an account. You can see the Audio Books CarPlay interface below:

Audio Books CarPlay 3 Audio Books CarPlay 1 Audio Books CarPlay 2 Audio Books CarPlay 4

Aside from CarPlay integration, the new version of Audio Books includes a new design (but not iPhone 6 native resolution) and more:

What’s New in Version 5.0.3

-Fully updated user interface with a new minimalist look and feel
-Improved book browsing and general user experience for international users
-Full integration with CarPlay and select in-car infotainment systems
-Audio player updated to incorporate full functionality and controls without sub-menus
-Re-organized settings page displays critical account information more prominently
-Improved navigation throughout the app for a more intuitive user experience

Audio Books for iPhone is available for free on the App Store.

Filed under: Apps Tagged: App Store, Apps, audio, audio books, audiobooks, AudioBooks.com, Becoming Steve Jobs, Biography, books, CarPlay, CarPlay apps, Fiction, free audiobooks, free books, iPhone, non-fiction

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Zac Hall

March 31st



Review: ‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ depicts a late-maturing iCEO with a growing heart and softened edges


Several years after Steve Jobs’ untimely death, journalists — particularly ones who previously interviewed or covered Jobs — are still combing their archives for underreported facts or quotes that might justify new books on Apple’s enigmatic CEO. Naturally, the overlap with earlier works is significant, as new authors repeatedly acknowledge leaning on Michael Moritz’s (Return to) The Little Kingdom and Owen Linzmayer’s Apple Confidential 2.0, among many others. But there’s still an opportunity to bring new details to light, which is why Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli’s Becoming Steve Jobs ($12+/Amazon, $13/iBookstore) exists. Over 400 pages in length, it aims primarily to set the record straight about one key facet of Jobs’ life — he was a better man at age 56 than he was at 21 — but includes enough interesting anecdotes about Apple and Jobs’ other pursuits to be worth reading.

Although Becoming Steve Jobs follows a mostly familiar storytelling arc, Schlender and Tetzeli’s strengths come from two sources: direct access to Jobs from the mid-1980’s until 2011, and interviews with major players conducted after Jobs’ death. While their quotes tend to be short and in service of the larger narrative, the list of participating heavy hitters is non-trivial: Laurene Powell Jobs represents the Jobs family, alongside current Apple executives Tim Cook, Jony Ive and Eddy Cue, ex-Apple executives Jon Rubinstein, Tony Fadell, Katie Cotton, Fred Anderson and Avie Tevanian, Jobs’ top ad men Regis McKenna and Lee Clow, Pixar’s Ed Catmull and John Lasseter, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, and Disney CEO Bob Iger. Given that access, it’s perhaps not a surprise that the book paints a largely sympathetic portrait, but the authors also gave participants room to speak candidly about how Jobs’ “sharp elbows” affected them personally and professionally…

Broadly, four topics are covered extensively in Becoming Steve Jobs:

Steve’s evolution as a person. Discussed in more detail here, this is the central theme of the book and the key to its title: “everything, and every individual, is ceaselessly in the process of” evolving — “becoming” — rather than static, a fact that later media accounts of Jobs didn’t fully capture. While the book never attempts to portray Jobs as a saint, it provides ample evidence to suggest that the brash, perpetually impatient young millionaire learned how to control his worst tendencies, eventually becoming a loving father and respected mentor. Early in the narrative, Jobs repeatedly micromanages and overloads projects to the point where they’re all but impossible to sell, but over time, he’s described by ex-retail executive Ron Johnson as the “best delegator I ever met,” trusting key employees to execute on his visions. He remained obsessed with perfection and beauty until his death, but learned to chase those goals iteratively with Jony Ive:

Each product somehow fell short, which meant that the next version not only could be better but had to be better. Looking at their work this way, Steve turned the incremental development of products into an ongoing and impossible quest for perfection. What got left out of each product merely served as the basis for the next, improved edition.

Still, Jobs isn’t spared criticism — albeit in a mostly concentrated manner within Chapter 16, “Blind Spots, Grudges, and Sharp Elbows” — for abandoning former friends to focus on growing Apple. As just one example, Fred Anderson, a self-described “Boy Scout” who Jobs once acknowledged as “the World’s Greatest CFO,” was left to twist in the wind when the SEC investigated backdated stock options Jobs received from the company. “Anderson deserved better treatment than he got from Steve and from Apple,” the authors say, part of an alternating pattern of warmness and coldness that continued to cast clouds over other former Apple employees, as well.

Jobs’ personal life, including family, friends, and enemies. One of the most emotional themes in the book is its discussion of Jobs’ personal life, which the authors observed first hand during many years of bachelorhood and marriage. There are numerous tidbits about his friends and enemies, including his close friendship with Disney CEO Bob Iger and dislike of Iger’s predecessor Michael Eisner, as well as his occasional interactions with frenemy Bill Gates, but the emotional core of Becoming Steve Jobs is his quest for a family.

After acknowledging the profound mistake Jobs made by denying the paternity of his daughter Lisa, the book suggests that Jobs felt the weight of that error — and having missed Lisa’s birth — for years thereafter, making genuine efforts to repair his relationship with Lisa while becoming a loyal husband and father. Even Jobs watchers who recall his occasional late-night emails to customers probably didn’t know that he made it a priority to be home for family dinners, continuing to work through the evening from his home computers, and took twice-annual vacations to spend time with his wife and children. In that context, it’s heartbreaking to read Laurene Jobs’ final tribute to her husband at his funeral:

“He proposed with a fistful of freshly picked wildflowers on a rainy New Year’s Day. I said yes. Of course I said yes. We built our lives together. …Like my children, I lost my father when I was young. It was not what I wanted for myself; it is not what I wanted for them. But the sun will set and the sun will rise, and it will shine upon us tomorrow in our grief and our gratitude, and we will continue to live with purpose, memory, passion, and love.”


His early professional life at Apple and his wilderness period with NeXT and Pixar. As spotlighted here, Becoming Steve Jobs has quite a few nuggets regarding Jobs’ failures and successes with early Apple, NeXT, and Pixar, each of which fueled his evolution into one of the world’s most admired CEOs. Few people will be surprised that the Apple II’s approachable, appliance-like design was an influence on all later Apple products. But readers who didn’t follow Jobs’ career mightn’t know that Louvre pyramid-designer I.M. Pei’s floating staircase for NeXT’s headquarters inspired similar work at Apple’s retail stores, or that Pixar’s initial flailing as a product company led to its reimagining as a producer of animated films — and Jobs becoming a billionaire. Schlender and Tetzeli appeared to have had their greatest period of direct access to Jobs during this time, crediting Pixar with reversing Jobs’ fortunes and teaching him the value of collaborative, hands-off management.

Jobs’ return to Apple, including its slower-than-remembered rebuilding and subsequent ascent. While Becoming Steve Jobs isn’t objectively weak in its second half, and is buoyed in the middle by two very nice collections of photographs, there’s no question that its coverage of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad isn’t as deep as it could have been. One of the book’s several major revelations, namely that Jobs and the Apple executive team hurriedly copied Bill Gates’ January 2000 concept of connected consumer electronics for Apple’s 2001-vintage Digital Hub strategy, follows a reminder that Apple remained on shaky ground despite Jobs’ tentative return to and rebuilding of the company. Yet the company’s recent successes are presented mostly in the context of some of their participants, and mixed with considerable discussion of Jobs’ ongoing health concerns.

Apart from spotlighting Apple’s once highly secretive acquisition of SoundJam as the basis for iTunes, little new is shared about the development of iTunes and the iPod, except to spotlight Eddy Cue’s interesting role in crafting a brilliant microtransaction-processing system that enabled the iTunes Store’s numerous 99-cent purchases. The iPhone, Apple’s most significant current product, is most compellingly discussed in early prototype forms including a never-produced music player and an overambitious video and photo player that relied on an immature cellular data network, killing its viability. And very little is said about the iPad, beyond to note that Jobs was involved in its creation and early marketing, with the iPad 2’s introductory ad as the last one he crafted before his death. If there’s any major criticism of Becoming Steve Jobs, it’s that this recent and critically important stretch of Apple’s history is only modestly illuminated by the numerous primary sources who were interviewed for the book.

That issue, however, ignores the fact that Becoming Steve Jobs is more about the evolution of a man than the equally fascinating evolutions of his companies. To the extent that Schlender and Tetzeli have succeeded at covering all of these topics with unique material, the book will appeal to pretty much anyone with an interest in Jobs, Apple, NeXT, or Pixar. Like other good books that have been written about Jobs, it doesn’t provide the definitive story of his life, but instead adds some new and interesting details that are worth considering alongside what was previously known. After reading Becoming Steve Jobs, it’s clear that there are still compelling Apple and Jobs stories yet to come.

Becoming Steve Jobs has a cover price of $30, and can be purchased today through Amazon for $12 and up, or at Apple’s iBookstore for $13.

Filed under: AAPL Company, Reviews Tagged: Becoming Steve Jobs, Biography, Schlender, Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs biography, Tetzeli

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Jeremy Horwitz

March 24th



‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ on Apple, NeXT, and Pixar

Becoming Steve Jobs, the new biography of Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, will be officially released tomorrow by Crown Business/Penguin Random House, and is currently available as a pre-order from Amazon ($12+) and Apple’s iBookstore ($13). While some of the book’s material will be familiar to avid followers of Jobs and Apple, there are some interesting details inside about how Jobs’ companies Apple, NeXt, and Pixar interrelated.

On NeXT: The book notes that the computer industry changed during Microsoft’s leadership, shifting to an environment where companies — the largest buyers of computers — were seeking reliability and stability rather than innovation. According to the authors, NeXT’s key failure was that it successfully identified a real market for $3,000 workstation computers targeted at the higher-education market, but went so far beyond that price point — in some cases in pursuit of industrial design goals — that few actual customers existed for its product.

NeXT, which was headquartered in the same business park where Steve Jobs first saw Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and graphical user interface, came tantalizingly close to undermining Microsoft at a key point in its growth: IBM licensed the NeXTSTEP operating system for use in workstations, and might have used it to compete against Windows personal computers.

“But Steve… held up IBM for more money, leading to another round of protracted negotiations. He overplayed his hand. Cannavino stopped taking Steve’s calls and just abandoned the project, although there was never any real announcement that it was over. It was a minor disappointment for IBM, ending its ‘Plan B’ fantasy of creating a real alternative to Microsoft’s new Windows graphical operating system for PCs.”

And there’s more…

NeXT, Continued: While NeXT very publicly failed to achieve its initial vision as a hardware company, some readers may be surprised by the extent to which the company’s founders abandoned Jobs. Dan’l Lewin was first, “quit[ting] NeXT in frustration months before the IBM deal dissolved,” soon thereafter telling Jobs that he was going to burn through all of the company’s remaining money and needed to start listening to his employees. Within months, two other founders resigned, followed by the last two (besides Jobs) a year later.

NeXT gave up on hardware, its NeXTSTEP operating system was going nowhere, and WebObjects — a side project that powered emerging web stores — was generating most of the company’s profits. But it was still acquired by an increasingly desperate Apple, which was searching for a next-generation operating system. And an I.M. Pei-designed “floating” staircase originally developed for NeXT’s offices eventually inspired the glass staircases in flagship Apple Stores around the world.

On Pixar: Becoming Steve Jobs suggests that it was Pixar that saved Jobs as he was in the process of running NeXT into the ground, teaching him the value of a more hands-off approach to certain managerial tasks. Like NeXT, Pixar went through a painful process of shedding its original business plans — including the sales of rendering hardware and software — to refocus on creating animated films. The short film Luxo Jr. was the tipping point for Pixar, packing more character and emotion into several minutes than some feature-length animations, and leading to the eventual development of Toy Story with Disney.

On Apple: After returning to Apple from NeXT, Jobs famously implemented a quadrant strategy, focusing the company’s limited resources solely on four types of products: consumer desktops and laptops, professional desktops and laptops. As a result, he slashed Apple’s headcount, preserving top performers and true believers while eliminating employees who weren’t contributing as much. He also fostered a somewhat combative environment within his executive ranks, encouraging key people to fight passionately in order to get people to do their best, and work together to develop strategies to get Steve to accept good ideas. As a result, the new team became strong, such that even a visiting Bill Gates opined that “everybody on that team… earned his pay. There’s no weakness in that team, nor is there a backup plan… It’s just this one team.”

Although it was previously reported that Jonathan Ive’s employment at Apple was tenuous when Steve Jobs returned to the company, Ive’s own ambivalence about staying hasn’t been discussed as much. Jobs famously warmed to Ive after they met, and despite having decided to look elsewhere (like his fellow employees), Ive changed his mind after realizing that Jobs was the opposite of outgoing Apple CEO Gil Amelio. Jobs was focused on making great products that would sell themselves and generate revenue, while Amelio had been focused on cutting expenses to match the revenue currently coming in. The iMac, a Jobs-Ive project with design DNA borrowed from an earlier Apple product called the eMate, was an early success in reversing an otherwise fatal slide in Apple’s sales.

The authors remind readers that despite the hard work of Jobs’ new team to “save Apple,” the company remained in rough shape through the end of 2000. At that point, they note that Apple’s executive team had consciously — and ironically — decided to co-opt a growth strategy Bill Gates had announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2000. Gates called it “Consumer-Electronics-Plus.” Apple called it “the Digital Hub.”

If you’re interested in learning more about Steve Jobs’ life, business strategies, successes and failures, the Becoming Steve Jobs book is certainly worth your time. Officially $30, it can be purchased through Amazon for $12 and up, and at the iBookstore for $13.

Filed under: AAPL Company, General Tagged: Apple, Becoming Steve Jobs, Biography, Book, NeXT, Pixar, Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs biography

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Jeremy Horwitz

March 24th



‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ on how Steve evolved & the Buddhist notion of ‘Becoming’

Steve Jobs Fearless Genius

Becoming Steve Jobs, the new biography of Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, will be officially released tomorrow by Crown Business/Penguin Random House, and is currently available as a pre-order from Amazon ($20/print, $12/Kindle, $30/audiobook or free audiobook with Audible trial) and Apple’s iBookstore ($13). Bringing together years of personal interviews with Steve Jobs and his colleagues, the authors have assembled a substantial collection of insights about how Jobs evolved over time as a person and a leader.

One key focus of the book is reflected in the title: the Buddhist notion “that everything, and every individual, is ceaselessly in the process of” evolving — “becoming” — rather than static.

“[D]espite the fact that he could be almost unfathomably stubborn and opinionated at times, the man himself was constantly adapting, following his nose, learning, trying out new dimensions. He was constantly in the act of becoming.”

For this reason, the authors suggest that Jobs’s personality was misunderstood — at least during his second run at Apple — in part because he decided to cut most of his interaction with the press, except for structured discussions during new product launches. As such, the public picture of Jobs as an intemperate, immature young man wasn’t adequately updated to reflect his later maturity into the wiser and more effective leader who achieved Apple’s historic transformation…

Broadly, the authors suggest that Jobs’ maturity came from the “wilderness” period between his first and second periods at Apple. More specifically, it came from his work with Pixar, where he at long last learned patience — something he not only lacked, but initially struggled to even politely feign — and from beginning a real family life with his daughter Lisa, his wife Laurene Powell, and his newborn son Reed. As a continued process of “becoming” would suggest, the book doesn’t claim that all of Jobs’ rough edges were polished off; rather, after some very public highs and lows early in his life, he made fewer and smaller mistakes as time went on.

Learning how to manage his negative tendencies and focus on his positive ones was the key to Jobs’ evolution, the book notes. In an early meeting with Disney’s Jeffrey Katzenberg over developing Toy Story with Pixar, Jobs achieved a deal by uncharacteristically accepting Pixar’s role as the lightweight, only to later renegotiate the deal on more favorable terms after Toy Story’s success and Pixar’s IPO. His indecisiveness over returning to Apple — including his role as “iCEO” — is presented as a sign of his increasing maturity, as he learned how to make quick decisions on some things while idling and deeply considering others.

Although there was some speculation that an Apple-endorsed book about Jobs would be fawning, the authors certainly don’t gloss over the man’s very human imperfections. In one early story, a young Jobs’ fails spectacularly in an attempt to provide leadership during the meeting of a charitable group seeking to eradicate blindness, ending in his ejection from the meeting and a tearful breakdown in the parking lot. Several tales show how he sometimes used bullying tactics to size people up, including everyone from journalists to employees and rivals. And there are at least a few stories of late-night telephone calls to exasperated friends and employees, as well as numerous verbal fights with Jon Rubinstein, who appeared to relish the combat and eventually became one of the key people behind the iPod.

But the darker stories are counterbalanced by later examples of Jobs’ increasing patience and reconsideration of previously-rejected ideas, as well as some evidence that Jobs didn’t initially understand how his combative nature — generally focused on debating ideas — could hurt the feelings of people he worked with. At some point, it became apparent to key executives such as Rubinstein and Jony Ive that the debates were primarily about improving Apple’s products and thinking.

If you’re interested in learning more about Steve Jobs’ life, business strategies, successes and failures, the Becoming Steve Jobs book is certainly worth your time. Officially $30, it can be purchased through Amazon for $12 and up, and at the iBookstore for $13.

Filed under: AAPL Company, General Tagged: Becoming Steve Jobs, Biography, Book, Steve Jobs biography

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Jeremy Horwitz

March 23rd



‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ on Jobs’s Personal Life, Friends, and Enemies


Becoming Steve Jobs, the new biography of Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, will be officially released tomorrow by Crown Business/Penguin Random House, and is currently available as a pre-order from Amazon/iBooks. I’ve been reading an advance copy of the book, and it’s packed with interesting details — including some not previously known — about Jobs’ personal life, friends, and enemies.

For instance, Schlender and Tetzeli add color to some of the previously known defining moments in Jobs’ life, including the birth of his daughter Lisa and son Reed, and his marriage to Laurene Powell. The book notes that Jobs was not there for Lisa’s birth, which took place at the apple orchard that inspired his company’s name, and later appeared to regret that he’d made a mistake missing the major life event. He became a devoted family man after marrying Laurene — notably at Yosemite National Park — and made time most evenings to have dinner with his wife and kids, but continued to work late into the night from computers at his home. According to the book, Jobs laughed most deeply and often when interacting with his kids, and was there for Reed’s birth; the “hippie” couple even allowed the infant to sleep in bed with them at first…

As has been reported before, the Jobs’ house was surprisingly casual, without security or even a garage. They kept their side door open, with cars parked in front, and a large garden that both Steve and Laurene tended to. The book retells a down-to-earth story where Steve, Laurene, Reed and a family friend coming to help a guy with a broken down car in front of their house, noting that this sort of anecdote might have surprised the general public, but was highly typical of the way Jobs actually lived. Jobs mightn’t have been a perfect person, the book suggests, but he sought and found comfort in his family.

Jobs was considered a rock star by employees, who coveted the invitation to take a walk with him, according to former VP Jon Rubinstein. His energetic pursuit of big goals — and increasingly smart financial incentives to stick around through sometimes abusively rough times — attracted and retained people. Additionally, Jobs had numerous assistants whose names are little known outside the company, notably including Bas Ording, who would rapidly mock up visual design ideas Steve would come up with and present them to software teams at Apple for execution.

Bill Gates’ frenemy relationship with Jobs gets quite a bit of attention in the book. It’s noted that Jobs was somewhat obnoxious to Gates, keeping him waiting for a meeting and attacking Microsoft’s lack of style, while an angry Gates at one point suggested that Jobs — already booted from Apple and in the midst of floundering at NeXT — was amongst a group of “losers” who were whining over Microsoft’s comparative success. Yet Gates and Jobs met for a mostly friendly historic joint interview for Fortune magazine at Jobs’ home in 1991, which they reprised on stage years later with Walt Mossberg.

Jobs referred to two people as “evil” in first-hand discussions with one of the authors: Jean-Louis Gassée and Michael Eisner. The book notes that Steve told Gassée that he was about to launch a coup against then-Apple CEO John Sculley, and Gassée responded by tipping Sculley, saving Sculley and leading to Jobs’ exile. Steve took his revenge years later, getting Apple to pass over Gassée’s struggling company Be in favor of acquiring NeXT. Eisner, once CEO of Disney, was famously reviled by Jobs during Pixar’s ascent to the top of the animated film world; eventually, Bob Iger’s replacement of Eisner led to a complete rebuilding of Disney’s relationship with Jobs, and Pixar’s acquisition, making Jobs Disney’s largest shareholder.

If you’re interested in learning more about Steve Jobs’ life, business strategies, successes and failures, the Becoming Steve Jobs book is certainly worth your time. Officially $30, it can be purchased through Amazon for $12 and up, and at the iBookstore for $13.

Filed under: AAPL Company, Reviews Tagged: Becoming Steve Jobs, Biography, Book, Steve Jobs biographies

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Jeremy Horwitz

March 23rd



Upcoming biography reveals Steve Jobs turned down liver donation from Tim Cook, wanted to buy Yahoo, and more


More details about the upcoming biography Becoming Steve Jobs have been revealed through the book’s preview on Amazon (which has since been cut down significantly), revealing several interesting tidbits about the Apple co-founder’s life that were previously unknown (via Cult of Mac).

One example is a story about an offer then-COO Tim Cook made to Jobs when the latter was battling cancer. Cook says that he discovered he shared a blood type with Jobs and decided to undergo numerous medical tests before offering to donate part of his liver to the executive.

When Cook made the offer, however, Jobs declined. Cook says this was one of the few times in his career that Jobs had ever yelled at him, and his former boss’s unwillingness to accept the offer simply goes to prove that he wasn’t as selfish as many make him out to be.

A quote from the book, via Fast Company:

“Somebody that’s selfish,” Cook continues, “doesn’t reply like that. I mean, here’s a guy, he’s dying, he’s very close to death because of his liver issue, and here’s someone healthy offering a way out. I said, ‘Steve, I’m perfectly healthy, I’ve been checked out. Here’s the medical report. I can do this and I’m not putting myself at risk, I’ll be fine.’ And he doesn’t think about it. It was not, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ It was not, ‘I’ll think about it.’ It was not, ‘Oh, the condition I’m in . . .’ It was, ‘No, I’m not doing that!’ He kind of popped up in bed and said that. And this was during a time when things were just terrible. Steve only yelled at me four or five times during the 13 years I knew him, and this was one of them.”

The book also provides some insight into Jobs’ views on television and the Apple TV. While Isaacson’s bio claimed that the CEO had “cracked” the TV industry, Schlender and Tetzeli note that he once told Apple design boss Jony Ive some time after his 1997 return to the company that “Apple will never make a TV again.”

Perhaps even more surprising (or not surprising at all, depending on how you view it) Steve Jobs apparently wanted to team up with Disney CEO and longtime friend Bob Iger to buy Yahoo. This would have given Apple a foothold in the search engine industry and potentially allowing them to sever ties with Google.

A Yahoo purchase would have also given Apple access to that company’s entire backend for services like email and calendar/contacts syncing—features Cupertino struggled with when it launched its first syncing service with MobileMe.

Yahoo was the first email service to provide push email on the iPhone, and provides data for a variety of Siri queries and stock iOS applications.

You can pre-order Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader on Amazon for $21.87. It sounds like a very interesting read. The book ships on March 24th.

Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Becoming Steve Jobs, Biography, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, Yahoo

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Mike Beasley

March 12th



Who Is Craig From Craigslist?

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September 6th


Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Craig From Craigslist

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Craig From Craigslist

Craig Newmark is the Craig of Craigslist whose estimated net worth as of 2010 was around $400 million. This is in direct contrast to his financial wealth during childhood, where his mother struggled to support Craig and his brother, Jeff, after the death of their father.

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Jamie Condliffe

September 6th


Marley: The Definitive Biography of the Man Who Invented 4/20 [Video]

Well, not really, that's just an urban legend. But even 30 years after his death, Bob Marley remains a cultural, musical, and spiritual icon worldwide. Marley, simultaneously released today in theaters and online aims to be the man's definitive biography. More »

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Andrew Tarantola

April 21st

October 2015
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