This was an incredible, riveting biography. Isaacson does a phenomenal job bringing the story of Steve Jobs to life. For me there was a natural division in the story.
The “old history”–events prior to my own experience–was great fun to read, because I learned a lot about the tech world of software and hardware that was emerging in the 70s and 80s. The inception and early development of Apple, and the fact that Jobs was kicked out of his own company (and then brought back!), was fascinating.
The “contemporary history” began with events that I know personally. The trigger for that was Jobs’ involvement with Pixar, and culminating in Apple’s introduction of revolutionary portable devices (iPods, iPhones and iPads) and the major disruption of multiple industries (music, cell phones, the creation of a market for tablets out of thin air).
Overall, I was impressed with the cohesiveness and integrity of Jobs’ design philosophy, even if I find myself torn between its cons, and the pros of the competing “open” philosophy (as led by Google). Jobs’ mandate for total control over the user experience, the seamless marriage of hardware and software, and the elegant beauty and simplicity of his products, is simply amazing.
Of course, on matters of ultimate truth, Jobs was profoundly lost. So any celebration of his life and contribution to society is sobered by his rejection of God. If anything, Jobs’ life is a dazzling testament to the sheer brilliance that God, through common grace, gives to some men–even men who don’t choose to follow Him.
- Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (Adam Shields’ Review)