Isaacson’s ‘Steve Jobs’ rages, weeps, adds sex to tech at Apple: Interview

“A finicky Steve Jobs picked Walter Isaacson to write the authorized biography, setting him loose among his friends, lovers, rivals and enemies in Silicon Valley,” Zinta Lundborg reports for Bloomberg. “We spoke at Bloomberg world headquarters in New York.”

Lundborg: Did he read anything you wrote?
Isaacson: No. I kept asking him, and he said repeatedly, “I don’t want to read it before it comes out, because it will be like an in-house book.”
He said to me at our last meeting a few weeks before he died, “I won’t read it right now — I’ll read it sometime in the next year.” And he had such a powerful, magical way of thinking, I was thrilled at the thought he was going to be alive in a year.

Lundborg: I was surprised by the amount of weeping he did.
Isaacson: He was very sentimental, romantic, emotional, and that’s a key to who he was. It was that emotionalism connected to a passion for perfection that caused him to be so driven.

Lundborg: When he came back to save Apple, he immediately identified the basic problem as the lack of sex in the products.
Isaacson: There was no sex, no romance, no emotion, and that was true of the computer industry.

Read more in the full interview here.


12 Comments

    1. That is my biggest complaint with this constant drive to make smaller hardware…. You just can’t “LOVE” the machine as easily as the old big box stuff that had ample big ports and openings with which to experiment.

  1. I have not finished reading the book, but already, I’m finding some lack of empathy from the author towards his subject. The book, according to me, lacks the soul. Too bad Steve won’t be around to refute some of the assertion, but at least, he’s in a far better place to bother with such trivialities.

    1. If Jobs actually wanted to refute, he would’ve asked to read the book in-progress. Jobs refused to do so, trusting the biographer to do his job. This is so unlike Jobs’ typical control-everything approach to most things (even deciding on a sofa!), that he very obviously did not want to control what is essentially the judgment of history.

      1. If the “history” is going to be what Isaacson wrote basing on his own judgement or from interviews by other people and Jobs never actually had chance to explain and refute some of the claims, then it is not good, even if Jobs put trust on Isaacson for that.

  2. “Lundborg: You point out that he was not a great engineer and not a great manager, either, so what accounts for his success?”

    Isaacson in reply explains fairly about managing, but engineering part got really wrong slant.

    I reviewed in detail multiple patents where Jobs was either primary inventor or co-inventor, and I would definitely say that there was excellence in engineering (mechanical and software).

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