Apple CEO Cook blasts Isaacson’s ‘Steve Jobs’ bio as a ‘just a rehash; a tremendous disservice’

The following excerpts are via Fast Company and adapted from Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Revolutionary Leader by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli.

MacDailyNews Take: Unlike Isaacson’s piss poor effort — it’s a travesty that Jobs’ “official” biography ended up being such an insipid lump — Becoming Steve Jobs is the Steve Jobs biography you’ll actually want to read.

From Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Revolutionary Leader:
“This picture of him isn’t understood,” says Cook. “I thought the [Walter] Isaacson book did him a tremendous disservice. It was just a rehash of a bunch of stuff that had already been written, and focused on small parts of his personality. You get the feeling that [Steve’s] a greedy, selfish egomaniac. 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. Life is too short.

“Steve cared,” Cook continues. “He cared deeply about things. Yes, he was very passionate about things, and he wanted things to be perfect. And that was what was great about him. A lot of people mistook that passion for arrogance. He wasn’t a saint. I’m not saying that. None of us are. But it’s emphatically untrue that he wasn’t a great human being, and that is totally not understood.

“The Steve that I met in early ’98 was brash and confident and passionate and all of those things. But there was a soft side of him as well, and that soft side became a larger portion of him over the next 13 years. You’d see that show up in different ways. There were different employees and spouses here that had health issues, and he would go out of his way to turn heaven and earth to make sure they had proper medical attention. He did that in a major way, not in a minor, ‘Call me and get back to me if you need my help’ kind of way.

Much more in the full adaptation – very highly recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s a bit of what we’ve had to say about Isaacson’s POS over the years:

Isaacson’s book has an unparalleled ability to omit the interesting.MacDailyNews, May 20, 2014

Anyone who can take a raging ball of fire like Steve Jobs and reduce his life to a bland cardboard cutout harbors some, er… special skills. As with passionate, interesting writing, judging companies’ levels of innovation isn’t one of Isaacson’s talents, either.

Go back to your day job, Walter. You know, churning out mind-numbing, by-the-numbers pablum that nobody* can finish without massive amounts of willpower and Red Bull.

Stop posing on TV as an Apple expert, or any sort of tech business expert, because totally blowing it by squatting out an interminable doorstop after being handed the biography subject of the century only makes you an expert in one thing: Failure.

After 630-pages that we never thought would end, we know you love facts, so here are a couple: You’re as much of an Apple/technology expert as any random fscktard off the street, you insipid milker, and your book was only a bestseller because it had Steve Jobs’ name and face on the cover, not because of you, Mr. Soporific.

*Having a bit more than a passing interest in Steve Jobs, even we could barely make it though Walter’s God-awful “Steve Jobs” textbook! No wonder Sorkin promptly threw it in the trash and started over from scratch.MacDailyNews, January 15, 2014

We wonder if, had he known what we know now, Steve Jobs would have chosen this self-appointed medium — a self-styled expert of all things Steve Jobs just because he penned an interminable doorstop of dreck that sapped every bit of soul out of its subject, leaving nothing but an empty cardboard cutout behind — as the person to whom to entrust his official biography.

Go back to your day job of boring the last molecule of shit out of people via your scribblings, Walter, you supercilious, know-nothing twit.

Before he trots himself out on TV yet again to proclaim the results of his latest seance with Steve Jobs, Laurene should give this tedious, overstepping blockhead a phone call and tell him the time of day.MacDailyNews, May 30, 2014

Related articles:
Isaacson: Steve Jobs would have done Beats deal – May 30, 2014
As MacDailyNews already posited, Walter Isaacson thinks maybe Jimmy Iovine will run Apple’s content business – May 20, 2014
Scribe of flavorless Steve Jobs biography thinks Google is ‘more innovative’ than Apple because Google bought a thermostat company – January 15, 2014
‘Steve Jobs’ biographer Isaacson backpedals on ‘Google more innovative’ comment, says ‘Apple is the best at execution’ – January 31, 2014
Gruber: Walter Isaacson blew it with biography of Steve Jobs – November 18, 2011


  1. I was very disappointed in it . . . It almost seemed to strive to criticize him while sprinting through piles of other information that I already knew. There was nothing groundbreaking, and the essence of who the man was and what drove him at personal level was completely absent. I find it hard to believe that Jobs would have given him so little to work with.

  2. A great read, thanks MDN, and thank you Tim Cook. Very touching and real. Nice to see some true light shinning on the topic.

    He did have a stage presence.

  3. I read the book and at first I thought it was good. Of course I did not know much about Steve Jobs at the time.

    After further reading about the man and thinking about the men I’ve known in life who are similar to Jobs in that they have been visionaries in various industries I feel the book really missed the passion and drive that Steve had.

    The easy road is to simply write guys like Steve off as egomaniacs or assholes. It’s the easy way out and it misses the essence of of what makes people like him truly great.

    Some of the biggest “assholes” in my life have pushed me to be greater than I could have imagined and you have to recognize that their prickly personalities are driven by a deep desire to change things and make the world better for all.

  4. Ah, Tim is just turning Jobs into a teddy bear in preparation for the product launch of their robot line.

    iSteve Pro – full size Steve Jobs ‘android’ (heh) has every current Apple product built in…except the watch. You control him via your watch. And he can drive the Apple car, just don’t let him take care of the licensing because he’ll give you an argument that you don’t need license plates.

    iSteve (aka “Li’l Steve”) Asimo sized Steve Jobs android,
    …there’s that word again, but that’s what a lifelike robot is officially called. Some tech licensed from Honda. All the functions of iSteve Pro – well, maybe not “all” (heh) because L’il Steve can’t drive the Apple Car.

    Both models have every product presentation hard wired to the logic board. You say “WWD, 2005” and iSteve goes into action…every nuance, every foot step correctly placed.
    Be sure to give him room and set up a desk and chair so iSteve doesn’t fall on the floor when he sits down to run the demos on the iMac.

    These will outsell every Apple product combined, ever.

    1. That’s not funny Cletus, you should be more respectful of the readers at this site. They’re not a bunch of personality cultists or something.
      I’m guessing that iSteve’s clothes are a permanently attached covering, kind of like it is with the laptops. It will be funny when people bring their malfunctioning iSteve to the Genius Bar and iSteve starts telling the geniuses that they’re doing something wrong and then iSteve starts helping the customers. Turns out he also has the Employee Guidance Manual hardwired to his logic board, they find out.

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