Apple execs, including Tim Cook, praise new Steve Jobs biography, and criticize an old one

“Steve Jobs prized secrecy from his executives and employees during his tenure at Apple,” Brian X. Chen and Alexandra Alter report for The new York Times. “Now his top lieutenants are speaking out — to help shape the legacy of Steve Jobs.”

“Through interviews and tweets, Apple brass, including the chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, are throwing their weight behind a new unauthorized biography of the Apple co-founder, Becoming Steve Jobs, which goes on sale on Tuesday,” Chen and Alter report. “In the book, executives take aim at another title, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, an authorized biography published shortly after Mr. Jobs’s death in 2011.”

“Mr. Isaacson’s best seller did a ‘tremendous disservice’ to the Apple chief, Mr. Cook said in the new book, written by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, and excerpted in the April issue of Fast Company. ‘It didn’t capture the person,’ Mr. Cook said. ‘The person I read about there is somebody I would never have wanted to work with over all this time,'” Chen and Alter report. “Jony Ive, Apple’s longtime design chief, added his criticism of Mr. Isaacson’s biography last month in a New Yorker profile. ‘My regard couldn’t be any lower’ for the book, he said, noting that he had read only parts of it.”

After a long period of reflection following Steve’s death, we felt a sense of responsibility to say more about the Steve we knew. 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. – Steve Dowling, Apple spokesperson

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote over the weekend: Again, this — Schlender and Tetzeli’s book — sounds like the biography that we all wanted. Already, just from excerpts, there’s so much more than other “Steve Jobs” biographies.

How on God’s green earth did “official biographer” Walter Isaacson not know that Tim Cook offered Steve Jobs a part of his liver?

Seems like a very big item.

The fact is, Steve Jobs didn’t tell him. Perhaps Jobs realized that Walter was a “bozo” and he withheld crucial, interesting information so that the rest of the world could clearly see what an insipid, untalented bore Isaacson is? There’s really no other explanation other than that ol’ Walt lost his notes.

It’s one thing to write biographies of people long dead when there’s no one left alive who actually knew them. It’s quite another to take a dynamo like Steve Jobs and only be able to come up with pablum.

Although it was rare, it wasn’t the first time, but unfortunately it would be the last: Steve picked the wrong guy*.

*Sculley and Schmidt, for two prominent examples.

Our issue with Isaacson was fortified after he began trotting himself out on business TV as some sort of self-styled expert on what Apple should do and, even worse, what Steve Jobs would have done were he still alive. More of what we’ve has to say:

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. – MacDailyNews, March 17, 2015

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:
Disney CEO Bob Iger kept Steve Jobs’s cancer a secret for three years – March 20, 2015
The evolution of Steve Jobs: It’s time to revisit — and correct — the myth – March 20, 2015
Apple CEO Cook blasts Isaacson’s ‘Steve Jobs’ bio as a ‘just a rehash; a tremendous disservice’ – March 17, 2015
Steve Jobs: ‘I just don’t like television. Apple will never make a TV again’ – March 13, 2015
Tim Cook reportedly offered Steve Jobs his liver, but Jobs refused – March 12, 2015
Gruber: ‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ is a remarkable new book – March 3, 2015


  1. Sometimes people let you down. Sometimes they bring their B game.

    Isaacson saw Steve dying and rushed the book to have it out as soon as possible after Steve died. Probably the book needed another year or more in development to create interesting arcs and to cull the right info from his prodigious amounts of notes.

    It’s not easy in the least to create living human beings out of words read silently in the minds of people you have never met. It’s alchemy. It’s wizardry. It can’t be forced or rushed. And it can’t come out of anything but a sensitive heart.

    Walt, you let everyone down, bro.

    Maybe you can be redeemed when you give all your papers and recordings to the Jobs estate in your will (hoping you do).

    1. “Isaacson saw Steve dying and rushed the book to have it out as soon as possible after Steve died. Probably the book needed another year or more in development to create interesting arcs and to cull the right info from his prodigious amounts of notes.”

      As are ALL rushed premature movie attempts that only reflect the greedy ASSpirations of hollywood’s trespect oblivious rtash.

  2. As I’ve said before, and now amplified by T. Cook, there’s no way the A-level people at Apple would work for such a jerk as Steve has relentlessly been portrayed.

    I’ve been in business almost 40 years now, and I can tell you that the transformation of Apple from 1997 to 2011 is simply breathtaking. Growth like that, while expanding product offerings, customer reach, new markets, bro that is really hard work. No one works that hard for a jerk. Those folks have real options outside of Apple that wouldn’t take long to bring to fruition.

    Somewhere along the way Apple went from individual genius and greatness to an Insanely Great Team.

  3. Steve would never had let the email IMAP fail go on-and-on for two OS releases without a fix in sight, despite so many public promises by Cook and Federighi to fix it.

    1. Some people never get the word that their self-imposed meme is nothing but cow crap.

      For those who CAN read/listen and learn: It was GOOGLE who borked up IMAP in GMail. They pulled a Microsoft and decided to go their own way with their own code, breaking the standard.

      Would that the ‘Mark’s of this world would go pester GOOGLE for deciding to mess up the world. Would that they could figure out that Apple was one of many victims of Google stupidity.

    2. Mark, you are clearly oblivious to the history of Apple and Steve Jobs. For years, Steve insisted that we use the worse mouse ever designed – the hockey puck. He never saw the need for a way to load files on an iOS device except through a complicated and lame route on iTunes. And his notion of cloud services gave us MobileMe and now iCloud, both of which were/are more obtuse than they need to be. Meanwhile, I’ve used IMAP forever on my iOS devices without a problem. Maybe, in your case, the software (and by extension, Cook/Federighi) is not the issue…

  4. You can get this book free by starting a free 30 day trial of Audible where the unabridged audio book version of this runs 16 hours 21 minutes. It downloads Tuesday and you can cancel the free trial right after you receive it. 😜💥😱😃😎👀

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