Becoming Steve Jobs
List Price: $30
Publisher: Crown Business
First entered: 28th, Mar 2015
Number of weeks: 4
#1 New York Times Bestseller
There have been many books—on a large and small scale—about Steve Jobs, one of the most famous CEOs in history. But this book is different from all the others.
Becoming Steve Jobs takes on and breaks down the existing myth and stereotypes about Steve Jobs. The conventional, one-dimensional view of Jobs is that he was half-genius, half-jerk from youth, an irascible and selfish leader who slighted friends and family alike. Becoming Steve Jobs answers the central question about the life and career of the Apple cofounder and CEO: How did a young man so reckless and arrogant that he was exiled from the company he founded become the most effective visionary business leader of our time, ultimately transforming the daily life of billions of people?
Drawing on incredible and sometimes exclusive access, Schlender and Tetzeli tell a different story of a real human being who wrestled with his failings and learned to maximize his strengths over time. Their rich, compelling narrative is filled with stories never told before from the people who knew Jobs best, and who decided to open up to the authors, including his family, former inner circle executives, and top people at Apple, Pixar and Disney, most notably Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Eddy Cue, Ed Catmull, John Lasseter, Robert Iger and many others. In addition, Brent knew Jobs personally for 25 years and draws upon his many interviews with him, on and off the record, in writing the book. He and Rick humanize the man and explain, rather than simply describe, his behavior. Along the way, the book provides rich context about the technology revolution we all have lived through, and the ways in which Jobs changed our world.
Schlender and Tetzeli make clear that Jobs's astounding success at Apple was far more complicated than simply picking the right products: he became more patient, he learned to trust his inner circle, and discovered the importance of growing the company incrementally rather than only shooting for dazzling game-changing products.
A rich and revealing account that will change the way we view Jobs, Becoming Steve Jobs shows us how one of the most colorful and compelling figures of our times was able to combine his unchanging, relentless passion with a more mature management style to create one of the most valuable and beloved companies on the planet.
Name: Brent Schlender
Hometown: Newton, KANSAS
About the author:
Brent Schlender, 60 years old, is a writer, editor, and author, best known for his award-winning magazine profiles of prominent entrepreneurs and business leaders of the Digital Revolution. In 2010, SVForum, the largest and oldest industry organization in Silicon Valley, awarded Schlender its Visionary Award for personifying the spirit innovation and entrepreneurship with his journalism. And in March of 2015, Crown Business published “Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader,” the culmination of a three-year collaboration between Schlender and writing partner Rick Tetzeli.
Schlender wrote analytical business stories for 30 years, first for The Wall Street Journal starting in the late 1970s, and continuing after 1989 through a 20-year career as a bureau chief and editor-at-large at FORTUNE magazine. He wrote dozens of in-depth feature stories about the exploits of many of Silicon Valley’s most famous figures – Apple’s Steve Jobs, Intel’s Andy Grove and Craig Barrett, Oracle’s Larry Ellison, Sun’s Scott McNealy and Bill Joy, Google’s Eric Schmidt, and Pixar’s John Lasseter and Ed Catmull, to name just a few.
Schlender also is considered the journalistic authority on Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, who he first met in 1985. And over the years, he wrote extensively about Sony Corp. over the decades, and worked closely with each of the company’s CEOs, starting with founder Akio Morita. During Peter Drucker’s final years, Schlender wrote many articles based on extensive, in-depth interviews with the famous management guru. His stories have been characterized both by his extended and intimate access to his subjects, and by the depth of his background reporting and knowledge of business and technology. But his writing also reflects his extensive worldly experience of working and living abroad, primarily in China, Japan, and Latin America.
Schlender and his wife of 31 years, Lorna Jacoby, live in San Mateo, CA. He has many other creative interests as well. For many years he played tenor saxophone in a Bay Area jazz and rhythm and blues ensemble, and more recently has explored making digital visual art. And in 1999-2000 he worked with film director Robert Altman and cartoonist Garry Trudeau to develop a television series called “Killer App” about genius, greed, skullduggery and vanity in Silicon Valley.