An upcoming new biography, Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader, emerge to be a refutation to Walter Isaacson’s widely acclaimed bestseller, Steve Jobs. When Isaacson’s book, came out in 2011, it was widely regarded as a balanced look at the most influential icon of the tech industry. But not everyone was a fan.
After its publication, the word in Silicon Valley was that those closest to Jobs, especially his wife Laurene Powell Jobs and Apple CEO Tim Cook, were gloomy with Isaacson’s portrayal of Jobs. While the book is at times sympathetic, it detailed many of Jobs’ outbursts and petty conduct toward his co-workers.
The new book is not yet out. But bits and pieces that have appeared online confirm the thoughts from Jobs’ camp. And it seems that Becoming Steve Jobs will center on Jobs. According to an excerpt obtained by the blog Cult of Mac, the book quotes Cook saying:
I thought the Isaacson book did [Jobs] 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 [Jobs was] 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’s too short.
Becoming Steve Jobs , written by Brent Schlender, a former journalist at Fortune magazine, who frequently wrote about Jobs and Apple, and Rick Tetzeli, a former editor at Fortune who is now executive editor at Fast Company. Sceduled to be published on March 24 and to be excerpted in the upcoming issue of Fast Company. The magazine has begun publishing snippets from the book. It also posted a preview of its upcoming cover which has a picture of Jobs with the words “Kind. Patient. Human. The Steve Jobs You Didn’t Know.”
As a reporter who covered Apple for The New York Times, I spoke with Jobs a number of times. Sometimes he was brusque; sometimes he was polite and businesslike. Obviously, none of that was enough to give me a sense of what he was really like.
I contactd Isaacson on Thursday to ask him about Becoming Steve Jobs. In an email, he said he had not read the book and didn’t want to comment. Then he added, “Steve was a brilliant, inspiring, and sometimes complex person, and it’s good to have as many takes on him as possible.”