Apple Opens Up to Praise New Book on Steve Jobs, and Criticize an Old One

23 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ meets Apple brass’ approval.

Steve Jobs prized secrecy from his executives and employees during his tenure at Apple. When Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs first came out, executives and business leaders all over the world tried to emulate the man and his management style.

Just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about Steve Jobs, a new book is about to set the record straight with some help from Apple.Apple’s Jony Ive is now revered for his beautifully sparse product designs, but back in 1997, the Apple design chief was convinced Steve Jobs was ready to fire him.A new biography chronicling the Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ “evolution” from reckless upstart to visionary leader has garnered support from his Cupertino colleagues. Becoming Steve Jobs, an unauthorized biography from Fast Company reporters Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, wasn’t given the stamp of approval from Jobs himself, but the book—out on Tuesday—has plenty of support from Apple. The Isaacson biography, simply titled , does a “tremendous disservice” to the late Apple co-founder, Cook said, adding that, “it didn’t capture the person.” A person, he continued, whom Cook sought to work with for many years.

But just four seconds after, Jobs called to voice his disapproval, according to the upcoming book Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader. “He couldn’t understand,” said Rubinstein in the book, as reported by Business Insider. “He said, ‘You’ve got plenty of money, why are you going to Palm?’ I’m like, ‘Steve, what are you talking about? CEO Tim Cook, design head Jony Ive, and Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior VP of software and services, have all publicly bashed Walter Isaacson’s official look at Jobs, which was published after his death in 2011. But the year following his departure, he emailed Jobs as a courtesy to tell him what his next venture would be — he had been hired by Palm Computing. Today, Rubinstein is known in the tech industry for his years as CEO of Palm Computing and his role at Hewlett Packard, and he also sits on Amazon’s board of directors. Lei Jun, CEO of Chinese smartphone startup Xiaomi was such a fan of Jobs he emulates the iconic leader right down to the black shirt and jeans and “one last thing” tease during product announcements.

In return, the authors let the company read the finished version before publication, though Apple wasn’t allowed to make any changes that weren’t related to factual errors. 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. As Apple’s (AAPL) former communications veep Allison Johnson put it, “The thing that Steve did better than anyone else is, he was his authentic self,” she told an audience of entrepreneurs, “We don’t need more Apples. Isaacson also had access to Apple executives and to Jobs himself, which Schlender and Tetzeli didn’t have (though Schlender interviewed Jobs many times prior to his death). The book captures Steve better than anything else we’ve seen, and we are happy we decided to participate.” We plan to read and review the book to find out if it’s worth reading if you’ve already read Steve Jobs, watched the Ashton Kutcher movie, and seen the new documentary (which Cue did not like).

Well done and first to get it right.” Apple’s iBooks account also tweeted last week that “ ‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ is the only book about Steve recommended by the people who knew him best.” The book-on-book criticism is a rare public cavalcade from Apple executives, who under Mr. That said, there are a number of principles that Jobs infused into Apple’s culture that I think are somewhat fundamental to innovative companies and definitely worth understanding. If the success of Silicon Valley innovators like Intel and Apple has taught us anything, it’s that common wisdom – how things are done and how they should be done – should be challenged at every turn. Once you have a unique culture that works, you want to use it as a model for new-hires, teach it to newcomers, and reinforce that behavior throughout the organization, from top to bottom.

In another sign of the company’s implicit approval of the biography, the writers will discuss the book and field questions about it on Thursday at the Apple store in SoHo. He also said Jobs instilled “this nonacceptance of the status quo” through his actions more than his words, an interesting counterpoint to today’s overemphasis on leadership communication. We all get inspiration from role models and ideas from mentors, but at some point each of us has to sort of leave the nest and make our own mark on the world. That wholesale abandonment of vertical integration led to widespread horizontal specialization that’s most evident in the personal computer and Google Android ecosystems. Apple’s core product differentiation is that it alone owns the entire user experience by taking complete responsibility for the software, hardware and services.

Being vertical is “the magic of Apple,” Cook says, ”Without collaboration, you get a Windows product.” Our society sees too much in black and white terms. Tetzeli said. “After a long period of reflection following Steve’s death, we felt a sense of responsibility to say more about the Steve we knew,” Steve Dowling, an Apple spokesman, said. “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. Jobs helped distinguish the new book from past titles about the Apple chief. “It’s through Schlender’s stories, freshly told, often from taped interviews, that we get to know Steve Jobs as Schlender knew him,” Mr.

Cook calls the technology industry’s obsession with having the most clicks, active users, and unit sales “almost a disease.” Jobs, however, wasn’t focused on making the most but on making the absolute best products. That’s also how the company has the discipline to make bold decisions like changing connectors and storage media, decisions that are not necessarily popular at the time. And while you can’t replicate what they did or change the world exactly as they did, these insights can play a role in building a career and a company that is as uniquely and genuinely yours.

The biography proved enormously popular, selling more than three million copies in the United States alone. “My book is very favorable and honest, with no anonymous slings,” Mr. Over the last six months, Apple executives have been on an extensive media campaign to promote new retail stores, the Apple Watch and Apple Pay, a new mobile payment service. Isaacson’s book reflect a looser discipline at the company. “Jobs was a mastermind at controlling the narrative on Apple, and one of the ways he did that was to make sure that he was the sole spokesperson and that officially, at least, the company stayed above all the fracas,” Ms. Cook’s critical comment ended up being used for the cover of her book by overseas publishers. “Becoming Steve Jobs” paints him as a caring mentor, as well as a delegator and skillful manager who brought the best out of his team.

Jobs’s legacy, too, and he took to Twitter recently to criticize the filmmaker Alex Gibney’s new documentary about the former Apple chief as “an inaccurate and mean-spirited view of my friend. Roger Scholl, the vice president and executive editor of Crown Publishing, said the market for Steve Jobs books was not close to saturated. “He led such a rich and full life, there’s more to be done on him,” he said.

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