My "Goodreads" review of "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson

Steve JobsSteve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here's the genius that you wouldn't want to work for, although if it made you as rich as Croesus you might want to think about it. Some did put up with his fits of anger, rants and demands for perfection, but still you have to wonder: At what cost.

Isaacson does his usual thorough research and, as far as I can tell, provides a balanced accounting of Job's life, accomplishments, foibles and--yes--failures. Look inside the mind of a man who is so convinced of his own intellect and knowledge that he "knows better" how to treat his cancer than leading oncologists. For that bit of arrogance, Jobs paid with his life.

I came away, however, admiring Jobs for something that few in the business understood: customers don't give a damn--at least most of us--about pushing keys and wading through complicated instructions to get the job done. Information technology isn't an end in itself; it's supposed to be for the convenience and aid of the consumer. I don't need or want to understand how my refrigerator works to use it. Jobs frequently ran into an engineering mindset that ignored this obvious truism, confronted it, and shouted it down. Thank you, Steve.

A couple of things I was that Isaacson had done, though: The plentitude of names often turned confusing; a list of the most important would have been helpful. And perhaps the book could have been a little more compact as I often came across passages that I had read before.

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