Close menu

Steve Jobs (book)

Updated: 2017-05-12T15:31Z
Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.jpg
AuthorWalter Isaacson
Cover artistAlbert Watson
CountryUnited States
GenreLua error in Module:Wikidata at line 288: invalid escape sequence near '"^'.
PublisherSimon & Schuster (U.S.)
Publication date
Lua error in Module:Wikidata at line 288: invalid escape sequence near '"^'.
Media typeE-book, Print (Hardback and Paperback), and Audiobook
PagesLua error in Module:Wikidata at line 288: invalid escape sequence near '"^'.
Lua error in Module:Wikidata at line 288: invalid escape sequence near '"^'.
LC ClassLua error in Module:Wikidata at line 288: invalid escape sequence near '"^'.

Steve Jobs is the authorized self-titled biography book of Steve Jobs. The book was written at the request of Jobs by Walter Isaacson, a former executive at CNN and TIME who has written best-selling biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.[1][2]

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—in addition to interviews with more than one hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Isaacson was given "unprecedented" access to Jobs's life.[3] Jobs is said to have encouraged the people interviewed to speak honestly. Although Jobs cooperated with the book, he asked for no control over its content other than the book's cover, and waived the right to read it before it was published.[4]

The book was released on October 24, 2011, by Simon & Schuster in the United States, 19 days after Jobs's death.[5]

A film adaptation written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle, with Michael Fassbender starring in the title role, was released on October 9, 2015.


The book's cover photograph is similar to one taken previously by Norman Seeff and featured on Rolling Stone.[6]

Front cover

The front cover uses a photographic portrait of Steve Jobs commissioned by Fortune magazine in 2006 for a portfolio of powerful people. The photograph was taken by Albert Watson.

When the photograph was taken, he said he insisted on having a three-hour period to set up his equipment, adding that he wanted to make "[every shoot] as greased lightning fast as possible for the [subject]." When Jobs arrived he didn't immediately look at Watson, but instead at the equipment, focusing on Watson's 4×5 camera before saying, "wow, you're shooting film."[7]

If you look at that shot, you can see the intensity. It was my intention that by looking at him, that you knew this guy was smart. I heard later that it was his favorite photograph of all time.

Jobs gave Watson an hour—longer than he had given most photographers for a portrait session. Watson reportedly instructed Jobs to make "95 percent, almost 100 percent of eye contact with the camera," and to "think about the next project you have on the table," in addition to thinking about instances when people have challenged him.[7]

The title font is Helvetica.[8]

Back cover

The back cover uses another photographic portrait of Jobs taken in his living room in Woodside, California in February 1984 by Norman Seeff. In a Behind the Cover article published by TIME magazine, Seeff recalls him and Jobs "just sitting" on his living room floor, talking about "creativity and everyday stuff," when Jobs left the room and returned with a Macintosh 128K (the original Macintosh computer). Jobs "[plopped] down" in the lotus position holding the computer in his lap when Seeff took the photograph.[9]

We did do a few more shots later on, and he even did a few yoga poses—he lifted his leg and put it over his shoulder—and I just thought we were two guys hanging out, chatting away, and enjoying the relationship. It wasn't like there was a conceptualization here—this was completely off the cuff, spontaneity that we never thought would become an iconic image.

The placeholder cover used for the book uses the working title, iSteve: The Book of Jobs.


The book's working title, iSteve: The Book of Jobs, was chosen by publisher Simon & Schuster's publicity department. Although author Walter Isaacson was "never quite sure about it", his wife and daughter reportedly were. However, they thought it was "too cutesy" and as a result Isaacson persuaded the publisher to change the title to something "simpler and more elegant."[10]

The title Steve Jobs was allegedly chosen to reflect Jobs's "minimalist" style and to emphasize the biography's authenticity, further differentiating it from unauthorized publications, such as iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business by Jeffrey Young.[11]


Many of the chapters within the book have sub-headings, which are matched in various audiobook versions resulting in listings showing 150+ chapters when there are only 42 chapters. The audiobook contains a mistake on one chapter title, listing Chapter 41 as "Round Three, A Never-ending Struggle" instead of "Round Three, Twilight Struggle" as published.

Chapter No.Chapter TitleSub-Heading No.Sub-Heading TitleApprox. AudioBook Mark
IntroductionHow this book came to be00:00:00
Chapter 1Childhood, Abandoned and Chosen1.1The Adoption00:13:02
1.2Silicon Valley00:25:21
Chapter 2Odd Couple, The Two Steves2.1Woz01:05:56
2.2The Blue Box01:21:37
Chapter 3The Dropout, Turn On, Tune in...3.1Chrisann Brennan01:30:36
3.2Reed College01:35:05
3.3Robert Friedland01:46:22
3.4...Drop Out01:54:33
Chapter 4Atari and India, Zen and the Art of Game Design4.1Atari01:59:40
4.3The Search02:15:38
Chapter 5The Apple I, Turn On, Boot Up, Jack In...5.1Machines of Loving Grace02:33:32
5.2The Homebrew Computer Club02:42:29
5.3Apple is Born02:51:56
5.4Garage Band03:04:24
Chapter 6The Apple II, Dawn of a New Age6.1An Integrated Package03:13:27
6.2Mike Markkula03:23:38
6.3Regis McKenna03:34:26
6.4The First Launch Event03:38:11
6.5Mike Scott03:41:30
Chapter 7Chrisann and Lisa, He Who Is Abandoned...03:51:29
Chapter 8Xerox and Lisa, Graphical User Interface8.1A New Baby04:06:51
8.2Xerox PARC04:13:56
8.3Great Artists Steal04:22:35
Chapter 9Going Public, A Man of Wealth and Fame9.1Options04:32:45
9.2Baby You're a Rich Man04:38:28
Chapter 10The Mac is Born, You Say You Want a Revolution10.1Jef Raskin's Baby04:46:11
10.2Texaco Towers04:59:56
Chapter 11The Reality Distortion Field, Playing by His Own Set of Rules05:06:51
Chapter 12The Design, Real Artists Simplify12.1A Bauhaus Aesthetic05:26:42
12.2Like a Porsche05:34:31
Chapter 13Building The Mac, The Journey Is The Reward13.1Competition05:52:12
13.2End-to-end Control05:57:32
13.3Machines of the Year06:03:10
13.4Let's Be Pirates!06:09:32
Chapter 14Enter Sculley, The Pepsi Challenge14.1The Courtship06:26:07
14.2The Honeymoon06:42:37
Chapter 15The Launch, A Dent in the Universe15.1Real Artists Ship06:52:32
15.2The "1984" Advert06:59:25
15.3Publicity Blast07:08:24
15.4January 24, 198407:12:51
Chapter 16Gates And Jobs, When Orbits Intersect16.1The Macintosh Partnership07:24:56
16.2The Battle of the GUI07:39:51
Chapter 17Icarus, What goes up...17.1Flying High07:47:33
17.3Thirty Years Old08:10:45
17.5Showdown, Spring 198508:26:04
17.6Plotting a Coup08:39:18
17.7Seven Days in May08:43:15
17.8Like a Rolling Stone08:59:15
Chapter 18NeXT, Prometheus Unbound18.1The Pirates Abandon Ship09:08:55
18.2To Be On your Own09:27:34
18.3The Computer09:42:44
18.4Perot to the Rescue09:50:09
18.5Gates and NeXT09:55:41
18.7The Launch, October 198810:05:37
Chapter 19Pixar, Technology Meets Art19.1Lucasfilm's Computer Division10:18:42
19.3Tin Toy10:35:56
Chapter 20A Regular Guy, Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word20.1Joan Baez10:48:26
20.2Finding Joanne and Mona10:55:08
20.3The Lost Father11:03:58
20.5The Romantic11:18:17
Chapter 21Family Man, At Home with the Jobs Clan21.1Laurene Powell11:31:43
21.2The Wedding, March 18, 199111:43:48
21.3A Family Home11:51:16
21.4Lisa Moves In12:02:15
Chapter 22Toy Story, Buzz and Woody to the Rescue22.1Jeffrey Katzenberg12:16:46
22.3To Infinity!12:32:35
Chapter 23The Second Coming, What Rough Beast, Its Hour Come Round at Last...23.1Things Fall Apart12:42:10
23.2Apple Falling12:47:19
23.3Slouching toward Cupertino12:57:10
Chapter 24The Restoration, The Loser Now Will Be Later to Win24.1Hovering Backstage13:14:44
24.2Exit, Pursued by a Bear13:37:57
24.3Macworld Boston, August 199714:01:30
24.4The Microsoft Pact14:05:29
Chapter 25Think Different, Jobs as iCEO25.1Here's to the Crazy Ones14:16:28
25.3Killing the Clones14:36:06
25.4Product Line Review14:40:50
Chapter 26Design Principles, The Studio of Jobs and Ive26.1Jony Ive14:49:26
26.2Inside the Studio15:01:45
Chapter 27The iMac, Hello (Again)27.1Back to the Future15:09:53
27.2The Launch, May 6, 199815:25:06
Chapter 28CEO, Still Crazy after All These Years28.1Tim Cook15:34:11
28.2Mock Turtlenecks and Teamwork15:42:47
28.3From iCEO to CEO15:51:45
Chapter 29Apple Stores, Genius Bars and Siena Sandstone29.1The Customer Experience15:59:31
29.2The Prototype16:05:49
29.3Wood, Stone, Steel, Glass16:15:58
Chapter 30The Digital Hub, From iTunes to the iPod30.1Connecting the Dots16:24:58
30.4The iPod16:40:49
30.5That’s It!16:48:37
30.6The Whiteness of the Whale16:56:47
Chapter 31The iTunes Store, I'm the Pied Piper31.1Warner Music17:06:39
31.2Herding Cats17:19:12
31.4Mr. Tambourine Man17:42:46
Chapter 32Music Man, The Sound Track of His Life32.1On His iPod17:53:26
32.2Bob Dylan18:05:05
32.3The Beatles18:13:52
32.5Yo-Yo Ma18:31:21
Chapter 33Pixar's Friends, ...and Foes33.1A Bug's Life18:32:46
33.2Steve's Own Movie18:44:06
33.3The Divorce18:50:04
Chapter 34Twenty-First-Century Macs, Setting Apple Apart34.1Clams, Ice Cubes, and Sunflowers19:20:24
34.2Intel Inside19:26:52
Chapter 35Round One, Memento Mori35.1Cancer19:41:35
35.2The Stanford Commencement19:52:09
35.3A Lion at Fifty19:56:07
Chapter 36The iPhone, Three Revolutionary Products in One36.1An iPod That Makes Calls20:16:05
36.3Gorilla Glass20:30:04
36.4The Design20:35:25
36.5The Launch20:38:43
Chapter 37Round Two, The Cancer Recurs37.1The Battles of 200820:43:19
Chapter 38The iPad, Into the Post-PC Era38.1You Say You Want a Revolution21:22:39
38.2The Launch, January 201021:30:43
38.5Publishing and Journalism21:58:20
Chapter 39New Battles, And Echoes of Old Ones39.1Google: Open versus Closed22:18:13
39.2Flash, the App Store, and Control22:27:46
39.3Antennagate: Design versus Engineering22:40:33
39.4Here Comes the Sun22:54:44
Chapter 40To Infinity, The Cloud, the Spaceship, and Beyond40.1The iPad 222:57:34
40.3A New Campus23:23:32
Chapter 41Round Three, The Twilight Struggle41.1Family Ties23:32:37
41.2President Obama23:49:08
41.3Third Medical Leave, 201123:58:04
41.5That Day Has Come24:19:43
Chapter 42Legacy, The Brightest Heaven of Invention42.1FireWire24:32:27
42.2And One More Thing...24:50:55

Film adaptation

Steve Jobs is a drama film based on the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, starring Michael Fassbender in the title role. The film is directed by Danny Boyle, produced by Scott Rudin, and written by Aaron Sorkin (with a screenplay adapted both from Isaacson's Steve Jobs as well as from interviews conducted by Sorkin).

Other media

Extracts from the biography have been the feature of various magazines, in addition to interviews with the author, Walter Isaacson.[12]

To memorialize Jobs's life after his death on October 5, 2011, TIME published a commemorative issue on October 8, 2011. The issue's cover featured a portrait of Jobs, taken by Norman Seeff, in which he is sitting in the lotus position holding the original Macintosh computer. The portrait was published in Rolling Stone in January 1984 and is featured on the back cover of Steve Jobs. The issue marked the eighth time Jobs has been featured on the cover of Time.[13] The issue included a photographic essay by Diana Walker, a retrospective on Apple by Harry McCracken and Lev Grossman, and a six-page essay by Walter Isaacson. Isaacson's essay served as a preview of Steve Jobs and described Jobs pitching the book to him.[14]

Bloomberg Businessweek also released a commemorative issue of its magazine remembering the life of Jobs. The cover of the magazine features Apple-like simplicity, with a black-and-white, up-close photo of Jobs and his years of birth and death. In tribute to Jobs's minimalist style, the issue was published without advertisements. It featured extensive essays by Steve Jurvetson, John Sculley, Sean Wisely, William Gibson, and Walter Isaacson. Similarly to Time's commemorative issue, Isaacson's essay served as a preview of Steve Jobs.

Fortune featured an exclusive extract of the biography on October 24, 2011, focusing on the "friend-enemy" relationship Jobs had with Bill Gates.[15]

Awards and honors

Even after a late release that year, the book became Amazon's #1 seller for 2011.[16]


  1. ^ Yin, Sara (August 15, 2011). "Tell-All Steve Jobs Biography Hits Stores on November 21". PC Magazine. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ Gilbert, Jason (August 25, 2011). "Steve Jobs Biography Gets Cover, November Release Date". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  3. ^ Elmer-DeWitt, Philip (August 16, 2011). "A peek at Steve Jobs' book jacket – front, back and spine". Fortune. CNN Money. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  4. ^ Olivarez-Giles, Nathan (August 15, 2011). "'Steve Jobs: A Biography' release date is moved up to Nov. 21". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  5. ^ Ong, Josh (August 15, 2011). "Biography of Apple CEO Steve Jobs to arrive in November". AppleInsider. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  6. ^ "The Steve Jobs Nobody Knew". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. October 12, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c Walker, David (October 6, 2011). "Steve Jobs: Visionary, Inventor, and Very Challenging Photo Subject". Photo District News. Nielsen. Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  8. ^ Ong, Josh (August 15, 2011). "Biography of Apple CEO Steve Jobs to arrive in November". AppleInsider. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Seeff, Norman (October 6, 2011). "Behind the Cover: Steve Jobs". TIME. TIME. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  10. ^ Elmer-DeWitt, Philip (July 5, 2011). "Steve Jobs' bio gets a new title". Fortune. CNN Money. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  11. ^ Schramm, Mike (July 5, 2011). "Steve Jobs biography gets new title: 'Steve Jobs'". TUAW. AOL. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  12. ^ Weintraub, Seth (October 19, 2011). "Steve Jobs Biographer to be on 60 Minutes Sunday". 9 to 5 Mac. 925. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  13. ^ "TIME's Steve Jobs Covers". TIME. April 2, 2010. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  14. ^ Elmer-DeWitt, Philip (October 6, 2011). "The day Steve Jobs called Walter Isaacson". Fortune. CNN Money. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  15. ^ Weintraub, Seth (October 20, 2011). "Fortune will have exclusive excerpt of Steve Jobs bio Monday focusing on relationship with Bill Gates". 9 to 5 Mac. 925. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  16. ^ Marsal, Katie. "Steve Jobs biography is Amazon's best selling book of 2011". Apple Insider. Apple Insider. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  17. ^ Andrew Hill. "Biographies and economics dominate". Financial Times. Retrieved September 15, 2012. 
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Wikipedia is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.

Also On Wow


    Trending Now