From Publishers Weekly
Throughout his storied Silicon Valley career, Apple CEO and Pixar Studios founder Steve Jobs has been labeled, among other things, an egomaniac, a Zen Buddhist, a business mastermind, a sociopath and a music mogul. Blogger, author and Wired News editor Kahney, who has chronicled Apple in previous books (The Cult of Mac), attempts to plumb the depths of Jobs's prodigious mind in this engrossing biography. The author devotes much time to the sensational aspects of Jobs' life, including his demeaning and ferocious interactions with employees, his relentless high-mindedness and fanatical attention to detail, clearly demonstrating how his tyrannical and perfectionist impulses have have shaped the award-winning designs and consumer-friendly products that have made Apple a juggernaut. Though it doesn't penetrate the Mac man's psyche too deeply, and sections on tangential figures like Apple design guru Jonathan Ive and Apple Store visionary Ron Johnson can meander, those searching for a telling portrait of Jobs's management style and its impact on Apple will not be left wanting.
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The latest book about the success of Apple is from an avid fan, journalist, and author of two other Apple-related books (including The Cult of Mac, 2004); it is an in-depth profile of CEO Steven Jobs. It is a tale of two Steves: a perfectionist, charming, charismatic executive but also a man who’s known as an elitist, manipulator, and sociopath, all in search of a dream: providing easy-to-use technology for individuals. Kahney begins with Jobs’ return to the company, changes made to save it from bankruptcy, and then the CEO’s attributes as manifested in products, in people, in corporate directions. Take, for example, Steve’s perfectionism, shown through the three years of work to design the Mac; through the hiring of Hartmut Esslinger, of Frogdesign; and through employee perspectives. Every chapter is headlined by specific personality traits, from Focus to Control Freak, and concludes with Lessons from Steve, bullet-point summaries of key chapter learnings. Written and intended for a wide general audience. --Barbara Jacobs