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Inside Steve's Brain by [Kahney, Leander]
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Inside Steve's Brain Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Length: 332 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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

Product Details

  • File Size: 635 KB
  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; Updated edition (August 29, 2009)
  • Publication Date: September 3, 2009
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002N83GYE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,343 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It's a curious fact that, unlike previous advances in communications technology, the computer revolution has produced only one real celebrity. As movies, radio and TV came along, each spawned dozens of superstars, but with computers, electronics and the Internet, it's only Steve Jobs. Yes, we know who Bill Gates is, but he is regarded only as some fabulously wealthy tycoon -- similar to Warren Buffett or C. Montgomery Burns. But soon, there will be more celebrity profiles written about Steve Jobs than about Elvis or Marilyn Monroe combined.

Unfortunately, such books are seldom literary masterpieces, and "Inside Steve's Brain" by Leander Kahney seems thrown together to make a quick buck. It contains little information that has not seen print many times, and it's certain that Steve Jobs, always wary of the press, provided no more cooperation to Leander Kahney than he would to "Tiger Beat."

Marketed as a sympathetic look at Chairman Steve, the book dishes no dirt. There's no dish at all. Instead, we get yet another history of Apple Computer, a history of Pixar, an interview with Apple's senior vice president for industrial design, Jonathan Ive, the same accounts of the releases of the iPod and the iPhone that you read in the newspaper, and a fulsome testimonial to the Apple Stores. All this may be of interest to someone who is very young or who has just returned from a long journey to a distant galaxy, but the rest of us already know what Jobs said to John Sculley to lure him away from Pepsi Cola. (Hint: something about selling sugar water.)

In the place of any new information, Mr.
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Format: Hardcover
Note: The review that follows is of the Expanded Edition.

In my review of an earlier edition, I observed that, paradoxically, Steve Jobs continues to be one of the best known and yet least understood CEOs in recent business history. It is probably true that most of those who once worked or who now work at Apple Computer will learn more about Jobs as they read Leander Kahney's book and the subsequent Expanded Edition than they knew previously. For years, they and others shared the opinions expressed in this brief excerpt from the Introduction:

"Jobs is a control extraordinaire. He's also a perfectionist, an elitist, and a taskmaster to employees. By most accounts, Jobs is a borderline loony. He is portrayed as a basket case who fires people in elevators, manipulates partners, and takes credit for others' achievements. [Alan Deutschman, The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, Pages 59, 197, 239, 243, 254, 294-95 and Jeffrey S. Young, icon: Steve Jobs, The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business, Pages 212, 213, and 254]. Recent biographies paint an unflattering portrait of a sociopath motivated by the basest desires - to control, to abuse, to dominate. Most books about Jobs are depressing reads. They're dismissive, little more than catalogs of tantrums and abuse. No wonder he's called them `hatchet jobs.' Where's the genius?" All or at least some of this is may be true and yet....

He is a "control freak" and yet "throughout his career, Jobs has struck up a long string of productive partnerships - both personal and corporate. Jobs's success has depended on attracting great people to do great work for him.
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Format: Hardcover
If you like Apple or Steve Jobs, you should probably read this book. It's got a lot of interesting stories that give you background into some of the most important innovations and inventions of the last 20 years. You learn about the creative, business, product development, and marketing side of Apple that isn't explicitly apparent. You learn about why and how they keep things so secret and you learn about why their team is so good at creating world-changing products.

However, the one negative of the book is the way the author jumps all over the place. Stories sometimes seem to be randomly placed one after another with no logical transition. The author can also get very repetitive, re-introducing certain people such as Jonathan Ives numerous times. It's almost as if he took different magazine articles and put them into his book without removing the introductions. Besides reintroducing people, the author also makes the same points over and over to the point where you feel a sense of deja vu. Finally, I found it awkward when he went on an unprovoked bashing session against HP when discussing why their recent advertising campaign with the hands doing cool things would never measure up to any Apple ad. I thought it was a pretty decent ad.

At first, I felt this was a great book to read. In the beginning, it was very hard to put down. But by the end, I felt a little cheated. Every time a magazine comes out with an article about Apple or Steve Jobs, I jump at the chance to read it. After reading this whole book, I realized that this book is mostly a compilation of all those magazine articles I read. Then again, the author is a magazine editor so what can I expect?
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