Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson: The Best-Selling Biography of the Genius Behind Apple, Pixar, and NeXT (Free PDF Download)
Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson
Steve Jobs was one of the most influential and visionary entrepreneurs of our time. He co-founded Apple, Pixar, NeXT, and revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. He was also a complex and controversial figure, who could inspire and infuriate people with his passion, perfectionism, obsession, and creativity.
steve jobs biography walter isaacson pdf free download english
In this article, we will explore the life and legacy of Steve Jobs, based on the best-selling biography by Walter Isaacson. Isaacson conducted more than forty interviews with Jobs over two years, as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues. He wrote a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose products changed the world.
We will also show you how to download the PDF version of this biography for free, so you can read it on your device at your convenience.
Who was Steve Jobs?
Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco, California. He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, who raised him in Mountain View and Los Altos. He had a rebellious and curious personality from an early age. He was fascinated by electronics and tinkered with gadgets in his father's garage. He also developed a love for music, art, literature, and spirituality.
He met Steve Wozniak, a brilliant engineer and hacker, when he was in high school. They became friends and partners in various projects, such as building a blue box that could make free phone calls. They shared a vision of making computers accessible and fun for ordinary people.
In 1976, they founded Apple Computer in Jobs' parents' garage. They launched the Apple I and Apple II computers, which were among the first successful personal computers in the market. They also hired talented people to join their team, such as Mike Markkula, John Sculley, Jef Raskin, Bill Atkinson, Andy Hertzfeld, Susan Kare, and many others.
In 1984, they introduced the Macintosh computer, which featured a graphical user interface (GUI), a mouse, and a built-in screen. It was hailed as "the computer for the rest of us" and "insanely great". It also sparked a rivalry with Microsoft, which was developing its own GUI-based operating system, Windows.
However, Jobs faced many challenges and conflicts at Apple. He clashed with Sculley, who became the CEO of Apple in 1983. He also alienated some of his colleagues and employees with his demanding and erratic behavior. He was eventually ousted from Apple in 1985, after a boardroom coup.
He then founded NeXT, a computer company that focused on the education and research markets. He also invested in Pixar, an animation studio that was spun off from Lucasfilm. He became the CEO of Pixar and helped produce some of the most successful animated movies of all time, such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles.
In 1996, Apple acquired NeXT, and Jobs returned to Apple as an advisor. He soon became the interim CEO and then the permanent CEO of Apple. He led the company's turnaround and resurgence, with products such as the iMac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad, and iCloud. He also transformed Apple into a cultural icon and a global brand.
He battled pancreatic cancer since 2003. He underwent surgery, chemotherapy, and a liver transplant. He continued to work and innovate until his final days. He died on October 5, 2011, at the age of 56.
Why read this biography?
This biography is not only a fascinating account of Steve Jobs' life, but also a valuable source of lessons and insights about innovation, character, leadership, and values. It reveals the strengths and weaknesses of Jobs, as well as the successes and failures of his products. It shows how he connected creativity with technology, and how he built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.
This biography is also based on extensive research and interviews with Jobs himself and the people who knew him best. It is an honest and unbiased portrait of a man who changed the world with his vision and passion. It is a story that is instructive and cautionary, inspiring and sobering.
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The Life and Legacy of Steve Jobs
Childhood: Abandoned and Chosen
Steve Jobs was born to Joanne Schieble and Abdulfattah Jandali, two young graduate students who gave him up for adoption. His biological parents later married and had another child, Mona Simpson, who became a novelist.
Jobs was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, a working-class couple who lived in San Francisco. They named him Steven Paul Jobs. They later moved to Mountain View and then Los Altos, in the heart of Silicon Valley.
Jobs grew up feeling different from his peers. He was aware of his adoption since he was a child. He felt abandoned by his biological parents, but also chosen by his adoptive parents. He developed a sense of being special and destined for greatness.
He also had a restless and rebellious streak. He hated school and authority figures. He often got into trouble for pranks and mischief. He was bored by the conventional curriculum and preferred to learn things on his own.
He was influenced by his father's interest in mechanics and electronics. Paul Jobs taught him how to work with tools and machines in their garage. He also exposed him to cars, motorcycles, radios, televisions, and other gadgets.
He was also influenced by his mother's love for literature and art. Clara Jobs encouraged him to read books and magazines. She also enrolled him in calligraphy classes at Reed College, where he learned about typography and design.
Odd Couple: The Two Steves
The Dropout: Turn On, Tune In ...
Jobs graduated from high school in 1972 and enrolled in Reed College, a liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon. He was attracted by the intellectual atmosphere and the countercultural vibe of the campus. He also wanted to study physics, literature, and philosophy.
However, he soon dropped out of Reed after one semester. He felt that the college was too expensive and not worth it. He also wanted to explore other interests and experiences. He stayed on the campus as a drop-in for another year and a half. He audited classes that he liked, such as calligraphy, dance, and Shakespeare. He also experimented with drugs, such as LSD and marijuana. He said that taking LSD was "one of the two or three most important things" he ever did.
He also traveled to India with his friend Daniel Kottke in 1974. He was interested in Eastern spirituality and mysticism. He visited ashrams, temples, and holy sites. He met a guru named Neem Karoli Baba, who gave him the name "Ram Dass". He also shaved his head, wore Indian clothes, and adopted a vegetarian diet.
He returned to California in 1975 with a new perspective on life. He said that his trip to India "reinforced my sense of what was importantcreating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could."
Atari and India: Zen and the Art of Game Design
Jobs got a job at Atari, a video game company in Sunnyvale, California. He worked as a technician and a game designer. He was assigned to create a circuit board for the game Breakout, which was a variation of Pong. He enlisted the help of Wozniak, who was working at Hewlett-Packard at the time. Wozniak designed a board that used fewer chips than the original design. Jobs and Wozniak split the bonus that Atari paid them for their work.
Jobs also used his Atari salary to fund his trip to India with Kottke. He left Atari in 1974 and returned in 1975. He resumed his work at Atari and also joined the Homebrew Computer Club, a group of hobbyists and enthusiasts who met regularly to share ideas and information about personal computers.
He was influenced by the Zen philosophy and aesthetics that he learned from his calligraphy teacher at Reed College, Robert Palladino. He applied these principles to his game design and his approach to technology. He said that "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" and that "design is how it works".
The Apple I: Turn On, Boot Up, Jack In ...
Jobs and Wozniak decided to build their own computer in 1976. They were inspired by the Altair 8800, which was considered the first personal computer. They wanted to make a computer that was more user-friendly and affordable than the Altair.
They designed and assembled the Apple I in Jobs' parents' garage. It was a circuit board that could be connected to a keyboard and a monitor. It had 4 KB of memory and ran at 1 MHz. It used Wozniak's own version of BASIC as its programming language.
They showed their prototype at the Homebrew Computer Club and received positive feedback. They decided to sell their computer as a kit for $666.66. They named their company Apple Computer after Jobs' favorite fruit.
They found their first customer in Paul Terrell, who owned a computer store called The Byte Shop in Mountain View. Terrell ordered 50 units of the Apple I on the condition that they were fully assembled and tested. Jobs and Wozniak accepted the order and delivered the computers within 30 days.
The Apple II: Dawn of a New Age
The Apple II was the computer that launched Apple into the mainstream and established it as a leader in the personal computer industry. It was designed by Wozniak and Jobs, with input from other Apple employees and consultants.
The Apple II was a complete system that included a case, a keyboard, a power supply, a speaker, and a color display. It had 4 KB of memory (expandable to 48 KB) and ran at 1 MHz. It had eight expansion slots for adding peripherals and accessories. It also had a built-in cassette interface for loading and saving programs and data.
The Apple II was also the first personal computer to have a graphical user interface (GUI), thanks to the software developed by Bill Atkinson and Jef Raskin. The GUI allowed users to interact with the computer using icons, menus, windows, and a mouse. It also enabled the creation of applications such as VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet program, and Apple Writer, a word processor.
The Apple II was introduced in April 1977 at the West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco. It was priced at $1,298 for the basic model and $2,638 for the model with 48 KB of memory and a disk drive. It received rave reviews from the press and the public. It became an instant hit among hobbyists, educators, students, professionals, and businesses.
The Apple II sold more than five million units over its lifetime. It spawned several models and variants, such as the Apple II Plus, the Apple IIe, the Apple IIc, and the Apple IIGS. It also inspired many clones and competitors, such as the Commodore PET, the TRS-80, and the IBM PC.
Chrisann and Lisa: He Who Is Abandoned ...
Jobs had a complicated and tumultuous personal life. He had several romantic relationships with women, but none of them lasted long. He was often unfaithful, insensitive, and manipulative.
One of his girlfriends was Chrisann Brennan, whom he met at Homestead High School. They moved in together in 1977 and lived in a cabin near Cupertino. They had an on-and-off relationship for several years.
In 1978, Brennan became pregnant with Jobs' child. Jobs initially denied that he was the father and refused to support her. He claimed that he was sterile and that he had a low sperm count. He also accused Brennan of sleeping with other men.
Brennan gave birth to a baby girl on May 17, 1978. She named her Lisa Nicole Brennan. She filed a paternity suit against Jobs and asked for child support. Jobs continued to deny his paternity until a DNA test proved that he was indeed Lisa's father.
Jobs eventually agreed to pay $500 a month in child support. He also visited Lisa occasionally and bought her gifts. He later admitted that he named the Lisa computer after her.
Jobs developed a closer bond with Lisa as she grew older. He invited her to live with him when she was nine years old. He also paid for her education at Harvard University. He said that Lisa was "one of the best things that ever happened to me".
Xerox and Lisa: Graphical User Interfaces
In 1979, Jobs visited Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), a research facility that was developing cutting-edge technologies for Xerox Corporation. He saw a demonstration of the Alto computer, which had features such as a graphical user interface (GUI), a mouse, windows, icons, menus, and networking.
Jobs was amazed by what he saw. He realized that this was the future of computing. He said that it was "like a veil being lifted from my eyes". He decided to adopt these ideas for his own projects at Apple.
He assembled a team of engineers and designers to work on a new computer that would use a GUI as its main interface. The project was called Lisa, after his daughter.
The Lisa computer was launched in January 1983. It had a 5 MHz processor, 1 MB of memory, two floppy disk drives, a hard disk drive, a 12-inch monochrome display, and a mouse. It ran an operating system called Lisa OS, which had features such as multitasking, file management, document creation, printing, networking, and security. It also had applications such as LisaWrite, LisaCalc, LisaDraw, LisaGraph, LisaProject, and LisaList.
Going Public: A Man of Wealth and Fame
In 1980, Apple decided to go public and offer its shares to the public. Jobs and Wozniak agreed to sell some of their shares to raise money for the company and themselves. They also gave some shares to their early employees and investors.
The initial public offering (IPO) of Apple was a huge success. It was oversubscribed by more than 40 times. It raised $101 million for the company and made Apple the most valuable computer company in the world at the time. It also made Jobs and Wozniak multimillionaires overnight.
Jobs became a celebrity and a media darling. He was featured on the cover of Time magazine and other publications. He was interviewed by journalists and TV hosts. He was admired and envied by many people. He also became more confident and arrogant. He said that he wanted to "put a dent in the universe".
He also changed his lifestyle and his appearance. He bought a mansion in Woodside, California, and filled it with expensive furniture and art. He drove a Mercedes-Benz and a Porsche. He wore designer clothes and accessories. He dated famous women, such as Joan Baez, Diane Keaton, and Jennifer Egan.
He also became more involved in philanthropy and social causes. He donated money to various organizations and charities. He supported causes such as environmentalism, animal rights, vegetarianism, and education. He said that he wanted to "make the world a better place".
The Macintosh: The Insanely Great Computer
Jobs was not satisfied with the Lisa computer. He thought that it was too expensive, too slow, and too complicated. He wanted to create a computer that was cheaper, faster, and simpler. He wanted to create a computer for the masses.
He found his inspiration in another project at Apple: the Macintosh. The Macintosh was a computer that was being developed by a small team of engineers led by Jef Raskin. Raskin had a vision of a computer that was easy to use, affordable, and elegant.
Jobs took over the Macintosh project in 1981. He recruited some of the best talent from Apple and elsewhere to join his team. He also moved his team to a separate building on the Apple campus, where he hung a pirate flag with the slogan "It's better to be a pirate than join the navy".
He infused his team with his passion, vision, and charisma. He also imposed his high standards, demands, and expectations. He pushed his team to work hard, fast, and creatively. He also challenged them to think differently and defy the status quo.
The Macintosh computer was launched in January 1984. It had an 8 MHz processor, 128 KB of memory (expandable to 512 KB), one floppy disk drive, a 9-inch black-and-white display, and a mouse. It ran an operating system called Mac OS, which had features such as windows, icons, menus, folders, trash can, clipboard, fonts, sounds, and speech synthesis. It also had applications such as MacWrite, MacPaint, MacDraw, MacProject, and MacTerminal.
The Macintosh computer was marketed as "the computer for the rest of us" and "insanely great". It was introduced with a famous TV commercial directed by Ridley Scott during the Super Bowl XVIII. The commercial depicted a dystopian society controlled by Big Brother (a reference to IBM) and a female athlete (a reference to Apple) who threw a sledgehammer at a giant screen (a reference to breaking free from conformity).
The Reality Distortion Field: Playing by His Own Set of Rules
Jobs had a unique and powerful personality. He had a charisma and a vision that could inspire and motivate people. He also had a passion and a perfectionism that could drive people to achieve great things. He said that he wanted to "make a dent in the universe".
However, he also had a dark side. He could be rude, arrogant, manipulative, and cruel. He often lied, cheated, betrayed, and humiliated people. He said that he played by his own set of rules.
He had a phenomenon that was called the "reality distortion field". It was a term coined by Bud Tribble, one of the original Macintosh engineers. It described Jobs' ability to convince himself and others of almost anything, even if it was contrary to the facts or the logic. He used his charm, charisma, intensity, and persistence to bend reality to his will.
The reality distortion field had positive and negative effects. On the positive side, it enabled Jobs and his team to achieve the impossible and create amazing products. It also helped Jobs overcome obstacles and challenges that would have stopped others. On the negative side, it caused Jobs and his team to suffer from stress, burnout, and frustration. It also led Jobs to make unrealistic promises and expectations that often disappointed his customers and partners.
The Design: Real Artists Simplify
Jobs had a keen sense of design and aesthetics. He believed that design was not just how something looked, but how it worked. He said that "design is how it works".
He was influenced by the minimalist and elegant style of the Bauhaus movement, which was a German school of art and architecture that emphasized form follows function. He was also influenced by the Zen philosophy and aesthetics that he learned from his calligrap