Recently, I read the second biography of Steve Jobs, namely ‘Becoming Steve Jobs’. While I had read the first biography ‘Steve Jobs’ written by Walter Issacson, my interest in the second one was piqued by the statements that put the first biography in bad light. Many people stated that the first biography presented Steve in bad light and much of the nastiness associated with Steve was not the truth and Steve was a gentler person in reality.
Having read both, there definitely is a difference in the way Steve’s life and achievements are presented in both books. The second book definitely presents a more humane side of Steve.
Some of the things not covered by the second biography, but are covered by the first biography are
- Details of Steve’s visit to India
- Steve asking people is they had dropped acid during their college days
- No mention of the way in which he convinced Corning to put faith in the Gorilla Glass product and deliver it according to Steve’s timeline
- Shortchanging the stock options for many colleagues that made Apple I happen
- No mention of the word ‘reality distortion field’
- No mention of ‘thermo-nuclear war with Android’
- No mention of the hectic travel that Steve put in commuting between Pixar and NeXT
What the second book mentions, which is not covered by the first book
- Tim Cook offering a part of his liver to Steve, given that both have some rare blood type
- Some of the aspects of the Disney-Pixar merger
The second biography presents a more humane version of Steve Jobs. Both books are worth reading as they give us a better picture of Steve Jobs and also tellingly cover how the perspectives of people can be shaped by the words they read and how people develop opinions based on the written word, even when they have never experienced in person, the thing being written about.
Interestingly, another book, namely Creativity Inc. is also an interesting read. Though it is a business book written by Ed Catmull of Pixar, it contains a lot of information about Steve’s involvement in Pixar.