There's no lack of books on Apple cofounder and CEO Steve Jobs, but an official biography may get a little closer to the whole truth. Jobs is reportedly working with former Time magazine Managing Editor Walter Isaacson to develop an authorized biographical account of his life.
The New York Times reported the book will chronicle Jobs' life, including the dark days when Apple sent him packing through his remarkable comeback as a consumer electronics visionary. It's not clear how much of Jobs' personal health challenges the book may reveal as part of the unfolding drama that is the Silicon Valley tech guru's life.
"If there was ever a guy who has been reminded of his mortality, it is Jobs. Most of the unofficial biographies focus on his less-desirable attributes and he likely wants a biography that tells the story he wants told," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. "I wonder if he will revisit his distinct dislike for philanthropic acts, as folks thinking about their mortality and legacy often feel that philanthropic efforts later in life will correct mistakes made earlier."
The Many Books of Jobs
There are more than a few books with Jobs' name in the title. There's The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How To Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. There's Return to the Little Kingdom: How Apple and Steve Jobs Changed the World. There's also Inside Steve's Brain and Steve Jobs: The Brilliant Mind Behind Apple -- and all of those have hit store shelves in the last few months.
Older titles seeking to give readers a glimpse into the life of this charismatic tech character include iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business, The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, and Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs. In fact, if you search Amazon's book department, you'll come up with dozens of titles.
What makes the new project different is that it marks the first time Jobs has agreed to help with a biography. The soon-to-be-55 Jobs reportedly invited Isaacson to tour his childhood home to help him tell a broader story. The Times reports the book is still in its early planning stages.
Can Jobs Trust Isaacson?
Isaacson is no stranger to penning the biographies of the rich and famous, though this could be the first popular book on a living subject. Isaacson also wrote two best-selling biographies on great men, including Einstein: His Life and Universe and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.
In the past, Jobs hasn't always agreed with what was written about him in accounts of his life. In fact, some of the books that carry his name have angered him. Perhaps these works gave Jobs the motivation to collaborate with Isaacson on an authorized biography.
There is no word on when the biography might be released, nor has Apple confirmed the biography reports.
Image credit: Screenshot from 2010 video by Apple / Artist's concept.
Posted: 2010-02-17 @ 2:47pm PT
Yes, it would be nice if Steve Jobs were to "revisit his distinct dislike for philanthropic acts," as Rob Enderle speculates he might. Bill Gates has made amazing contributions with the wealth he has amassed through Microsoft. Steve Jobs? Can't even begin to compare in that regard.