Steven Levy, on the differences between the two attempts we’ve seen at writing a faithful, fair biography of Steve Jobs:
[F]or this book, Apple was rolling out the red carpet for Schlender. In their new tome, Schlender and co-author Rick Tetzeli capture the thoughts of the people closest to Jobs in rare interviews seemingly granted to get the record straight. The subjects include Ive, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple’s former head of communications Katie Cotton, Pixar CEO Ed Catmull, and Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs. Others who were otherwise uninclined to cooperate did so at the urging of some of the aforementioned insiders. The implicit message seems to be that although almost all of those people participated in the official biography, they very much feel that the Steve Jobs they knew has still not been captured. Catmull’s authorized quote about the new book is telling: “I hope it will be recognized as the definitive history.”
Becoming Steve Jobs is the anti-Walter.
“Squandered opportunity” were some of the most frequent words used to describe Walter Isaacson’s official biography, Steve Jobs. At the time, the many of us who were hoping to get a better look at the real Steve Jobs — the actual human being behind the myth — feared this opportunity may have been lost forever. Luckily, it appears as though Becoming Steve Jobs is just the book we always hoped we’d get.