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Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  17,186 ratings  ·  828 reviews
#1 New York Times Bestseller There have been many books—on a large and small scale—about Steve Jobs, one of the most famous CEOs in history. But this book is different from all the others.

Becoming Steve Jobs takes on and breaks down the existing myth and stereotypes about Steve Jobs. The conventional, one-dimensional view of Jobs is that he was half-genius, half-jerk from
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published March 24th 2015 by Crown Business
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Elyse  Walters
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this audiobook!
"Becoming Steve Jobs", by Brent Schlender, is not to be confused with the biography by Walter Isaacson

I found this audiobook 'more' satisfying than all other books and movies I've seen.
It feels more balanced ---I learned more about his personal life - things that were missing in other Books and movies--and I felt I had a greater understanding of who he was as a human being: the good and the bad. The last half of the book we see a real major shift in Steve. He transformed hi
There has been a lot of press about this book on Steve Jobs. Most recently, the senior management at Apple made a point in emphasizing their support of the Schlender and Tetzeli book as superior to the Walter Isaacson authorized biography that was published shortly after Jobs died. The claim is that the Isaacson book overemphasized the negatives of Jobs' personality to the point where people who worked with him did not see how they could have worked with him had the portrait painted of him by Is ...more
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's quite a bit of press about this book setting the record straight vis a vis Walter Isaacson's authorized biography, but I don't really like all that fuss. Let's leave negative talk about Walter Isaacson's book out of it.

This book is really good. I'm inspired by Steve Job's restlessness and insatiable quest for building insanely great products. His focus and passion just gives me a bit more energy to work harder to try to make a difference. It's the same inspiration I got from reading Zen
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Epic. Inspirational. Mind blowing. The story of a reckless idiot transforming into a visionary leader. Becoming Steve Jobs tells the story of Steve Jobs from the perspective of a close friend. It's a story of finding hope after getting fired from his own company. A story of restoring personal relationships. A story of decisions. A story of facing death. A story of of transformation. In this book, Brent Schlender reveals the true personality of Steve Jobs. ...more
Mar 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I devoured this book in two days after I found it one and a half weeks early (before its on sale date) at my local book store! It was a very unique read. It covered a timeline of Steve Job's professional career, much like his autobiography did, but the interviews with those who were closest to him show a different perspective on those moments than what's highly publicized in the media. I really enjoyed seeing this side of him and marvelling again at the true genius he really was. It's a crazy lo ...more
Michael Perkins
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've covered the Silicon Valley beat for years as a journalist and an author. This is THE best Steve Jobs biography. I realize that Jobs himself tapped Isaacson to write the big, fat, white book, but this author is far better qualified given his background. One simple example of his influence: he was able to, long before it ever happened onstage, to bring Steve Jobs and Bill Gates together, at Jobs' house, then in Woodside, CA, to do a private interview with them. I can't say I know any other jo ...more
Kyla Chen
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's been a lot of hoopla about this biography in the press, and I must say I agree with most of it.
I was working on an assignment project on the history of computing, so I did quiet an intense study about Apple and Steve Jobs.
It is far superior to Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs and in my opinion second only to the much lesser known and kinda obscure Steve Jobs Bio: The Unauthorized Autobiography.
That said, I did find the description of the early part of his tenure a bit negative, or to quote A
Abilash Amarasekaran
The author explains the part of Steve that is not known to the public , most of it is not known well to the author himself. He is one of the few reporters who were close to him and cause of this it allowed him to understand Steve as a person rather than the tech genius the world sees him to be.

It is not a book on how to be Steve Jobs, it is foolish to think that you can become Steve Jobs just by reading the book. What made Steve his is ability and desire to bring new technology to the people. I
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A way more nuanced version of Steve Jobs' story than Isaacson's account, offering a glimpse into a more human and vulnerable side of the often misunderstood Jobs.

I don't believe in worshipping people. When you meet them, they are normal people like you and me. However, it's impossible to deny Steve Jobs was truly an inspiring person that helped change things for the better. He did so by becoming insanely good at something through finding and pursuing what he really loved. Ordinary people can ach
Sarthak Pranit
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To give it to you in one line - its the better biography of the icon.

I truly believe that there were greater visionaries than Steve Jobs. But, the person called Steve Jobs is far more interesting that the visionary we all knew, or atleast thought that we knew.

It's a decently engaging book, but its the experiences and interviews narrated in this book that set it apart. It's the transition of the man from the incorrigible punk to the hardcore follower of essentialism that sticks with you after you
Ken Liu
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely book.

As many others have noted, the Isaacson biography suffers from a lack of understanding about the technology business and what is interesting about Steve Jobs. This one is not very interested in the "gossipy" bits about the life of Jobs and far more focused on how Jobs learned to become an effective leader after being fired from Apple so that he could have his second act.

Jobs was someone who gradually learned how to make the most of his strengths while tempering his weaknesses -- he
Matt Beckwith
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Steve Jobs selected someone else to write his autobiography. I read that one, too. And I enjoyed it. But I kept thinking it was the iconic leader's attempt to control his story. When the company he founded endorsed it I thought that made it the true and complete story.

Then I caught wind of this book and that many people closest to Jobs felt the previous book didn't do him justice. So, I started this one. And devoured it.

Becoming Steve Jobs was wonderful! It was a very different look at Steve Job
Apparently the authors wanted to let the world know that Steve Jobs had a warm side and had evolved as a leader over the years. All I know is that although the Jobs story is compelling, his personal and professional faults are well documented here and I tired of the "Steve could be a jerk BUT" tone throughout the book. The title could have been "Apologizing for Steve Jobs." ...more
Mal Warwick
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This book follows by four years Walter Isaacson’s authorized, best-selling biography, Steve Jobs, which was released just months after Jobs’ death in 2011. Three principal facts highlight the differences between the two books:

First, the authors of Becoming Steve Jobs are journalists who covered the Apple co-founder from 1986 through his death in 2011, while Isaacson, though unquestionably a masterful biographer, was named as authorized biographer only in 2009.

Second, though I have no way of know
John Young
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: startups
It is beyond doubt that Steve Jobs has revolutionized the personal computing industry with a keen sense of beauty and purity. His work is a manifestation of what he believes in—a design philosophy he devoted to sharing with the world. While conventional norm tells us that Jobs, as much as he was genius, was also an asshole, this perspective results in a lack of comprehension. For if we place Steve on either end, we forget that he is human. Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli’s ‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ ...more
Jeff Williams
I prefer the Walter Isaacson biography of Jobs. Becoming Steve Jobs is a history of the computer industry from the Apple I to the PC to the iPhone and a biography of Jobs combined (you may or may not like that) and paints a slightly warmer picture of Jobs in a few respects, but he was what he was, and the impression of Jobs from both books is very similar. This books has more of a 'business book' kind of feel to it....and I generally hate business books, but this is generally entertaining and wo ...more
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You'll start reading it to learn about Jobs and finish having learned something about yourself! ...more
Mico Go
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
To speak of Steve Jobs would bring to mind unmistakably glaring features of the ever mercurial and austere individual — the cold-blooded businessman who established an empire that forever changed technology. It isn’t all too farfetched to conjure up images of a stern and detached individual. Yet, after reading Brent’s novel, the aforementioned descriptions pales in comparison to who Steve Jobs really was, and how he came to be.

Jobs was unquestionably cut from a different cloth, and Brent does we
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
There’s an anecdote at the beginning of this book that causally mentions when Steve Jobs was 24, Apple was selling 3000 computers a month. I’m 25. This made me feel extremely old and mostly useless, but if you’re comparing yourself to Jobs at nearly any point in his life this feels inevitable.

Schlender and Tetzeli skip over a lot of the early days of Apple, painting it in quick brush strokes that still sufficiently illustrates the first ten years of Apple and Jobs’ involvement. They implicitly a
David Dietrich
An alternate, more accurate title would be "Becoming Steve Jobs: Maturing the Way Any Human Should". There was a lot of backlash when the Isaacson book (the 'official' biography, it should be noted) was published a few years ago. People who knew Jobs said the book didn't portray his softer, human side. Tim Cook, Apple's current CEO, is quoted in Becoming Steve Jobs as saying he wouldn't have worked as long as he did for the man portrayed in Isaacson's book. Powerful words until you reflect upon ...more
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There's perhaps too much to be said about this new biography and at the same time, too little and maybe not enough to grasp the kind of complexities you can find on a book as this.

It's true: there seems to be a thesis at hand, and probably some arrangements to make it through. And still, there's a compelling argument to be made of how the authors intentions aside, you still find a complex read of emotions and motivations. It's hard to read between lines and hard to find understanding in actions
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Becoming Steve Jobs - If one has to know the evolution of Personal Computers how software industry has reached its height, then I think they should read Steve's biography! One person who changed this world by foreseeing the future, as everyone says he is a visionary, great leader and who has eyes for great design. I really admire the way Steve makes the deal, be it the initial deal with Microsoft to provide Office support to Mac's, so that he would put down the case on the patents against Micros ...more
May 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book to read. Reading about the leaders is always inspiring. Steve Jobs - who changed the business world, who transformed the lives of people, visionary leader. Story of Steve Jobs is more likely a growth story than a success story. The way he faced challenges and failures and learnt from them is fascinating. Though he was described as arrogant and micromanaged, the changes he admitted after returned back to Apple, changed the future of Apple. I was wondered to know that iPhone was the firs ...more
Pat Rolston
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read, Jobs by Walter Isaacson and also having had a career that put me in the middle of Silicon Valley on a regular basis for business connected with the companies involved in the production of microprocessors I am very impressed by the authors work. Schlender captures the humanity of Steve Jobs taking the reader past the more superficial characterization that Isaacson portrays. He was a close associate by means of journalism and friend of Steve Jobs who had the opportunity to be part of ...more
David Shepherd
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being a long time Apple fanatic, I thought I knew most everything about Steve Jobs after reading Walter Isaacson's biography. I didn't! Becoming Steve Jobs brought so many insights into Steve as a flawed, but great leader and thinker. I recommend this book to anyone that is interested in knowing more about Steve Jobs, Apple, Pixar, creativity, or innovation. ...more
Linda Lipko
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The third book I've read about Steve Jobs, the billionaire, reckless, nasty, sociopath technology guru, this one went more in depth about the personality of Jobs and his two-layered persona.

While most of the story of a man who left his first child behind, allowing her to live homeless and with a mother who tried, but just could not get her act together, this book was more in depth regarding the history behind the man.

Interestingly, the Pixar/Disney movie of The Toy Story, would not have been as
Not nearly as good as Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs. This book spends a lot of time describing Jobs's personality development and motivations, when simply telling stories would do the job just as effectively, as Isaacson does. It's the classic "show, don't tell". Isaacson has a certain grace and efficacy that Schlender is missing. This book did add a layer of understanding to Isaacson's book, and I did learn a few details I didn't know, but it wasn't worth an additional 420 pages on top of Isaacs ...more
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I loved this book. It’s not generally in my wheelhouse of genres that I read but it’s part of my read harder challenge from last year. This book took me about 6 weeks to get through. Partly because its an audio book and I only listen to those on my commute to work and partly because I had to take A LOT of breaks. It was very monotone and linear, not really what I’m used to.

However, the reporting on his life and all the interviews that were quoted were awes
Nick Rolston
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This glimpse into the mind of Steve Jobs starts with his deeply spiritual side and discusses his failure-laden journey to ultimately transform Apple into the most innovative American country of its time, and I found the book and his life ever more captivating as it unfolded.
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a gift from someone who knows that I drank the Apple Kool-aid at a very early stage in the history of personal computing. Otherwise I probably would not have felt I needed to read yet another account of the life of Apple genius Steve Jobs. (I had already read Steve Jobs, the authorized Walter Isaacson biography.) I don’t feel that it is even necessary to choose one book over the other, and I have no wish to get into that scuffle.

However, it is certainly a measure of the public fasc
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Brent Schlender, 60 years old, is a writer, editor, and author, best known for his award-winning magazine profiles of prominent entrepreneurs and business leaders of the Digital Revolution. In 2010, SVForum, the largest and oldest industry organization in Silicon Valley, awarded Schlender its Visionary Award for personifying the spirit innovation and entrepreneurship with his journalism. And in Ma ...more

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