The world just doesn't seem to get enough of different accounts of Steve Jobs' life and personality. Just a week after Alex Gibney's unforgiving portrait of Apple's co-founder premiered in Texas, a new book is being published to shed a different light on the #iPhone creator.
It's called "Becoming Steve Jobs - The evolution of a reckless upstart into a visionary leader" and it is being published in English on March 24th by Random House, a part of Crown Publishing Group. It was written by journalist Brent Schlender and Fast Company executive editor Rick Tetzeli and reveals a number of untold stories about Steve Jobs - some of which were recovered from Schlender's tapes with dozens of interviews through the years. The journalist first started interviewing Jobs in 1985 and did so for the next 25 years, for Fortune and the Wall Street Journal, becoming increasingly close to the entrepreneur.
This book is written in the first person by Schlender himself. It aims to destroy some of the myths that have been created around Jobs and is understood by #Apple and Jobs' closest friends as an honest depiction of his true self - maybe the first one, they say, and the most accurate one.
According to the New York Times, it took the authors 18 months to convince Apple's execs to give them interviews and participate in the book. An Apple spokesperson stated they changed their minds about it because they wanted to share a bit of the Steve they knew. And that was not the Steve portrayed in his only authorised biography, "Steve Jobs", written by Walter Isaacson and published a few weeks after he died, in October 2011.
"I thought the [Walter] Isaacson book did him a tremendous disservice," Apple CEO Tim Cook says in the book, as showed in an excerpt published by Fast Company. "It was just a rehash of a bunch of stuff that had already been written, and focused on small parts of his personality," he goes on, saying that it portrayed someone he would never want to work with for so long; Cook worked with Jobs for 13 years and became CEO in August 2011, shortly before the co-founder died.
Isaacson's biography, that Jobs never tried to edit and was written after dozens of interviews with him in his last year of life, is the basis of a new movie being filmed by Universal. But it is not the legacy Apple considers right, although it's also not as damaging as Alex Gibney's documentary, "Man in the Machine."
Eddy Cue, Apple's software head, took it to Twitter to criticise "Man in the Machine", which blatantly bashes Jobs as a selfish maniac. "An inaccurate and mean-spirited view of my friend. It's not a reflection of the Steve I knew," he tweeted. Minutes later, he praised Schlender and Tetzeli's new book, saying it is his best portrayal and the "first to get it right."
A lot of praise for this book has been coming from people who worked with Steve or had close relationships with him. It also features, according to Daring Fireball's John Gruber, some new and sensational stories. Disney Animation and Pixar president Ed Catmull, who worked with Jobs for 25 years, called it "fantastic" and said it captures how the man evolved. That's the whole point: showing that the young and reckless Steve Jobs matured into a visionary leader who changed everyone's life. "I hope that it will be recognised as the definitive history,", Catmull stated. So does Apple.