Welcome to the 4th part of the Blog Series “I love you Steve”
In 2004, Steve Jobs called Isaac only to ask him to write a biography on himself. Walter Isaacson thought this is quite absurd for a person who is right now in the middle of his oscillating career and suggested Jobs that he would take up this project once he is retired from Apple.
After a few months Steve attended the book signing function of Einstein’s Biography at Palo Alto and this time he once again took Walter Isaacson to a side and pursued him to start writing his autobiography again. Then one day in the year 2009, Steve’s wife Laurene Powell said Walter Isaacson very bluntly that
“If you’re ever going to do a book on Steve, you’d better do it now.”
Walter Isaacson was pretty surprised about why even Laurene is persuading about this biography thing. He then came to know from Laurene that he had already taken 2nd medical leave and that was how he got to know about Steve’s Cancer. Laurene replied
“Almost nobody knew ….He had called me right before he was going to be operated on for cancer, and he was still keeping it a secret”
At this point of time Walter Isaacson thought that he would take up this project as soon as possible.
Regarding the book Steve said at the very beginning that he would have no control over the content of the book and he would not see it in advance. He gave Walter Isaacson the full freedom to write and express everything about Steve in the Autobiography. Walter Isaacson recalls ….he said
“It’s your book…I won’t even read it”
After this both of them got busy in their own work lives when one day Walter Isaacson got a call from Steve Jobs. He was calling from his Palo Alto home and was with his only sister Mona Simpson. His wife and children had gone out for skiing trip and he too wanted to go with them but the illness resisted him from going with them. He started telling Walter Isaacson about his first venture of creating a frequency counter when he was just 12 year old. He also told that he had directly contacted Bill Hewlett, the founder of HP from the phone book asking for parts.
Steve later revealed that he liked humanities as a kid but liked Electronics. He also said that he wanted to be an intersection of humanities and sciences and decided that’s what he wanted to become.
Steve encouraged Walter Isaacson to talk to all those people whom he fired, abused, abandoned, his foes and also his former girlfriends. He never drew any lines/ limitations on the content that would be published. He confessed boldly
“I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, such as getting my girlfriend pregnant when I was twenty-three and the way I handled that. But I don’t have any skeletons in my closet that can’t be allowed out.”
It took almost 2 years for Walter Isaacson to interview forty plus people and pen down all those intricate details of this mighty personality. During this journey Laurene Powell said
“There are parts of his life and personality that are extremely messy, and that’s the truth, you shouldn’t whitewash it. He’s good at spin, but he also has a remarkable story, and I’d like to see that it’s all told truthfully.”
This book is all about the Creative Entrepreneur who revolutionized 6 industries at once and made Apple one of the most Valuable Companies in the world – A company that he started in his Parent’s garage.
In short this blog series is for those people who want to know how Steve turned Silicon into Gold right from Ground Zero. In the following posts I shall keep posting about excerpts from his autobiography.
Constructive Comments are most welcome…
Thanks for reading this post.
Lots of love,