Global mourning and remembrance of Apple's co-founder and long-time CEO continues days after Steve Jobs died at the age of 56, and most have been quick to highlight the genius, innovation and complexity -- if not difficulty -- that Jobs thrust upon the world. A detailed book about his life that Jobs co-operated with is due out in two weeks, and already it has climbed to number one at both Amazon's and Barnes & Noble's online stores through pre-sales.
The book, Steve Jobs, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former Time magazine managing editor Walter Isaacson portrays Jobs as a man driven by demons, according to publisher Simon & Schuster. The characterization fits with others from notable sources regarding Jobs, such as one by Time writer Harry McCracken, who wrote an article titled Steve Jobs: Remembering the Dissatisfied Man.
He was famously dissatisfied -- with products under development, with the people who reported to him, with Apple's competitors and partners, with the way the technology industry worked, with life in general, wrote McCracken, about Jobs.
Yet the same ones sharing the most revealing, if not striking, characteristics of Jobs have been quick to hail the Apple co-founder and former CEO as one of the world's greatest visionaries and innovators ever.
McCracken said, for instance, it's the durability and consistency of [Jobs'] vision that is astonishing.
That is perhaps why so many around the world were so moved in remembering the man when Steve Jobs died on Wednesday after a long battle with illness. Jobs had undergone surgery for pancreatic cancer and also had a liver transplant in recent years, though he closely guarded details of his illness publicly.
He was reportedly memorialized in a private funeral ceremony on Friday, yet days later he and his accomplishments remain among the hottest topics globally on the Internet. Meanwhile, pre-sales of Apple's forthcoming new iPhone 4S got off to a sizzling, record-pace start on Friday. The man who brought the world the Mac computer, the iPhone, iTunes, the iPod, the iPad and more, had recently retired as Apple's CEO, turning the job over to Tim Cook. There's little doubt, however, that Jobs' passing helped spark sales of Apple's new iPhone.
Jobs' death also pushed sales of Isaacson's biography, which isn't even out yet, to number one on bestseller lists at Amazon.com and bn.com. Published by Simon & Schuster, the 656-page work details Jobs as driven by demons.
Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years -- as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors and colleagues -- Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing and digital publishing.
Jobs, who kept himself away from biographers and other journalists who wanted to get close over the years, granted access to Isaacson in the last weeks of his life, saying I wanted my kids to know me.
Isaacson is a former managing editor of Time magazine who has written bestselling books on Einstein and Benjamin Franklin. The book was originally slated for a late-November release but Simon & Schuster, upon Jobs' death, is rushing the book to print. On Sunday, Steve Jobs was ranked number one among all books in the Amazon Best Sellers Rank. Amazon is selling the $35 retail hardcover book for $17.88.
Steve Jobs was number one in Amazon's Kindle store due to massive pre-orders. That ebook sells for $16.99. Also, Steve Jobs was number one on Friday at Barnes & Noble's bn.com, selling at the same discounted prices as Amazon for hardcover and ebooks.
The publisher describes Jobs as Driven by demons, saying he could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple's hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership and values.
Jobs co-operated with the book, said Simon & Schuster, but he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against.
Isaacson will give readers insight into his time with Jobs in an October 17 piece Time magazine will publish. In it, Isaacson recalls finding Jobs curled up in pain in a downstairs bedroom at his home in Palo Alto, California. Jobs told Isaacson he was too weak to climb the stairs to his old room, but Isaacson says Jobs' mind was still sharp and his humour vibrant.
In one of the first reviews of the book, Barnes & Noble writes that the book presents the enigmatic, sometimes-temperamental genius more closely than we have ever seen him before. Yet this biography never loses sight of Steve Jobs' impact on a world he helped remake.