This Monday, the first authorized biography of Steve Jobs will hit bookstores. The book is easily one of the most anticipated titles of the year. Based on over 40 in-depth interviews with Jobs and over 100 interviews with former girlfriends, colleagues, and rivals of the Apple co-founder, the book is touted as a no-holds barred look into the life and mind of one of history’s great visionaries.
Jobs, of course, was a polarizing figure. It’s cliche to say, but it’s true: you could love or hate Jobs, but you couldn’t ignore him – much like the historic figures in Apple’s now iconic “Crazy Ones” Think Different advertisement. In writing the book, Jobs told Isaacson that nothing was off limits and encouraged everyone – even people he had infuriated in the past – to speak openly and candidly about him.
With the book just days away, excerpts continue to leak out and if these snippets are any indication, this book will be impossible to put down.
For example, the Huffington Post obtained a pre-release copy of the book and relay the story of how Jobs, in 2010, refused to meet with President Obama unless Obama himself personally asked Jobs for a meeting. Even though Jobs was told that Obama was “psyched” to meet him, Jobs refused to budge without a personal invite. Jobs’ stubbornness eventually dissipated after a few days, but what happened upon their meeting is truly fascinating.
Jobs, being blunt as he was known to be, was quick to tell Obama “You’re headed for a one-term presidency.” Jobs, who was by all accounts socially liberal, nonetheless believed that the Obama administration wasn’t business friendly and he was pretty angry about it.
As an example, Jobs described the ease with which companies can build factories in China compared to the United States, where “regulations and unnecessary costs” make it difficult for them.
Jobs also criticized America’s education system, saying it was “crippled by union work rules,” noted Isaacson. “Until the teachers’ unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform.” Jobs proposed allowing principals to hire and fire teachers based on merit, that schools stay open until 6 p.m. and that they be open 11 months a year.
But wait, there’s more.
In February 2011, you might remember that Obama set down for a tech-oriented dinner with a who’s who of guests. Steve Jobs was there, along with Mark Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt, Larry Ellison and a host of other tech heavyweights.
Now the impetus for the dinner purportedly came at the behest of Jobs who wanted Obama to meet with 7 top CEOs so that they could explain to him what innovative businesses in the US need to thrive. Thinking it was a good idea, plans for the dinner were put into motion.
But when White House aides added more names to the list, Jobs insisted that it was growing too big and that “he had no intention of coming.” In preparation for the dinner, Jobs exhibited his notorious attention to detail, telling venture capitalist John Doerr that the menu of shrimp, cod and lentil salad was “far too fancy” and objecting to a chocolate truffle dessert. But he was overruled by the White House, which cited the president’s fondness for cream pie.
Still, Jobs explains in his biography that he and Obama talked a few more times over the next few months and even offered to help create some advertisements for Obama’s 2012 Presidential campaign.
“He had made the same offer in 2008, but he’d become annoyed when Obama’s strategist David Axelrod wasn’t totally deferential,” writes Isaacson. Jobs later told the author that he wanted to do for Obama what the legendary “morning in America” ads did for Ronald Reagan.
On a somewhat offbeat note, President Obama recently revealed that Steve Jobs gave him an iPad 2 “a little bit early.”
Again, the book drops this coming Monday and at over 600 some pages, is bound to be a fascinating read.
via Huffington Post