Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • I think as far as a biography goes, it's a masterpiece.

  • It's quite a fascinating life that Steve Jobs packed into his 58 years.

  • Steve Jobs was a perfectionist and he was a visionary but he was not in the game to

  • win popularity contests.

  • STEVEN JOHNSON: I remember thinking the day that Jobs' died, it was like well thank God

  • we have this book coming out. And I'll be able to just go and kind of immerse myself

  • in the story of his life and that'll...that'll be this weird way of kind of saying goodbye

  • to him.

  • GUY WINCH: When somebody is such a phenomenon, when somebody has such an impact on the world,

  • you're really interested in well how did that come to be? It's like an origin story in a

  • comic book.

  • JENNIFER STOCKMAN: I learned a lot about him that I don't think was ever known before.

  • I think a lot of people were really surprised by Isaacson's book.

  • LEANDER KAHNEY: The book for me was definitely a lesson of the price you have to pay to have..to

  • have a life that's this impactful.

  • STEVE KROFT: It's a warts and all sort of profile. He was a real individualist who lived

  • his life a certain way and um...a lot of people didn't like him. A lot of people didn't like

  • him.

  • DOUG MENUEZ: Steve had that kind of street hustler's ability to read someone's vulnerabilties

  • like that [FINGER SNAP]. He could look at you and know what you were afraid of which

  • is why I was personally terrified of Steve.

  • WALTER ISAACSON: Steve called me in 2004 and I'd done a biography of Ben Franklin and was

  • about to publish one on Einstein and he said, "Why not do me next?" I didn't realize he

  • was sick and I didn't really turn him down I just said, "Yeah, let's do it. But let's

  • wait 20 or 30 years till you retire." And then his wife said to me and other people

  • said to me, "Hey if you're going to do Steve, you gotta do him now."

  • STEVE KROFT: I hadn't done a lot of reading about Steve Jobs. I knew he was the guy behind

  • Apple. I really didn't know much about his story at all. So I found the book really engrossing.

  • DOUG MENUEZ: I spent 4 years documenting Steve originally for life magazine. So the book

  • for me was a way to reexamine my own relationship with Steve and what happened back then.

  • LEANDER KAHNEY: The material is beautifully laid out and very well written. Isaacson's

  • a great writer.

  • STEVEN JOHNSON: It's not a book that has a grand theory about Jobs. It really just focuses

  • on the incredibly interesting details on his life.

  • GUY WINCH: It's extremely surprising that this book was written cause Jobs was a control

  • freak and wants everything to go through him. And then, suddenly, he's allowing Isaacson

  • this incredible access to everyone around him.

  • WALTER ISAACSON:Steve said he wanted an honest book. He said, "I've always been honest to

  • people. When they do things bad I tell them it's bad. I want you to write an honest book."

  • STEVE KROFT: If I had to take a guess, I don't think there was any question Walter forgot

  • to ask him and this dialogue continued up until the time that Steve was too sick to

  • talk. So, it was all there."

  • JENNIFER STOCKMAN: I started my career at IBM in 1976 and Steve Jobs started in the

  • garage in 1976. At IBM we were very fascinated by what he was doing and kind of put our nose,

  • you know, up. We thought he's some hippie working in the garage and IBM really has nothing

  • to worry about.

  • STEVEN JOHNSON: Before Apple came along the computer was just this big monolithic mainframe

  • inhuman kind of machine and everything that Apple did or all they're great successes have

  • this incredibly human playful kind of quality.

  • DOUG MENUEZ: Steve's all about this sort of Zen approach to simplicity and winnowing away

  • what doesn't work to get to the beauty and the perfection.

  • JENNIFER STOCKMAN: I mean he really had a vision of the way technology should look.

  • You know, he just made a really sexy box.

  • STEVEN JOHNSON: He was a strange dude and he did not lead a conventional life.

  • JENNIFER STOCKMAN: Sometimes genius has to come from some distortion of how you see the

  • world. I mean he did create his own reality.

  • DOUG MENUEZ: For Steve to be a taste maker, I think he had to be incredibly opinionated

  • and judgemental and he gave his own inner opinions and judgments a higher weight. [Laughs]

  • WALTER ISAACSON: I very rarely saw the angry side of him, but once when he saw the proposed

  • cover for the book I got off the plane and there were like 7 missed phone calls from

  • Steve Jobs. You know, he started yelling at me about how ugly the cover was and he said,

  • "I'm only gonna keep cooperating if you let me have some say over the cover."

  • STEVEN JOHNSON: Jobs is someone I've kind of always admired so I was kind of inclined

  • to see all these good things but man, you read some of these stories and he just was..you

  • know he's...he was just kind of crazier than I had really grasped until I read the book.

  • LEANDER KAHNEY: I found that really hard to read about. It was a catalogue of bad behavior

  • really. You know, yelled at this person, screamed at that person, throw a tantrum about this,

  • throw a tantrum about that.

  • JENNIFER STOCKMAN: He was tone deaf in so many ways. It's like he wouldn't let any sleeping

  • dog lie.

  • GUY WINCH: When he came down with pancreatic cancer, it was the same blind spot operating.

  • "I think I know what's best and noone will convice me otherwise."

  • JENNIFER STOCKMAN: He had his own ideas about everything. You know possibly he could have

  • lived longer too if he went to a more conventional treatment instead of trying to think he knew

  • a better way to cure himself.

  • WALTER ISAACSON: I think he probably regretted that but who knows whether the cancer would

  • or would not have spread if he had operated on a few months earlier.

  • DOUG MENUEZ: Walter's real question is, "Can you really succeed on the highest level and

  • still be a nice guy?"

  • LEANDER KAHNEY: Did his accomplishments require him to be a jerk? Um..this is sort of the

  • 64 million dollar question. I don't think there's any easy answer to that.

  • JENNIFER STOCKMAN: He just pushed and pushed and pushed for perfection and without that

  • personality trait I'm not so sure he would have gotten the results.

  • WALTER ISAACSON: I talked to Steve Wozniak who said, "You know, if I had run Apple, I

  • would have wanted it to be run more like a family. We were nicer to everybody. But then

  • Woz paused and he said, "But if I had run Apple we wouldn't have made the Macintosh."

  • STEVE KROFT: There're no shortage of people in all walks of life who were very successful

  • who are very demanding and have a lot of rough edges to them. I think that um..there're other

  • people who manage to do it without those rough edges.

  • STEVEN JOHNSON: I'm not sure it's necessary. It seems pretty clear that he became less

  • of a tyrant as he got older and he became far more successful as he got older.

  • WALTER ISAACSON: We all know thousands of jerks but most of them aren't geniuses so

  • I wanted to make sure that it wasn't just a story about a guy who was intense, but here's

  • how he channelled the intensity to be so ingenious in what he invented.

  • JENNIFER STOCKMAN: I think he leaves a legacy in many areas. The idea that Steve Jobs bridged

  • art and technology has made him an artist.

  • WALTER ISAACSON: I think Steve's like Edison, or Walt Disney. People who were great at being

  • inventive, but also applying that inventiveness to real products.

  • STEVE KROFT: Probably he'll be remembered more like Henry Ford. Someone who brought

  • existing technology to a new level.

  • DOUG MENUEZ: Steve was all about making the thing better. I mean how much did your phone

  • suck before the iPhone?

  • GUY WINCH: He's literally taken us into the future in quantum leaps in ways that allowed

  • us to really have the kind of life that we would have a hard time imagining 20-30 years

  • ago.

  • LEANDER KAHNEY: Even though his accomplishments were extraordinary, the price he paid I think

  • is beyond the pale.

  • JENNIFER STOCKMAN: He's so complicated and so layered that I think the legacy is only

  • beginning to unfold.

I think as far as a biography goes, it's a masterpiece.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Click the word to look it up Click the word to find further inforamtion about it

B1 steve walter jennifer doug steven johnson

STEVE JOBS Reexamined

  • 691 16
    Aj Lee posted on 2013/01/01
Video vocabulary