Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader is a new, unauthorized biography about Apple’s controversial cofounder and former CEO. The new book, which will be released on March 24, is expected to present Jobs in a very different light than the authorized biography Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, which came out in 2011. Jobs died in 2011 after a prolonged battle with cancer. Here’s everything you need to know about this hotly anticipated new book about Steve Jobs.
1. The Authors Had Access to Jobs and His Inner Circle
Written by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, Becoming Steve Jobs is a biography that attempts to humanize Jobs. Steve Jobs is often perceived as a business leader who was demanding, impatient, and difficult to work under. This new biography aims to paint a more well-rounded picture of Jobs, based on information from those who knew him best. The book includes insights from Apple leaders like Tim Cook, Jony Ive, and Eddy Cue. The authors also tracked down perspectives on Steve Jobs from Pixar and Disney heads like Ed Catmull, John Lasseter, and Robert Iger.
Coauthor Brent Schlender knew Jobs personally for 25 years. He also wrote for the Wall Street Journal and Fortune. Rick Tetzeli is Executive Editor of Fast Company, which has published an excerpt from Becoming Steve Jobs. Prior to his time at Fast Company, he was the Managing Editor of Entertainment Weekly.
Because the portrayal of Steve Jobs in Becoming Steve Jobs is so different from what other biographies and films have shown, it is expected that this new book may stir up some controversy about what Jobs was really like. MacRumors writes that “it appears that Apple is now set on changing the narrative surrounding Jobs posthumously,” and some cynical readers may view this new biography as part of the larger Apple PR machine. Some may find it hard to reconcile the kinder, gentler version of Jobs seen in Becoming Steve Jobs with the man who inspired the infamous Business Insider article 16 Examples Of Steve Jobs Being A Huge Jerk.
2. The Initial Print Run of ‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ Has Been Increased
Mediapost reports that the initial print run of Becoming Steve Jobs has already been increased. The book’s initial print run was a mere 40,000. Now, that number has been increased to 85,000, in anticipation of increased sales as buzz begins to build.
To put those figures in perspective, the Walter Isaacson biography about Jobs sold 379,000 copies in its first week on sale. That figure, which comes from CNN, is based only on US sales. It’s worth noting that Becoming Steve Jobs has a slightly lower retail price than Isaacson’s biography did on its initial publication.
3. Many Apple Insiders Disliked Past Biographies About Steve Jobs
VentureBeat notes that two promininent leaders at Apple have gone public with their feelings about Walter Isaacson’s Jobs biography. Jony Ive, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, is on record as saying “My regard couldn’t be any lower” for the Isaacson biography.
The publisher of Becoming Steve Jobs is Penguin Random House. On their official website for the new book, it seems as though they are eager to position the new biography as having a very different take on Jobs than the Isaacson biography that has earned so much disdain from Apple employees. The official book description is as follows:
A brilliantly reported, compellingly written book that overturns the conventional view of Steve Jobs—the Jobs that is frozen forever as half genius, half jerk — Becoming Steve Jobs answers the central question about the life and career of the Apple cofounder and CEO: How did a young man so reckless and arrogant that he was exiled from the company he founded become the most effective visionary business leader of our time? Drawing on extensive interviews with Jobs’s inner circle, family members, friends, and competitors, veteran journalists Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli present a portrait of Jobs that is far more nuanced and intimate than previous biographies.
4. A Steve Jobs Biopic Is Also in the Works
Becoming Steve Jobs isn’t the only Steve Jobs-related project coming our way in 2015. A new movie based on Walter Isaacson’s biography is expected to premiere in October. This film, which is simply called Steve Jobs, stars Michael Fassbender in the title role. The screenplay was written by Aaron Sorkin. Fassbender is arguably best known for his roles in the X-Men movies, as well as his part in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds.
Of course, the upcoming Steve Jobs film isn’t the first time Jobs has been featured on the silver screen. 2013 saw the release of Jobs, a film starring Ashton Kutcher in the title role. And way back in 1999, an original TV movie called Pirates of Silicon Valley featured Noah Wyle as Steve Jobs.
Jobs has also been the focus of other films in 2015. At SXSW this year, a new documentary called Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine has been getting a lot of buzz. The documentary paints a picture of Jobs as emotionally volatile, prompting The Verge‘s Bryan Bishop to describe the film as “an unflinching look at the emotional shrapnel people took when they were part of Jobs’ life.”
5. The Authors of ‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ Will Have an Apple Store Event
The authors of Becoming Steve Jobs will be featured during an upcoming event at the Apple store in SoHo. The event will take place on March 26, and it will feature a panel dialogue about the new book. You can get more info about upcoming book events on the Becoming Steve Jobs site.
The price of this biography will depend on where you buy the book, and what format you purchase the book in. The list price of this book in hardcover is $30. As of this writing, Amazon is offering the book for 34 percent off, so the hardcover costs $19.83. The book is also available for Kindle for $11.99.