Ahead of the book’s launch, various fragments of Steve Jobs: A Biography had leaked and the media swiftly gobbled it up.
With the book now out today, heads are spinning as myriad interesting facts about the legend’s life flood from Walter Isaacson’s pages.
While I recommend buying the actual book for the fullest and clearest memory of the Apple visionary, I’ve compiled 7 interesting things about Steve Jobs that you probably didn’t know.
1. Steve Jobs admired Mark Zuckerberg.
Steve isn’t a fan of Google or Microsoft, but the man tipped his hat to young CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Calling Facebook a “dominating” social network, the Apple cofounder said that he admired mark “for not selling out … for wanting to make a company.”
2. Steve Jobs has only one book on his iPad.
With millions of books available on the iBookstore, you’d wager Steve had a least a couple dozen of them. But in fact, his iPad 2 held just a single work: An Autobiography of a Yogi, which he read once a year for decades.
3. Steve Jobs met his biological father before either knew they were related.
In the 1980s, Steve frequented a certain restaurant managed by a “balding Syrian” man, as Steve put it. This man was in fact Steve’s biological father, though neither of them knew it at the time (his biological sister Mona Simpson would later connect the dots). The pair actually shook hands, too—all the while being unaware that they were father and son.
4. Steve Jobs was indeed plotting an Apple television.
Apple TV is a few years old now, but it’s not actually a television—it’s a tiny square that streams iTunes content onto one. Since its inception, rumours have come and gone (and come again) that Apple would release its own branded television, integrated deeply with Apple software. This has yet to materialize, but Steve said before he died that he “finally cracked it,” referring to bringing such a product to market. He envisioned a simple remote, simple interface, iCloud syncing, and… well, I guess we’ll have to find out, as this product could very likely end up a real thing in 2012 or 2013.
5. Steve Jobs was depressed after the iPad launched.
The iPad turned out to be one of the best-selling consumer items in history, not just in tech and not just in North America, and the iPad 2 has continued its amazing legacy. But initial reviews were critical—underwhelming features, unnecessary gap filled, awful name, so the pundits roared. Steve said the flames “knocked me back a bit.” Surely, though, he got back on his feet after the initial hate faded and incredible sales surged.
6. Steve Jobs’ only demand for his biography was to have a great cover.
Presentation is no doubt important to Steve Jobs and Apple carries a very specific and consistent aesthetic, from its packaging to its website and everything in between. Steve gave author Walter full control over the content but insisted that the cover be awesome. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I think the cover is perfect.
7. Steve Jobs believed he had magical powers.
Steve Jobs could have lived several years longer had he gone into surgery just months earlier, medical experts say. However, Steve took a more spiritual root, believing that he could think things into (or out of) existence. He did this not only with his cancer—and it evidently failed him there—but also with his managing style. It helped push employees to do things they didn’t think they could, and allowed him to maintain his characteristic stubbornness and focus… but his investment into this illusion of what some describe as percieved “magic” ultimately cost him an early death.