Reports are swirling that an official, authorized biography of Steve Jobs is in the works. If true, the news is certainly ironic. Jobs is notoriously private. He also has had a tendency over the years to never discuss moments in his career that weren’t so special.
Worst of all for Jobs, those moments were shed in unflattering light in a biography written a few years ago, called “iCon: Steve Jobs, the Greatest Second Act In the History of Business.” The official biography, some say, might retell Jobs’ story, but with a far more laudatory tone.
A contributing reason for that, reports suggest, is that Jobs will be working directly with the authorized biography’s author, Walter Isaacson. At first glance, that might not seem like an issue. Often times, biographers will interview their subjects to hear their side of a story and ensure that the content in their work is accurate.
But Jobs is different. In iCon, he’s described as “brash” and “cocky.” And his desire to perpetuate his reputation as Apple’s savior is unquenchable. So with Jobs working with Isaacson on his book, just how likely is it that the stories in there will reflect what reallyhappened every step of the way through his storied career? More importantly, which stories will Jobs want us to remember above all others?
Let’s take a look at some of the stories that Jobs would likely want us to base his legacy on:
1. Apple’s founding
Although his career started at video-game company Atari, Jobs always had a passion for starting his own firm. He also knew how to capitalize on the talents of others. Combining that desire with his own talent, he convinced his friend Steve Wozniak, an expert on PC design, to start Apple. He also enlisted the help of a few others to generate the required funding to start the company. It was Jobs’ vision and passion that rallied his troops. And it’s that drive that he wants us all to remember.
2. The unlikely rise of Apple
When Apple first started in 1976, the chances of the company becoming what it is today were slim. Building computers was a difficult job and finding customers that would buy products was even more difficult. But Jobs was unique. He had an uncanny ability to sell a product that shop owners at the time might have otherwise rejected. And he knew that his own limitations on computer design were best left out of the development process, so Wozniak could utilize his own talents to deliver the best product. It worked. Unlike so many other companies that attempted to start their own computer business at the time, Apple succeeded.
3. His departure
Some might question why Jobs would want the world to remember his departure from Apple, but I think it plays into his ego. When Jobs was ousted in 1985 by the company’s CEO, John Sculley, Apple’s senior management believed it was the right move. And yet over the next 10 years, Apple attempted to compete in an arena that was leaving it behind. Jobs might not want everyone to know the issues surrounding his departure from Apple, but you can bet that he’ll want everyone to know that once he was gone, the company he founded was in deep trouble.
Pixar is one of Jobs’ greatest contributions to the entertainment business. After acquiring the small company (then known as The Graphics Group) from Lucasfilms in 1986 for $10 million, Jobs had a vision its previous owners lacked. During his tenure as owner, Pixar created Toy Story, A Bug’s Life and Toy Story 2, among many other wildly successful films. Today, cartoon-based films are few and far between. And we have Jobs and his team to thank for it.