A Lesson from the Life of Steve Jobs

Tonight I attended a wonderful presentation by Walter Isaacson, author of the best selling biography of Steve Jobs.  The talk was sponsored by University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business, The Liberty Fellowship and Wells Fargo Bank.

Mr. Isaacson is famous in his own right.  Currently president of the non-profit Aspen Institute, Mr. Isaacson was formerly the managing editor of Time magazine and Chairman and CEO of CNN.  The Harvard educated, Rhodes Scholar, has also authored acclaimed biographies of Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin and Henry Kissinger, among others.

My “take away” from talk was that Steve Jobs had an artistic vision and was very controlling in his desire to achieve it—and because his vision was an excellent one, Apple products have been a great success.  Thus, Jobs’ choice of the notoriously independent Isaacson as his official biographer, might be considered by some as an indication that Jobs had matured to the point that he was willing to cede control of the very book that would portray him to future generations– in essence the official record of his legacy.

On the other hand, a cynic might say that Jobs has methodically laid claim to a spot among the great American historical figures by having his story told by a biographer whose previous subjects have been among the most influential Americans of all time– i.e., Jobs is among the greatest of Americans by association.

In any case, I remain a Jobs fan. Isaacson had unparalleled access, and the stories he told in his talk have only whet my appetite for more. Given that fact, I am saving the book for my holiday reading, because I know there will be no putting it down.