No one can deny that Steve Jobs was a powerful and remarkable man. To celebrate his work, we put together a list of 15 must-read books about him.
This is an excellent reading list for anyone who wants to learn more about the late Apple co-founder and CEO.
We've included a variety of titles, from biographies to books that focus on his business methods.
So if you're looking for some inspiration or want to gain a deeper understanding of one of the most iconic entrepreneurs in history, be sure to check out this list!
Written by: Walter Isaacson
In his biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson offers an intimate and revealing portrait of the Apple co-founder and CEO. Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years and interviews with close family members, friends, and colleagues, this book is incredibly in-depth.
Isaacson paints a nuanced and compassionate picture of a complex and often contradictory man. Though Jobs could be fiercely demanding and even ruthless in pursuit of his vision, he was also capable of great warmth and kindness.
He had a profound impact not only on the technology industry but also on the world, and his legacy will continue to be felt for decades to come.
Written by: Jay Elliot, William L. Simon
Jay Elliot and William L. Simon explores the late Apple CEO's unique approach to leadership. Elliot, who worked closely with Jobs for many years, provides insights into Job’s management style and the philosophy that guided his decision-making.
One of Jobs's leadership hallmarks was his willingness to take risks. He was not afraid to challenge the status quo or pursue bold new ideas, even when they met with resistance. This fearlessness was coupled with an unwavering commitment to quality and excellence.
Jobs wanted his products to be the best in the world, and he pushed his team to strive for improvement constantly. This combination of attributes helped Jobs create some of the most innovative pieces of technology in history.
Written by: Chrisann Brennan
Chrisann Brennan's memoir, The Bite in the Apple, chronicles her life with Steve Jobs. Brennan met Jobs when she was just seventeen, and the two had a child together out of wedlock. Jobs was always an unconventional thinker, and his relationship with Brennan was no different. He was often distant and dismissive, but he also lavished her with attention and gifts when it suited him.
Over the years, their relationship was marked by highs and lows, but it was always deeply intertwined with Jobs' work at Apple. As he rose to become one of the most influential figures in the tech world, Brennan remained a central part of his life, even as he married and started a family with someone else.
In her memoir, Brennan offers the best and the worst of how Jobs became who he was through many decades.
Written by: Steven Levy
This book is a behind-the-scenes look at the development of the Apple Macintosh computer. The book chronicles the long and sometimes difficult journey from the early days of brainstorming and experimentation to the commercial success of the finished product.
Along the way, Levy interviews vital members of the team who brought the Mac to life, including co-founder Steve Jobs, engineer and programmer Steve Wozniak, and lesser-known people such as software engineer Bill Atkinson.
He also provides insights into the cutting-edge technology that made the Mac such a game-changer, including its graphical user interface and mouse-based input. With its fascinating insights and behind-the-scenes stories, Insanely Great is a must-read.
Written by: Lawrence Levy
To Pixar and Beyond is the story of how an unassuming lawyer ended up playing a pivotal role in the creation of one of the most successful animation studios of all time. In the early 1990s, Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple and looking for a new challenge.
He found it in the form of computer animation, which was still in its infancy at the time. Jobs recruited Lawrence Levy to help him turn his vision into reality, and together they built Pixar from the ground up. Levy chronicles their journey in this fascinating book, offering insights into Jobs's creative process and detailing Pixar's innovative methods to become a storytelling powerhouse.
It is rather remarkable when you consider that this company almost failed and then grew to make movies such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and others.
Written by: Karen Blumenthal
In her biography of Steve Jobs, Karen Blumenthal chronicles the life and career of the Apple co-founder and CEO. Job’s vision and creativity helped make Apple one of the most successful companies in the world. More than just Apple, it is often forgotten that he helped create Pixar.
Blumenthal does an excellent job tracing Job’s journey from his early days as a college dropout to his eventual return to Apple in the late 1990s.
Jobs once said that there are three stories for him, “the first is about connecting dots. The second is about love and loss. The third is about death.” This book does just that.
Written by: Steve Wozniak and Gina Smith
In his autobiography, iWoz, Steve Wozniak chronicles his incredible journey from tinkerer to tech visionary. Wozniak was always interested in technology, and as a child, he would take apart radios and TVs to see how they worked.
This led to a lifelong passion for electronics and computers. In the early 1970s, he began experimenting with building his own computer. His design was revolutionary, and it caught the attention of Steve Jobs. Together, they founded Apple Computer, and Wozniak's design became the basis for the first Apple computer.
The company went on to change the world, and Wozniak became a cult icon in the process. iWoz is an engaging and entertaining read that offers.
Written by: Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli
When Brent Schlender set out to write a biography of Steve Jobs, he had a unique perspective. Not only had he known Jobs for 25 years, but he had also witnessed his transformation from a reckless upstart into a visionary leader.
In Becoming Steve Jobs, Schlender and Tetzeli provide readers with an intimate portrait of the late Apple co-founder. This includes information that Schlender got firsthand and interviews with others such as Tim Cook, John Lasseter, and others.
The book culminates with Jobs’ realizing that he must be more understanding and willing to let others make mistakes without brutal repercussions.
Written by: Leander Kahney
Jony Ive is the mastermind behind some of Apple's most iconic products, including the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. A native of England Ive studied design at Newcastle Polytechnic before joining Apple in 1992.
In 1996, he was put in charge of the industrial design group, and it was during this time, he helped to develop the iMac, which was released in 1998. The following year, he worked on the first-generation iPod, and in 2007, he played a significant role in the development of the iPhone. He also was responsible for the design of the iPad.
He was primarily a behind-the-scenes character in the Apple story; he was knighted and named to the 2013 Time magazine Top 100 list.
Written by: Carmine Gallo
One of Job’s favorite lines was “Think Different," which was at the heart of the late Apple co-founder's unique approach to innovation. Drawing on interviews with Jobs's colleagues, friends, and family and extensive research, Gallo reveals the seven principles that drove Jobs's success.
Some of these principles include "Do What You Love," "Create Insanely Great Experiences," and "Put a Dent in the Universe." By understanding and applying all seven of his principles, readers can unlock their potential for breakthrough success.
Gallo shows that he believed that anyone could be a game-changer if they set their mind to it, an attitude that helped him conquer the computer world even though he wasn’t a programmer.
Written by: Andy Hertzfeld with a foreword by Steve Wozniak
Revolution in The Valley is the story of how the Apple Macintosh was created, told by one of the key figures behind its development, Andy Hertzfeld. He vividly describes the intense collaboration and creative ferment that characterized the Mac team during its formative years, resulting in a computer that changed the world.
From early prototypes to the launch of the Macintosh in 1984, he chronicles the ups and downs of one of the most turbulent periods in Apple's history, providing insights into the design process and personalities that made the Macintosh such a groundbreaking achievement.
He offers a unique insider's view of how a small group of dedicated individuals can change the world. Along the way, he debunks many of the myths surrounding Mac's development. This book also includes illustrations and photos from the times.
Written by: Leander Kahney
Kahney had reported on Jobs for over a decade and followed him through ups and downs. Instead of describing his character, which everyone knows how it almost seemed bipolar depending on what you accomplished, she goes into specifics.
An example of this is that he was known to fire staff in elevators since he didn't want to waste time. He took credit for others' work, as is evident with how Steve Wozniak became almost a side story even though he created the Apple computer. He thought that the masses were idiots, so he made technology that any person could use.
Finally, he believed in Buddhist ideals of treating everyone equally and with care, but then allowed his technology to be made in China under horrible conditions. He was a bundle of contradictions, to say the least.
Written by: Jeffrey S. Young, William L. Simon
If you are looking for a book that praises Jobs throughout, this is not the one for you. It isn't a hit job in any way, but it delves into numerous issues that others ignore. This book traces Jobs from the beginning until before Apple launched the iPhone and iPad.
It was written before he died; it does go into his usual ups and downs with others because of his ego. However, it also goes into his creation of NeXT and then Pixar. Seeing how he worked with John Lasseter of Pixar is very intriguing.
This alone is interesting enough to read the book.
Written by: Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Lisa Brennan-Jobs' memoir, Small Fry, offers a rare glimpse into the childhood of one of the most influential figures in the tech industry.
The daughter of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Jobs denied that she was his child, and only after DNA testing did he finally admit it, although still not publicly. Even though she was Job’s daughter, her childhood was anything but privileged. She writes candidly about her complicated relationship with her father and how his often absentee parenting left her feeling isolated and alone even when she moved in with him.
Despite her challenges, Brennan-Jobs went on to have a successful career in her own right, and her memoir is a moving tribute to her resilience and determination.
Written by: Ken Kocienda
Ken Kocienda's Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs offers readers a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of Apple during the years when Jobs was at the helm.
Kocienda, who worked as a software engineer on the original iPhone team, provides an inside look at how Apple's design process works, from concept to completion. He also discusses how Jobs' unique vision and leadership style helped create some of Apple's most iconic products, including the iPhone and iPad.
Kocienda's book is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of Apple or the design process behind consumer electronics.