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Becoming Steve Jobs

The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader

By Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli
18-minute read
Audio available
Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli

Becoming Steve Jobs (2015) tells the story of the life and work of this tech genius. These blinks offer an inside look at the history of Apple, chronicle Jobs’s personal development, explore his early successes, as well as his failures, and lay out how his drive and innovation gave birth to revolutionary products, such as the iPhone.

  • Apple fans and admirers of Steve Jobs
  • Computer lovers everywhere
  • Business leaders seeking a better understanding of a historical entrepreneur

Brent Schlender covered Steve Jobs for the Wall Street Journal and Fortune for over two decades. One of the main chroniclers of the personal-computer revolution, he interviewed Jobs on many occasions.

Rick Tetzeli has written about technology for more than twenty years. He’s currently executive director of Fast Company, the editor of Entertainment Weekly and the former deputy editor of Fortune.

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Becoming Steve Jobs

The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader

By Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli
  • Read in 18 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 11 key ideas
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Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli
Synopsis

Becoming Steve Jobs (2015) tells the story of the life and work of this tech genius. These blinks offer an inside look at the history of Apple, chronicle Jobs’s personal development, explore his early successes, as well as his failures, and lay out how his drive and innovation gave birth to revolutionary products, such as the iPhone.

Key idea 1 of 11

Steve Jobs had an early knack for technology.

Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco – and, shortly thereafter, he was put up for adoption by his biological mother, Joanna Schieble. As a result, he grew up the son of Paul and Clara Jobs, a working-class couple.

Being adopted by Paul and Clara may have greatly contributed to his later work, since Jobs quickly developed a keen understanding of technology. Because his father was a car mechanic and craftsman who made furniture, there was a workbench in the family’s garage and Jobs’s father taught him how to build things, take them apart and put them back together again. This education served him well; later in life, when showing the iPod to the author, Jobs reminisced about how his father told him to work as diligently on the underside of a cabinet as on its finish.

Jobs was also smart as a whip. He skipped sixth grade and was naturally drawn to math and science. Because of his demonstrated skill in these subjects, he was accepted into the Explorers Club, a group of kids who worked on electronics projects on the Hewlett-Packard campus. It was here that Jobs used a computer for the first time.

He was clearly precocious, so it’s no surprise that he was just 21 years old when he and Stephen Wozniak founded Apple.

Here’s what happened:

The pair met in 1969 when a friend introduced Jobs to Wozniak, or “Woz,” an engineering genius and the son of a Lockheed Martin engineer. At the time, computing was anything but personal and computers didn’t even have keyboards or monitors. Woz recognized these shortcomings and Jobs knew they could build a better computer for home use.

So they set up in Jobs’s parents’ garage and began working on their first model, the Apple 1. They invited in a few kids from the neighborhood to assemble it and pretty soon they had a miniature assembly line going. They named the new company Apple – a nod to both the Garden of Eden and an Oregon apple orchard and commune that Jobs frequented after high school.

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