Little over a year ago Steve Jobs passed away. This event caused a lot of people to read up about the history of Apple, myself included. I’m a big reader and I think it’s save for me to say that I’ve read every book about Apple that matters. In this blog post I’ll share my thoughts about the five books that stand out.
The story of Apple is quite interesting, even the biggest Apple haters could learn a thing or two about why Apple is the way it is.
This is the oldest book on the list and it’s written by Michael Moritz. It focusses completely on the first ten years of Apple and how it all came to be. Michael was on of the first investors in Apple, this gives him unique perspective on the company. Some parts of the book are quite shallow but it’s an interesting read. It goes into great detail on areas where the other books on this list don’t.
This book is written by Steve Wozniak himself and published in 2006 when Apple was growing tremendously during the height of the iPod. It’s mostly focussed on the years between 1970 and 1985. Wozniak describes how he met Steve Jobs and how they build Apple together in those early days. He also writes about all of the technical problems he solved when building the first Macintosh, this makes a great read for engineers.
This one is kind of a no-brainer, the biography of Steve Jobs himself written by Walter Isaacson. This book is focussed on the life of Steve Jobs, not the company Apple. It describes Steve’s youth, how he started Apple and got fired from it. Then it goes on to describe how he build Next and then sold it to Apple. Back at Apple it describes how he transformed the company and how it transformed him. His role in Pixar and Disney is also a part of this book.
This book will tell you everything there is to know about Steve Jobs. From his philosophical ideas to the contents of his iTunes library.
Inside Apple is pretty unique, it describes the entire company and how it functions. The writer is Adam Lashinsky who interviewed a great number of current and former Apple employees. By doing so, he is able to explain all of the different processes that keep Apple running. From marketing to suppliers, every part of the company is described down to the smallest details.
Insanely Simple is mostly about marketing and how Apple uses simplicity to design, build and sell it’s products. Parts of it are about how Apple came to be and some parts read like a self-help book. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but you should keep it in mind if you’re going to purchase it.
The biggest advantage of this book are the many examples of how Steve Jobs was constantly involved in every project Apple was working on. Ken Segall is the writer and worked directly with Steve for over fifteen years, this gives him a very unique perspective on the company.