I had the great fortune to interview Walter Isaacson about his Jobs biography earlier this week for my Keen On… TechcrunchTV show. It’s a four part interview which you can watch here, here & here. The fourth part, on Apple’s walled-garden business model, will run on Monday.
Isaacson’s biography, in spite of objections from Steve worshipers like John Gruber, is really rich and fair and explains why Jobs was both such a genius and a jerk. For me, the most memorable anecdote in the book is on page 405. Having argued with his senior team about whether to allow the iPod to work with Windows software (Jobs was against, everyone else in favor), Jobs finally threw in the towel. But, as Isaacson notes, Jobs “never won any awards for gracious concession speeches”.
“Screw it,” Jobs eventually conceded to his senior team about porting the iTunes software ans store to Windows. “I’m sick of listening to you assholes. Go do whatever the hell you want.”
Therein lies the peculiarly consensual genius of the tyrannical Steve Jobs.