Bibliography

Books & movies about Steve Jobs that inspired this website. Ratings are my personal opinion (taking into account accuracy, novelty, and fun) — and thus entirely subjective.

  • Return to the Little Kingdom

    book Biography by Michael Moritz, 1984 - Overlook Hardcover

    Written by then-Time correspondent Michael Moritz (turned venture capitalist), The Little Kingdom came out of his investigations on Apple and Steve Jobs for a potential Man of the Year story in 1981. The book intertwines the story of the development of Lisa and Macintosh, and the early days of the company. It is not focused on Jobs only but is rather an Apple epic. Highly recommended for a contemporary look at this extraordinary time.

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  • Steve Jobs: The Journey Is The Reward

    book Biography by Jeffrey S. Young, 1988 - Pearson Scott Foresman

    The oldest Steve Jobs biography I am aware of, and quite a well-documented one: The Journey Is The Reward provides a very detailed accounted of Steve's life from his birth to the founding of NeXT. Both his personal life and his work are amply covered. A recommended vintage buy.

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  • Steve Jobs & The NeXT Big Thing

    book Biography by Randall E. Stross, 1993 - Scribner

    Steve Jobs & the NeXT Big Thing is the only book I know of that is solely dedicated to Steve's NeXT (ad)venture. It's quite a good read and a well-documented account (Stross is a historian who now writes for the NY Times) — if you can get past the fact that it completely missed the mark. Indeed, its premise is that Steve Jobs was a terrible businessman and a fake visionary who just got lucky at Apple. Ironically, Stross also mentions Pixar a few times, also to hightlight how Steve is leading it to the ground...

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  • Insanely Great

    book Non-fiction by Steven Levy, 1993 - Penguin Books

    Insanely Great is from Steven Levy, a journalist who's been covering Silicon Valley and the tech industry for over 30 years, and was there at the very beginning of Apple. He used his very good connections with the Macintosh team to write this enjoyable book documenting its history.

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  • Triumph of the Nerds

    movie Documentary by Robert X. Cringely, 1995

    In my opinion, Triumph of the Nerds is far and away the best documentary you can watch about the history of the personal computing industry. Cringely is a well-connected and very entertaining narrator, and manages to keep you engaged for 3 hours (the docu-series has three parts) — thanks in no small part to his impressive roster of interviewees, including Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. A must-watch if you're interested in the first two decades of the PC industry (1975-1995).

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  • Accidental Empires

    book Non-fiction by Robert X. Cringely, 1996 - Harper Business

    Written by Robert X Cringely, the maker of Triumph of the Nerds (see above), Accidental Empires is a book about Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, including a whole chapter on Jobs ("The Prophet"). The book has a distinctive, colored tone to it, even now it's quite dated (hard drives disappearing in the late 90s because of the internet?). A fun read, although I recommend the documentary much more.

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  • A Regular Guy

    book Fiction by Mona Simpson, 1997 - Vintage

    A Regular Guy is a novel by Mona Simpson, who happens to be Steve's biological sister. It talks about the relationship between an entrepreneur and his abandoned daughter... Of course, it doesn't take an insider to recognize the book is all about Steve and his daughter Lisa. You'll have no difficulty translating the protagonists to their real-world characters. This is a good book and a must-read for anyone curious about the more private side of Jobs in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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  • Pirates of Silicon Valley

    movie Movie by Martyn Burke (dir. & scr.), 1999

    Pirates is a 1999 TV movie about the early years of Apple and Microsoft, featuring Noah Wyle as Steve. The movie is very dramatized of course, but overall managest to be quite accurate - so much so that Steve actually invited Noah to start his keynote speech at Macworld New York 1999, giving the movie some sort of official blessing. Worth a watch.

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  • The Second Coming of Steve Jobs

    book Biography by Alan Deutschman, 2001 - Broadway

    One of my favorite Jobs bios -which holds a special place in my heart as he prompted me to build this website- The Second Coming of Steve Jobs depicts Steve's wilderness years, from the day he was fired from Apple in 1985 to the day he became CEO again in 2000. Written by Vanity Fair journalist Alan Deutschman, the book is filled with gossipy anecdotes and stories, but is nonetheless a very accurate description of Steve's character and his life during that period.

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  • Revolution in The Valley

    book Non-fiction by Andy Hertzfeld, 2004 - O'Reilly Media

    Revolution in the Valley is a beautifully illustrated book, a nice wrapper around the stories told by Andy Hertzfeld and other Mac team members available for free on Folklore.org. The stories are first-hand accounts of the incredible four-year development of the Mac. If you'd rather read them in a hardcover book, do not hesitate: it's great.

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  • iCon: Steve Jobs

    book Biography by Jeffrey S. Young, 2006 - Wiley

    Steve Jobs tried to block the publication of iCon, which gave this disappointing book more publicity than it probably deserved. It is essentially a stripped-down version of Young's much older Jobs bio, The Journey Is The Reward (1988), with some quick additions from newspaper articles and steals from The Second Coming of Steve Jobs. I do not think it is worth your time or money.

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  • oPtion$: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs

    book Fiction by Fake Steve Jobs (Dan Lyons), 2007 - Da Capo Press

    I have sweet spot for Fake Steve Jobs, as I've always believed he was able to capture some of the essence of Steve Jobs' personality, despite being a complete parody. That's why I enjoyed oPtion$ so much - which definitely puts me in a minority, as hardly anybody bought this book. The book is a longer version of the blog, in the exact same style, but around a made-up plot about the backdated options scandal and the creation of the iPhone (the book was written in 2006, when the iPhone was still a rumor).

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  • The Pixar Story

    movie Documentary by Leslie Iwerks, 2007

    If you are interested in Pixar and in Steve Jobs' involvement with the animation studios, you should definitely watch this 90-minute documentary. It features lots of exclusive material, including extensive interviews with all the founders and early employees of the company.

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  • iWoz

    book Autobiography by Steve Wozniak & Gina Smith, 2007 - Tantor Media

    As the title implies, iWoz is Wozniak's autobiography. The book lays out Woz's version of Apple's history, and gives some enlightening accounts on Steve Jobs's character. If you are curious about the company's early days or about Woz in particular, it's a must read.

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  • The Perfect Thing

    book Non-fiction by Steven Levy, 2007 - Simon & Schuster

    Steven Levy, former senior editor at Newsweek and one of Wired's most prominent journalist, is arguably the tech industry's best writer. In The Perfect Thing, he tells the story of the iPod and how it deeply permeated early 21st century culture. The book has many good Steve Jobs stories, but is mostly an outlet for Levy's lyrical enthusiasm about the iPod's coolness.

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  • The Pixar Touch

    book Non-fiction by David A. Price, 2009 - Vintage

    The most complete -and arguably authoritative- book on Pixar so far.

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  • Inside Steve's Brain

    book Non-fiction by Leander Kahney, 2009 - Portfolio Hardcover

    I read the original version of Inside Steve's Brain, but I doubt the expanded one is very different. From ex-Cult of Mac editor Leander Kahney, the book is essentially an edited collection of quotes, interviews and articles that sum up most of Steve's options and beliefs, especially wirth regards to management and product development (i.e. similar to our Persona section, but longer).

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  • The Steve Jobs Way

    book Non-fiction by Jay Elliot, 2011 - Vanguard Press

    Jay Elliot was a middle manager at Apple in the early 1980s. I did not enjoy his book, in which he paints himself as "Steve Jobs's confident" and pretends to reveal how his management techniques have made him successful (and can make you, too!). The writing is bad and the "teachings" quite obvious. I don't recommend it.

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  • The Legacy of Steve Jobs

    book Non-fiction by the Editors of Fortune Magazine, 2011 - Fortune

    Fortune's counterpart to the TIME special (below) compares much more favorably, in my opinion. It provides less interesting pictures, yes, but has much richer content, including all the interviews Steve ever gave to the business publication -which he liked. A small book to keep in your living room (or in your iPad).

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  • Steve Jobs: The Genius Who Changed Our World

    book Photo book by the Editors of TIME Magazine, 2011 - TIME

    Although this TIME special book includes a number of very good pictures, it is perhaps not worth the price. The written material is mostly uninteresting to the seasoned Apple follower.

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  • Steve Jobs

    book Biography by Walter Isaacson, 2011 - Simon & Schuster

    Isaacson's Steve Jobs is a must read because of its unprecented access to its subject. However, quite ironically, Steve Jobs picked the wrong guy to write his only sanctioned biography -probably out of pride. The lengthy book is poorly edited and unfortunately misses large swaths of Steve's life (including half of his career at NeXT, so critical to understand how we came to have such a great second act at Apple). It's most interesting in the later chapters, covering the 1997-2011 period.

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  • The Bite in the Apple

    book Autobiography by Chrisann Brennan, 2013 - St. Martin's Press

    I never got around to read The Bite in the Apple by Chrisann Brennan, Steve's first girlfriend from his teenage years and early twenties — and the mother of Lisa. I hear it's not so good.

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  • jOBS

    movie Movie by Joshua Michael Stern (dir.), Matt Whiteley (scr.), 2013

    jOBS is more commonly known as "the Ashton Kutcher movie". It tries to cover most of Steve Jobs' life, which is definitely not possible in 2 hours, and it shows. The screenplay and the acting aren't very good. To watch if you're bored out of your mind.

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  • Creativity, Inc.

    book Autobiography by Ed Catmull & Amy Wallace, 2014 - Random House

    An excellent book by Pixar co-founder and computer animation pioneer Dr. Ed Catmull. He goes through not only Pixar's history, but more importantly, how the company manages to keep its people creative and produce masterpieces year after year. One of the best "business" books you can read, so to speak, even if you're only mildly interested in Pixar (which you shouldn't be).

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  • Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine

    movie Documentary by Alex Gibney, 2015

    A provocative documentary by Alex Gibney which seeks to show Steve Jobs's "dark side". Though it's definitely biased (and was attacked by Apple leadership on that basis), it's still an enjoyable watch, and it's clear Gibney worked hard on the subject.

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  • Becoming Steve Jobs

    book Biography by Brent Schlender & Rick Tetzeli, 2015 - Crown Business

    Thank God for Becoming Steve Jobs, so we have at least one decent posthumous biography of Steve Jobs. Unlike Walter Isaacson, Brent Schlender actually knew SJ from the 1980s and covered him throughout his career — in other words, he knew what he was talking about. The book talks about how Steve became a much better leader, and person, after failing at NeXT and coming back to Apple. It's a great read, and was even praised by Apple leadership (rare enough to be highlighted). It gets bonus points for listing your fellow website in its Sources.

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  • steve jobs

    movie Movie by Danny Boyle (dir.), Aaron Sorkin (scr.), 2015

    While steve jobs (sic) takes a lot of liberties with its subject, I appreciated its effort to put Steve's personality, and its conflicted story with his daughter, on the big screen. The acting is quite good, especially Michael Fassbender as SJ and Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman. A decent movie that deserves to be watched at least once or twice.

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  • The One Device

    book Non-fiction by Brian Merchant, 2017 - Back Bay Books

    A solid book about how the iPhone and iOS came to be, well researched and well sourced —including many members of the original iPhone team. Sort of a modern equivalent of Insanely Great (which was about the Macintosh, see above). Worth your time.

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  • Small Fry

    book Autobiography by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, 2019 - Grove Press

    Small Fry is unique in many ways. It's a first-hand and direct (unlike her aunt's) account from Lisa, Steve Jobs' first daughter —which he only legitimized later in life— of her relationship with her father. "Small fry" is the nickname Jobs gave her in her youth. Lisa is quite a talented author, which makes the book quite an enjoyable read, despite some passages being slighly uncomfortable to read. A unique look into Steve's private sphere and his complicated relations with his first family.

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