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Inside Steve's Brain Hardcover – 17 Apr 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio (17 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591841984
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591841982
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.8 x 18.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,012,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"* 'A fresh and novel perspective... Apple is all about messianic zeal, as any of its millions of devotees will attest. Kahney has produced a rich, essential read for them to get inside Jobs' head and discover what makes Apple insanely great.' Jon Swartz, USA Today" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Leander Kahney is news editor for and primary author of its popular Cult of Mac blog. He is also the author of two acclaimed books, The Cult of Mac and The Cult of iPod. As a reporter and editor, Kahney has covered Apple for more than a dozen years.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J. Gough on 14 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I was about to buy this book based on Robert Morris's oustanding review __ but then I happened to click on the Comments and all was revealed. Morris appears to be a professional reviewer, presumeably paid by the publishers. At the time of writing he has 854 reviews, most of them extremely lengthy and detailed, and almost every one is '5 Stars'. I note that he started in Sept 2005 and managed to review 28 products in his first 2 days. Hmmm.
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Format: Hardcover
There are many, enthralling tales of Jobs influence on the last three decades from Young and Simon's ICon: Steve Jobs, the Greatest Second Act in the History of Business to Truimph of Nerds, Vol. 1-3 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] and Pirates of Silicon Valley [DVD] [1999] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] but while these try to entertain with versions of the "what" none really look at the underlying "why" except in the role of closet psychologists.

Leander Kahney look beneath the surface and takes the opportunity here to study how Steve Job's specific actions were necessary to create the outcomes that have driven personal computing forward in the late 20th century and created whole new families of products and solutions since. The very characteristics that have formed the basis of the tabloid or populist approach to Jobs are analysed by Kahney on a chapter by chapter basis, with titles like Focus, Despotism, Perfectionism, Elitism - each carefully analysing - even deconstructing - the origins and purposes of these facets and then building them up to form a more complete understanding of the whole.

This book is enhanced by reading it with Woz's chapter in
...Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
There have been plenty of books that tell the story of Apple Computers' origins and the early days, and as correctly pointed out by some other reviewers there has been a lot of press about Steve Jobs and Apple over the years. However, I find it useful and interesting to have many of those stories collected in a single book, especially if it mostly deals with Apple's recent resurgence. Steve Jobs, somewhat predictably, does not feature too prominently in this book. This may be surprising considering that the book's title promises to deal with nothing less than Steve's brain. However, Steve Jobs is notoriously private person and his interaction with the media is very limited. There have been very few interviews that he gave over the years, and those that he did give reveal very little about his own personal life, musings or misgivings. Most of what we know about him comes from people who had closely observed him work, mostly his current and former employees. One such employee is Jonathan Ive, the designer that is the great driving forces behind recent surge of Apple success. He is the designer behind iPod, iMac and a host of other products. The book is very good at documenting how some of these products came about, but it still doesn't reveal too much as much of it remains in the realm of industrial secrets. Each chapter ends with a few bullet-pointed "lessons" that we are supposed to take away from the way that Steve Jobs approaches design and business decisions. Most of these are rather trite and are reminiscent of the self-help manuals. They also detract from the main narrative of the book, but fortunately they are very short and don't really affect the overall message.

To conclude, this is an interesting look at Steve Jobs and Apple, especially over the last ten years or so.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mike Dowson on 8 July 2009
Format: Paperback
I have read an awful lot of books about successful businesses and business people and i have to say this is by far the worst, I didn't even bother finishing it it's that bad.

The book reads like a poorly written dissertation continuously quoting (or miss-quoting) documents the author has found to write the book with. The book almost seems to just jump from one quote to the next with no words tying them up or even analysing what has been said.

Having read Steve Wozniak's book (co-founder of Apple) I am fairly happy to believe that he will portray a realistic opinion of the early years of Apple, he was involved in writing his book and consequently there is no room for misunderstanding. The author of this book doesn't seem to have ever even met Steve Job's, just had some kind of obsession about reading around the guy and maybe speaking to the odd former colleague. Consequently facts are often patchy and there is no chance that you will get inside Steve's brain. I think this is the furthest thing from the truth about the whole book. From what i have read so far (well over half) I have no understanding of how Steve thinks - I know what other people think about him and how they think his brain may work, but, no inside knowledge from the man himself. Unfortunately, everybody has their own opinion, most different, so you don't get any idea how he actually thinks, just several confused opinions.

My opinion - if you want to find out about the early days of Apple - read Steve Wozniak's book - it is excellent, if you want to find out about Steve Jobs - keep hoping he may release his own autobiography one day, don't waste your money on this book.
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