Tag Archives: Walter Isaacson

The Innovators by Walter Isaacson

The Innovators by Walter Isaacson Title: The Innovators
Author: Walter Isaacson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781471138799
Genre: Non-Fiction, Computers and Technology, Business and Investing,
Pages: 560
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4/5

I remember reading, “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson with great trepidation. I thought I would get bored. I thought I would not be interested in it for long. I thought these things and a lot of other things before I invested time in the book. I loved the book at the end of it, so much so that I thought there was not any need to pick up anything on “Steve Jobs”, since this book was most comprehensive. Walter Isaacson does it again this time with “The Innovators”.

There have been countless books written on the digitized revolution and the Silicon Valley. Walter Isaacson’s book is different in the sense that he takes a complete look at the innovators, the geniuses, the hackers, and the geeks and what they did and did not do to get the revolution going. “The Innovators” is a book which looks at everything – right from the start, to the middle and the future of entrepreneurs and creative geniuses.

“The Innovators” tracks the stories from the 19th century – to Lovelace and Babbage to the Ethernet and Xerox, the Manhattan Project, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs of course and Steve Wozniak. He covers almost all of these people and how their creativity helped them harness not only their goals, but also the clear and visible difference brought in an entire culture of people.

The writing is crisp and easy to understand. There are parts that do drag but one can overlook them in the larger scheme of the theme and essence of the book. The book is written with the view point of ideas. That is the core and essence of the book. The people of course play a very important role, but it is the ideas that take center-stage in a book like this.

Mr. Isaacson tells the story of individuals with brilliant ideas. There is sometimes collaboration of people, sometimes when people work on their own and yet at the end of it all, the reader is left with more clarity on them and the various eras in which different ideas were shaped and formed. One can then use the cliché and say then that the book is “well-researched”. The layout and the hyper-narration at times is perfect. The systematic building of concepts only lends to the overall effect of the book.

At some point, I thought that maybe some people were not included which could have been and some which perhaps did not need inclusion. The narrative is very strong and maybe again why one can see why the author could not have included everyone in the book.

“The Innovators” is one of those books that also help us to some extent see what technology could mean in the future and its implications. Overall, I would say that even if you are not a technology buff the book will appeal to you only from the point of view of knowing more about these people and the ideas they thought of. I highly recommend this one.

Here is the video of Walter Isaacson speaking about the book: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3umNPsKUnzA

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Book Review: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Title: Steve Jobs
Author: Walter Isaacson
Publisher: Little Brown and Co, Hachette Book Group
ISBN: 9781408703748
Genre: Biography
Pages: 627
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5/5

Writing a review about a book on Steve Jobs’ life is not easy. It is close to being very difficult, nonetheless here is a review of, “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson. This might sound a bit strange, however I have never owned a single Apple product and yet I am so taken in by the man behind it all.

Steve Jobs at the same time was also a person and not just the man behind Apple and that’s the beauty of this book. The way it unearths the person behind the persona. I will be very honest – I did not want to read the book when I first laid eyes on it. I was skeptical only because technology as a topic has never been of great interest to me, so I was under the assumption that the book would be all about Apple and its making and nothing else. I am glad that my assumption has been put to rest.

The book is spread across forty seven chapters, talking about the man and his life. It is written in form of stories, which is what makes it so interesting. A lot of interesting people are spoken about throughout the book – from Tony Fadell and his role in the development of the iPhone to John Lasseter and the entire Pixar story. About how Jobs created Mac and then was ousted by the company he founded only to come back to it.

What almost took me by surprise in the book was the fact that the emotional aspects of Jobs’ life were also covered and not ignored. The chapters about his illness and his family around that time almost had me close to tears.
What I thought could have been spoken of more was Apple and what really happened there and how Steve helped fix it, after coming back to it. Nonetheless, what was written seemed alright to me at the end of it all.

Steve Jobs as a book is a great read. It is not a PR piece (as the danger might be in an authorized biography most of the time) nor does it try to glorify the person. Jobs at the same time also gave Isaacson complete freedom to write what he wanted to and did not at any point demand editorial control. The book is a treat for all those who want to know more about Steve Jobs and the kind of person that he was. A fitting tribute to a genius.

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