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About Brent Schlender
Schlender has been writing analytical business feature stories with a literary flair for more than 30 years, first for The Wall Street Journal starting in the late 1970s, and continuing after 1989 through a 20-year career as a bureau chief and editor-at-large for FORTUNE magazine. More recently, he has contributed to Fast Company magazine. Over the decades, he wrote dozens of in-depth feature stories about the exploits of many of Silicon Valley's most famous figures - Apple's Steve Jobs, Intel's Andy Grove and Craig Barrett, Oracle's Larry Ellison, Sun's Scott McNealy and Bill Joy, Google's Eric Schmidt, and Pixar's John Lasseter and Ed Catmull, to name just a few.
Schlender also is considered the journalistic authority on Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, who he first met in 1985. And in the meantime, he wrote extensively about Sony Corp., developing close relationships with many of the company's CEOs, starting with founder Akio Morita. During Peter Drucker's final years, Schlender wrote annual articles for FORTUNE based on extensive, in-depth interviews with the famous management guru. His stories have been characterized by his extended and intimate access to his subjects, and by the depth of his background reporting and knowledge of business and technology. But his writing also reflects his extensive worldly experience of working and living abroad, primarily in China, Japan, and Latin America.
A native of McPherson, Kansas, Schlender and his wife of 31 years, Lorna Jacoby, live in San Mateo, CA. He has other creative interests as well. In 1999-2000 he collaborated with film director Robert Altman and cartoonist Garry Trudeau to develop a dramatic television series called "Killer App" that explored the genius, greed, skullduggery and vanity of Silicon Valley. And for many years he played tenor saxophone in a Bay Area jazz and rhythm and blues ensemble. More recently, he has been exploring the possibilities for making digital, visual art.
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Becoming Steve Jobs breaks down the conventional, one-dimensional view of Steve Jobs that he was half-genius, half-jerk from youth, an irascible and selfish leader who slighted friends and family alike. Becoming Steve Jobs answers the central question about the life and career of the Apple cofounder and CEO: How did a young man so reckless and arrogant that he was exiled from the company he founded become the most effective visionary business leader of our time, ultimately transforming the daily life of billions of people?
Drawing on incredible and sometimes exclusive access, Schlender and Tetzeli tell a different story of a real human being who wrestled with his failings and learned to maximize his strengths over time. Their rich, compelling narrative is filled with stories never told before from the people who knew Jobs best, including his family, former inner circle executives, and top people at Apple, Pixar and Disney, most notably Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Eddy Cue, Ed Catmull, John Lasseter, Robert Iger and many others. In addition, Schlender knew Jobs personally for 25 years and draws upon his many interviews with him, on and off the record, in writing the book. He and Tetzeli humanize the man and explain, rather than simply describe, his behavior. Along the way, the book provides rich context about the technology revolution we've all lived through, and the ways in which Jobs changed our world.
A rich and revealing account, Becoming Steve Jobs shows us how one of the most colorful and compelling figures of our times was able to combine his unchanging, relentless passion with an evolution in management style to create one of the most valuable and beloved companies on the planet.
Halb Genie, halb Wahnsinniger, Guru, Choleriker und Kontrollfreak – das ist das vorherrschende Bild, das sich die Welt von Steve Jobs gemacht hat. Jobs selbst hat zu seinen Lebzeiten dieses Image gern gepflegt, und seine Biographen sind ihm bereitwillig gefolgt. Vier Jahre nach seinem Tod im Oktober 2011 ist es nun an der Zeit, ein klareres Bild des Apple-Gründers zu zeichnen, ein Bild, das frei ist von Klischees und Vorurteilen.
Brent Schlender begleitete Steve Jobs über zwanzig Jahre lang, der engen Freundschaft der beiden verdanken wir tiefe Einblicke in das Leben des Unternehmers und in das Imperium von Apple. Auf Grundlage zahlreicher Gespräche mit Jobs selbst, mit engsten Vertrauten und Weggefährten wie Tim Cook oder auch Bill Gates ist ein ebenso differenziertes wie leidenschaftliches Porträt entstanden, das in seinem Kern der Frage nachgeht, wie aus einem ungestümen jungen Gründer die wichtigste Unternehmerpersönlichkeit unserer Zeit reifen konnte.
Die Nähe Schlenders und das Knowhow Tetzelis – beide gehören zu den profiliertesten Technikjournalisten und zu den besten Kennern der Silicon-Valley-Szene – machen Becoming Steve Jobs zu einer mitreißenden Geschichte der Technologie-Ära und zu einer Biographie, die den Unternehmer nicht zur Ikone erhebt, sondern den Menschen hinter dem Mythos zum Vorschein bringt.