In what sounds like a painfully frank admission, Steve Jobs told his official biographer, Walter Isaacson, that he “wasn’t always there for [his kids]” and that he “wanted [them] to know [him].” That’s from Isaacson’s final interview with Jobs at his home in Palo Alto, California, when Jobs was reportedly too weak to go up or down stairs, just weeks before his death on Wednesday, October 5. Isaacson reveals those details and more in an essay that appears online (subscription required) as well as in Time‘s upcoming October 17 issue.
Isaacson’s authorized biography of the Apple icon, titled simply Steve Jobs, was just bumped up by publisher Simon & Schuster from its original November 21 release date to later this month, Monday October 24. It’s currently the number one bestseller on Amazon’s ‘Books’ list, and I’d wager it holds that spot across all of Amazon’s categories, too.
(MORE: Steve Jobs: American Icon)
The book is based on some 40 interviews, conducted over two years time, as well as others with “more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues.” According to Simon & Schuster’s description:
Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.
While Jobs cooperated with Isaacson, the publisher claims “he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published” and says “He put nothing off-limits.” S&S adds:
He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.
The description claims that Jobs was “Driven by demons,” and “could drive those around him to fury and despair,” but tempers that by claiming “his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.”