Tim Cook: Isaacson’s Book did a “Tremendous Disservice”

Fast Company has today published an excerpt from an upcoming book, Becoming Steve Jobs, about the Apple co-founder. The software giant is openly marketing this book, as according to Eddy Cue, “the best portrayal yet to be released”, since many of the company execs were interviewed for this book. This is in sharp contrast to the less adulatory Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine movie from yesterday, where Apple refused to collaborate with the director.

Becoming steve jobs

The excerpt shows Tim Cook’s efforts to save Steve Jobs’ life by offering his liver. After discovering that he and Jobs shared the same rare blood type, Cook decided to undergo tests to be sure that he could donate the organ to Steve. “The day after he returned from the trip, he went to visit Steve. Sitting alone with him in the bedroom of the Palo Alto house, Tim began to offer his liver to Steve. “I really wanted him to do it,” he remembers. “He cut me off at the legs, almost before the words were out of my mouth. ‘No,’ he said. ‘I’ll never let you do that. I’ll never do that!’”

Cook has some dismissive feedback regarding Isaacson’s book about the Apple co-founder; saying it has done Jobs “a tremendous disservice”.

[…] “It was just a rehash of a bunch of stuff that had already been written, and focused on small parts of his personality. You get the feeling that [Steve’s] a greedy, selfish egomaniac. It didn’t capture the person. The person I read about there is somebody I would never have wanted to work with over all this time. Life is too short.

“Steve cared,” Cook continues. “He cared deeply about things. Yes, he was very passionate about things, and he wanted things to be perfect. And that was what was great about him. A lot of people mistook that passion for arrogance. He wasn’t a saint. I’m not saying that. None of us are. But it’s emphatically untrue that he wasn’t a great human being, and that is totally not understood.

The work also documents Jobs’ focus on building the new headquarters with the help of Norman Foster Architects, and the philosophy behind the design.

Moreover, Cook recollects the conversation he had with Jobs when the latter first informed him he would be the next CEO:

“It was an interesting conversation,” Cook says, with a wistful laugh. “He says, ‘You make all the decisions.’ I go, ‘Wait. Let me ask you a question.’ I tried to pick something that would incite him. So I said, ‘You mean that if I review an ad and I like it, it should just run without your okay?’ And he laughed and said, ‘Well, I hope you’d at least ask me!’ I asked him two or three times, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ because I saw him getting better at that point in time. I went over there often during the week, and sometimes on the weekends. Every time I saw him he seemed to be getting better. He felt that way as well. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.”

The lengthy excerpt is well worth a look. You can read it by following this link.