The most recommended Steve Jobs books

Who picked these books? Meet our 15 experts.

15 authors created a book list connected to Steve Jobs, and here are their favorite Steve Jobs books.
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Book cover of Steve Jobs

Neil Archer Author Of The Social Network: Youth Film 2.0

From my list on Silicon Valley’s impact on everyday life.

Who am I?

I have a fixation with films about or using digital technology: my work in this area is about trying to grasp the impacts of technological change on the world in which we live. In writing about The Social Network, I was gripped by the idea that a group of college kids could create something so contagious and monstrous as Facebook. More recently, I’ve been exploring the impacts of data on our understanding and management of sport. I’m also working on a long-term project about Pixar, a long-term fascination. I just love the idea that the films we and our children watch started out with a bunch of computer scientists, playing around with polygons.

Neil's book list on Silicon Valley’s impact on everyday life

Neil Archer Why did Neil love this book?

As suggested by my recommendation of Levy’s Facebook, I’m a sucker for a big book about tech entrepreneurs, especially when the subject is as prickly and culturally relevant as Steve Jobs (the book also inspired Aaron Sorkin’s post-Social Network screenplay for 2015’s Steve Jobs, another great Silicon Valley film).

While I’m not an Apple fanboy, I am a fan of Pixar, the other company for which Jobs was CEO. Isaacson’s biography in turn offers a fast-paced history of the way computers and computing, via Apple’s designs and Pixar’s films, stopped being objects only for offices and science fiction, and became part of our everyday landscape.

Like him or not, we’re all partly living in Steve Jobs’ world.

By Walter Isaacson,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Steve Jobs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From bestselling author Walter Isaacson comes the landmark biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs' professional and personal life.

Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs' family members, key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.


Book cover of The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience

Brian Ahearn Author Of Influence People: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical

From my list on helping you influence people and hear “yes!”.

Who am I?

My career and life were changed by Robert Cialdini’s work on influence. There are only a dozen people in the world who have been personally trained, certified, and endorsed by Cialdini to teach his methodology on influence and persuasion. I’m fortunate to be in that very select group. I’ve authored three books and given a TED Talk on influence. My LinkedIn Learning courses around influence in sales and coaching have been viewed by more than 500,00 across the globe. I take Cialdini’s influence concepts and marry them with my 35+ years of business experience to give organizations practical ways to ethically influence people. 

Brian's book list on helping you influence people and hear “yes!”

Brian Ahearn Why did Brian love this book?

Robert Cialdini’s work on influence changed how I go about trying to influence people. Gallo’s revelations radically changed how I present to audiences.

Throughout the book Gallo shows why Steve Jobs was such a masterful influencer from the stage. As I read, I found myself continually taking notes on how I would change my presentations. By the time I was done, I’d taken seven pages of type-written notes!

The change in audience reaction was immediate! If you’re serious about improving your presentation style, there’s no better resource than The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs.

By Carmine Gallo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs reveals the operating system behind any great presentation and provides you with a quick-start guide to design your own passionate interfaces with your audiences."
Cliff Atkinson, author of Beyond Bullet Points and The Activist Audience

Apple CEO Steve Jobs's wildly popular presentations have set a new global gold standard-and now this step-by-step guide shows you exactly how to use his crowd-pleasing techniques in your own presentations. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs is as close as you'll ever get to having the master presenter himself speak directly in your ear. Communications expert Carmine Gallo…


Book cover of Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs

Marty Cagan Author Of Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products

From my list on building a strong technology organization.

Who am I?

Marty Cagan has been working on and with technology-powered empowered product teams for his entire career. Before founding the Silicon Valley Product Group to pursue his interests in helping others create successful products through his writing, speaking, advising, and coaching, Marty Cagan served as an executive responsible for defining and building products for some of the most successful companies in the world, including Hewlett-Packard, Netscape Communications, and eBay. As part of his work with SVPG, Marty is an invited speaker at major conferences and top companies across the globe. Marty is the author of INSPIRED: How To Create Tech Products Customers Love, and EMPOWERED: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products.

Marty's book list on building a strong technology organization

Marty Cagan Why did Marty love this book?

Apple is the most secretive commercial company I know.  Most books that have been written about them are about their colorful co-founder Steve Jobs, and much less about the inner workings.  My favorite book on how the actual work of product is done at Apple is Creative Selection by former engineering lead Ken Kocienda. Ken worked on some of the company’s most important products and technologies, during what I’d consider the peak innovation period for the company (so far).  Because Ken is an engineer, this book provides the engineering perspective, but the book is loaded with useful observations, learnings and insights.

By Ken Kocienda,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Creative Selection as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hundreds of millions of people use Apple products every day; a few thousand work on Apple's campus in California; but only a handful sit at the drawing board. Creative Selection recounts the life of one of the few behind the scenes, a highly-respected software engineer who worked in the final years the Steve Jobs era.

Ken Kocienda offers an inside look at Apple's creative process. For fifteen years, he was on the ground floor of the company as a specialist, responsible for experimenting with novel user interface concepts and writing software for products including the iPhone, the iPad, and the…


Book cover of So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

Shawn Swyx Wang Author Of The Coding Career Handbook

From my list on developers who want no-bullshit career advice.

Who am I?

I have advised thousands of developers on their career journey and have always been shocked at how many people don’t have a good sherpa on their path if they didn’t luck out with a good boss or industry friends to help them find their way. I think everyone deserves a third path other than work and immediate friends to figure out their career journey and I think the right books and online mentors can accelerate your career if you feel stuck in a local minima.

Shawn's book list on developers who want no-bullshit career advice

Shawn Swyx Wang Why did Shawn love this book?

Cal Newport is arguably the leading thinker on career philosophy in the present day.

Understanding how to build career capital, develop valuable skills (rather than “just following your passion”), take control of your own career, and finally build a compelling mission, will give direction to your career that will set you apart and make you, well, so good they can’t ignore you. :)

By Cal Newport,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked So Good They Can't Ignore You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Cal Newport's clearly-written manifesto flies in the face of conventional wisdom by suggesting that it should be a person's talent and skill -- and not necessarily their passion -- that determines their career path. Newport, who graduated from Dartmouth College (Phi Beta Kappa) and recently earned a PhD. from MIT, contends that trying to find what drives us, instead of focusing on areas in which we naturally excel, is ultimately harmful and frustrating to job seekers. The title is a direct quote from comedian Steve Martin who, when once asked why he was successful in his career, immediately replied: "Be…


Book cover of Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value

Steven E. Landsburg Author Of Can You Outsmart an Economist?

From my list on the biggest questions.

Who am I?

As far back as I can remember, I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about things like why there is something instead of nothing, why we can remember the past but not the future, and how consciousness arises. Although I’m a professor of economics, I take such things seriously enough to have published some papers in philosophy journals, and even a whole book about philosophy called The Big Questions. These are some of the books that sharpened my thinking, inspired me to think more deeply, and convinced me that good writing can render deep ideas both accessible and fun.

Steven's book list on the biggest questions

Steven E. Landsburg Why did Steven love this book?

Would you guess that the average daily temperature in San Francisco is above or below 558 degrees Fahrenheit?

I'm going to assume you guessed "below", because that's the right answer and absolutely everybody gets it right.

Now---what would you guess is the actual average daily temperature in San Francisco? If you are like just about everybody, your guess right now is quite a bit higher than the guess you’d have made a minute ago, before you saw my first (entirely ludicrous) question. This well-documented effect persists even when subjects are told about it and warned not to fall prey to it.

Perhaps I’m overestimating, but I believe this book contains about 14 billion equally fascinating and weird facts about how human minds process information. But although these facts are quirky, they are not quirks --- they are central to the working of the human mind, not just little mistakes we…

By William Poundstone,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Priceless as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Prada stores carry a few obscenely expensive items in order to boost sales for everything else (which look like bargains in comparison). People used to download music for free, then Steve Jobs convinced them to pay. How? By charging 99 cents. That price has a hypnotic effect: the profit margin of the 99 Cents Only store is twice that of Wal-Mart. Why do text messages cost money, while e-mails are free? Why do jars of peanut butter keep getting smaller in order to keep the price the "same"? The answer is simple: prices are a collective hallucination.

In Priceless, the…


Book cover of The Innovators

Alex Tapscott Author Of Web3: Charting the Internet's Next Economic and Cultural Frontier

From my list on technological innovation and what drives it.

Who am I?

It was while on the job as an investment banker that I first heard about this new thing called Bitcoin, before the word "web3" entered the vernacular. Initially I was skeptical but curious. But I became convinced the underlying technology of blockchains was ushering in nothing short of a new internet. My father Don Tapscott and I agreed to collaborate on a major research initiative that became the international best-seller, Blockchain Revolution. Since then, I have traveled to 40 countries and seen first-hand how blockchain and now Web3 is changing the world, setting the stage for a new digital age. My new book charts a course for this coming transformation.

Alex's book list on technological innovation and what drives it

Alex Tapscott Why did Alex love this book?

In The Innovators, Walter Isaacson reminds us that “innovation occurs when ripe seeds fall on fertile ground.” Like the earth beneath our feet, we stand on stratum upon stratum of technological innovation, each with unique markers of its age.

Sometimes, the right idea, person, or group of people arrives at the right time to sow the seeds of something new. Isaacson explores how this phenomenon, teaching us how the collaboration of many individuals working across time and space helped usher in the first digital age in a highly readable survey of the main players and events.

As we stand on the brink of a second digital age, we would do well to search our history for lessons before stepping into the future.

By Walter Isaacson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Innovators as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovatorsis Walter Isaacson's story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and a guide to how innovation really works.

What talents allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their disruptive ideas into realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail?

In his exciting saga, Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron's daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He then explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution,…


Book cover of Small Fry: A Memoir

Margie Haack Author Of The Exact Place: A Search for Father

From my list on memoirs on missing a father’s love.

Who am I?

The Exact Place began as a collection of stories about growing up on a small farm in a large family. Many were unusual and funny. An editor who critiqued my manuscript said: “You’ve found your voice and write well, but why have you left out the role of your stepfather and your faith which became an important part of who you are? If you want more than just an entertaining story, take it to a deeper level.” I was afraid revealing such things would ostracize me from my family, but I understood the wisdom of his advice. I kept the stories and rewrote the book determined to be vulnerable and honest. 

Margie's book list on memoirs on missing a father’s love

Margie Haack Why did Margie love this book?

Lisa Brennan-Jobs is the daughter of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, and one of the wealthiest men in the world. This didn’t make him an attentive, loving father. Lisa was regularly ignored, and deliberately left out of his new family (he never married her mother). Her determination to win his love failed, and she blamed herself for his lack of acceptance. She longed for reassurance that never materialized. Lisa had to face the unwanted reality: “He doesn’t love me.” When Jobs was dying from pancreatic cancer, with tears, he owned that none of this was her fault. In spite of the sadness of her story, she didn’t allow his rejection and late confession to consume her with bitterness. She writes honestly and kindly about growing up with a famous father. For those of us who have searched and never gained our father’s love or acceptance, this story reminds us that…

By Lisa Brennan-Jobs,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Small Fry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Vogue's Best Books of the Year, 2018
Sunday Times' Best Memoirs of the Year, 2018
A New York Times Book of the Year
New Yorker Book of the Year

A frank, smart and captivating memoir by the daughter of Apple founder Steve Jobs.

Born on a farm and named in a field by her parents - artist Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs - Lisa Brennan-Jobs's childhood unfolded in a rapidly changing Silicon Valley. When she was young, Lisa's father was a mythical figure who was rarely present in her life. As she grew older, her father took an interest in…


Book cover of Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company

David Kopec Author Of Classic Computer Science Problems in Java

From my list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc..

Who am I?

I’m a programming book author, software developer, podcaster, and computer science professor at a teaching college. But I’ve also always been a devoted fan of Apple Inc. and deeply interested in its history. I’ve read more than two dozen books about Apple so you can just read the best ones. If five books are not enough for you, and you want to dig deeper into books about Apple and Steve Jobs, you can check out my blog post on my website.

David's book list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc.

David Kopec Why did David love this book?

This was one of the first Apple history books that I read when I was a teenager. It primarily covers vignettes from the early years and the non-Jobs era of Apple (1985–1997). I read the first edition, which came out in 1999. It’s valuable because most Apple books tend to concentrate on the Jobs era. I have not read the newer, 2004 edition.

By Owen W. Linzmayer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Apple Confidential 2.0 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Apple Confidential examines the tumultuous history of America's best-known Silicon Valley start-up from its legendary founding almost 30 years ago, through a series of disastrous executive decisions, to its return to profitability, and including Apple's recent move into the music business. Linzmayer digs into forgotten archives and interviews the key players to give readers the real story of Apple Computer, Inc. This updated and expanded edition includes tons of new photos, timelines, and charts, as well as coverage of new lawsuit battles, updates on former Apple executives, and new chapters on Steve Wozniak and Pixar.


Book cover of Return to the Little Kingdom: Steve Jobs and the Creation of Apple

David Kopec Author Of Classic Computer Science Problems in Java

From my list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc..

Who am I?

I’m a programming book author, software developer, podcaster, and computer science professor at a teaching college. But I’ve also always been a devoted fan of Apple Inc. and deeply interested in its history. I’ve read more than two dozen books about Apple so you can just read the best ones. If five books are not enough for you, and you want to dig deeper into books about Apple and Steve Jobs, you can check out my blog post on my website.

David's book list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc.

David Kopec Why did David love this book?

I read this book after I had read many others about Apple, but if I could do it over again, I would start here. This is the single best book about Apple’s early history from its founding in 1976 until the release of the Macintosh in 1984. When I’m learning something, I always find it valuable to start from the beginning. You’ll need more than just this book though because the material in it covering post-1984 Apple is cursory at best.

By Michael Moritz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Return to the Little Kingdom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1984, The Little Kingdom: The Private Story of Apple Computer told the story of Apple's first decade alongside the histories of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Now, completely revised and expanded, Return to the Little Kingdom is the definitive biography of Apple and its founders from the very beginning. Moritz brings readers inside the childhood homes of Jobs and Wozniak and records how they dropped out of college and founded Apple in 1976. He follows the fortunes of the company through the mid-1980s, and in new material, tracks the development of Apple to the present and offers an insider?s…


Book cover of iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It

David Kopec Author Of Classic Computer Science Problems in Java

From my list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc..

Who am I?

I’m a programming book author, software developer, podcaster, and computer science professor at a teaching college. But I’ve also always been a devoted fan of Apple Inc. and deeply interested in its history. I’ve read more than two dozen books about Apple so you can just read the best ones. If five books are not enough for you, and you want to dig deeper into books about Apple and Steve Jobs, you can check out my blog post on my website.

David's book list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc.

David Kopec Why did David love this book?

I feel like it would be crazy to not read a book by a cofounder when you want to learn about the history of a company. Steve Wozniak’s autobiography chiefly focuses on his early life and his years at Apple. The writing style is very basic—with a quite simple sentence structure throughout. Perhaps that’s because this book was positioned to be attractive to both children and adults. But this is the only book written by one of Apple’s cofounders and iWoz has a very positive, inspirational message.

By Steve Wozniak, Gina Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked iWoz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Before slim laptops that fit into briefcases, computers looked like strange vending machines, with cryptic switches and pages of encoded output. But in 1977 Steve Wozniak revolutionized the computer industry with his invention of the first personal computer. As the sole inventor of the Apple I and II computers, Wozniak has enjoyed wealth, fame, and the most coveted awards an engineer can receive, and he tells his story here for the first time.