12 books directly related to Steve Jobs 📚

All 12 Steve Jobs books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

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

Why 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.

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

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…

Original Whole Earth Catalog

By Stewart Brand (editor), Peter Warshall (editor),

Book cover of Original Whole Earth Catalog

Why this book?

The Whole Earth Catalog has been inspiring people (including us) to build their own small dwellings since the 60s. Among other things, it’s a how-to manual of construction techniques and a life guide with readers’ recommendations and opinions. Brand coined the term ‘personal computer’ and signed off the final edition of The Whole Earth Catalog in 1974 with “Stay hungry, stay foolish” (famously quoted by Steve Jobs in a commencement speech at Stanford over 30 years later).

Original Whole Earth Catalog

By Stewart Brand (editor), Peter Warshall (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Original Whole Earth Catalog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Steve Jobs

By Walter Isaacson,

Book cover of Steve Jobs

Why this book?

This is the authorized Steve Jobs biography, which came out shortly after his death in 2011. There’s a reason that it is one of the most widely read business biographies of all time. It is comprehensive, but not all reviewers felt Isaacson fully grasped all of Steve Jobs's accomplishments sufficiently, nor truly captured his character. However, it still tells the general story of Steve Jobs's life well.

Steve Jobs

By Walter Isaacson,

Why should I read it?

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

Why 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.

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

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 Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value

Why 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 make around the edges.

Poundstone is a great storyteller and he regales us with one extraordinary experimental result after, but he doesn't stop there. Instead he invites us to ponder the implications for how we live our lives and how we understand the world. The tone is light-hearted; the subject is essential.

Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value

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 Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader

Why this book?

This biography was almost written as a “response” to the Isaacson book. It better covers the NeXT and Pixar years. In fact, it makes the case that those years in Steve Jobs's life were critical for his later success after returning to Apple. This book should probably be read after the Isaacson book because it’s not as comprehensive as the Isaacson book and provides a different perspective.

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader

By Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES AND #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER - with a new foreword by Silicon Valley legend Marc Andreessen.

'For my money, a better book about Jobs than Walter Isaacson's biography' New Yorker

'A fascinating reinterpretation of the Steve Jobs story' Sunday Times

We all think we know who Steve Jobs was, what made him tick, and what made him succeed.

Yet the single most important question about him has never been answered.

The young, impulsive, egotistical genius was ousted in the mid-80s from the company he founded, exiled from his own kingdom and cast into the wilderness. Yet he returned…


How Will You Measure Your Life?

By Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth, Karen Dillon

Book cover of How Will You Measure Your Life?

Why this book?

I’m sometimes guilty of comparing my success to that of others without stopping to remind myself that their values system might be different than mine. This book challenged me to formally and decisively answer the question, “How do I want my life to be measured?” I now have greater peace about my career and life choices because they are being made in better alignment with my values. 

How Will You Measure Your Life?

By Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth, Karen Dillon

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Will You Measure Your Life? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How do you lead a fulfilling life? That profound question animates this book of inspiration and insight from world-class business strategist and bestselling author of The Innovator's Dilemma, Clayton Christensen.

After beating a heart attack, advanced-stage cancer and a stroke in three successive years, the world-renowned innovation expert and author of one of the best selling and most influential business books of all time - The Innovator's Dilemma - Clayton M. Christensen delivered a short but powerful speech to the Harvard Business School graduating class. He presented a set of personal guidelines that have helped him find meaning and happiness…


The Innovators

By Walter Isaacson,

Book cover of The Innovators

Why this book?

In this treatise, Isaacson answers the question “How did we get here?” with fascinating detailed storytelling about the most important contributions and contributors to computer science. It is a definitive reference work—-if you want information about someone or something related to computer science, you can use the index to this book as the springboard to an engaging and interesting story.

The book opens with an illustrated timeline that neatly summarizes what is to come. It really is worth reading the book cover to cover to get full context on how the digital revolution really happened (admittedly, there are plenty of details that can be safely skimmed). Particularly fascinating are the ways in which these people connected with and influenced each other. From Turing to Steve Jobs, the story is a seamless web.

This book is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The Innovators

By Walter Isaacson,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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 Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company

Why 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.

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

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

Why 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.

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

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.

Book cover of Radical Uncertainty: Decision-Making Beyond the Numbers

Why this book?

These are volatile and tumultuous times, which makes it difficult if not impossible to make decisions with any assurance of accuracy. Kay and King, in this very substantial and learned book, have written what we think is one of the best guides to making these decisions with the best tools and insights we have. The authors have the advantage of being very seasoned practitioners in several domains as well as extremely well-read in the subjects that impact decision-making under these conditions. Their emphasis is on the limits of current mathematical tools, and they advise that we use the more pragmatic and grounded understanding we have from history, philosophy, and our own experiences.

Radical Uncertainty: Decision-Making Beyond the Numbers

By Mervyn King, John Kay,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Radical Uncertainty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Some uncertainties are resolvable. The insurance industry's actuarial tables and the gambler's roulette wheel both yield to the tools of probability theory. Most situations in life, however, involve a deeper kind of uncertainty, a radical uncertainty for which historical data provide no useful guidance to future outcomes. Radical uncertainty concerns events whose determinants are insufficiently understood for probabilities to be known or forecasting possible. Before President Barack Obama made the fateful decision to send in the Navy Seals, his advisers offered him wildly divergent estimates of the odds that Osama bin Laden would be in the Abbottabad compound. In 2000,…


Book cover of Einstein: His Life and Universe

Why this book?

Walter Isaacson may well be America’s pre-eminent biographer. Einstein: His Life and Universe is a powerful book that leaves no stone unturned in providing an understanding of the motivation and methods of this extraordinary scientist. It also provides the foundation for my book

There is both depth and feeling in Walter Isaacson’s biography. The reader comes away with an understanding and appreciation of how a patent clerk, whom no physicists wanted to work with, managed to find, through his vision and persistence, answers to the most challenging and complex scientific problems of his day. It is a great story.

Einstein: His Life and Universe

By Walter Isaacson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

By the author of the acclaimed bestseller 'Benjamin Franklin', this is the first full biography of Albert Einstein since all of his papers have become available. How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson's biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom. Based on newly released personal letters of Einstein, this book explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk - a struggling father in a difficult marriage who couldn't get a teaching job or a doctorate - became…