Walter Isaacson Considering Expanding Steve Jobs Biography

Richard Nieva for Fortune:

The author discussed potential plans for expanding the already 630-page book in the future. One possibility is doing an extensively annotated version. Another is writing an addendum that addresses the period surrounding Jobs' death. Fleshing out the details seems like a logical next step, since Isaacson believes the Apple (AAPL) CEO's story will be told for decades or a century to come. "This is the first or second draft," he said, referring to his book's role in documenting Jobs' life. "It's not the final draft."

This is ridiculous.

In the weeks since the biography's release, there has been widespread criticism of the way Isaacson dealt with the modern Apple, and with the company's future. Rather than asking questions concerning the genesis of product concepts and ideas, Isaacson evidently found deeper interest in solely exploring the human story and repeatedly highlighting Steve Jobs' abandonment issues. Ultimately, Isaacson presented a semi-satisfying, yet irrefutably lacking image of Steve Jobs.

As such, the question has been asked as to whether this was a squandered opportunity. Whether Isaacson was even interested in Jobs in the first place. Most importantly, whether the window of opportunity for answers has now passed. Isaacson has responded to several questions, and has repeatedly hinted at knowing more, but giving little more detail than that. 

And yet, suddenly the biography is now unfinished? Oh, of course.

Having been Amazon's best selling book for 2011, this strikes me as a shameless attention/cash grabbing endeavor. People are evidently interested in the late Apple CEO's life and there would inevitably be interest in an expansion of the hot topic of the future of the company.

The book's release felt rushed following Steve's passing, and now it is casually announced that information was withheld or unexplored?

Such treatment is callous.

Isaacson was tasked with writing about Steve's life, and the book's release was repeatedly moved in accordance with each nugget of health-related news that leaked out. The publisher and Isaacson were aware of the situation, and it was announced he was covering Steve's final year. But now it's just a draft? Suddenly he didn't cover everything he would have liked to?

The publishing of the book comes across as a shameless capitalization on Steve Jobs' death. As far as Isaacson's writing, it can either be deemed rushed and inadvertently unfinished, or purposefully unfinished for the sake of revisiting for more money later.

Regardless of the reason, this does not sit right with me whatsoever.

Designer Phillipe Starck on Steve Jobs

Phillipe Starck on the late Steve Jobs for Wired:

People speculate whether Apple has a future without Steve Jobs. I’m not worried, because Steve did not invent the business. He invented a way of thinking, and infused Apple with that aesthetic. And this can perpetuate because it is liberating. It is not something formal and corporate. The standards and stakes are high, but anything is possible in an environment which truly welcomes creativity.

Over the holidays, I've heard so much speculation from non-tech people about Apple's prospects post-Jobs, and I have continued to insist that Apple's outlook remains largely unfazed. They lost a visionary leader who had the ability to bring extensive ideas into a cohesive and ordered reality, but as Starck suggests, much of his influence has been wholly instilled into Apple's nature as a corporate entity.

Jobs' absence is obviously a profound loss, but speculation regarding Apple's future seems unfounded. As Starck says in his Wired piece:

People speculate whether Apple has a future without Steve Jobs. I’m not worried.

For more of Starck's design work, visit his official website here.