Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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by Jason Snell

‘Make Something Wonderful’

The Steve Jobs Archive has released a book, edited by Leslie Berlin, with a small selection of Steve Jobs’s interviews, speeches, and emails—many of them to himself. There’s a limited print run being given to Apple, Pixar, and Disney employees, but anyone can download a copy for free from Apple Books or from the Steve Jobs Archive website in ePub format, or you can read it on the web in its entirety.

I have to admit that the existence of the Steve Jobs Archive generates mixed feelings in me. It’s dedicated to curating the work of an important historical figure, but also feels a bit like it’s designed to be a hagiographic tool for influencing how Jobs is remembered by history. (Given how history tends to flatten people’s life stories and accomplishments into caricature or outright falsehood, I entirely understand the impulse.)

In any event, “Make Something Wonderful: Steve Jobs in His Own Words” is a good, short read. It’s neither a dry business-school tome nor some sort of detailed historical analysis of his email trail. Instead, it’s a carefully curated collection that ranges from the familiar to the obscure.

I found the first two sections of the book, covering his early days through his return to Apple, to be the most compelling. Once Jobs returns to Apple and Pixar is riding high, the text tends to become a bit more familiar set of keynote addresses and memos from the CEO.

The highlight of the book, however, is his Stanford commencement address from 2005. It’s a remarkable speech to begin with, one that will likely be quoted for years to come. But the book also provides Jobs’s notes to himself as he began planning what to say in the speech! (He just kept sending himself emails whenever he thought of something, and because of that quirk, we get to peek inside his thought process.)

“Make Something Wonderful” is worth your time, even if it’s just to marvel at the beautifully executed web version.

—Linked by Jason Snell

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