Just a few weeks after Yammer steamed in to Sydney, the Newsgator 'Get Social' tour fulfilled its Australian dates last week, first in Melbourne (Monday 16th) and then in Sydney (Wednesday 18th). (Further dates are happening and have happened globally, check the Newsgator site for more details.)
The Sydney event, hosted at Microsoft Australia's beige headquarters in North Ryde, was an afternoon of presentations and discussion from a range of perspectives and organisations.
Disclosure: Step Two Designs has recently been involved with one of the most significant, launched Newsgator projects in Australia, with property group Stockland. However, we played no role in choosing the product, simply working with it once it had been chosen. We have no professional alignment or partnership in place with Newsgator. Stockland Intranet and Usability Consultant, presented a case study of the project in the afternoon, more of which I'll talk about later.
Newsgator and Yammer
Despite playing in the same space as Yammer, Newsgator is a very different proposition to that product. There is no freemium model with Newsgator, for example (though a free trial is easily available), and Newsgator has to run concurrently within a SharePoint environment. No SharePoint, no Newsgator. While this could change in the future, right now you need the Microsoft platform.
Thus the attendees at the Newsgator event were pretty much all SharePoint focused, and either considering, trialling or deploying Newsgator in their businesses. I think it's fair to say we'll be seeing a lot of Australia-based Newsgator stories emerging in the next few months. Certainly the list of organisations that have recently signed off on Newsgator, or are about to do so, is pretty interesting. It's also interesting to note that many Newsgator customers are those that have trialled Yammer before, but have decided against using it strategically, or are even using them both in some cases.
Newsgator CEO J.B. Holston is leading the Newsgator tour, assisted in this region by Asia-Pacific Director, Cuneyt Uysal. Holston spoke for around an hour, focusing on what the many Newsgator customers globally are doing with the software, with frequent references to McKinsey's ongoing social business research to state the case.
My two choice quotes were that:
"Organisations are moving very quickly to adopt social business tools. A few years ago, CIOs were very hesitant about social, now moving very quickly'; and
"Fast, enterprise-wide deployment is rapidly becoming the key consideration, not ROI. We think this is going to accelerate over the next two years."
You might well note that I'm applying far less critical appraisal to this event than I applied to Yammer's in March. To be honest there was no need for as much analysis. Newsgator is 90 people or so globally, headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The company has 3.5 million paid customers. Just as with Yammer, Newsgator presents very well on its own merits, but in this case there was less glam and hyperbole to cut through, just solid, well-reasoned and substantiated points, and numerous great examples.
Newsgator at Stockland
As mentioned, Step Two Designs has recently worked on a Newsgator-centric project with property group, Stockland. We were part of a multi-team project, and involved with user research (including workshops, one-on-one interviews), confirming business requirements, page and feature design, and adoption strategy. It was a hugely fun and collaborative project, and one that you'll no doubt be hearing more details on very soon.
Image and Data Manager has a good rundown of Emily Staresina's presentation, which discussed the reasons for the project, challenges faced, lessons learned and some of the use cases we knew of and those unknowns that emerged before and after launch.
What was surprising to many at the event was the very strategic approach Stockland took. Where lots of organisations have looked at the deployment of social tools as a pure experiment, this project had the benefit of cheap past experiments with social tools (blogs, wikis, Yammer etc were already in play to some degree). This project was developed with that experience, further in-depth research, subsequent clear requirements, and a very clear driving purpose – to find better ways to communicate and collaborate. These elements ensured that the project stayed focused and delivered a new SharePoint 2010 environment that blends in Newsgator very effectively.
There's a lot more to tell on this story, though it's still early days. You can be assured that more details and screenshots will be published soon, and you can register for a Newsgator webinar on 6th June to see Emily's presentation yourself.
Will Newsgator be relevant when SharePoint 2013 appears?
During the event, the question of SharePoint 2013's mooted improved social features were raised. What if, in SharePoint 2013, the social features are that much better than SharePoint 2010's. Would you still need Newsgator?
This is an interesting question that a fair few organisations are pondering at the moment. Those that have had 2013 demos are slightly more informed, but with a clear spec list and beta version yet to come it's still something of an unknown. Many also have asked why Microsoft don't simply buy Newsgator, and make it the social aspect of SharePoint?
All good questions.
To get a clear idea of the answer, first it's important to realise that Microsoft has a mixed approach to marketing SharePoint. On the one hand, 'SharePoint can do everything'. It has content management, business intelligence, social, collaborative, search and document management capabilities. And deep integration with the rest of the Microsoft stack (Office, Windows etc.). That's part of what makes it such a compelling prospect for businesses.
On the other hand, and on its own, SharePoint doesn't provide best-in-class features for any of those capabilities, and Microsoft fully knows this too. You need plug ins, web-parts and third-party tools. That's what the company tells its developer and partners and is beginning to tell its customers too – even with SharePoint 2013.
As quoted on Image and Data Manager, Jon Barrett, Solutions Specialist at Microsoft, said on the day that Newsgator will always be ahead of the core SharePoint platform when it comes to social, and if you want the best social features available, you shouldn't wait for SharePoint 2013:
"We are doing some of [the social functionality] ourselves [with SharePoint] but we are absolutely relying on Newsgator as our primary partner in this space,” said Barrett.
“We are providing the key plumbing: document management, enterprise search, tagging, and line of business (LOB) integration.
“We do have basic social features in SharePoint, they will be improved in Wave 15 (SharePoint 2013) but that will not be at the level of feature richness that Newsgator has. If you go with what is in our current products or what you’ve heard is coming in Wave 15, you’re betting on a baseline set of features.
“I would say as a customer don’t wait for Wave15, unless you’ve got a really slow social media strategy or unless you want to use some really baseline features, I would start going ahead with our platform and Newsgator on top.”
That is a definitive answer and one that should provide a lot of surety for organisations, if not also a bit of disappointment that Sharepoint 2013 won't be more capable. Yet, I guess, also thinking back to 2010, which was supposed to have great social features that turned out to be pretty basic too, we shouldn't be that surprised. This is a point worth thinking about in the design context too.
It's very good news for the Newsgator team of course. Their position at the moment is of the Number 1 social tool provider for SharePoint. No other platform provides the deep SharePoint integration opportunities that Newsgator does though, as we found on the Stockland project, there's still plenty of opportunities to improve it and make it your own.
Stay tuned for more on Newsgator and enterprise social – a further article is set to be published on the Step Two Designs site later this month.
Also don't forget, rounding out the last of the major enterprise social software roadshows this year is Cloudforce by Salesforce in June. This event will provide another perspective, with Salesforce's 'Chatter' in the mix, though arguably it's just a very small piece of the Salesforce pie.
If you want help with your social business solution, strategy, design and adoption, or to learn more about the work we've done to date at Step Two Designs, please get in touch.
Updated 27/4/12: Corrected newsgator's HQ location and paying customer figures
After playing with an HTC One X at the weekend and feeling inquisitive (Is it really that powerful? Am I being dumb in not getting Android's / Ice Cream Sandwich's odd UI scheme and buttons?), I began looking at broader reviews of it.
After the second one I read (which is about the 355th Android phone review I have read in the last few years), it struck me that, when it comes to an Android manufacturer's new flagship or 'hero' phone, you can almost predict the review's fundamentals without even reading it.
The screen is big. Enormous, in fact.
The screen is great, nearly (but not quite) as good as the iPhone 4/4S.
The design is amazing, but it gets grubby/is plasticky/feels a bit cheap. But it's still amazing. Best design ever.
[The gimmick] is, well, yeah I don't mind it, but Beats Audio / that clear plastic bit that doesn't do anything / the curved screen / the NFC that doesn't work anywhere is a bit of a gimmick. It's cool though. Really. It may be of use sometime in the future.
(YAY!) [The manufacturer] has [finally] simplified (toned down) their [awful] Android skin [now they've realised, five years in, that it limits their ability to update to new versions of Android quickly].
There are some usability issues with Android but, hey, it's a quantum leap on from the last version, which was great and all, but this one is so much better.
There's no expandable storage whaaaaaaaaaaa whingggggggee boooooooo.
It's lightning quick. That new latest mega-core processor is awesome.
But, oh, Android still isn't quite as responsive as iOS, it's still a bit laggy. But that's OK. It's better than the last version. It's nearly there. Honestly.
One caveat though, yeah, if you use it a lot, (like on the bus to work for 20 minutes) those 16 cores really ruin the battery life.
The battery is sealed whaaaaaaaaaaa whingggggggee boooooooo.
Buy it! Best phone out there!
But, also, wait for [other manufacturer's] new superfone which will be out next week too, and the the chip it has should be so much better. And it'll be 4G!
[Image source: dailyiphoneblog]
That's just for the online, multiplayer aspect of the game.
The single player campaigns of the 5 major Halo titles, which most Halo fans have also played through multiple times, take about 7-10 hours each game, each time. With around 40 million copies of the games sold (not to mention re-sold), you could probably add another billion or so hours on to it the 'time played' figure. And that's just one franchise, one genre, one platform. There are other games out there - FIFA, Call of Duty etc - that are even more popular as they're cross platform. The numbers are staggering.
In her book 'Reality is Broken' and related TED talks, Jane McGonigal pitches the idea that if humans played 21 billion hours of 'games' per week, we could change the world (we currently play 3 billion hours per week). The premise is that, if we play enough games and apply our gaming behaviours and approaches (competition, collaboration, doggedness) to real world problems, we can solve things. This is one of the core principles of gamification – structured, mildly competitive 'games' and gaming mechanics can help us to work through tasks more successfully. To many it's a load of hogwash. But really, it's a great idea.
The global 'Yammer Tour' (#Yamtour on Twitter) touched down in Australia this week, first in Sydney on Tuesday and today (Thursday) in Melbourne. If you weren't on board the Yammer train or part of the 'Yammerverse' already, then this was one almighty brush to try and sweep you up with, and it was an exceptionally well-produced event.
At Step Two Designs we're working regularly with companies looking at and using enterprise social network tools like Yammer and its competitors - Newsgator (SharePoint-oriented), Chatter (Salesforce), Tibbr, Jive and so on, while other tools such as Cisco Quad, and Social Text are also gaining traction.
The premise of all these tools is the same: they can be the catalyst for better employee engagement, expertise location, communication and collaboration; they have modern user interfaces; are easily deployed; regularly updated, and a few, like Yammer, are in the all conquering 'cloud'.
I approach sessions like the Yammer Tour with a healthy mix of enthusiasm and scepticism. The buzz around social, and Yammer in particular, is great. But the Kool Aid radar needs to be turned up to 11. Yammer itself has had more success than any other social software product in getting businesses onboard with the very idea of 'social'. Functionally too, it's a polished, well-designed product that's getting more capable all the time.
However, it's easy to get caught up in the hyperbole. There are some very serious, less shiny questions and statements that need addressing too.
Is Yammer a viable social tool for your business? Based on information provided this week at the event and our experience to date working with a lot of firms looking at and deploying social tools, here are six things you need to think about.
Yammer has hit 4.2 million verified customers. Of these, around 20 percent are paying for it to some degree. This translates to ~840k paid users, a number that has been anecdotally confirmed elsewhere too.
The Yammer Tour crowd was wowed by 4.2 million users as a figure, and that 200k organisations globally are using Yammer. These figures are just figures, though. The above works out at 21 users per organisation. This is pretty meaningless data.
Another stat: Australia is also the 5th largest growing Yammer market, with 250k users across 15k organisations. This averages out to 16 users per organisation. Again, it's just data that doesn't really tell us much, especially when so many of those users and organisations are completely ungoverned and 'unofficial' from a corporate perspective.
Is the 840k paid users good? Is it a great conversion rate? It's tough to know. Yammer's cost per user for premium versions starts at a list price of $5 per user (per month). For the top-tier 'enterprise' licence, some quoted figures have been significantly higher than that.
Of further relevance here is Yammer's growth and revenue. Let's say 840k users are paying an average of $5 per user per month. That's $4.2m a month and growing (minimum). With $50m a year in revenue (again, minimum). Add in the fact that Yammer recently completed an $85m funding round at the beginning of March, (bringing total VC funding to $142m), suggests that the company is going places. To where we can only hypothesise at this point, but CEO David Sacks talks about a 'Facebook-sized opportunity'.
At the Yammer Tour, David Obrand, Yammer VP of Global Sales, stated that most intranets are not participatory, and that most existing enterprise software tools basically suck (my paraphrasing). And he's absolutely right. By comparison, Yammer has good functionality and a class leading, very familiar UI (taken almost pixel for pixel from Facebook). It exposes a lot of enterprise software products as the creaky, dated code pits that they are.
But is Yammer a viable intranet replacement? Yammer's team says, 'We want to be the place where work gets done. In time it will be'.
Whether you believe this really depends on your definition of intranet. If you perceive an intranet to be just about communication and social conversation, and the ability to co-author documents, then Yammer may be a viable intranet replacement tool. Yet it is missing a lot of pretty common CMS functionality, and is simply in the lightweight class of products compared to the best intranets out there.
You also have to ask, is it Yammer's destiny to become a mid-level, cloud-hosted CMS product, with social capabilities? If that's the case, what will happen first: Yammer adds all the CMS capabilities that organisations need, or CMS providers add a micro-messaging capability? Even with every necessary feature, you still have the cloud-hosted aspect, which remains a huge hurdle for many organisations.
Yammer's increasing integration and connections with other tools – SAP, Salesforce, SharePoint etc – is notable here (and awesome in many ways). But I don't see Yammer's (or any other social tool's) place in the enterprise as the single environment or unified interface, it's much more of an accompanying tool – the social layer in a composite system.
Replacing the intranet is an ambitious statement and a great strategy, but at this stage it's difficult to agree with it at anything but the most lightweight level. To top it off, ambitions to replace or 'kill' incumbent products rarely turn out to be realistic. This is why Lotus Notes still exists.
The ambition to 'in time become the single place where work gets done' also leads to a further serious question; What does 'in time' mean for Yammer? If your organisation chooses to go 'all in' with this product, can you count on it to be around for long? One very possible direction is for Yammer to become the next Salesforce, SAP or Facebook. And that is also a fine strategy. Yet Yammer's considerable growth and substantial funding from VCs and existing investors can also be interpreted as screaming 'For sale'. At heart, it's a small, independent cloud service with a feature set that is both easily replicated and rapidly becoming commoditised. Among the main social software vendors, the race to dominate the enterprise social network world often seems like a race to create the most desirable product for one of the big vendors to buy.
There's zero problem with that as a strategy for building a company, but it may make customers hesitant in regards to a 3-5 year plan for enterprise technology. Will Yammer be around 'in time'? Possibly not. Is that a problem? In theory it's no different to almost every other software product not owned by one of the big software houses. Acquisitions and consolidation are par for the course in software, but not everyone has been happy with Oracle buying up the world, for example. Yammer's cloud-based existence may complicate things further in the acquisition scenario.
One of the biggest challenges we see for our clients is justifying the cost and business case for Yammer. Getting a true picture on licensing costs can lead to a big shock to organisations that, up to that point, have been enjoying their use of the free version.
'Voluntary adoption' is Yammer's slogan, and it tends to grab people by the neck and shake them hard, 'adoption' and 'How do we get people to use it" being a challenge for lots of intranet teams. Voluntary adoption is Yammer's biggest selling point though. For users, it's super easy to get involved – you just join up with your corporate email address and suddenly you're in the mix with any other person from your organisation that's done the same. The interface is just like Facebook, so it's familiar ("we don't' train people how to use Yammer"), and so there are few barriers to adoption – for users. In fact, it's so easy to sign up to Yammer that 'Should your organisation be considering a Yammer pilot?' is probably a moot question. Chances are, Yammer is already in your business and the scenario above is happening right at this moment whether IT or anyone else likes it or not.
For organisations this is interesting. For an organisation it's actually a case of 'involuntary adoption'. Until an organisation 'claims' its Yammer network – and to do so it has to pay a per user per month cost – the content 'belongs' to the individual user and Yammer has 100% control of it.
It seems terribly boring in the scheme of all the buzz of Yammer, but think about it: A third party, cloud-based software vendor is advocating that employees use their corporate email addresses for information sharing and collaborating – for work, ostensibly – on an external platform that the organisation in question has no control over, unless they pay a fairly substantial per user fee.
Is that even legal?
For many organisations we've spoken with, what began as a free lunch ends with a feeling not unlike extortion.
Let's stick on the positive side of things, though. Let's say an organisation sees that interesting dialogue is happening on the unofficial, unclaimed corporate Yammer network and decides it does want to pay at least $5 a month, if only to get some control over it. How do you justify that cost? If you're a 6,000-employee organisation such as AMP (on the panel at the Yammer Tour in Sydney), with 4,000 Yammer users, that's $20k a month / $240k a year (for the full enterprise version you can expect to pay more than $5 a user).
Taken as a standalone monthly/annual cost that seems a lot, doesn't it? Most organisations have a per-desktop figure they use to keep track of costs and adding $5 or more, monthly, to that is indeed a fair increase. But Yammer's pitch here is interesting. Their pitch is that 'enterprise social networks are the future of work'. Just as when people had to write business cases for telephones on desks, or email accounts for each employee – now you look back and see that that was crazy. "Phones, email… this is the cost of doing business, you don't put ROI on having a phone system, or the cost of email". Most of that's true, though you do frequently hear people questioning how much email is costing them.
Yammer's pitch then, is that having Yammer costed at $20k a month is also the cost of doing business. "In the scheme of things it's not much at all" said Andy Hedges from Westfield, with, 'Benefits that are immeasurable'. As such, we're advised, 'Don't think about ROI with Yammer'.
The real issue here is that, really, 'Don't worry about ROI' is a great line. And it's true in some scenarios. For example, just the licensing for using Blackberries can easily be a lot more than $5 a month per user (try $30) before the voice and data plan, not to mention phone/unit cost. But really, an enterprise social network isn't like the phone. It's bit like email was I guess, vaguely, but software is quite an amazing space these days. To cut to the chase, spending $20k on Yammer every month is not the cost of doing business. Crucially, it's the cost of doing business if you decide to use Yammer. And that cost is something we're increasingly seeing organisations question when the fees start to look like $500k, or a $1million, per year, or more.
Again, the functionality of Yammer isn't conceptually complicated. Organisations have built similar platforms themselves, and there is a free, open source product that provides microblogging in any environment, integrated with your incumbent system. Put in the context of other products, Yammer starts to seem expensive.
There's no doubt that enterprise social networks are a big part of the future of work. The promise of 'enterprise social' or internal social media has been obvious to many for years. Now there are some superb products that crystallise that opportunity and Yammer is at the forefront. Such easy-to-use, aesthetically pleasing social software interfaces, such as Yammer's, are also something to strive for in the enterprise environment.
The point is that there is choice out there, there are pros and cons to all products, and you should evaluate Yammer not in the context of other equipment like mobile phones, but versus other comparable social network tools.
It's wise to be informed, and to be strategic in your choices. Evaluate what's right for your business, choose your direction, and preferably do it before Yammer takes over your organisation, whether voluntarily or not.
Have you been reading Intranetizen, the newish intranet-focused, multi-author blog/site from Sharon O'Dea, Jon Phillips, Dana Leeson and Luke Mepham?
These guys are four UK-based intranet practitioners that have a mountain of experience at some incredible organisations, and they're putting that experience online. Since launching the site in 2011 the Intranetizen team has consistently punched out great posts on a wide range of intranet topics.
Use of Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) has reportedly dropped to 1% in the US, on the web at least. See the full story on Engadget. Unfortunately there is a little exception: enterprise use, where it no doubt remains a fair bit higher.
It's scarcely believable that any person or organisation is still using such an antiquated, unsupported browser, but yet it persists. We have worked with one such company recently where the design requirements were to design for IE6, adding around 30% to the cost of the work.
For all sorts of reasons, if your organisation is still using IE6 then the IT team/department, and the CIO, have failed in this aspect of their responsibilities. It's time to ditch the excuses and eradicate this scurge. Say no to IE6!
The iPhone and mobile and social gaming on phones and the web generally, coupled with Nintendo's aging technology, has effectively destroyed Nintendo's profits and position in the market. It's about to report its first loss in 30 years.
I really hope the company survives. Plenty of blogs are still suggesting Apple could pick it up. I would truly love to see iPhone Mario Kart, even with the blight of touch screen game controls.
['Most people believe Nintendo is doomed like Sega' via Kotaku]
Cross-posted from the Step Two Designs site
Intranets2011 was a huge success, with much of the credit going to the high calibre of speakers throughout the two days. For Intranets2012, we’ll be bringing together another great set of speakers from around the globe. An international call for papers is a key part of this, giving practitioners working in every organisation a chance to submit their ideas.
We encourage submissions from across Australia, New Zealand and internationally. Once we assess the submissions, we’ll finalise the mix of local and international presenters.
Call for papers open: 18 October 2011
Call for papers close: 1 December 2011
Intranets2012 will provide a mix of inspiration and practical insight that will help every participant deliver a better site. Key topics will include:
If you have any questions about the conference, and what would be suitable as a topic, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Released last Monday 24 October, and devoured in a week, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson is a beginning-to-end chronicle of the greatest CEO in a generation. If you have even the remotest interest in how this vicious but visionary genius founded, built and rebuilt a $400-billion company, having been chucked out of it for 12 years in between, this is compulsive reading. Here are some aspects of it that stood out for me.
*** Beware, light spoilers ahead ***
The last words: As an officially endorsed biography, no doubt this book contains the majority of Steve Jobs' last public words. Perhaps we'll hear more over time from colleagues, friends and acquaintances and I wait with bated breath for a similar publication from Jony Ive, Tim Cook or Bill Gates. As such, it's poignant, insightful and tragic. Jobs was brilliant, and so right a lot of the time. He died young, with a young family, and arguably when at the top of his game. It's great that this book was written (and it's super easy to read too).
The pursuit of happiness: Perfection is paramount. If it's not right, if it 'feels' wrong, intuitively, then stop, rethink, and don't just push on because of a deadline. While most of us don't have such luxury in our work, perhaps Jobs' greatest legacy could be to broadcast his way of thinking. Don't produce crap. Sweat the details, make it the best you possibly can etc.
The epic: It remains, and will always be, an incredible story of a person. From founding Apple, to being kicked out, to creating NeXT and establishing Pixar, to his return to Apple and the next 14 years of unbelievable progress, Jobs' story will take some beating. Much of the information in the book is not new, but seeing it all so well researched and supplemented with new interviews of colleagues and much time with Jobs himself, this book provides the most 'complete' view of his story to date.
The history: Right time, right place, right person. Jobs was lucky in his meetings of key people and at a unique time in human history - the birth of the personal computer. But who else would have grabbed the opportunities Jobs had with such passion, fervour, and foresight? It's fair to say he was lucky, but also fair to say that the likelihood of someone pulling it off as well as Jobs did was fairly low. Jobs early success - worth $250 million by the age of 25 (in the early 1980s!) - also meant he was never destined for a regular life. That fact played a huge role in his ability to focus, because he 'never had to worry about money again'.
The critic: To Obama:"You're heading for a one-term presidency": On Bill Gates: "He just ripped ideas off, he never invented anything"; On John Rubenstein: "He's basically an HP guy"; On Steve Ballmer: "He's a salesman who's made Microsoft irrelevant (BOOM!)".
The catchprases: "He's a bozo" and, 'This is shit'.
The 'factual' revelation: From Bill Gates no less, that Windows was originally (and to this day?), a 'shit' OS that was a copy of the Mac OS, which Apple itself had principally copied from XEROX:
Jobs on seeing Windows for the first time: "Oh, its actually really a piece of shit." Gates: "Yes, its a nice little piece of shit."
The hypocrite: proud of his early quote "Good artists copy, great artists steal' Jobs seems rather hypocritical with complaints of Google Android being a 'stolen product', as he does with his beefs about Microsoft Windows and Bill Gates 'ripping off' Apple and the Mac OS.
The asshole: Jobs was an asshole. Brutal and cold to friends, colleagues and family alike, his 'laser beam' focus on work and perfection made him a veritable nightmare to be around. Of course, that's heavily countered by the effect his charisma, magnetism and vision and how much effect his epic successes have had on people. There are many moments of compassion in the book too, but the overriding sense of him as a person is not good. He was a unique personality but, despite his brutality, people loved to work for him. This isn't much of a surprise, but the theme is well reinforced throughout the book.
The crybaby: Not really a lowlight, but Jobs seemed to have a fairly regular habit of just bursting into tears. Sometimes because he didn't get his way, sometimes because he was overcome with emotion, sometimes it wasn't clear. Either way, he cried a lot.
The lack of real detail on the most secretive decade - the last 10 years: While it is an incredible story and well written in this book, we still don't get that much new insight. With in-depth coverage of Steve's early life, and early days at Apple - stuff that's been covered in depth many times before - the book picks up pace through the NeXT and Pixar years and flies through the bit we all know less about - the last 10 years. Unfortunately this is the bit that's most relevant now. Given Isaacson's extensive time with Jobs, it's a shame there aren't more - and deeper - insights into those last 10 years. Perhaps over time Isaacson will release more interview tapes, but there's no doubt the latter third of the book feels rushed.
The reality distortion field: Lastly, I wish Steve Jobs had got his cancer operated on straight away, and not tried homeopathic remedies for 9 months. I wish he'd been honest with himself about his health then, and later, and perhaps this biography would not be a posthumous tribute. For fans, for his company and most of all his family, I wish Steve Jobs' reality distortion field had an 'Off' switch when it came to being introspective. But Steve, apparently, hated 'Off' switches.
Buy Steve Jobs. Read it, be motivated by it, marvel at the story and the place in history Jobs will take. Despite his flaws, he remains a hero for me, and I hope his biggest legacy, Apple, continues to break boundaries. Perhaps though, they could start being a bit nicer to everyone else.
Then, once you're done with this book, go buy Isaacson's biography of Einstein. Both publications are just $9.99 on Kindle or iBooks. (I read 'Steve Jobs' across the iPhone and iPad (of course...).