Walter Isaacsons biography of Apple Inc co-founder Steve Jobs leapt to the top of bestseller lists in its first week in book stores, flying off shelves to the tune of 379,000 copies. But there is just one problem, the book is 630 pages thick and takes a very long time to finish. For people who do not like to read that much there is a solution. Malcom Gladwell has captured the essence of the book and created a 3,000-word review in the current New Yorker called The Tweaker.
Gladwells thesis is that Jobs, at heart, was an information-age version of those 18th and early 19th century engineers who put Britain in the forefront of the industrial revolution by creating and perfecting the automatic mule for spinning cotton. Such men, according to a recent article by economists Ralf Meisenzahl and Joel Mokyr, provided the “micro inventions necessary to make macro inventions highly productive and remunerative.”