Steve Jobs Books: 7 Books That Inspired Steve Jobs

Emre Ülkem

Emre Ülkem

Boğaziçi Uni.

22 September 2021

Steve Jobs, who managed to change our lives with his vision, passed away in 2011. Apple, which he is the founder of, successfully leads the industry and it is estimated that more than one billion people are Apple users. So what’s behind this success? We can show Steve’s passion, business acumen and, of course, hard work. Then you might ask, what brought Steve to this point? The answer to this question cannot be explained only by the books he inspired, but it can be said that these books changed Steve’s life to a great extent.
These books can contribute to your development as well. When you complete the series, you can get a different inspiration without realizing it. There is no harm in reading Steve Jobs books, you cannot know the benefits without reading them.




1) King Lear

Jobs was in his last year of high school when he read King Lear. He mentioned that at that time he often listened to music and read mostly literary works that were not related to science and technology. The tragedy in King Lear was very impressive for the young Jobs. The main subject of the tragedy is the decrepit monarchy, the events that took place on the way to destruction.




2) Moby Dick

American writer Herman Melville’s epic novel Moby Dick is one of the novels that influenced young Steve. Walter Isaacson, who wrote the most comprehensive biography of Jobs, draws attention to the similarity between the character Captain Ahab and Steve Jobs in the novel. With Captain Ahab, Jobs followed a strategy of experience-learning rather than sticking to institutions.


3) The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas

Young Jobs was preparing for college when he discovered his passion for strings. Welsh poet Dylan Thomas influenced the spirit of Steve Jobs with his poems. Steve’s favorite poem is “Do Not Go Gentle”.




4) Autobiography of a Yogi

This book, which Steve Jobs has read many times, was written by Indian yoga instructor Paramahansa Yogananda. Steve says that during his trip to India, he traveled from village to village and read this book over and over again.


5) Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Jobs, who continued to be interested in meditation when he returned from India, attended Shunyru Suzuki’s classes in California and the book “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” written by his teacher made him a completely different person. His close friend at the time, Daniel Kottke, says of Jobs’ change: “He’s become really serious and committed. He had also generally been an intolerable person.”




6) The Innovator`s Dilemma

Another important book in Steve Jobs’ life, “The Innovatior’s Dilemma” was written by Harvard professor Clay Christensen. Through this book, Steve was able to see that cannibalism is a necessary element for the growth of the company. This is how Apple launched the iPod and became an important player in the music industry.


7) Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

One of the books he read while discovering Buddhism, “Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism”, is told that the ego and self are an illusion. Author Trungpa advises us to simply release our existence rather than cultivate ourselves spiritually.

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