Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs provides an unprecedented look at the texts which influenced Jobs.
There is only one business book on the list, The Innovator’s Dilemma, and it “deeply influenced” Jobs.
Of his teen years, Jobs recalled “I started to listen to music a whole lot, and I started to read more outside of just science and technology — Shakespeare, Plato. I loved King Lear“.
During his freshman year at Reed, Jobs devoured books such as Shunryu Suzuki’s “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind,” Chogyam Trungpa’s “Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism” and Paramahansa Yogananda’s “Autobiography of a Yogi,” a book Jobs read and re-read many times during his life.
Jobs found himself deeply influenced by a variety of books on spirituality and enlightenment, most notably Be Here Now, a guide to meditation and the wonders of psychedelic drugs by Baba Ram Dass, born Richard Alpert.
“It was profound,” Jobs said. “It transformed me and many of my friends.”
The one book that Steve Jobs had downloaded on his iPad 2 was “Autobiography of a Yogi,” “the guide to meditation and spirituality that he had first read as a teenager,” Isaacson writes, “then re-read in India and had read once a year ever since.”
Now compare this to what Bill Gates reads for fun.
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*adapted from Huffigton Post