The Zen of Steve Jobs

The Zen of Steve Jobs

eBook - 2012
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An illustrated depiction of Steve Jobs' friendship with Zen Buddhist Kobun Chino Otogawa and the impact it had on Jobs' career

Apple cofounder Steve Jobs (1955-2011) had such an enormous impact on so many people that his life often took on aspects of myth. But much of his success was due to collaboration with designers, engineers and thinkers. The Zen of Steve Jobs tells the story of Jobs' relationship with one such person: Kobun Chino Otogawa.

Kobun was a Zen Buddhist priest who emigrated to the U.S. from Japan in the early 1970s. He was an innovator, lacked appreciation for rules and was passionate about art and design. Kobun was to Buddhism as Jobs was to the computer business: a renegade and maverick. It wasn't long before the two became friends--a relationship that was not built to last.

This graphic book is a reimagining of that friendship. The story moves back and forward in time, from the 1970s to 2011, but centers on the period after Jobs' exile from Apple in 1985 when he took up intensive study with Kobun. Their time together was integral to the big leaps that Apple took later on with its product design and business strategy.

Told using stripped down dialogue and bold calligraphic panels, The Zen of Steve Jobs explores how Jobs might have honed his design aesthetic via Eastern religion before choosing to identify only what he needs and leave the rest behind.

Baker & Taylor
Presents a graphic interpretation of Steve Jobs's spiritual connections to Buddhism through his mentor and friend Kobun Otogawa, and describes how his search for perfection helped bring about the iPod and the resurgence of Apple.

Publisher: Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley & Sons, 2012
ISBN: 9781118295304
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (80 p.) : ill. (chiefly col.)
Additional Contributors: Jess3 (Firm)


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Sep 05, 2013

I recommend The Zen of Steve Jobs once you've read Walter Isaacson's excellent biography on the man. There might be some confusion if you lack a basic history on Jobs' departure and return to Apple, or his lifelong interest in Buddhism. It's the juxtaposition of these events—the key moments at Apple and the Buddhist lessons—that allows this short graphic novel to triumph.

Feb 22, 2013

If you've read the biography on Steve and enjoyed it then you'll appreciate this. An interesting angle to have done it from the Zen priest/friend of Steve's. A quick, decent read.

May 30, 2012

A good example of how a book in a graphic format can tell much more than a straightforward text. This is a brief look at the relationship between Jobs and Kobun, and how Zen Buddhism helped shape Jobs' sense of the aesthetic and creative mind.


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