It is difficult to conceive of a more cringe-making title. The first authorised biography of Steve Jobs, the co-founder, CEO and guru-in-chief of Apple, is to bear the name iSteve: A Book of Jobs. The title “manages to sound both flippant and biblical at the same time” says Dan Hope at TechNewsDaily. Stupid and pretentious would be another way to put it.
Still, as one tech blogger notes, it’s some achievement to be the most awful title on a Jobs biography. Previous examples in the genre include iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business; The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership for a New Generation; and Steve Jobs: The Apple of Our i.
At least Jobs is in good company: biographer Walter Isaacson’s previous subjects include Albert Einstein and Ben Franklin. Once again, chirrups the publisher press release, “Isaacson is telling a unique story of revolutionary genius.”
But, hang on, tap “iSteve” into Google and what do you find? A blog: iSteve. And here’s a post, under the headline “Request for Pro-Bono Legal Help”: “I’m sorry, but I’ve been doing business under the name ‘iSteve’ since the 1990s, both at iSteve.com and at iSteve.blogspot.com. The name iSteve is essential to my business strategy of having a unique and unmisspellable term for search engines, since my last name is easily confused with a common word (‘sailor’) and easily misspelled … I shall defend my iSteve brand and intellectual property against infringers, especially a well-known billionaire like Mr Jobs. I do not shoplift the creations of Mr Jobs, of Mr Isaacson, and of Simon & Schuster without paying for them, and I expect the same from them.”
And who is this poor, aggrieved fellow? Explains BookForum: “Steven Sailer is a self-described ‘journalist, movie critic for The American Conservative, VDARE.com columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute.’” VDARE.com? The Human Biodiversity Institute? “The Southern Poverty Law Center has described VDARE.com as an anti-immigration ‘hate site’ and the HBI as a ‘neo-eugenics outfit’.”
Right. Not all that Applesque an association, somehow. The simplest solution? Change the name of the Jobs book. And this way you needn’t say you’re doing it because you realised it’s a bit shit.