Yay! A parcel arrived in the post this morning: a copy of iCon – Steve Jobs, the Greatest Second Act in the History of Business by Jeffrey S Young and William L Simon which Brand Republic have asked me to review. The cover says “advance uncorrected proofs – not for sale” which makes me think I ought to be quick with this one: I’d thought it was already out, but Amazon UK put the release date as 31st May; it would be nice to get a book review in ahead of the publication date, for a change.
It will be a very interesting read, especially to see whether it was worth all the fuss that Apple made, withdrawing other books from publisher Wiley from their Apple Store shelves. The title is, of course, a rather wonderful piece of word-play, although the publishers seem to insist it was un-intentional. If so, then they really ought to take a bit more care over their book titles, because the “second act” part seems to refer to F Scott Fitzgerald’s famous line “there are no second acts in American lives” which as I learnt the other day is usually, incorrectly, taken to mean “you don’t get to make a comeback”, but what Fitzgerald really meant is that the American Ideal is no gap between desire and achievement (Act I establishes motivation; Act II is about overcoming obstacles; Act III is about achieving gratification. No Act II = no obstacles: desire leads directly to gratification with nothing inbetween the two). (Thanks for that, Al). Still, I suppose Jobs has faced a fairly monumental struggle, so the “greatest second act in the history of business”, although hyperbole, might not be entirely wide of the mark.