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Thursday, January 26, 2012
Walter Isaacson on Steve Jobs

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TIME Managing Editor Rick Stengel (left) and Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson at 92nd Street Y

Walter Isaacson, author of a new Steve Jobs biography, spoke with TIME‘s Rick Stengel on January 24 at 92Y about the significance of Jobs’s contributions to the business world and industries he revolutionized.

As compiled on our Storify page, audience members shared their observations and reports on Twitter during the talk. One noted that Stengel asked Isaacson: Could Jobs have been “nicer”? “Maybe his reactions were instinctive,” Isaacson responded, “but when I asked him, he said ‘This is who I am.’”

Here’s what Nick Carbone wrote in TIME Business:

Could a “nicer” Jobs have been as successful? “Could he have put that filter in place and said, ‘I’m going to be just as effective as I am now, but I’m also going to bite my tongue and stop myself’?” [Isaacson] wondered. “That is a fundamental question in life.” If he didn’t quite offer an answer, Isaacson did point to the company’s unusually high retention rate, and suggested that, contrary to conventional wisdom, it was Apple’s culture – not its products – that ultimately set it apart. “Creating a great product isn’t the hard part,” Isaacson said. “The hard part is creating a great company that will continue to create a great product that will be at the intersection of creativity and technology.”

Another interesting piece of information shared that evening: Isaacson informed his next biography might be of Ada Lovelace. Read more reports from audience members on our Storify page.

Related: Google’s Marissa Mayer joins Normal Pearlstine at 92Y on March 27. Get your tickets now.

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