There are promotional tours and then there’s the virtually non-stop roadshow that has been Walter Isaacson for the past three months. Oprah, Leno, The Voice, NPR, CNN, PBS, broadcast and print everything. He started teasing Steve Jobs before it was released and now he’s telling us that the book we just finished reading wasn’t the finished product and that a mo’ better version is coming.
Steve Jobs’ hand-picked biographer is, to put it charitably, working hard to fully embrace, extend and leverage this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Or, to put it bluntly, he’s milking it.
Walter Isaacson let it slip onstage at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on Wednesday that Steve Jobs, as published, is a “first or second draft” and by no means “the final draft.” Wow, Walter, that makes us all feel good about paying full price (i.e. a sin of “commission” some will be predisposed to avoid making again) for your book!
See also: Steve Jobs needed just 45 days
And, one would assume the Sony people, who rushed to buy the movie rights (what new material?) and sign a top-dollar screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, might be a little peeved, too.
Which brings up another interesting and equally cynical view of Isaacson’s growing enterprise — the more he shills and works this once in a lifetime opportunity, the less egregious Steve Jobs’ various personality flaws and moments of excess seem.
Seriously, what new details will Isaacson provide in the next release — juice that’ll sell more books (and movie tickets) or the business and technical details that Jobs admirers and the technorati crave?
Probably a ton of the former and just enough of the latter to keep Isaacson from being vilified as a charlatan, would be my guess…
What’s your take?