UNBOXED: Reviewing Leander Kahney's ‘Tim Cook’ Book
This is a bit of a different review from what I’m used to doing. Typically, we’re looking at headphones, keyboards, and product that we can put to use in our daily lives and offer up honest takes on how those products performed. Taking that approach with a book—the first book I’ve read with the intent of writing up a review—was interesting, to say the least. But here we are. And I’m more than thankful to Leander Kahney and his team at Portfolio/Penguin for giving me the opportunity to read his new work, Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level, ahead of its public debut April 16.
The best place to start, I’d say, is by getting to know a little about the author of the book. Kahney, the man behind other Apple-related works like Inside Steven’s Brain, and Jony Ive, is a very well versed analyst of the company he’s spent the better part of his career covering. Over the past dozen or so years he worked as the news editor for Wired.com and is currently the editor of CultofMac.com. He’s well respected both in the industry and, more specifically, at Apple—as evidenced by the company’s willingness to make some key c-suite executives available to him on multiple occasions now.
Throughout the 230-plus pages of the book, Kahney eloquently documents Cook’s upbringing as a son of the South during an interesting time period of racial and cultural divide and the impact that had on his outlook on life and business. Peppered with interviews and insights from former and current colleagues and acquaintances, Kahney paints an intricate picture of what drove Cook to excel in his early years at IBM and Compaq, which ultimately made him stand out to a guy like Steve Jobs.