Walter Isaacson has unleashed a torrent of new books about Steve Jobs and Apple. But nobody has written anything quite like Caleb Melby’s The Zen of Steve Jobs, a graphic novel conceived and developed by the creative agency JESS3 that charts Jobs’ relationship with a Buddhist priest called Koby Chino Otogawa. The book is a both a visual and textual delight and I couldn’t resist inviting Melby, who also writes for Forbes, into our New York City studio to talk about Zen and the art of Steve Jobs.
So was Jobs a buddhist before he was a Buddhist, I asked Melby. And was Steve as obnoxious with Buddhist priests as he was with Apple employees and business rivals? Yes and yes, Melby explained. More importantly, however, Melby insisted, what Jobs derived from Otogawa and the Buddhist tradition was his strictly minimalist design aesthetic which “threw dogma out of the window.”
To balance all Melby’s ying, you might also check out my conversation last week with Adam Lashinsky, the yang-like author of How Apple Really Works.