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Small Demons and the Indexing of Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography captures some of the mystique and intrigue of a visionary who was set apart by not only his personality, but his exquisite tastes and passion for excellence. His personal likes — minimal and beautifully designed products — pertained to brands like Mercedes and Braun. His love of Bob Dylan eventually saw the sale of a $199 box set in the iTunes Store. Of course he was a film critic, making business deals during his time at Pixar while providing colorful commentary on the works of Disney.

The book is full of references related to his personal life and Apple’s, from the places he traveled through the development of the iPod and more. All of this documentation — newspaper entries, advertisements, and even the things Steve Jobs interacted with — is being preserved and shared online in a visual browser.

Small Demons, fantastically demoed by Adam Lisagor, connects the details of books. People, places, and things can be easily shared so that others may visit the locations of their favorite characters, share the same enjoyment of music, or enjoy the protagonist’s favorite wines. The encyclopedia is edited by the Small Demons community, giving fellow readers the opportunity to seek out and experience what their favorite authors used to only be able to paint in novels. Currently, access to the site’s contents is via invite only.

With the Steve Jobs biography, Small Demons has begun indexing the items, locations, and people mentioned throughout the book. The collection is busy and wonderful, containing a high profile list of acquaintances and business partners, music from Jobs’ youth, television mentions and appearances, and news clippings. All of these materials are referenced with applicable quotes from the book, helping put into context how a certain company or film had significance in Steve Jobs’ story. All of those spiritual books Jobs shared with Daniel Kottke? They’re all listed on Small Demons.

Small Demons is a wonderful tool for rediscovering any of your favorite books, and Apple geeks will find Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs entry to be a utility-belt full of intrigue around the man who shaped the current state of technology.

The Small Demons community has been building a sizable library of stuff — stuff that’s normally found on paper in works both fiction and non-fiction. It’s their intention to make these things quickly accessible and discoverable, and reveal how they connect to each other in our world and in the author’s. We recommend signing up for a beta invite — Small Demon members should check out the Steve Jobs index right now.

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