Like Walter Isaacson’s ‘Steve Jobs,’ Ashton Kutcher’s ‘Jobs’ somehow misses the whole point

“I know the Jobs story fairly well having, well, lived some of it, but people have been asking me about the film [“Jobs” starring Ashton Kutcher] so I thought I should check it out,” Bob Cringely writes for I, Cringely.

“Critics have not been kind and Steve Wozniak said he wouldn’t recommend it,” Cringely writes. “I can see why.”

Cringely writes, “The great failing of this film is the same failing as with Walter Isaacson’s book: something happened during Steve’s NeXT years (which occupy less than a 60 seconds of this 122 minute film) that turned Jobs from a brat into a leader, but they don’t bother to cover that.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That’s it in a nutshell: The magical transformation that happened during Steve’s years in the wilderness.

The crux of the issue is the crux of Steve Jobs’ life.

That’s what we all want to find out more about and to see unfold!

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21 Comments

  1. I’m guessing it had nothing to do with Next. I think it was becoming a father, and understanding he had to take time to be with them, to teach, to endure some failure and enjoy their success, and be able to reach but not dominate.

  2. He was humbled and forced to slow down his drive to change the world now! If he released products he had in mind with the currently technology and infrastructure at that time. It would be incapable of supporting his forward thinking products. So this slow down gave him time to think it through and when he returned to Apple, the infrastructure caught up. Now the time was just right to get these magical things in his head into reality for us all.

  3. I think the movie tried to explain what drove Steve and his personality is something that does not change. He was always driven and he thought he was always right. I don’t think this changed over the years. He adjusted but his bravado never changed which I think was his asset.

  4. What bothered me about Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs was his focus on Steve Jobs the heartless asshole (eventually showing a broader and better side of his soul). Rather than digging deep to reveal to readers the kernels that made Steve Jobs such an inspiring figure and perhaps most important, Isaacson missed the biggest thing of all: discerning the genius inside Steve Jobs, the spark and intuition that made him change the world. That never really came out, and finishing the long tome, I felt cheated.

    In fact, Isaacson concluded that among the legendary people with whom he has interviewed, that Jobs was not a true genius. My view is different. Perhaps he was not an Oxford educated intellectual or Ph.D. Yet, Steve Jobs defined our age. He made each of us different. He put a dent in the universe. Perhaps it was the force of his personality, his ability to think different, to have no respect for rules or the established order. But I believe that Steve Jobs could see what we could not, and ruthlessly take us where we never knew we had to go. But when we got there, we were grateful and thrilled.

    THAT to me is genius. The failing of Isaacson’s biography was that despite the access he had to Steve Jobs, that he failed to discover this essential spark, the one thing I wanted to understand. It is why I came away so disappointed with his book.

    Geniuses are often impatient and difficult. They have no time for people who can’t keep up with their thoughts and ideas, people who can’t see what is so obvious to them. It must almost be lonely and chafing to have such a gift, seeing the world in a way that is beyond our imagination. Whether it was a deaf Mozart being able to hear an entire symphony in his mind, a Wayne Gretzky seeing the action on the ice in slow motion, a Jackie Stewart or Ayrton Senna sensing exactly what to do at the right moment, a Picasso or Michelangelo seeing a world in incredible new ways, Steve Jobs could imagine. He may not have created the circuitry of the Apple II, the Macintosh or the iPhone. But he understood their potential in ways others could not have without him. He understood how computing on the desktop or in the palm of your hand, or the music you love could be transformed.

    Steve Jobs made the world different and better. Without him, we would be slaves to a company in the northwest, where the status quo mattered more than imagination. I miss him. And I can only hope that the storytellers who attempt to preserve Steve Jobs’ legacy do him justice. He was more than an enfant terrible, and his story deserves to show his vast imagination, vision and drive.

    1. Oh come on. Steve Jobs wasn’t a genius in the same sense as Newton, or Einstein, or Bach, or Godel, or Wittgenstein, etc.

      I think Bill Burr actually sums it up pretty well:

      He came up with interesting techno-devices that were incremental advances on already existing techno-devices. They have certainly become popular… but popularity doesn’t make someone a genius. Otherwise Justin Beber is a genius.

      1. What a complete waste of electrons your trolling post is. You completely miss the point of Steve Jobs and I would assert you probably miss the point of life as well.

  5. Yes, Steve toned down his radical ways a bit because of his time in the wilderness. But Steve still had the same drive and lack of the ability to “suffer fools well”. That never changed.

    But even this article misses Steve’s greatest asset.
    Steve was NOT a great innovator.
    Steve was NOT a great inventor.
    Steve was NOT a great motivator.
    Steve was NOT even a great leader.

    Steve’s greatest ability was that when he was shown something (new or old) the vast majority of the time he had the innate, gut reaction level, ability to tell if that “thing” was going to be the future. Steve had this ability much, much more than anyone else in many, many decades.

    He could tell that the Apple and Apple ][ computers were going to be the future. He didn’t invent them or come up with the basic ideas for them (though he did tweak them a bit).

    He didn’t come up with the GUI for the LISA or the Mac, but when someone showed him a rudimentary version (even *before* going to PARC) he knew that was the future.

    He knew that optical media was going to be the future and stuck it in the NeXT computer — and optical media took over about 8 years later and was king for the next . He knew that cheep printers were going to be the future and put all the smarts (drivers) into the NeXT box and made, what was in that day, a dumb, cheap printer. He knew that a fully vector graphics based interface was the future and picked up Display PostScript as the display interface on NeXT.

    He knew the then current implementation of the Newton was NOT the future and killed it. He knew that a simple, “appliance” computer would be the future and pushed the original (remember the commercial where they said Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 — there is no Step 3 ?).

    He recognized the iPod, iPhone and iPad as the future.

    Yes, he had several mistakes too… You only need to go as far as the hockey puck mouse to see that.

    However, Steve had track record of correctly being able to see that something new was the future that is the envy of almost every business leader out there. Steve didn’t invent those things. However, when he saw them he knew if he was looking into the future or not.

    Unfortunately, no book I’ve read, no video I have seen, no any description of any movie I’ve heard (I haven’t seen this movie yet) points out Steve’s greatest asset.

    1. The hockey puck mouse was just Jobs’ innate stubbornness at refusing to admit that he was wrong and sticking to his guns justifying his wrongness in iteration after iteration even after it was shown definitively that the mouse was just wrong ergonomically speaking.

      1. Ah yes. Job’s was so stubborn about that mouse that iteration after iteration was the same puck design.

        Oh wait. That mouse (which WAS terrible) only lasted two years, and then Apple made the switch to the Pro Mouse, which took on a more familiar (and ergonomic) shape.

        I guess someone must have snuck that one (and the Mighty Mouse, and the Magic Mouse) past Steve without him knowing. I’m sure he still thought they were shipping Hockey Puck mice until the day he died.

  6. Chrissann Brennan will be publishing her book very soon. This should be a very interesting read that will provide insight into the mind of Jobs… or at the very least the mind of Brennan.

  7. I learned more about Steve Jobs’ thought processes and motivations in the first 30 pages of ken Segall’s book, “Insanely Simple,” than I did in all of Issacson’s biography, “Steve Jobs.”

    Segall shares not just what Jobs did, but WHY he did what he did: His motivations and values. Segall neatly breaks these down into easy-to-remember qualities of Simplicity.

    I’ve been able to immediately apply the principles Segall shares to my business, and to my life, with great results.

    This is the best, most useful book about Apple and about Steve Jobs that I have ever read (and it’s a fun read, too!).

    If you are at all interested in Jobs or Apple, I suggest you check it out.

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