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rickchapman
10-08-2015, 03:06 PM
Hi, my name is Rick Chapman and I'm isoliciting some opinions on previous portrayals of Steve Jobs in "Pirates of Silicon Valley (Noah Wyle) and "Jobs" (Ashton-Kutcher). I'm a software and high-tech industry veteran (was once the product manager of WordStar) and have worked at Ashton-Tate and similar venues. As to Mac, I've owned the original, Mac II, SE and SE 30, iMac Graphite, as well as an Apple II and II+.

I'm also an author ("In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters" ) and have recently released my latest novel "Selling Steve Jobs' Liver: A Story of Startups, Innovation, and Connectivity in the Clouds" which is about exactly what it says. Won't talk about it now.

I'm sure many of you have heard about the new "Steve Jobs" movie that's going be released on Friday. I'm going to be seeing the film on Saturday and will be writing an extensive review and posting it up Monday/Tuesday. I'd like to hear some opinions on if/how the previous movies about Jobs hit the mark, what you liked, what you didn't, what you think the new film can add to the narrative.

I did meet Jobs in person in 1989 or 1990 and will talk a bit more about the encounter in the review, but am interested in other takes and perspectives on these portrayals and life.

rick

chas_m
10-08-2015, 07:25 PM
I haven't seen any of the Jobs movies that have come out since he died, but I did meet him and correspond with him a couple of times. I'll add a couple of little things here for you:

1. There's a couple of often-overlooked documentaries that aren't included in any list of movies about Jobs: the BBC's "Billion Dollar Hippie" and "The Lost Interview" that are both insightful.

2. My encounters with him were mostly pleasant. He came off to me as very intense but nice. He kept journalists at arm's length unless he needed them for something. :)
His correspondence was usually VERY short (I have a couple of ONE WORD emails from him) unless he was explaining something or passionate about something.

3. Like a lot of journalists, I met him first during his wilderness years, and again many years later (though long before he died). I felt he mellowed out a lot after he married and had kids (as a lot of people do). This may be why there seems to be disconnect between people who knew Jobs from his second tenure at Apple rather than people who first met jobs in the early days of Apple. Normal maturity, rising mortality, becoming a real parent ... I have no idea what changed him, but Steve 2.0 was a nicer person than Steve 1.0. :)

rickchapman
10-09-2015, 09:46 AM
I've seen the "Lost Interview" but not "Billion Dollar Hippie." Thanks for reminding me of that one! An odd title, since Jobs was at the end of his Armani suit phase when he joined the 1B+ club after the release of Toy Story in the mid-90s. Easily watchable online and I'll do it today.

+++ Like a lot of journalists, I met him first during his wilderness years, and again many years later (though long before he died). I felt he mellowed out a lot after he married and had kids (as a lot of people do). This may be why there seems to be disconnect between people who knew Jobs from his second tenure at Apple rather than people who first met jobs in the early days of Apple. Normal maturity, rising mortality, becoming a real parent ... I have no idea what changed him, but Steve 2.0 was a nicer person than Steve 1.0. +++

That has been the common mantra, and it has a nice redemptive arc, but objectively, I don't think it's true. The kinder, gentler Steve Jobs was still picking on smoothie ladies, helping get minor HR personnel fired for not knowing about the Google/Apple employee collusion deal, picking on poor old Rob Schoeben (or someone) in front of his fellow co-workers, etc, etc later in his career. If you do some digging, it's not hard to find similar accounts of typical Jobs tantrums. And Brennan's book has some very disturbing passages on his interaction with his daughter when she was older.

Of course, you'll also read much praise from his inner circle and this makes sense. If your boss is making ultra rich, you'll put up with (and ignore), a great deal.

My book is not a bio pic, btw, but a satire. I have a lot of fun with the cult of the entrepreneur, Jobs DOES appear as a major "character," but in a "post life" state, and incorporate both the good and the bad into the narrative.

But I'm also interested in your take on the performances of Kutcher and Wyle, assuming you've seen the films? I guess you haven't seen "Jobs"; how about " "Pirates?"

rick

chas_m
10-09-2015, 12:27 PM
Yes, I said he got nice-ER, not "nice." :)

I have seen Pirates, but it has been a while. I remember it as being a worthwhile summary of the history with a great cast, but (and not that I'm some great insider who knows much) was very obviously summarized for dramatic purposes. That line about stealing the TV from "Bill Gates" for example is a great, memorable bit of writing, but is completely inaccurate and coming out of "BG's" mouth, nearly hilarious.

rickchapman
10-09-2015, 01:03 PM
+++I have seen Pirates, but it has been a while. +++

I watched it, but didn't think much of the history. I correct several of its misstatements in another of my books, "In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters." But I thought Wyle did a good bio-pic portrayal at the time of the film.

rick

chas_m
10-09-2015, 07:38 PM
Steve apparently felt the same: though he is on record as not liking that film, he did invite Wylie to re-create the role for the opening of one of the Macworld conferences in an amusing segment.

rickchapman
10-18-2015, 12:07 PM
Well, I was planning to write my review last week, but the movie doesn't come to Connecticut until the 23rd. I'll be posting up the full review then. I sold Apple IIs and IIIs, was trained as a Apple "Level 2" service repairman circa 1982, owned several Macs though I'm more a Windows guy and have my own perspectives on how Jobs created the big comeback.

vansmith
10-18-2015, 12:22 PM
Rick, I've edited your post and removed material deemed to be promotional. While your intention may not have been promotional in nature, please refrain from postiing content that appears to serve your own professional or business interests. Thank you.

rickchapman
10-18-2015, 12:47 PM
I guess I won't post up info about the review here, then.

rick