Thursday, September 12, 2013

Did Jobs Make Our Lives Easier at a Greater Cost to His Own?

A few weeks ago, I took my daughter and her friend to see the Taylor Swift concert.  While they enjoyed the sounds of Taylor Swift and the thousands of screaming girls (I think a did see a few random men in the crowd), I walked over to the movie theater to see if I can sit in the dark for a couple of hours alone and enjoy a good movie.  I had brought a book with me.  However, since I had 4 hours to kill, I thought I would start with a movie and then still have time to read my book. 

In preparation of Rosh HaShanah, I was reading Rabbi Alan Lew's book, "This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared."  It is beautiful, soulful and like the Torah, every word has meaning so my concentration and commitment to the book is serious.  And earlier in the day, I had participated in a great professional retreat.  So inspired by my enthusiasm for my job and business, I opted to see "Jobs."   So there I sat, sitting in the dark, watching the movie, with Rabbi Alan Lew's book by my side.

I am not sure what the creative team wanted us to know. Steve Jobs changed our lives, lost all his friends, was fired and then secured his revenge and rightful spot as head of Apple or that his soul was lost in an object.  The movie ends and I walk out of the movie deflated.  I know he inspired many around him and clearly hurt many around him.  In a way, I felt nothing.  I guess I expected more.  I expected greatness and passion.  What they showed was a man driven by internal conflict and drug induced creative vision.  I expected more.  Or I hoped for more.  

Also, the only women in the movie are his mother who serves sandwiches, his pregnant girlfriend who he kicks out while denying that he is the father, the daughter who he renounces who shows up later in he movie as a college kid who sleeps.  And there is his wife who is on screen briefly at the end showing her disappointment as Steve considers returning to Apple.

I posted a shorter version of this to Facebook which I had written on my Apple phone.  I could have easily written it on my iPad or Mac, so I do appreciate his and the company's efforts in making my life easier and productive.   But a hero, he is not.  

I have not stopped thinking about him or the movie since.  Perhaps it drives me to have a more fulfilling life, a more spiritual life and a life filled with friendship and real human connection.  And in my career, perhaps I give people the opportunity to do some good in the world so that their is more to their life than just their "product."

I wonder if Apple stock went up.  And I hope his children knew a better man.  

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