Revolution in the air

Saw the Steve Jobs movie yesterday. My friend and I had a lot to talk about when it let out.

It was an OK film. Intriguing in places and lacking in others. I never knew about Lisa as anything other than a computer — didn’t realize it was his daughter and definitely didn’t realize what a dick he was to her mother.

My friend said he wished the film would have focused more on the Bill Gates/Steve Jobs relationship. It was only covered in one heated, one-sided phone call.

I appreciated the focus on the shareholders through a very tough board of directors that tried to shepherd the very stubborn company founder. It makes sense that they could spend a lot of time developing an ingenious product back in the day, but now it’s all about rushing it to market before your rival does. Because, well, you snooze you lose in this world.

I have the Jobs autobiography but I’m sad to say I haven’t read much of it. It took my friend explaining to me that the big drop in Apple’s share price toward the end of the movie, thanks to a “big buyer” dumping more than $1 million shares, was Steve himself preparing for his return to the company.

Anyway, that’s all fine and good but what I wanted to learn more about was developing the Apple dynamic.

I saw him recruit brilliant and hardworking people in the beginning. I saw him reward some (not all) of them for their loyalty.

I saw the boring years between the IIe’s success and the Lisa’s failure. I saw the cool new Macintosh team shaking things up and, unfortunately, letting down the bigwigs initially.

What got my heart was toward the end when the industrial-design director came up with the sketch for the first iMac … the little gumdrop that I used to own. How he felt that working at AAPL meant something. That he knew, like Woz and all the other early guys, that they were about to make some tectonic shift in an entire industry happen.

I was saying to my friend that I’m on the ground floor of something like that. But that I’ve exhausted myself so much during the “salad days” that I don’t know how much heart I have left to give everybody as we keep having to meet financial goal after financial goal. That I hope it’s the Apple of my industry’s eye but that I’m running out of steam and wondering what will become of me if A) that happens or if, B) the company runs out of steam (or cash) first.

My friend said it’s as simple as having a visionary at the helm. Sure Jobs was an absolute pain in the ass. But if you don’t have vision at the top, something big to work toward every day, motivating you to get out of your funk, then you have nothing.

I think we have plenty of vision. I guess I just need to go recharge somewhere for a while. I see a lot more that I can’t write here. I guess what I’m saying is that revolution is, indeed, in the air. I just hope we all get to see it … and celebrate it … at the same time together.

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