Channel 4 aired the documentary “Steve Jobs: iChanged the World” last Wednesday 2nd November. As per usual I was nowhere near a TV so I ended up watching it on 4OD a few days later.
Not being someone who fetishises technology I didn’t know too much about Jobs beyond the obvious; co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple and co-founder and CEO of Pixar, technology visionary. This documentary is reasonably straightforward, giving little more than a “Jobs 101” lesson and not delving too deeply into Jobs’ motivations, childhood, close relationships or personality.
Instead we see Jobs’ beginnings in the Homebrew Computer Club in his early teens where he and eventual business partner Steve Wozniak created the first personal computer prototype, followed by Jobs’ dropping out of college, his trip to India to immerse himself in Buddhism, the formation of Apple, his leaving Apple and making Pixar the cinematic giant that it is today, his return to Apple, the creation of the iMac, iPod and iPad, and his final battle with cancer.
I didn’t walk away from viewing this documentary with a comprehensive understanding of the man who many claim revolutionised the way in which we communicate. Given that Jobs died less than a month before the documentary was aired I suppose it is a little early to expect an in depth portrait.
I read a great article on Gawker shortly after Jobs’ death which attempted to counteract the deification of the man, and showed the irascible authoritarian tyrant he could be. It certainly provided more of an insight into this complex and intelligent entrepreneur than the Channel 4 documentary. Jobs revolutionised the music industry, the computer industry, the film industry and the phone industry and his influence will be felt for generations. I’m holding out for a more exhaustive documentary on him in the next year or so as this one just doesn’t do it for me.