Jobs the Book
August 17, 2013 7 Comments
With buzz about the new Steve Jobs movie coming out, staring Ashton Kutcher, I thought it would be appropriate to remind my readers of the stellar biography by Walter Isaacson.
I was extremely excited to see the movie, but my anticipation dwindled significantly when I learned that, across the board, critics and movie goers don’t find Kutcher convincing nor even adequate in her portrayal of the revolutionary genius. But more than that, I also learned that there’s no mention of Jobs’s involvement in Pixar’s startup, and the movie only takes the viewers up to the introduction of the iPad – several years before Jobs’s unexpected death.
I won’t be going out of my way to reserve it on Redbox. But in case you haven’t read the book, please read on…
It’s rare for a person to live among us in this day and age that carries the weight of greatness in the likes of George Washington, Thomas Edison and Walt Disney. Arguably, Steve Jobs is such a man who belongs in that monumental lineup. And his biographer Isaacson deserves heaps of merits for his outstanding work that will surely last throughout many generations. Yes, even the technologically impaired, such as myself, will find this book hard to put down. The sections are short and concise, the story flows smoothly, and just like in every good biography, there’s a verbal “No way,” expressed by the reader by the end of each page.
Steve Jobs was not a respectable man, per-say. If you were to run into him on the street or deal with him as a customer, you would not likely think, “What a nice guy; I’d like to sit down and talk with him.” No. To say it diplomatically, he was not a very personable man. But the achievements he brought into this world will far surpass any other invention of this age for years to come. Even if your house isn’t overflowing with Apple products like ours, you will still find reasons to appreciate his contributions to society in some way or another. For instance, the thing I’m most gracious for is his ultra-risky investment in a small computer-animation company more than 20 years ago called Pixar, and his crucial role in merging (and re-merging) its fellowship with Disney. Jobs is also partly responsible for transforming the character of Woody from Toy Story – one of my all-time favorite movie characters – from a shrewd, conniving villain to one of the most lovable and loyal figures in movie history.
We can talk for days on end about Jobs’s achievements and we can find dozens of books about his business savvy and wisdom, but do we stop to consider his humanity? He was, after all, mortal. Here is an excerpt from my journal from the day after he died:
October 6, 2011
…When Michael Jackson died a couple of years ago, people wondered what more could this artist have given us? The answer, through a biblical lens: Nothing. God did not intend for him to [sing] anymore songs … His time had come and his last breath had been on God’s agenda since before the creation of the world. Who are we to esteem people and their talents and then to leave God out of the picture? Moses didn’t come up with the Ten Commandments on his own; Christopher Columbus didn’t form the Bahamas out of nothing; Benjamin Franklin didn’t create electricity. “Every good and perfect gift is from above,” says James. It was God who created the heavens and the earth and everything in it. It was Jesus Christ who created the atoms and the water and the fruition of seeds. Everything we have – engines, mirrors, democracies – are all bits and pieces borrowed from what God has already given us. But while we realize this, we should also be grateful for the men and women God has given us who were diligent enough to use what God has given us to either better society as a whole or do their part in the furtherance of Christ’s Kingdom. Thank God for the insights He gave C.S. Lewis when he penned the Chronicles of Narnia. Praise the Lord for the courage He gave Martin Luther when he stood fast for his convictions at the Diet of Worms. And though he wasn’t a believer, we should be grateful for the legacy men like Steve Jobs leave behind issuing a way for us to further explore and discover all that God has given us to enjoy. But we must also continue to pray for those influential people who may not ever experience the Light of God without our interceding on their behalf. Just imagine – if what they’re already doing for the world is good, just how much better would it be if their efforts were done for the glory of Christ?
Disclaimer: Steve Jobs contains frequent and strong language and brief, sexual references.