The Pirates of Silicon Valley
(re-post from http://www.hanskmeyer.com/2011/10/celebrate-the-drive-of-a-silicon-valley-pirate-rip-steve-jobs/)
It may not be the greatest movie ever. It’s probably not an accurate depiction of who Jobs and Bill Gates were at the time. But it’s a movie people will always remember as it served as an introduction to the entrepreneurial spirit that drove both men and the computer industry.
In the movie, Jobs comes off as driven to the point of obsession. He provides awesome perks for employees because he never wants them to leave work. He doesn’t, so why should they.
While this is where people admire his determination, and so would Apple fans and employees. Apple owes much of its success to its refusal to accept the status quo. That philosophy largely comes from Jobs. Daniel Lyons, the Newsweek
reporter who once moonlighted as the Fake Steve Jobs, put it best in Vanity’s Fair’s
“How the Web was Won” when he describes how Apple approached the music industry
to create the iPod and iTunes store.
Whenever it came to a risk, Apple said, O.K., we’ll invest in making this hardware device and in making a store, and running that store, and making all these deals, and working with all you scumbags and assholes in the music business. We’ll put on our asbestos suit and deal with you people, right, to be able to, like, sit in the same room and breathe the same air that you criminals in the music industry … do, right?
The more people use iPad, the more they will realize Jobs was applying this same willingness to get down in the mud with the news industry. I still believe the iPad will do to the news industry what the iPod and iTunes Store did to music, and I welcome the change. It’s too bad Jobs won’t be around to see it.
As I watch the film tonight, I’m going to be looking for clips I can share with my students
that will convey that same wide-eyed idealism I felft more than 10 years ago. Journalism
needs more people willing to forego the safety of big media conglomerate paychecks to
strike out on their own. In fact, those people might represent the brightest hope for the
TNT Pays Tribute to Steve Jobs by Airing Pirates of Silicon Valley Tonight
Back in 1999, TNT aired Pirates of Silicon Valley, a TV movie that told the story of the
technology race between Apple and Microsoft through the years, with a focus on Bill
Gates and Steve Jobs’ involvement in pioneering the computer age, which would lead to
them changing the world with their technological contributions. In the wake of Steve Jobs’
death, TNT is set to re-air the movie tonight.
Adapted from a book by Paul Frieberger and Michael Swaine, Pirates of Silicon
Valley stars Noah Wyle, playing Steve Jobs, and Anthony Michael Hall as Bill Gates, with
Joey Slotnick playing Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak. While Wyle is now known for
his role on TNT’s Falling Skies, back then, most of us associated him with his role as
Carter on ER. Meanwhile, Hall was better known for being a member of the Brat Pack
when he took on the part of Microsoft mastermind Bill Gates.
Pirates of Silicon Valley went on to win five Emmy nominations, including Outstanding
Made for TV Movie. For those of you looking for a way to honor Jobs’ memory, re-watching the film might be the way to do it. The movie will air tonight on TNT at 8:00 p.m.
ET/PT and then again at 10:00 p.m.
Noah Wyle made the following statement regarding Jobs’ death and portraying him
in The Pirates of Silicon Valley:
“My condolences and thoughts are with his family who will certainly miss him most as
a husband and father. Portraying him in “Pirates of Silicon Valley" was as challenging
and as fulfilling of a role as I will have in my career. I had the honor of meeting him
shortly after the movie aired and was struck by his sincerity and self-deprecating
sense of humour. We have lost a visionary whose innovations will continue to impact
our society forever.”