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Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Pirates of Silicon Valley (Sort of review)

What are the factors that contributed to the success and failure of Steve Jobs as a technopreneur?

Steve Jobs – when I heard about this name by then, I do not have any idea who he is and why he is famous. But when the time goes by, I repeatedly heard of his name and also heard something about him. The first thing that comes into the minds of others when they hear the name Steve Jobs, is Apple. Who is Steve Jobs? According to Wikipedia, Steven Paul Jobs or better known as Steve Jobs was an American entrepreneur, marketer, and inventor, who was the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc.  In this movie, it is shown how the two most well-known people in Information Technology Industry today started their IT career, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. It is shown in this movie how the characters use their passion to become known in the industry of IT and how to become a successful entrepreneur or technopreneur.

I admire how Steve Jobs use his intellectual mind in reaching his goals. He did not settle with the things he already had, he is aiming for more. He likes everything to be perfect, a perfectionist man. But, too much being a perfectionist is one of the things that leads him to his failure. But, before he landed on his failure, he first traveled and experienced the path of his success. He became a well-known technopreneur in his time and up until now. He is known because of his creations. He uses his innovations for the improvement of the things in field of IT. Steve Jobs, a man who wants to change the world, and with that goal of his, he did not fail his self. But, Steve Jobs cannot make it to the top all by himself. He had this friend of him named Steve “Woz” Wozniak, who manage to create this computer thing which Steve Jobs sells to the companies and to people. But, also without Steve Jobs, Woz’s creation would not be widely known without the skills and the ability of Steve Jobs.

Another factor that contributed to the success of Steve Jobs is about taking risk. Steve Jobs once gave an advice to young entrepreneurs who wanted to go out and start their own businesses. He talks about risk and the willingness to fail, and on how to approach life. To be a successful technopreneur, one should have this kind of attitude in taking risk. To fail is not the end of one’s world; it should be an inspiration to strive harder and not think of it as a discouragement in facing the challenges of life and reaching one’s goals. To be successful in life, we should consider or see ‘taking a risk’ as a challenge.

When Steve Jobs comes in a job interview where he wears sandals, and proceeds to destroy the job applicant in front of human resources executive showed another proofs of Steve Jobs’ bad attitude. During an Apple beach retreat to celebrate the Macintosh, he stands like a God high above his employees, throwing Frisbees down for them to play with. For me, to be able to be successful in business, you should treat your customers well and your people as well. One factor that brings Steve Jobs down to his failure is how he treated his people in the company of Apple. The movie, Pirates of the Silicon Valley showed events within Apple Company in early years of it. Steve Jobs scolded his loyal employees, shouting at programmers for falling asleep after fifty straight hours on the job. Is that a proper treatment for the hard work of your employees? For me it is not. Steve Jobs is indeed a perfectionist but being too much perfectionist that results into treating his employees like they are not a human who do not sleep is too much. It is something that could result to the loyalty of your employees. Steve Jobs pushed his people beyond their limits being a human. One thing what this movie showed was about his girlfriend getting pregnant and Steve Jobs declared that the child isn’t his. After his girlfriend faced Steve Jobs about her pregnancy, Steve Jobs immediately cuts off contact with her. This is one thing that what kind of a “bad attitude” for me that Steve Jobs had.

When I do research on the internet more about Steve Jobs, I landed in this recent news in website. The news had this title, “Early Apple Employees Said They Would Never Work With Steve Jobs Again”, a news article which was written by Lisa Eadicicco that was published last 4th of July 2014, which catches my attention. In the early days in Apple Company, it showed that Steve Jobs isn't the easiest person to work with. According to the news article, it is Steve Wozniak who revealed that many early Apple employees said that if given the chance, they would never ever work with Jobs again which is according to an interview with him.  This news clearly showed how Steve Jobs treated his people that they would not bother to work with him again because of what he had done before, how Steve Jobs treated them as an employee. Wozniak said that in early days of Apple, Jobs was younger and wasn't as mature, so he would push people to get products out before they were ready to capture mass markets. But according to the news article, Wozniak said that he think Steve Jobs learned a lot from that. Steve Jobs respected people though, who were very, very brilliant. According also to him, not only did Jobs respect very talented engineers, but he also highly regarded those who were brave enough to stand up to him. Jobs would directly confront people and almost call them idiots. But you know what? When they confronted him back and told him why they were right in understandable forms, he was just testing and learning. He would respect those people and give them high privileges in the company. That was one thing he did respect – someone who believed enough in their own ideas to speak for him, not just shut up and be shy around him. During the interview, it was said that Steve Jobs was very young at first, and he was asking questions trying to find out how to run a company, what are the important aspects in marketing which is one of the positive factors that contributed to his success. This is an attitude that a businessman should have, having this curiosity about having a great business. Steve Jobs thought of what is the importance of computers because he is not an engineer, he is not the designer of the computer but Jobs turned Wozniak’s creation into the products that can be sold. He spokes what the people would love to hear, say ideas how important is technology and computers in our lives, and he was the leader in the world, the forefront.

Let me share some of the most inspiring quotes from Steve Jobs which also contributed in his success. “I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next” –  this is the same thing I had mentioned earlier. Jobs do not settle what he had, that he aims for more. When he created an innovation after that he will innovate more which for me is actually pretty good since it is part of business. If your business doesn't have any improvement or development to its products, your business might tracking the wrong path. Being an innovative person, Jobs together with Apple Company created popular devices and application namely iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone and iPad. “Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could ever happen to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life” – This is another good thing about Steve Jobs, he has a good vision of life despite of not good things that had happened to him. Getting fired to Apple doesn't discourage him to continue the journey in his field. Instead, he considered this happening in his life as the best thing that could happen to him. After getting fired from Apple, Steve Jobs founded NeXT, a computer platform development company which specialize in the higher-education and business markets and he also had his big achievements when he is not in Apple. After what happened to him, he feels like the heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again and with this, after those some big achievements of his which began in 1985 up until he returned to Apple, Jobs became the interim CEO and an advisor which brought Apple from near bankruptcy to profitability. Steve Jobs was said to be the most creative person in Apple Company.

According to Wikipedia, Jobs received a number of honors and public recognition for his influence in the technology and music industries. He has been referred to as “legendary”, a “futurist” and a “visionary”, and has been described as the “Father of the Digital Revolution”, a “master of innovation”, “the master evangelist of the digital age” and a “design perfectionist”.

How do you see yourself as a technopreneur?

What is technopreneurship? Technopreneurship is a term which the words Technology and Entrepreneur were combined. The person who belongs or who manages to the field of technopreneurship is called a technopreneur. A technopreneur is an entrepreneur who thinks of an idea to innovate, the one who is creative, a technology savvy, and who dares to be different. An entrepreneur takes risks and challenges and makes great efforts to direct their life to the greater success. An entrepreneur should not fear to fail, because failing is part of life. No one reached the greater success without failing since from the start. We should take failure as an experience for learning, to see things differently and step forward to the next challenge.

For me, being a technopreneur is not easy. Being one should have the abilities and skills to be called as a technopreneur. Being a technopreneur should take risk, have this willingness to fail and the ability on how to approach life. Technopreneur are risk takers and they do not stop pursuing their goals just because they fail once. They might realize the true attitude a technopreneur should have, having positive outlook in life. This means that failing is not a minus factor to them but an inspiration instead, in achieving their goals. That one should take failure as a challenge and not a discouragement. Knowing and accepting that failure is part of life, that we are not perfect and we should experience sometimes how to fail for us to be motivated to do such things towards our success. We should also experience how to fail in the beginning since is it somehow like a stepping stone to us, so that we could know different challenges in life and how to approach and solve it.

How do I see myself as a technopreneur? Well, for me if I have the great skills Steve Jobs and the character Wangdu in 3 idiots have, I will become a very successful technopreneur. Business is not new to me. It is not a thing that I am afraid to engage myself with. Since before, when I am an incoming second year student in college way back summer of 2012, I started to involve myself in bigger business than I had when I was in my primary school. In my elementary days, I started selling stuffs, and I considered that as a business already but it is not a big business but only a very small one, still business though. When I reached college and start seeing online business, I start wondering and having this curiosity that what if one day I will engage myself in online business too. By then, the most common stuff that the online sellers sell were thrift items and prelove stuffs. Prelove stuffs meaning those items that were second hand and already been used but the difference of it in the thrift items is that it is being sell direct from the original owner of the item. By then up until now, I want to have my own shop physically not in online only, a shop where the customers could come and see the actual items my shop is selling. I want to start in a small one then if given the chance I would love to have my own company too. Watching these movies, 3 idiots and The Pirates of the Silicon Valley really made me inspired in such things that the characters were involved. In the 3 Idiots movie, I really like how the main cast, Phungsuk Wangdu loves engineering and how he loves technology. In the movie “Pirates of The Silicon Valley”, I love how Steve Jobs made that idea into actions where he turned his friend’s creations into a product to be sold. He uses the use of technology to make money, change the world based on what he really wants and to become known. In these two movies, if those skills Steve Jobs and Wangdu have were combined, it would create really nice innovations today and in the future. Steve Jobs’ marketing strategy and ideas together with Phungsuk Wangdu’s great mind when it comes to engineering, it will be the most great capabilities and skills a technopreneur could have. But, I already knew that it is impossible for me to be very good in engineering like Wangdu so that will not going to happen. Maybe in marketing, I may have a very little chance on it. We do not know and only God knows, nothing is impossible today. But anyways, to see myself as a technopreneur is ain’t impossible to happen. I can see myself as an entrepreneur already so being a technopreneur might be possible. Maybe if I will just improve more in more in the capabilities that a technopreneur should have and if I have those skills a technopreneur should have, then I would love to engage in technopreneurship.

When I entered college, specifically in University of Southeastern Philippines, there are only two kinds of programs that I am choosing with since I already knew that we cannot afford if I will take Hotel Management course. The two kinds of programs that I am referring to are Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. I chose BSIT since I like engaging myself more in technology than in business. If I will graduate soon, I want to land in a job where it is related to the degree I have. But if given the chance, I want to engage both in business and in technology. I like the field of technology since in our present era today we could all see that we are exposed to technology which means that technology is part of our lives already, that most of us have our own gadgets where in fact our era was called as the technological era. And I also like engaging myself in business since I am already on it. Having your own business is what the already mindset wants to convey. I want to have my own business because if you have one, you will be called the boss. You are the one that will manage your people; you are the head or the forefront. You can control what you want for your business, what you want your business will do, how it will operate and what you do not like in your business. When you have your own business, you will not be an employee that just waits for your salary but a businessman which thinks of a way or an idea how to have more income. The one that will think for strategies for the company to survive on a yearly basis, that the company will stay very long and not just for good. The one that will think of strategies for the company to improve even better and for the company to have good products that will serve the public right and better.

As what I have said a while ago, being a technopreneur is not easy, that being involved in technopreneurship is a hard task since you need to be more creative since being a technopreneur should be creative enough to think of a new innovation for today’s era. Seeing myself as a technopreneur is not possible. But, being like with Steve Jobs is not likely to happen because Jobs has a great mind that I know I do not have. I believe that all of us have our own uniqueness, that is why I know that although I may not be same with Steve Jobs but I know I have something that I could also be proud of.

Would you take the same career path that Steve Jobs took? Why or why not?

To reach the success Steve Jobs had achieved, it maybe took me how many decades before I can even start. In short, it is kinda impossible to happen.

In the online article I have read about Steve Job’s life and its influence to the people in business is somewhat made me enlightened on the positive and negative effect of it in people. For other people, Steve Job’s life showed how importance of sticking firmly to your vision and goals, no matter the psychic toll on employees or business associates. To others, Steve Jobs serves as a cautionary tale, a man who changed the world but at the price of estranging almost everyone around him. The separation in these reactions is a testament to the two deep and often contradictory hungers that drive so many of us today; We want to be successful in our work, and we also want the satisfaction in our kingdom of family and home. For those who people who also have pledge to “put a mark in the universe”, his life story has forced a reckoning. Is it really worth it to be like Steve Jobs? Well, what Steve Jobs did and had accomplished had spread all over the globe, inspiring people in every field of business.

Being a technopreneur is not easy and engaging yourself to the world of technopreneurship is not easy as well. People who start companies are different from other people. Those people are willing to fail. That is an attitude what a technopreneur should have. Like Steve Jobs, he failed but he still kept going. He is uncommon which drives on his particular path, and either you join him or get out of the way. There are things that you can see as a sort of positive stuff in how Steve Jobs treat his people. What Steve Jobs did depends on the people’s perspective, on how that person looks at it and interprets it. In the same article I have read, there are people that sees the value the bluntly telling people about that their work is crap. They see the value of it as, you will not make better products by saying everything is great. That you make them better by forcing people to do work they did not know they had in them. What other businessmen see it as a lesson is that they can push their employees further than they thought possible, and that they won’t rush any product out without it being perfect. But, in this approach comes with collateral damage on the people side. Steve Jobs had a pushy personality that lends itself to very different interpretation, depending on who you are. Some of the employees in Apple Company thought that they consider their selves as an absolute luckiest people in the world to have worked with him. These words serves as the proof for many executives and entrepreneurs that strong leadership and impressive results will lead employees to tolerate, even to embrace, unpleasant work conditions. Some people see Jobs as a paragon of leadership. If there are people who see positive things on what Steve Jobs did, there are also these people who really see what he did and what he are as not good. These people see Steve Jobs as a dictatorial and have an uncompromising way on how he approached life. One of these people could not understand why Steve Jobs felt the need to be right all the time and to blame others, that why Steve Jobs had to claim other people’s ideas as his own. They thought Jobs like dynamite. Dynamite that clears paths but also destroys everything around it.

Ironically, in the remarkable life of Steve Jobs, we could see that why the rest of us have this hunger for a role model to light our own paths. Steve Jobs made high-stakes decisions on his own, with just little people beside him which he relied on. In life, as in in the field of business, there are not really concrete answers or clear guides. We cannot help but see a life like Steve Jobs as rare road map to the uncharted world we awake to every morning.

It is amazing how Steve Jobs turned his passion into money. It is indeed such an inspiration on what Steve Jobs did. “It’s a beautiful concept. You discover your way to contribute to the world. That is what Jobs found. He contributed so much to humanity with his products.”, a statement according to the article I have read in All of us want to discover and track this beautiful concept of life. Most of us want to contribute to the world where some wants to make history. That is Jobs way that he tracked and that is what most of us want to follow. Some of us want to become known, and some just want to contribute and just help people without them knowing that person. For others, what Jobs did and have such personalities are not bad as what others think. It is a positive to some people and negative to others. It is just, it depends on the person on how he or she will going to absorb and interpret it. We all have our own interpretations on what other people do. That concept also applied on Steve Jobs.

In my own perspective, what Steve Jobs did indeed really have positive and negative lessons. I see it as, that is his own way to make things perfect in his own perception. He just follow what he thinks is good for the people around him for the betterment in achieving his goal. If I were asked if would I also take the same career path that Steve Jobs took, I would say yes. My answer is yes because that is one of the things I want to achieve in my life. To contribute something in our humanity, be somehow known for the things I have created for the improvement of the people could do and at the same time, I could experience the things what my career should experience. I want to involve in the technological things nowadays since every week, every month, there are new technologies that were created and introduced. People today have their own innovations in their mind. I want to be updated on every aspect in technology and at the same time, I would like to be the one that will create and develop my own innovations. Although I want that success that he had achieved also, but I do not see myself reaching that same goal. I do not have the best skills he has, in other words, I am like just a point percent on what he is capable with (I cannot really express in words what I really meant to say). I still have many things that I should know, and if given the opportunity to learn it all step by step, I would really love to grab that opportunity. I still have many things that I should experience. I am lacking the personality or attitudes a technopreneur should have. I might have my own skills but it is not enough, it is just far from what Steve Jobs and other technopreneurs have. Maybe we cannot be same as with Steve Jobs or Woz. Maybe we cannot have what they have, their skills, their intellectual minds and what they are the things they are capable to do but we all have our own different skills which made us different from others. It might not have the equivalent level Jobs and other successful technopreneurs have but it is something that we should still be proud of. It is something that is original with us. You should start trusting your own capabilities and skills before other person will because all the changes you want should start from you. Respect yourself for the other to respect you as well. Skills can be developed, but your attitude may affect others. It could be change but once you already set the impression of others to you, it is kinda hard for you to change the way they sees you. The impression might be permanent that is why attitude is something that we should be careful with. Like Steve Jobs, what attitudes he have were already been planted to the minds of other people where although it was stated in his friend Woz’s interview that Jobs already learned from that, the impressions of some maybe have changed but we could not deny the fact that there are still others whose impressions of them about Steve Jobs remain the same.

The bottom line is that, what had mentioned earlier remains the paradox in the life of Steve Jobs. He turned his sometimes brutal and uncompromising personality into the creation of products which strike us as beautiful. According to the article that I have read and had mentioned earlier,  the historical moment that he helped to create—a magical intersection of technology and commerce and culture, as our computers and computerized gadgets matured from purely functional items to expressions of ourselves—is unique to his Jobs’ story. Without the creative mind of Steve Jobs, some of us might never have had their iPods, MacBooks and iPads. Jobs operated on an entirely different concept from just about anyone else. For the rest of us, trying to become or behave like him will make us and everyone around us miserable.

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