Steve Jobs Documentary Sheds Light On Visionary’s Life

Steve Jobs

By Uptin Saiidi (@uptin)

Less than one month after Steve Jobs died of cancer, PBS premiered a documentary examining the visionary’s biggest influences on his life and career. The film spans from his early life in the 8th grade to the worldwide recognition of his innovations following his death on October 6, 2011.

In an interview never before seen, a young Jobs shares his optimistic view of the world. “When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life in the world, try not to bash in the walls to much,” he said in what looks to be a self-recorded video. “That’s a very limited life, life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact and that is everything around you was made up by people that were no smarter than you.”

Even after his death, Jobs’ influence continues to span across even untypical industries. An autobiography has been in the works that’s now released and an off-Broadway one man show based on his life was created.

The documentary also explored Jobs’ darker side. “Everyone in Steve Jobs’ life went through three phases. They were either being seduced, ignored, or scourged, and it all depended upon whether he needed you or not,” Robert Cringely, a technology columnist who knew him well said. “If he needed you, he was your best friend and he would seduce you. And then you would work like a dog, and then if you weren’t working hard enough he would scourge you and ultimately he would throw you away.”

Black Eyed Peas’ frontman Will.I.Am was interviewed as a testament to Jobs’ revolutionizing of the music industry. The band was initially approached to be in an iTunes commercial, and shortly after the spots ran, became the most downloaded band on iTunes.

Today, half a million songs are downloaded daily through the platform and it’s become a driving force for upcoming artists.

Will.i.am recalled how he first heard of Apple products when their manager was first approached, saying, “I said what’s iTunes, and they said they’re not paying much but they’re going to give you guys an iPod …(I said) ‘What’s an iPod?’ “

But Steve Jobs’ influence on the music industry didn’t start with the invention of the iPod. The Mac computer has always been considered the tool for artists. “Jobs was part of music,” Will.i.Am recalled, “because every major studio has a Mac computer. It’s an artist’s computer.”

While the world continues to remember Jobs’ innovations and impact on the world, his legacy is backed by his view on life – “You can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that you’ll never be the same again.”