If you haven’t seen Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs in the Movie ‘Jobs’ then you’ve probably read the headlines. Former Apple employees dissed the movie, critics and fans alike contend it’s a bomb, and it didn’t make much money the first weekend.
To be fair, Jobs didn’t cost much money to make, and Ashton Kutcher did a decent job acting as Jobs (though the two seemed to have entirely different lips). Still, something was missing in the movie that seems to be absent in Walter Isaacson’s best selling biography, and, come to think of it, absent in nearly every other piece on Jobs from the past nearly 20 years.
I’ll call it the wilderness years. That’s the time when Jobs went from the pinnacle at the company he founded, to create another company, NeXT, then buying and developing Pixar. Those are the Moses-like wilderness years before Jobs returned to lead Apple to the promised land.
Prior to the wilderness years Jobs was a megalomaniac of the highest order; brash, full of hubris, and himself. After his return to Apple, Jobs was still Jobs, but more disciplined; some would say more mature.
So, what happened to Jobs during the 12 years from the time he was pushed out at Apple in 1985 to his return to glory in 1997? What changed? What caused those changes? What impact did that 12 years in the wilderness have on Jobs and what he built at Apple until his death in 2011?
Whether biography or movie, nobody bothers to spend much time delving into the wilderness era, where Jobs, like Moses, learned humility and discipline, two important skills which served him well during the second coming at Apple.
I have every book written about Jobs and there’s just not much information available about what caused Jobs to change and become a real leader when he returned to Apple. Maybe we need to wait awhile for Sony and Aaron Sorkin’s movie to see what really happened to Jobs in the wilderness.