Today I downloaded Pirates of Silicon Valley using torrents. Pirates of Silicon Valley is a famous film which is based on the book Fire in the Valley: The Making of The Personal Computer by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine. The film is based on the birth of personal computer through the rivalry between Apple and Microsoft. Basically, the movie is the story of two greatest business rivals of their time, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Within 30 years these two became the richest persons on the earth. Here in this movie, you can see the initial struggle of software startups, business rivalary, apetite for success, successes and failures, innovations and new ideas, big initiatives, risks, competition etc.
The film begins with Steve Jobs (Noah Wyle) talking directly to the audience about the film “I don’t want you to think of this as just a film, some process of converting electrons and magnetic impulses into shapes and figures and sounds. No. Listen to me. We’re here to make a dent in the universe. Otherwise, why even be here? We’re creating a completely new consciousness, like an artist or a poet. We’re rewriting the history of human thought with what we’re doing. That’s how you have to think of this.”Almost every scene is based on actual events. Some of the interesting scenes include Bill Gates going jail for rash driving, Bill Gates’ bulldozer races in the middle of the night and Steve Jobs’ bare feet going on the table while taking interview for the post of a programmer.
Some of the important points I noted about two biggest technology giants, Apple and Microsoft.
- Jobs enrolls in Reed College in Portland, Ore. He drops out after one semester in 1972. Bill Dropped out of Harvard in 1975 to pursue a career in software.
- They both started business with a co-founder. Steve Jobs was initial supported by Steve Wozniak who built the early Blue Box whereas Paul Allen helped Bill Gates adapt BASIC for the Altair and bought QDOS from Tim Paterson for $50,000.
- Both believe in Picasso’s famous saying “Good artists copy, great artists steal”.
- Both took their GUI ideas from Xerox.
- Gates business is in software market, while Jobs business is mostly into hardware with a compatible software.
Both Bill and Steve are pioneers of their fields. They completely dominated the company they founded. Their habits are reflected in the work culture of company, methods of working, the products they make, the type of staff they employ etc. In my opinion, Bill Gates’ vision was more successful than that of Steve. Bill used to say “A computer on every disk in every house, running Microsoft software” and that made him focus on Multi language interface whereas Steve Jobs considered simple and easy to use rather than supporting other languages which affected the business of MACs.