October 6, 2011

Remembering Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs finally lost his battle to cancer, but not before achieving almost everything he set out to achieve - the computer revolution. I just read his 1985 interview, at the onset of computer era, how he perceived the future for the devices. He was dead sure about it being the future, and talked about how everyone would have it in their homes - though acknowledging he didn't know what use it would have, but he said he knew there would be something big coming - like a giant national network connecting every one together for communication. 

I am another one of those Apple fans who own most of its products - iPod, iPhone, and MacBook (I don't have an iPad yet, mostly because I think the best of it is yet to come). For me, there are two big lessons from the life of Jobs:

1. Winners never make excuses or run down competition: Even though Jobs never failed to mock Microsoft and IBM, Apple never tried to play the game by their rules. It was always very clear in its mind how to go about it. Even when it seemed like MS won the game hands down, and Bill Gates would go down as the father of the computer revolution, Jobs stuck to what he believed was right - the bundled pack of software and hardware, and not adopting anything else. Its more like competing against yourself - if you lost, its because you were not perfect, and has nothing to do with the competition. Similar to the ways sachin never resorts to sledging, and Federer never breaks his racquets. Somedays you win, somedays you lose - but the battle is always within. 

Apple created new product categories, and re-defined consumer electronics. If it was competing with MS or IBM only, world would have never seen an iPod, or an iPhone. In his own words, to succeed, one should 'Stay hungry, Stay Foolish'. 

2. Nothing Succeeds Like Success: Jobs was written off by most people when he was fired from Apple. And now he's hailed as the best CEO we may have seen in the last century. Nothing much changed about the person - he was the same guy with similar beliefs before. Only, he had more success later in his 2nd stint with Apple. In the 90s, everyone believed Apple was an also-ran in the PC market, and Bill Gates was the real visionary behind the revolution. In most interviews, Gates was the role model for most people. And just when it looked like Gates had won the battle, Jobs emerged from nowhere to take the whole industry by storm. And now the world acknowledges his vision for the future. His success is what made Jobs great, and if he had failed, no one would have credited him for being the visionary behind the information revolution. So, if you want the world to take notice, nothing works better than success. And as Zuckerberg has already shown, in the end it doesn't matter if you made a few enemies on the way up - as long as you can keep going up. 

October 4, 2011

Lost In Translation

The movie released in 2003, and was one of the contenders for the Best Movie awards - sadly it lost out of LOTR - ROTK. I saw it today, and really loved the movie. 

<Possible Spoilers>

On the story front, there is nothing much to the plot - an American actor past his prime, and a newly wed girl on a trip with her husband meet in a foreign land. The movie is all about just the three characters - the actor, the girl and Japan. Its been beautifully shot, and anyone who sees the movie would fall in love with Tokyo - the neon lights, the big signboards, and everything else. In the initial part, the movie shows the struggle of westerners in trying to adapt to the Asian place, and tries subtly to mock it as well. However, as the movie progresses, we see the characters getting more and more comfortable in their surroundings, and from there on its more about the people. 

Most of the actors are perfectly cast, and the cinematography in the movie is a real treat. There are some really great shots, and I really liked the look and feel of the movie.