What Can The Steve Jobs Film Teach Us About Success?

As if we didn’t know Steve Jobs was worth entrepreneurial attention, the 2015 Danny Boyle film by the same name proves the point. With Fassbender portraying a strikingly realistic Jobs, this is a must-see for anyone starting out in the business world. Through following Jobs in the lead up to significant releases of his career, we come to learn a lot about what it takes to succeed, and also flop, in the business world.

And, we think the lessons in this film could help anyone attempting to go it alone. With it’s at times uncomfortable honesty, this film gets to the heart of how to build an enterprise. There are ups and downs along the way. In fact, at times, it looks like Jobs is losing control altogether. But, with the film drawing to a close just before the 1998 iMac release, we all know that losing control was far from the reality. In fact, Jobs went on to be one of the most iconic faces of entrepreneurship to date.

So, what can you learn from the scenes in this film, and how can they help your company? Read on to find out.

No man is an island, not even Steve Jobs

Perhaps the main thread throughout this film is the idea that even Steve Jobs can’t do it himself. Indeed, the start of the movie reflects someone so unwilling to loosen the reins on what he’s attempting that he’s ultimately doing some damage. Sure enough, when the original Macintosh fails to sell, Jobs loses his position with Apple. What’s more, his next creation, NeXT, fails to sell because Jobs again tries to do things on his own. As Wozniak points out on many occasions, Jobs isn’t skilled in the actual creation of these machines. Hence why his NeXT production has no operating system on reveal and, surprise surprise, fails to sell. What went wrong on both occasions? Jobs refuses to let other people help. But, as soon as he rejoins Apple and starts to work with others, his success story begins.

So, what does this mean for your enterprise? That you need to work with others, of course. And that stands, even if this is your brainchild. No entrepreneur is an island. If Steve Jobs couldn’t do it, neither can you. Sure, you might be skilled at envisioning the next significant computer trend. But, you’ll need to head to and other companies like them to create your products. These are companies with the machinery and the know-how to turn your dreams into realities. And, building decent working relationships with them is the only way you’ll find success.

The team around you matters

You could also say that this film stresses the importance of having a decent team around you. In a way, this ties in with the above point, but it focuses more on who you work with than the outside companies you employ. Most notably, let’s consider Jobs’ driving force throughout the film, Joanna Hoffman; his marketing director. Despite the changing tides of Jobs’ success, Hoffman stays loyal and helps to keep him moving in the right direction. And, that’s before we even consider individuals like Andy Cunningham, who has to work Jobs’ out of a fix during the first scenes. Without such people, it’s easy to question whether Apple would have ever become the success it is.

And, a decent workforce around you could have much the same impact. In fact, this is half the secret to success. Finding the right people, and managing them using methods mentioned on sites like is essential. After all, a happy workforce will be willing to go above and beyond for you, just as others did for Steve Jobs. You need to work hard at sharing your passion and vision with your team. It’s the only way to ensure they put in as much heart as you do. And, that’s sure to see your idea getting off the ground.

If you believe in your product, go after it

This film also focuses a great deal on determination. We know Jobs has this idea for a Macintosh, way back in 1984. But, failure means that it’s over a decade before the capabilities of the tech world meet with this original vision. But, does Jobs just roll over and let it go? Of course not. He weathers his failure and bides his time, knowing that this product is worth pushing for.

There is a distinct chance that you, too, will come up against plenty of obstacles. That’s the nature of starting something new. But, giving up straight away is no way to make your business ideas stick. Instead, you should use your failures to learn what you shouldn’t do next time. Then, you should brush yourself off and try again. Because if you believe in your product this much, there’s a much better chance that the rest of the world will join you down the line.

Don’t forget what got you where you are

One thing Jobs doesn’t work through in this film is his inability to acknowledge what got him where he was. During the Apple launches at both ends of the movie, Wozniak urges Jobs to thank the team behind ‘Apple II’ – the product which kept money coming in during Jobs’ attempts at the Macintosh. But, Jobs point blank refuses, saying that he doesn’t want to look to the past. This bitterly sours his working relationship with Wozniak, as well as painting him in an unflattering light.

But, why is this refusal such a problem? Because we should always take the time to appreciate what’s got us where we are. Whether you have a particular person to thank or an old product, you should pay it the respect it deserves. Though it might not have been your end goal, it made your dreams possible. And, that’s always worth your attention, if only to remind you of the mistakes you don’t want to make on your second attempt at succeeding.

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