Apr 2, 2009

"Good artists copy... Great artists steal" Pirates of Silicon Valley : A Review

Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)

Directed by:Martyn Burke
Runtime: 95 min

IMDb: 6.7/10
RottenTomatoes: 84%

I watched this documentary while screening it at a program about entrepreneurship. Being avid fan of information technology and internet, and entrepreneurship and a guy with dreams of changing the world, it was a feast for me. The documentary is an interesting look on how two of the most prominent personalities of IT industry Bill Gates of Microsoft and Steve Jobs of Apple Computers,started their ventures from basements and used their unique personalities to grow their businesses into empires and dominate the computer world. I was delighted to know the kind of businessmen they are today compared to how they began.

Besides this, the documentary also manages to capture the developments in computer industry which determined the nature of modern computing. Ignorance and lack of far sighted vision of Xerox and Hewlett-Packard, Steve Job's artistic vision and personality, Bill Gates ruthless business practices, innovative computer scientists are some of the most important things that shaped the computer industry and the documentary presents them well.

The documentary isn't very kind to its subjects, Bill Gates is portrayed as a ruthless,sociopath who is determined to destroy every enemy that comes into his way. Steve Jobs is shown as a visionary but at the same time a slave driver and a cruel person ( as he refuses to accept the young girl as his daughter). I think it adds to the neutrality of the documentary.

To talk about the negative aspects , the documentary is boring at times and historically inaccurate in some places.

Overall, a good watch for people with inclinations towards IT industry and for those who dream of changing the world.

Thank you reading patiently!

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