OCT 28, 2015

The fourth feature film on Steve Jobs has recently been released, and although it had a mediocre opening weekend, it's worth noting the movie's screenwriter and his popular and proven storytelling devices.

Aaron Sorkin, the famous playwright/screenwriter whose work includes The Social Network, Moneyball, the West Wing, and A Few Good Men, among others, wrote his take on 'Steve Jobs' based on a dramatic storytelling structure that he applies to all his work. This movie is not meant to be historically accurate; instead it develops a character that must face three major challenges at different periods of his life. This is part of Sorkin's storytelling formula:

Give a character a desire, an end goal, and place obstacle after obstacle between them and their goal. (Click to Tweet!)  

The heart of his films is how his characters deal with the challenges that face them. 

Storytelling is so important, to a brand, a film, everything. Even Steve Jobs himself understood that, in order to sell a product successfully, you need to weave a story and show consumers how the product will change their life in some way. Apple has used this tactic from the very beginning.

The below interview with Aaron Sorkin conducted by The Aspen Institute explores his genius approach to storytelling and developing his characters. 


While researching the Steve Jobs film and the actual co-founder of Apple, we came across this short documentary in all of its 1980's glory, following and interviewing Jobs as he and his team prepared to launch NeXT, his venture after being fired from Apple. In it, you can see some of his early leadership qualities and creative thinking.

How would you rate Steve Jobs' ability to conduct a brainstorming session? Let us know!