Saturday, 17 August 2013

Kutcher and Jobs. The Comparison Continues.

Ashton Kutcher, who plays Steve Jobs in the movie "Jobs" has started to eerily look, sound and talk more like Steve Jobs.  I don't know whether it is part of his act while he's trying to promote the movie but just as Steve Jobs had his Stanford University Commencement Speech moment back in 2005, Ashton Kutcher had his while accepting an award at the Teen Choice Awards earlier this week.

It may seem bizarre to compare the two speeches but listen to Kutcher and you start to see the similarities (click here to see the video).  
Kutcher at the Teen Choice Awards.

While at Stanford, Jobs spoke to university students who were graduating from one of the world's premier educational institutions.  In his speech, he mentioned three stories from his life.  The first was about connecting the dots where he talks about destiny. The second story was about love and loss.  He spoke about how he got fired from Apple when he thought he was the peak of his career, how he went on to found NeXT and then Pixar.  He spoke of perseverance and about sticking it out for the long term battle.  The third story Jobs spoke about was death.  Here he spoke about living each day as if it was your last and what his bout with cancer had taught him at the time.

Ashton Kutcher in his speech was addressing teenagers at an awards ceremony and decided to lecture them on life lessons he had learned.  Again, like Jobs, he had three stories.  The first is about opportunity.  Kutcher speaks of the stepping stones to getting where he did by jobs that may have appeared dead end jobs.  He talks about never quitting his job until he had his next job.  The second is about being sexy.  His definition of the sexiest thing in the entire world is about smart, thoughtful, generous.  He goes onto to say that everything else is "crap."  The third story is based on what he learned while making the Jobs movie.  He said it is about setting your own boundaries and not necessarily accepting the status quo.  It is about building your life, not living one. (Update: a clip of Jobs that Kutcher referenced can be found here).

This speech may have been staged given that Kutcher is in full flow with the promotion of the movie but it's re-assuring to see nonetheless a positive message made out to kids who are impressionable.  Just as I know I tend to watch Steve Jobs giving his speech at Stanford every once in a while, Kutcher's viral acceptance speech may have the same appeal to teenagers who are looking for direction.

Well done Ashton and hope you've managed to guide some people to the right side of the road.

P.S. If you've never heard Jobs give his speech at Stanford, you can watch it at this link or read the transcript at this link.