Thirty years ago, in February 1985, Steve Jobs gave an interview to Playboy.
As with most long interviews with the late CEO, it’s filled with fantastic nuggets about his life, Apple, and the future of computing.
To commemorate what would have been his 60th birthday, we pulled out our 15 favourite quotes and anecdotes for you to check out.
Steve Jobs showed off a Mac to a 9-year-old at a New York party. Andy Warhol was there, saw the computer and was amazed.
The best part is Jobs was more interested in playing with the 9-year-old. Why? Jobs says, 'Older people sit down and ask, 'What is it?' but the boy asks, 'What can I do with it?''
Steve Jobs says Apple benefited from the 'petrochemical revolution.' Cheap energy made it easy to make computers.
Here's his full explanation:
'We're living in the wake of the petrochemical revolution of 100 years ago. The petrochemical revolution gave us free energy -- free mechanical energy, in this case. It changed the texture of society in most ways. This revolution, the information revolution, is a revolution of free energy as well, but of another kind: free intellectual energy. It's very crude today, yet our Macintosh computer takes less power than a 100-watt light bulb to run and it can save you hours a day. What will it be able to do ten or 20 years from now, or 50 years from now? This revolution will dwarf the petrochemical revolution. We're on the forefront.'
Here's a good give-and-take on Apple's pricing:
JOBS: Someday we may be able to build a colour screen for a reasonable price. As to overpricing, the start-up of a new product makes it more expensive than it will be later. The more we can produce, the lower the price will get -- --
PLAYBOY: That's what critics charge you with: hooking the enthusiasts with premium prices, then turning around and lowering your prices to catch the rest of the market.
JOBS: That's simply untrue. As soon as we can lower prices, we do. It's true that our computers are less expensive today than they were a few years ago, or even last year. But that's also true of the IBM PC. Our goal is to get computers out to tens of millions of people, and the cheaper we can make them, the easier it's going to be to do that. I'd love it if Macintosh cost $US1000.
Steve Jobs didn't think there would be multiple hardware vendors, but there would be multiple software vendors. He got this one backwards. It's one of the few things he didn't predict correctly.
'In terms of supplying the computer itself, it's coming down to Apple and IBM. And I don't think there are going to be a lot of third- and fourth-place companies, much less sixth- or seventh-place companies. Most of the new, innovative companies are focusing on the software. I think there will be lots of innovation in the areas of software but not in hardware.'
Jobs got a job at HP after he called Bill Hewlett asking for parts to a computer. Hewlett was listed in the phone book!
'When I was 12 or 13, I wanted to build something and I needed some parts, so I picked up the phone and called Bill Hewlett -- he was listed in the Palo Alto phone book. He answered the phone and he was real nice. He chatted with me for, like, 20 minutes. He didn't know me at all, but he ended up giving me some parts and he got me a job that summer working at Hewlett- Packard on the line, assembling frequency counters. Assembling may be too strong. I was putting in screws. It didn't matter; I was in heaven. I remember my first day, expressing my complete enthusiasm and bliss at being at Hewlett-Packard for the summer to my supervisor, a guy named Chris, telling him that my favourite thing in the whole world was electronics. I asked him what his favourite thing to do was and he looked at me and said, 'To fuck!' (Laughs) I learned a lot that summer.'
'I think death is the most wonderful invention of life. It purges the system of these old models that are obsolete.'
Jobs on killing older companies:
'That's inevitably what happens. That's why I think death is the most wonderful invention of life. It purges the system of these old models that are obsolete. I think that's one of Apple's challenges, really. When two young people walk in with the next thing, are we going to embrace it and say this is fantastic? Are we going to be willing to drop our models, or are we going to explain it away? I think we'll do better, because we're completely aware of it and we make it a priority.'
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