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Steve Jobs' 'Lost Interview:' Design is keeping 5,000 things in your brain

post #1 of 20
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Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs viewed designing a product as the process of "keeping 5,000 things together in your brain" and getting them to fit together, according to an excerpt from the forthcoming screening of "Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview."

In October, journalist Robert Cringely announced that footage of a 70-minute interview with Jobs from 1995 had been rediscovered after the master tapes were lost. The interview has since been restored and is set to screen at Landmark Theatres locations around the U.S. later this week.

TIME has obtained an excerpt from the film where Jobs describes his philosophy on product design. According to him, the process of finding new ways to fit disparate things together is "the magic" behind design.

"Designing a product is keeping 5,000 things in your brain, these concepts, and fitting them all together in kind of continuing to push to fit them together in new and different ways to get what you want," he said. "And every day you discover something new, that is a new problem or a new opportunity, to fit these things together a little differently."

The interview, filmed for the "Triumph of the Nerds" miniseries, reveals Jobs during his "wilderness years" after being ousted at Apple and before being brought back to Apple by way of NeXT. Clips of Jobs' comments from the series have since gained notoriety because he did not hold back on his feelings about longtime rival and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.



"The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste," Jobs said. "I have a problem with the fact that they just make really third rate products."

Even toward the end of his life, Jobs' opinion of Gates did not appear to have changed. In an interview with biographer Walter Isaacson, Jobs called Gates "basically unimaginative." He "has never invented anything," Jobs reportedly said. "He just shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas."

Gates has said he's not troubled by Jobs' comments. "We got to work together," he said recently. "We spurred each other on, even as competitors. None of that bothers me at all."

Steve Jobs during a 1995 interview with Robert Cringely.

During the interview, Jobs also had strong words for John Sculley, who he had brought from Pepsi on to be CEO. The two clashed after Sculley began work at Apple, and Jobs was eventually ousted from the company he helped found.

"I hired the wrong guy," he said. "He destroyed everything I spent ten years working for. Starting with me but that wasn't the saddest part. I would have gladly left Apple if Apple would have turned out like I wanted it to."

For his part, Sculley has admitted that it was a "big mistake" that he was ever hired as Apple's CEO. He spent ten years at the company before being forced out in 1993.
post #2 of 20
Something broke, this link was posted with a stray quote mark on the end of it:

http://entertainment.time.com/2011/1...ost-interview/

I'd say it probably broke the post-to-forum feature too.
post #3 of 20
Robert X. Cringely the interviewer is actually Mark Stephens Apple employee #12. I'm hoping that the history between he and Mr. Jobs brought out a comfort level that made a great interview. From the brief snippets in the 'Triumph' PBS series, this interview is loaded with information and 'emotion' ranging from philosophical to mistrust and anger.

I'll dish out the money to see it in theaters....it's a much safer bet than most of the terrible movies playing today.
post #4 of 20
Only in the life of Steve Jobs would one's "wilderness years" include revolutionizing the movie industry and become a billionaire - before getting back to work.

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post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Only in the life of Steve Jobs would one's "wilderness years" include revolutionizing the movie industry and become a billionaire - before getting back to work.

Steve Jobs did not revolutionize the movie industry. full 3d animated movies would have arrived on the scene with or without Pixar.

As for Sculley, it was due to his Newton that Apple co-developed the ARM architecture. Apple later divested the technology due to Steve Jobs decision to only later come back to it for the iPhone.

Sculley's Newton may not have been successful commercially but it was the first of its kind and the iPhone was an evolutionary step.
post #6 of 20
If Steve cared about the users he should have licensed out OSX and iOS and saved the masses.

Now 95% of computer users still use the crappy windows.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by tania View Post

Steve Jobs did not revolutionize the movie industry. full 3d animated movies would have arrived on the scene with or without Pixar.

graham Alexander bell didn't revolutionize communications. The phone would have arrived with or without him.
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post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post

graham Alexander bell didn't revolutionize communications. The phone would have arrived with or without him.

Bell stole credit for the idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shompa View Post

If Steve cared about the users he should have licensed out OSX and iOS and saved the masses.

Now 95% of computer users still use the crappy windows.

That depends. OS X can't fix bad hardware and bad third party drivers, and the market was plagued with that. The people that had stability problems often have it because of bad hardware and bad drivers because they went with the lowest bidder.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post

graham Alexander bell didn't revolutionize communications. The phone would have arrived with or without him.

you think CGI didn't exist in movies before Steve Jobs arrived on the scene? get a clue.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by shompa View Post

If Steve cared about the users he should have licensed out OSX and iOS and saved the masses.

Now 95% of computer users still use the crappy windows.

If Steve had done that, 95% of computer users would be using crappy MacO/iOS. The Apple ecosystem is what it is because the operating systems are NOT licensed out. Apple's mistake 25 years ago was in pricing their products too high. Being vertically integrated could have worked then as it's working now.
post #11 of 20
"set to screen at Landmark Theatres locations around the U.S"

people would pay to go and see an irrelevant 16 year old interview at a movie theatre?

To claim jobs was a designer is really pushing things a little far, even for him. For his workers he was a source of inspiration, and motivation to make great products, but rarely did he design them, other than crying when he couldn't find the right shade of beige from the Pantone catalog.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by tania View Post

Steve Jobs did not revolutionize the movie industry. full 3d animated movies would have arrived on the scene with or without Pixar.

Maybe so but not in the way they did or in the timeframe. Disney bought Pixar for a very good reason. Chapter on this time period in the SJ Biography is fascinating.
post #13 of 20
Too many haters. Whatever you say about him, the vast majority of intelligent human beings recognised the guy as a genius who revolutionised the tech industry and contributed his own personal touch to Apple's products.

I wonder how many people here have even had a slightly dim idea, never mind the bright/brilliant ones that jobs had and brought to fruition. After all, he gave us products we didn't even know we needed.

BTW, the Newton was never "Sculley's Newton"...
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by shao View Post

people would pay to go and see an irrelevant 16 year old interview at a movie theatre?

...but rarely did he design them, other than crying when he couldn't find the right shade of beige from the Pantone catalog.

CHOMP. I'll take the bait.

I will definitely pay to see a 16 year old interview of Steve Jobs (and will buy a copy for myself if it becomes available).

Since I don't believe you are being sarcastic, oh great beige one -- I strongly assert that SJ was in fact a designer. From what I've heard, his vision, insistence on "perfection" and involvement in every detail -- could qualify him as Lead Designer. We could quibble and call him the Chief Art Director... but I think he had a stronger hand than that.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by tania View Post

you think CGI didn't exist in movies before Steve Jobs arrived on the scene? get a clue.

Phone tech was quite developed by 2005 so I suppose Steve did nothing in the phone arena, as well.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by tania View Post

Steve Jobs did not revolutionize the movie industry. full 3d animated movies would have arrived on the scene with or without Pixar.

Every person who ever did anything revolutionary (Lindbergh, Wright Brothers, Bell, Ford, Edison, Einstein, Darwin, Newton, etc) would find that their ideas/accomplishments arrived on the scene eventually with or without them. Your logic dismisses everyone who has ever done anything important.

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post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Every person who ever did anything revolutionary (Lindbergh, Wright Brothers, Bell, Ford, Edison, Einstein, Darwin, Newton, etc) would find that their ideas/accomplishments arrived on the scene eventually with or without them. Your logic dismisses everyone who has ever done anything important.

You know I tried similar logic in school w/my teachers. "Well the other kids all did it, so the completed homework arrived on your desk regardless. I don't see why I had to do it too". Somehow, that didn't fly
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by tania View Post

you think CGI didn't exist in movies before Steve Jobs arrived on the scene? get a clue.

No really, you have no idea.

Of course communication at a distance didn't exist before the phone did it... Fuck some people are so wound up in their vicious little imaginations.

As for FULL length 3d films I happen to know more about the origins of that than would seem likely. And we are very very lucky for Pixar and Lassetter and for Jobs to keep funding them personally cause as far as 3d films go without them we would be what...

Stuck with dreamworks who just copy Pixar badly? I could go on but the thin veneer of your lack of knowledge makes it clear that would be pointless
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post #19 of 20
They should bring me in as the new CEO - first order of business offering matte screens...
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by pondosinatra View Post

They should bring me in as the new CEO - first order of business offering matte screens...

Second order of business, outing you and bringing things back to the way they were.

Seriously, why do people think they're better at running Apple than Apple?

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