CHM Revolutionaries: Steve Jobs The Authorized Biography with Author Walter Isaacson

the overwhelming number say he pushed me to do things I never thought I could do he drove me nuts at times it was the greatest experience in my life people who tour these galleries often say wow I had no idea many think computing is about scientists engineers and mathematicians but if you’ve ever texted emailed shopped online are used as smartphone you know computing is about you if you understood that better than Steve Jobs one of the most visible and celebrated executives in computing history his biographer Walter Isaacson was here recently and we talked to him about the roller coaster life and revolutionary career of the original Apple icon well we’re so happy to have you here thank you let me ask you about your very very first meeting with Steve Jobs 1984 you describe yourself as a junior editor time he comes to New York to demonstrate the Macintosh and he does that go you see both sides of Steve you know that absolutely passionate side because there he is with the original Mac that thing sitting there that almost looks like it’s smiling at you you make sure that the strip up there he shows us how thin it is so it looks like a friendly face not in the end earth all face and he shows us all the graphical icons and you can tell he’s passionate about every pixel he’s also furious at Time magazine tells us that you know we’re not nearly as good as Newsweek that somebody I won’t name his name because he lives who had written a horrible story about him and so I saw the petulant side and it’s that’s when I first started to realize that the the sort of impatience and petro ism that you sometimes saw in Steve Jobs was connected to the passion in the perfectionism you were meeting incredible people you have met incredible people during your career was there something special about that encounter did he make a particular impression on you at that moment I must admit I was mesmerized by him he’s a very compelling puss I mean you saw it there that’s what he was that and he’s telling you these stories he was up for man he was mad because he had not been made man of the year for the end of nineteen – I of course have been an idiot on the wrong side of that night voted for Paul Volcker none of you remember who Paul Volcker was but we had done the machine moves in it was sort of machine of the year and so but you could tell the first time you met Steve Jobs that there was something compelling about him so flash forward 20 years it’s 2004 and he gets in touch with you yeah it gives me a call and I just joined the astronaut a little while I said do you want to come speak it asked me said no but I want to come take a walk with you and after a while he says why don’t you do a biography of me he sort of suggests sit I had done Ben Franklin was just finishing Albert Einstein so I thought okay you know Franklin Einstein Steve I’m with ration I’m sure that was on his mind but I admit I said you know you’re a really really great subject but let’s wait 30 years until you retire and it wasn’t until 2009 when he had his liver transplant went on that medical leave that it sort of sunk in that he was fighting cancer that he had transformed with his team a wide variety of industries you know first home computing and personal computing but by that point by 2009 had transformed the music industry with iTunes and the iPod the way we listen to music the phone industry the publishing industry tablet computing so that’s when I said alright you know this is this is too good to pass up you wrote something in the book it was to quote his passion for perfection led him to indulge his instinct to control so I want to talk to you about the editorial control question because you must have had to graze that and settle it fairly early on how did you manage to do that I was stunned because it never really came up and then after a while he kept saying well it’s your book it’s your book I’m not even gonna read it he did say by the way people don’t read books you know so I don’t know but it’s yours and by the way I wanted to be honest I want you to interview you know people who didn’t like me as well as people did and he said you know that he was brutally honest his whole life he said he did not want it to feel like an in-house book he wanted to feel like an independent book and therefore he was gonna exercise no

editorial control did that ever change did he ever call you up and well the one time he did which fits into a Serie of people don’t read books but they look at him as simon and schuster about a year ago put into the catalogue sort of a cover design just there was a placeholder and it was a cover of Stephen an apple you know with ice Steve as the title I landed in San Francisco Airport coming to a product launch that he was going to do I came up which one but maybe the iPad and I saw the thing you least like to see on your iPhone which is six or seven missed calls from Steve Jobs so y’all know the San Francisco Airport I’m standing there right in the concourse I had returned and he just starts yelling at me he said you have no taste you know it’s hose and you know the title is gimmicky and it’s just ugly and I don’t even want you to come to the demonstration I’m holding the phone you know and finally he says I’m not gonna continue to cooperate unless you allow me to have input into the cover art now it took me somewhere between a second and a second and a half to say sure you know here’s the greatest design I you know for something like that and he spent a lot of time you know just trying to make it a very simple clean cover and so that was the one time I felt his wrath and also the one time when he had editorial input you know you talked a lot about and you quote his friends who who coined the term reality distortion field yeah did you find yourself getting sucked into that from time to time as you started working with him well I think you’d be the last to know reality distortion feel that it’s about it and talk to me about it and revolution in the valley but it was you know the engineers there comes from Star Trek series which is simply by thinking something and being convinced of something even if it’s impossible you know you can convince other people and then the secret of the reality distortion field is that it sometimes works that you convince people they can do the impossible was talked about that to me and in his own book about you know Steve saying you’ll have to do this in four days I think it was you know one of the Atari games they were doing and one said it can’t be done and Steve said you can do it and that was a reality distortion field and four days had been done so the question of whether I got sucked into it I found myself deeply emotionally vested with him I tried very hard to be honest in the book to put all things and all sides in the book but they were probably this will be people in this audience they would know more than you know most if you read the book and say boy this guy got caught in a reality distortion field I guess the answer would be yes so one one final question about the process of writing the book and then will the one move on is sort of it the 70s Steve you had the luxury of a kind of long historical detachment from Einstein from Benjamin Franklin not so much with Kissinger but here you are suddenly writing a biography of a very compelling living person up close and personal with him in 40 interviews how does embargo four maintain that kind of necessary detachment that you could enjoy just by not being able to spend time with Einstein and Franklin well a couple of things you know when Steve did his Stanford speech he said let me you know let me tell you three stories that just three stories you become a storyteller you don’t try to preach and I just tried to let the stories tell themselves one of the things I discovered by having so much time with them and so much time with 150 other people who worked with him was how much more we know or I could know about him than I did about Benjamin Franklin or Einstein and we thank you know Benjamin Franklin wrote a lot of letters 40 volumes of papers Einstein they’re still compiling his papers so we should know more but like the flying the kite in the rain yeah we got one little journal entry where there’s maybe a newspaper clip but with Steve everything that happened I’d hear about it at great length and then hear other people’s versions of it and I probably ended up knowing a hundred maybe a thousand times more about him and each story in the book than you would doing somebody who you’re doing it through letters or journals okay let’s talk about the

storytelling you know and the place I’d like to begin is his partnership with Wozniak it starts with that very early hands the blue box right wood that starts at Atari actually by doing games where Steve is on the night shift because it’s they find it easier to work with him if he’s on the night shift and he learns a lot at Atari including the notion of how to juice up chips and make them do amazing things and also simplicity I mean you have to remember that games like pong and breakout and Star Trek they had to be so simple that a stone freshman could figure them out you know so there’s like the instructions were insert quarter avoid Klingons or something and so that simplicity got embedded in him then at one point you have one of the few copies at the Computer History Museum of the blue box which was started I think when Esquire magazine wrote about Captain Crunch and the phone freaker’s who could replicate the bell systems tones and let’s make free phone calls and so woz and Steve Jobs said we got to do this went to slack the Stanford Linear Accelerator you know library there found the Bell System manuals and made analog version of that that didn’t quite work Waze goes off to Berkeley but in his first semester there is able to make the first digital version of it and there you see the partnership and I unfortunately I can’t see was whether he said you said but was comes up with this amazing circuit board but of course you know loves to show it off Steve says we can package it and we can sell it and make money so they start going door-to-door in rooms and Berkeley selling this thing at one point testing it out by I think calling the Vatican and woz pretended to be Henry Kissinger saying that he was at a summit meeting and needed to speak to the Pope I can see was is not again this one as far as I can tell they never really got the Pope on the phone that the entire College of Cardinals were smart enough eventually to figure out it was not Henry Kissinger calling but you know they showed the thing off and Steve told me when he described that story and the whole blue box story that if it hadn’t been for the blue box it wouldn’t have been Apple that’s pretty profound and why did he feel that way what was the thing that they could do together that they very complementary meaning they complemented each other well I mean he would say of was that he could 50 times better than any engineer could have meetings in his head and designed great circuit boards was I had been taught by you know his father being an engineer is the highest calling so he never thought about maybe we should put it in a package maybe we should get you know great cases maybe we should get a good power supply and integrated maybe we can sell it at twice or three times the cost of our materials and so what Steve did was as he did his whole life take really great ideas and come up with a great vision and pull it all together to do something amazing and I think that was a perfect partnership for somebody who was you know could design a circuit board with one quarter of the number of chips that any other engineer would take to make it work so Apple gets up and running they share art with just so I can give a shout out to everyone and I want to promise all our friends here yeah Apple one showing that that was what you heard on the tape where they go purveyor to Paul Terrell at the bike shop it gets up and running when they create that circuit when blahs creates a circuit board and then they put it all together by the way Steve tells me the story he had worked on the all one farm a commune won by people who agreed college where they had all dropped out of Reed gone to this apple farm he was there tending to the Gravenstein apples and had come back from the apple farm and says okay we’re gonna create a company and they you know it gets all excited that you know not only we’re gonna make a product we’ll have our own company and they couldn’t figure out what today meant and they have all sorts of executrix and matrix and personal computers Inc but Steve says what about just Apple Apple Computer counter-intuitive makes your head snap a bit the kind of friendly has a width of the counterculture but it’s also it’s as American as pie and I think says if we can’t think of a better name within a day well register at its Apple Computer and they said and by the way our guest in front of Atari in the phone book it’s important marketing angle so they

begin to work on the Apple one Apple is growing they’re putting together this team early in the the early history of the post incorporation period but there’s another ingredient that has to come along to make it work right Mike Markkula comes down to the scene well first of all you need money right because what they’re doing is going from the Apple one to the Apple two if you notice among the differences you know Jerry Manik and others create I mean what semantics but you know create a beautiful case they need the plastic molding it’s gonna cost a lot of money to do it you can’t just sell your VW bus and your HP calculator the way they did to get the Apple one so they need investment capital and Mike Markkula comes along signs a line of credit but also gives them a great piece so give Steve a great piece of advice which is a marketing document with three concepts on it one is to focus really you know keep your focus the other is empathy not the perfect word for it but it’s basically make an emotional connection with the people gonna buy your product and then the third is also not a great word the words impute but it means cast an aura around whatever you do so that the minute you you know Steve even throughout this career had his own personal name on the patents for the boxes the packaging of the Apple product so when you opened up and there was a tie pod cradled you it imputed that it was something really cool just the way it was and that’s what the Apple – does it imputes that it’s a really cool machine well then even as primitive as it looks to us today he obsessed with the curve of the corners on the edges the chamfers and all the design you know he had been fascinated by the Sony style and the very right when they move out of the ROG they’re in sort of a little office and next door is a Sony showroom and he would fondle the brochures then he went to Aspen Design Conference he got invited and really having grown up in a Joseph Highclere house and I know Joseph Eichler his grandson is here selling the books with Keppler but those Eichler homes were sort of mass-marketed simple Frank Lloyd Wright’s style homes for the everyman but it was simplicity and it was that Bauhaus style of make it simple but the simplicity is the ultimate sophistication and so clean white simple that becomes the style for Apple it’s about this time as the as Apple grows as a company the Apple 2 takes off they’re selling hundreds of thousands of units the phrase in the book surfaces temperamental and brandy yeah and it seems at this point there’s an almost there’s a there’s a kind of break out a very particular kind of break out at this point where that side of jobs that’s sort of very petulant and it because the word you use a lot temperamental and bratty us out other people described it and it starts to grate on people right I think you wrote he was temperamental I mean that’s why he was on the night shift at Atari just wasn’t something new but you know temperamental people also have the temperament of an artist which is why you have a passion to have end-to-end control of a product and make it perfect that temperamental miss you know there was you know there was an original president Mike Scott Scotty sort of tried to temper jobs and didn’t work too well eventually they bring in John Sculley here’s a very polite gentleman to try to you know handle Steve but but what Steve you got the whole package the temperamental miss was a part of it and it showed just in how he cared even you know I tell the story in the book was Steve walking me by his house that he grew up in the house when he was very young and his dad he built a fence with his dad showed me the fence and we touched it he said my dad taught me to make the back of the fence as beautiful as the front and I asked my dad why nobody will ever see it nobody ever know and my dad said but you will know and that’s why even on the Apple – he wants a circuit board to be beautiful and when they get to the Macintosh the next one over even though you cannot open it he holds it up for a while because the chips on the circuit board are not neatly aligned and when they say but nobody can open it nobody will know he says – the Mac designers but you will know so let’s move now to the Macintosh era so much is going on at Apple at that point there’s so much growth and his personal courtship of

John Sculley begins he talked a little bit about that that it was a bad mistake I mean it was almost like he saw John Sculley a bit as a father figure or a mentor Scully really wanted to be cool and hip and wanted Steve’s approval and it was for a while you know the famous line I think it’s at the San Remo apartment that Steve is thinking of buying and he brings John Sculley up and New York they’re looking over Central Park and Scully’s demure and Steve says do you want to spend the rest of your life because if Scully was at Pepsi you know selling sugar water or do you want to change the world and so Scully comes and Scully is a man of prep-school sensibilities great manners very kind but he’s hard it’s hard for him to deal with conflict Steve felt the price I mean I’d say why were you so tough he said it was the price of admission to being with me is that I got to be able to tell you you’re full of it actually use the word with two more letters and you got to be able to tell me I’m full of it and we’re gonna really Duke it out and Scully was not that way secondly Scully was basically a marketer you know and having run pepsi us he didn’t sit there worrying about the product he was not fiddling with the formula for Doritos and saying I can make this insanely great mr. Rito it was shelf space marketing and I think Steve after a while felt that Scully just didn’t get into how awesome the Mac was before we talked a little bit more about the falling out in the post 85 period let’s talk about the invention of the Macintosh itself the design itself and this is a point in the book where you insert the great famous quote from from jobs good artists copy great artists steal which he took from Picasso and then he would add and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas that quote is often associated with the genesis of the Macintosh because of Xerox PARC and biblical interface what so they take two visits to visit two Xerox PARC and as you know Xerox had come up with the concept of the desktop metaphor at the graphical interface more importantly sort of a bitmap design meaning each pixel on that screen could be mapped to you know bits in the microprocessor and so you can make a beautiful machine you and I are old enough to remember and certainly if you’re not you can go into this museum here to remember where you have to do you know those green phosphor letters you know see prompts with C colon backslash whatever command you know it was god-awful and suddenly at Time magazine we get the Mac and you can click in the document appear you can drag and drop well but let’s oh I do a whole big section on both the visits to Xerox PARC and I think the misconception that they just talk the graphical interface from Xerox PARC what they did when they took that metaphor would say oh well take the mouse with three buttons and totally simplify it and you’ll be able to click and drag and drop and double click and open things up will invent pulldown menus and Bill Atkinson invents you know clipping where you can have documents sort of looking like they’re on top of other documents so it looks like a messy desktop we can do things so none of that was in the Xerox a ridge and graphical interface so I think first of all they take the Xerox metaphor and actually make it insanely great secondly TS Eliot’s line you know they’re Falls the shadow between the conception and the reality well they were able to execute on it which Xerox and others warned one of the times where he’s pushing this team incredibly hard reality distortion field is then coined by I mean at that point one of the engineers I think Larry can you deduce his name’s in charge of the boot up of the Machine and Steve says it’s taking too long to boot up you got to save ten seconds off the boot up time reality distortion field the guy says you can’t it’s actually a really elegant piece of code it can’t I can’t shave ten and C says if you could save a human life would you shave ten seconds off and Kenyon goes well yeah so Steve goes he’s a whiteboard or whatever and says all right say there are a million Macintosh’s and say it’s ten seconds every time somebody boots up and in a given year it’s done this number of times it he multiplies it out and says you can save this number of lives every year if you shave off ten seconds an example of the reality distortion field

working within four weeks Larry Canyon and shaved off 28 seconds everything about that you know you see the screen it’s a rounded rectangle I think it’s Bill Atkinson I’ll get corrected if I get some of the names wrong but I think it’s Atkins or who’s doing what’s called the primitives that you can easily put on the screen so he does a square which is easy in a rectangle and then he does a circle which is hard because the microprocessor doesn’t do square roots but he figures out a way to do a circle and C says yeah but you need not only a rectangle in a circle but a rectangle with rounded edges the guy says well no that can’t be done and why do we need it and Steve makes a walk around the parking lot in the neighborhood pointing to things like windshields and billboards and you know don’t know parking signs and screens of computers saying rounded rectangles or were people see everyday they’re more beautiful to look at Atkinson or how that came up with the primitive to do a rounded right perfection that he was seeking at that point and the almost impossible tasks is he was he was asking people to perform but Tribble who says he push you you’d be better for it right and that was one of the great engineers on and then there are others who say worst experience of my life if you if you balance not only in this case but in other cases to the number of people you encounter who felt one way tremendous affection and the number of people who felt another way well what would you say that there’s a well they’re actually three categories because a lot of people felt both yeah yeah that it was a really agonizing experience and the best experience but especially with the Macintosh team or even with the team today the overwhelming number say he pushed me to do things I never thought I could do he drove me nuts at times it was the greatest experience in my life so it premieres it’s a great commercial the legendary commercial talk a little bit about the his view of the creation of the 1984 well the 1984 ad is interesting because then Steve Jobs is soul you do have the heart or soul of a member of the counterculture a rebel a misfit in fact even the thing different at start with theorist of the rebels the misfits those who think different the 1984 ad is I think an incredible in cultural landmark and icon obviously because of the oil well novel we had been thinking up until then of computers as being centralizing and controlling and the province of the Pentagon and the power structure and big corporations the notion that a computer could be personal and empowering to the individual had grown up a bit in opposition to that sort of the Stuart brand Whole Earth Catalog a view of computers for the P Paul and Steve was in that mentality he also liked to think of himself as part of the hacker ethos now the problem with him thinking himself as a hacker ethos as I said he doesn’t want slots he doesn’t want it to be open he doesn’t want you to be able to hack in so in some ways he’s violated the hacker ethos by creating an appliance that you can’t open up as opposed to hey put your own software in here and plug things in but he wants to assert that I’m still part of that hacker ethos fighting you know the establishment so they show it at a board meeting and all the board members are like this at the end I think it was Phil’s line of Macy’s California finally says who makes a motion that we find a new ad agency Scully is so frightened of it he decides he’s gonna order them to sell back the advertising time on the Super Bowl and not run the ad Steve is furious and at one point shows the ad – woz and woz says why don’t we just chip in and pay for the ad they don’t really you know on the Super Bowl they don’t really need to because Lee Clow and the wonderful people who are what becomes chai a day or it changes its name every Hughes who had made the ad Lee Clow a beach bum of a brilliant genius who had helped do the ad have been a guru of advertising at Apple ever since sort of says we can’t sell the time back they just sort of defy and just somehow don’t sell the time back so the ad runs runs really only wants or once nationally but it becomes by many estimates including TV Guide and Advertising Age the best advertisement of all time so wonderful commercial great premiere doesn’t sell well

Steve’s removed from running the Macintosh division that that begins the end right for him his relationship with Scully there’s a there’s a massive blow-up at the end in fact you go in the book day by day seven days and that fateful week in May I was talking to everybody there and Steve twice during that week tries a counter-coup brings people up to his house and Woodside they all sort of sort of plot but they know that Steve probably should not take over the company and it’s one of the great learning experiences but he feels abandoned and he so you know he he was going through a period of one doing because he had been adopted you know about abandonment and father figures and he has on the board you know author rock who had been a father figure Mike Markkula been a father figure John Sculley and they all go around the room and vote against him and abandoned him and he really you know takes it hard hello how does he recover from that and when he talked to you about that period pretty dark time what did he say well he described vividly every single day of that week including where you know the food came from when he was serving it on the patio when they’re trying to bring Mike Markkula around so you know it’s still seared into his mom and this is almost 25 years yeah this is Memorial Day weekend of 1985 he goes to Europe for a while bicycles around with he then talks to some people and comes up with the concept of doing next computer and by the end of 85 has recruited a handful of people from Apple causing a lawsuit I mean this is really bad at this point because the board and Scully and all think okay you’re stealing our people and he creates next you know he says in his Stanford speech and he said to me being fired without that was the best thing to happen to be it liberated me it helped me change I actually think it was the experience it next that in some ways liberated him and matured him more why was that well you know at next there was no board of directors sitting on him there was no CEO brought in he could indulge every instinct and at the very first Macintosh off-site he does a series of Maxim’s on the whiteboard and the first one is don’t compromise that’s a great inspiring Maxim it’s also not really a great way to run a business as Ben Franklin said compromisers may not make great heroes but they do make great democracy at a certain point you have to learn how to make trade-offs and that don’t compromise mentality he had it for a while until he finally realized you don’t have to compromise your principles but you have to have some sense of balance and that’s what he learned it next and simultaneously was doing Pixar Pixar is a wonderful example of what we said the very beginning the intersection of art and technology so Pixar becomes a transformative thing in the animation business he says something very profound to you in the book about that period which is the strain that running Pixar and knacks simultaneously put on him physically and he even says I think that had something to do with my eventually getting cancer I think that that was a time of great stress in his life and also some unhappiness next is not doing very well those machines aren’t selling and Pixar you have to remember it was a hardware software company and nobody’s buying the Pixar except for Disney bought a few Pixar imaging machines but you know it’s not selling that well and so for a while he’s hemorrhaging money at both companies did he long for Apple during this period was there did he ever really fully give up on the notion that some know it was his baby Apple was his child I don’t know that he just longed for it but he was deeply frustrated that it was being screwed up that after a while they Warren inventing new products in the product sucked and they kept just coming out with more lines of McIntosh’s but not a better machine they couldn’t even create an operating system you know a new Mac OS and so I think he’s watching as people screwed up the wonderful baby had helped create and finally it leads to his trying well terms they can’t create an operating system at a certain point Amelia who’s in running Apple says okay I got a by an operating system and he you know it’s of the BOS which was on the essays he looks at even microsoft the question of adopting windows that

would have been weird and then there’s this amazing operating system that avi – Vania NAND Steve Jobs had done it next with a UNIX kernel – it which is exactly what Apple needed and so eventually Apple decides they have to buy next to get the operating system but you buy next to get the operating system you also buy next to get Steve Jobs and as I’m not sure it was woz who said it but I think it was Gil Amelio meet Steve Jobs game over yeah Steve Jobs was back in the saddle well in fact he tell that whole story Amelio tried to resist that but he’d just found himself getting over being drawn in a reality distortion field kicks yeah and then begins maybe arguably one of the greatest decades that any corporation totally a stunning first of all he creates you know with the new operating system he brings Bill Gates his doppelganger is part of the binary star system you had falling outs and let you know love-hate relationship gates comes back makes an investment starts making Microsoft Word and Excel and others for the new Mac OS but he also truly focuses on design y’all remember and you probably have it here but not on stage the first iMac I mean he beats Johnny I’ve when he first goes back to Apple in 1997 and they form this bonding and they create the iMac you know Johnny I’ve sketches it out it looks almost like a rabbit that is hopped upon your desk Steve says that’s not good but they keep playing with the model until they have it beautiful they make it translucent beyond the blue they even go to jelly bean factories to say how do you make it look right it lets you see the circuit board inside to see how neat that circuit board is and Johnny I’ve even comes up the notion even though big desktop machine and putting a recessed handle and the engineers say well that’s good cost too much money you don’t need a handle why would you want to handle you’re not supposed to pick it up and what Steve and Johnny intuitively understood was that computers were still intimidating to people but the handle gives you permission to touch it it says I’m at your service and so just by having that recessed handle even if you didn’t use it you felt that the computer was being deferential taped so once he writes the ship with that strategy when he goes back he makes it kind of incredibly bold decision which is 2001 yeah it’s it’s not going to be a computer company anymore the mark of a true genius of a company is not when you think of not just when you think of things first but when you actually fail to think of something first can you leapfrog can you catch up and so he realizes he had gotten a stout of the music business that others were making CD burner trays and people were you know people all of us were making you know downloading music from Napster and making playlists and burning CDs and you couldn’t really do it that well on the Apple so he had to leapfrog and he says we’re gonna do it by making a perfect Indian thing with a jukebox software which is iTunes the store and would you get your music that device itself and when they start making the iPod he makes it so simple because it’s in two end integrated with the whole thing you can take some of the complexity and put it on the Mac or put it in the iTunes software so that the device itself is not one of these complicated mp3 players where you had to figure out how to do it you could just look at it with that tracked wheel and it was intuitive and he kept saying I want to be able to get to wherever I want whatever song I want whatever function I want in three clicks and I want it to be intuitive and he drove him and drove him and drove him until the iPod becomes perfect and that’s when he leapfrogs and does the music but it takes Apple from being Apple computer they even changed the name to dis Apple into being in the digital hub business first with DVDs and video then really big with the iPod and music and the iPod is hugely successful so he starts to worry what’s gonna kill it and he realized there’s people putting music on their phones will kill it so focuses and does the iPhone and so you have a series of consumer advices devices from the decade beginning in 2001 most prominently the iPod the iPhone and the iPad that totally transform industries and at the same time he’s bending other industries in the direction of his vision is ik industry the music industry Disney retails retailers he can’t abide the fact that he’s making these insanely

great products and they’re being sold in big box stores we oh by clerks who have no idea what they’re doing so he comes up with the notion of the Apple Store which is not just a store but a whole branding exercise and you know it’s just that notion of bending industries for the iPod and iTunes store to work you had to convince seven record companies to put all their music on and said disaggregate albums and sell the songs instead of the album so the songs for $0.99 initially none of the music companies quite when they had their own press play and you know they were doing their consortium obviously Sony was trying to you know they’ve done the Walkman they had a great music division none want to come aboard and Steve personally is like bringing the iTunes software to the Time Warner building showing it to Roger Ames at Warner Music getting him aboard and then getting you know Doug Morris at Universal finally encircling Sony no other CEO would have been so passionate about just you know going at people until they finally surrendered you right if reality did not comport with his will he would ignore it as he had done with the birth of his daughter and would do years later when first diagnosed with cancer I think when I talk to people about the quest they most wanted me to ask you tonight yeah easily in the top three was why when he was first diagnosed did he undertake all these other natural non-medical solutions had two sides at least to Steve Jobs at all times whether it’s his personal life cancer professional life of the products he made there’s a counterculture sort of alternative romantic sensibility of Steve and there’s the hard core engineering scientific dynasty and the cancer was no different both sides kick in and he spends a lot of time wrestling with those two alternatives wrestling you know with alternative treatments and diets but also as I say in the book it didn’t you know get as much having his DNA sequenced having targeted therapies done now unfortunately it takes some months before he does what he does in every other aspect of his life is fine the perfect synthesis of you know something that is both very scientific but also comports with his alternative view of things someone picked up on that quote about great artists steal and said he said that yet he resented Bill Gates in Google and many others for many years for stealing from Apple as he saw it how did his Zen self reconcile this Steve was not an expert at reconciling conflicting thing Emerson and many others have great quotes have that people can body conflicting thoughts at the same time Steve was totally ballistic first at Bill Gates in Microsoft for ripping off as he put it there was a Macintosh graphical interface and then of course famously berating and saying it to me in the book with words of one syllable how he felt Android and Google had ripped off the Apple mobile operating system you know did no he didn’t try to reconcile that with the fact but I will say he didn’t ripoff Xerox and there was a financial deal Xerox invested a million dollars in the Apple there was an exchange of Technology I think you know he has some right to feel that he came up or Apple came up with both the beautiful Macintosh operating system and then it pretty much is copied by Windows and likewise the mobile operating system you can argue as for 10 years in court there were an argument about whether you can you know copyright or the look and feel whether there’s an intellectual property theft there but I can understand why he was pissed off well before I get to those so let me just ask you quickly about the the current technology this great conversational interface that Siri represents very that he talked much about that with you yeah what the vision for that is yeah I mean I do think that the simplest most natural interfaces have always been his passion and there’s no simpler one than just talking I did not know the name Siri but we talked a little bit and I was careful in the book even though he told me a lot of things that he in detail what he wanted to do I

decided you know I shouldn’t put you know in things that he might not be able to do and that Apple may be working on for the next couple of years but at the last board meeting when he tenders his resignation as CEO they have a lunch afterwards all the engineers bring out the various things that they’re working on and one of them which I knew would come out pretty soon so I’ll put in the book is this voice recognition thing and I do have Steve charting their panic because they know Steve it’s not feeling very well but he’s been brought into this meeting the day that he’s gonna try to make it look bad so he asks you know what is now called Siri you know if you could do I need an umbrella and Omar says you know the prediction is for sunny day tomorrow in Palo Alto so it really is doing the beautifully so finally steve says are you a man or are you a woman and they all kind of hold their breath you know he’s trying to trick the machine and Siri is very good the two layers of it and it says they have not yet assigned me a gender I’ll breathe a sigh of relief and Steve thinks it’s great so he loved that technology by the way Bill Gates was alway everything everybody’s been trying to crack voice recognition yeah yeah what do you think of the Apple that he leaves behind you you talked about the team and the great group that he’s built there certainly there’s rumored to be this product roadmap that goes on and on but the the history of technology companies with a founder like this is someone driving it with a vision like this leaving is not great overall what do you think about where Apple goes from here without Steve Jobs well the last meeting I told you about when he goes to the board and does that lunch somebody at the lunch makes fun of HP because it that day or that week had gotten out of a tablet business was either of getting in or hey you know out of the PC you know is totally confused and Steve said wait a minute you know he stops the person who’s making fun of the troubles at Hewlett Packard so I was thirteen Bill Hewlett gave me my first job and he and Packard created a company that was imbued with their DNA that was designed not only to make a calculator and then make a computer and make other things but to continue and last and continue to make new products and come up with new ideas even after they were gone and those bozos screwed it up for Hewlett and Packard I don’t want that to happen at Apple so that’s Apple now that’s one final question about Steve Jobs so a hundred years ago the great industrialists and philanthropists Carnegie Rockefeller Mellon built institutions as well as corporate legacies and that legacy survives Steve Jobs daddy live longer might have done the same thing but he chose not to do it for whatever reason now and his legacy is Apple but it’s built on a rather shifting sand our technology so a hundred years from now you’ve talked about what you think Apple will do what do you think the legacy of Steve Jobs will be as people look back on him in this era well I do I did ask him what would I mean in the last five or six pages the book is just him talking outright about what’s your legacy I asked him what was his greatest creation thinking maybe it’d be the iPad or whatever he said no Apple the company because products come and go but the hard part is making a company that will continue to make good product so I do think Apple will be his legacy but also more specifically the legacy will be somebody who truly transformed industry after industry by pulling together great ideas and driving the technology to support them I mean look at the iPad people made fun of it I was there when he launched it there were all sorts of articles what is it you know an iPhone on steroids nobody makes a tablet work the iPad is now whether I’ll walk into a doctor’s office or you know anywhere else it is transforming industry after industry to billion dollars last year just in the industry of creating apps for it the textbook industry you know Carnegie was great with education philanthropy Bill Gates was great with education philanthropy in the end the iPad may change education as much as any of the Carnegie schools so we often ask our authors to do a short reading at the end and you graciously agreed to read the coda of the biography and I wonder if you would do that for us now yeah

thank you I as I said I end I’ll start earlier on I do and one more thing his signature phrase and I do say biographers are supposed to have the last word but this is one of Steve Jobs and even though he didn’t impose his legendary control I suspect I would not be conveying the right feel for him and the way he asserted himself in any situation if I just shuffled them on history stage without letting him have some of the last words so I really take a series of interviews I did with them about his legacy and just let him talk without me getting in the way but then the coda is about a son one sunny afternoon when in the back garden of his house he wasn’t feeling well and he reflected on death and I say he talked about his experiences in India almost four decades earlier his study of Buddhism his views on reincarnation and his views on spiritual transcendence quote I’m about 50/50 on believing in God he said for most of my life I felt there must be more to our existence than meets the eye unquote he admitted that as he faced death he might be overestimating the odds out of a desire to believe in the afterlife quote I like to think that something survives after you die it’s strange to think that you accumulate all this experience and maybe a little wisdom and it just goes away so I really want to believe that something survives that maybe your consciousness indoors and then he fell silent for a long time and then he said but on the other hand perhaps it’s just like an on/off switch he said click you die you’re gone and then he paused again long pause and he smiled slightly quote and maybe that’s why I never like to put on off switches on Apple devices Steve Jobs intense driven and ultimately a revolutionary when you explore the history of computing you connect the past to the future see you next time on the computer history museum presents revolutionaries