The lost interview

It´s a pleasure to watch. As a Mac user who appreciates what Apple has done to computers, and as someone who writes software for the web, I find this interview with Steve Jobs from 1995 inspiring.

An inverview with Steve Jobs in his early 40s. It´s 1995 while Jobs was not at Apple for 10 years and instead working on the Next Computer. A year later, Next was sold to Apple and another 6 months later Jobs was hired by Apple again.

Some quotes from the interview:

When companies start getting bigger, they want to replicate their initial success. A lot of them think there is some magic in the process. They start to institutionalize process across the company and before very long people get confused that the process is the content. In my career I found the best people are the ones who really understand the content. They are a pain in the butt to manage. But they are so great at the content, and that what makes great products.

Throughout the years in business I learnt something. Nobody thinks about the things you do very deeply. In business a lot of things are done because they were done yesterday, or the day before. If you are willing to ask a lot of questions you can learn business pretty fast. It is not the hardest thing in the world.

The disease of thinking a great idea is really 90% of the work. The disease of thinking if you tell the people here is this great idea, and of course they can make it happen. The problem with that is: There is a tremendous amount of craftsmenship in between a great idea and a great product. As you evolve that great idea, it changes and grows. It never comes out like it starts because you learn a lot more. Designing a product is keeping five thousand things in your brain to get what you want.

A lot of my success is finding these truly gifted people. Not settling for B and C players. Go for A players. When you get enough A players together, they really like working with each other, because they never had a chance to do that before. They don´t want to work with B and C players. They become self-policing. They want to hire more A players. If you build up these teams of A players, it propagates. That´s what the Mac team was like.

The web is incredibly exciting because the computer would not be primarily a device for computation but for communication. With the web that´s finally happening. And it´s exciting that Microsoft doesn´t own it. There is a tremendous amount of inovation happening. The web is going to be profound in what it does to our society. 15% of goods in the U.S. are sold through catalogs and television. All that is going to be on the web and more. Soon tens of billions are going to be sold on the web. It is the ultimate directed customer distribution channel. The smallest company in the world can look as large as the largest company in the world on the web. The web will be the defining technology, the defining social moment for computing. It´s going to be huge.