All of us at Machteld Faas Xander were recently invited to a company-sponsored, mid-week matinee screening of the Steve Jobs ‘Lost Interview’ film at the Princess Twin Cinemas.
In 1995, writer/broadcaster Bob Cringely*, in the process of making an InfoWorld TV series called ‘Triumph of the Nerds’, conducted an hour long interview with Steve Jobs. The recording was lost after its initial airing.
Found again, just recently, and released to selected theatres, the one-hour interview reveals a charismatic, engaging Jobs openly discussing the founding of Apple and his battles with Apple CEO John Scully. At the time of the interview, Jobs had been away from Apple for 10 years and was running NeXT computers (which he sold to Apple one year after the interview).
It was great to see and hear Jobs relate his early career experiences with business partner Steve Wozniak, and the development of their first electronic device, the ‘Blue Box’, that made free long-distance telephone calls. He also details his visits to Xerox HQ in California; these visits were the inspiration behind the creation of ‘Macintosh’ the ‘world’s first modern PC’.
It was also during this interview where we heard Jobs declare that ‘Microsoft made mediocre products’ (a declaration that caused the famous rift between Jobs and Bill Gates).
Most memorable for many of us, were the last few minutes of the film. He described the vision he had for the future “where wonderful products will be created by artists and poets”. None of us captured Jobs’ exact words but we all left the theatre with the lasting impression that under his leadership, Apple products were built with, and inspired, passion and creativity. He passionately believed that was what made his company’s products so special.
*Robert X Cringely’s story is also an interesting one: His real name is Mark Stephens and he worked for Steve Jobs during the early days of Apple in the late 1970s (Jobs offered him company shares in lieu of salary but Stephens held out for payment at $6.00 per hour).
Stephens started using the name ‘Cringely’ because, in 1987, his new employer asked him to. That made him the third reporter named ‘Cringely’ to work at InfoWorld, a weekly computer trade paper. There have been many more ‘Cringelys’ since he was dismissed from InfoWorld, shortly after completing the Steve Jobs interview.
In an out-of-court settlement with InfoWorld, Mark gained the right to use the ‘Cringely’ pseudonym, and continues writing technology news columns and hosting various industry documentaries.