Steve Jobs at 44


    Steve Jobs

    (4 of 6)

    The Apple II
    The Apple II had a few qualities about it. Number one, it was the first computer ever with a plastic case on it. You could mold it and shape it to be a more cultural shape rather than just a rectangular box. And secondly, it was the first personal computer with color graphics on it. Third, in everything it did, it was the first PC that came fully assembled. Every other computer came in a kit. We figured for every hardware hobbyist out there, there was at least a thousand software hobbyists. People who'd want to play with the software but couldn't build one. Even back then, that was how we were thinking.

    This Exciting Moment in History
    It's a wonderful time right now. What we can put in a computer for $1000 is just mindblowing. We can use it to do wonderful things like video. It's pretty exciting right now. Apple is a large company, in a good sense. One of the reasons I came here was, when I was using NextStep, it was entropying. I didn't want to use the present state of Mac or Windows for the rest of my life. But another one was Apple had just lost a billion dollars. But what people forget is--someone once said that profit is the very small difference between two very large nubmers: revenue and cost. Well, if Apple sold $7 billion worth of stuff, and it lost a billion, that means it spent $8 billion. That's a huge amount of money! It meant that this was a company that could spend $5, $6, $7 billion dollars a year and still make a profit! Which NeXT could not. If you could eliminate waste and work to come up with a focused strategy, you have enormous resources to do good work. It's a wonderful, wonderful opportunity.

    Whether He Has Changed As He Got Older
    Sure, I mean people change. I get older. I'm a lot older. I'm 15 years older then when I left Apple. I left when I was 30. I'll be 45 in February. So, sure people change. When does your life really start as an adult? Lets say it starts when you're 15, you become totally conscious as an adult. So, I'm twice as old as an adult as when I was 30.

    You know, I'm not sure it's always a good idea to chronicle one's point of view about oneself. I can tell you this: I've been married for 8 years, and that's had a really good influence on me. I've been very lucky, through random happenstance I just happened to sit next to this wonderful woman who became my wife. And it was a big deal. We have 3 kids, and it's been a big deal. You see the world differently. [When he came back to Apple] We had to lay some people off. A lot of people. I've done it before and it's always hard. But before, I didn't really think too much about it. But when I got here, every one that I had to do personally, I thought, "A lot of these fathers and mothers are going to have to go home and tell their families they just lost their jobs." And I'd never really thought about that before. You succeed at some things, you fail at some things. You start to understand what's important.

    How Being a Family Man Changes Your Work Priorities
    I've read something that Bill Gates said about six months ago. He said, "I worked really, really hard in my 20s." And I know what he means, because I worked really, really hard in my 20s too. Literally, you know, 7 days a week, a lot of hours every day. And it actually is a wonderful thing to do, because you can get a lot done. But you can't do it forever, and you don't want to do it forever, and you have to come up with ways of figuring out what the most important things are and working with other people even more. Just working smarter to get things done. Because you can't work 15 hour days, 7 days a week.

    What His Typical Workday Is Like
    I'm a good morning person. I like it early in the morning. I wake up six-ish. About 10 years ago I put in a T1 to my house. I'm actually getting ready to put a 45 mg fiber to my house, because I want to find out what that will be like, because everybody's going to have that someday. But I have a pretty sophisticated setup; whether I'm at Apple or at Pixar or at my home, I log in and my whole world shows up on any of those computers. It's all kept on a server. So I carry none of it with me, but wherever I am, my complete world shows up, all my files. Everything. And I have high speed access to all of it. So my office is at home too. And when I'm not in meetings, my work is fundamentally on email. So I'll work a little before the kids get up. And then we'll all have a little food and finish up some homework and see them off to school. If I'm lucky I'll stay at home and work for an hour because I can get a lot done, but oftentimes I'll have to come in. I usually get here about 9. 8 or 9. Having worked about an hour or half or two at home.

    How He'd Describe His Job
    My job is thinking and working with people and meeting and email. Both Apple and Pixar, they don't produce giant factories with robots in them. Their product is pure intellectual property. Bits on a disk. Pixar--what do we make? In the end we produce bits on a disk that get written onto film. At Apple we produce bits on a disk that get cut into steel for plastics tooling and get cut into silicon for custom integrated circuits and get put on a hard disk for software. So both Apple and Pixar are pure intellectual property companies. And so it's about ideas. And it's about processes to turn those ideas into tangible products.

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