The 1994 Video Where Steve Jobs Stares Down Mortality and Legacy

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Steve Jobs was almost always compelling, intensely so. The Loop noted this video interview from 1994 when a bearded Mr. Jobs was still at NeXT. I’m not sure what he was asked (something about equating computing to the Renaissance), but his answer is intensely compelling. His central thesis is that advances in computing technology are ephemeral, and that all of his work “will be obsolete by the time I’m 50.” What’s unsaid is that legacy wasn’t the thing that drove him. Mr. Jobs relentlessly pursued the future, and this answer is part and parcel of that drive.  I highly recommend watching it.

Check It Out: The 1994 Video Where Steve Jobs Stares Down Mortality and Legacy

5 Comments Add a comment

  1. Deeply insightful comment.

    While I concur with his thoughts about specific devices, and such contribution being fleeting, I part company on relative contribution and impact on the field or industry. These are far more resilient to the passage of time, even more so should that industry survive and grow.

    BTW: what is it with these bizarre avatars?

  2. BurmaYank

    The relative contribution & impact of each of those specific deposited layers of sedimentary rock is the elevation of their mountaintop.

    My hunch is that Steve saw clearly how each of the revolutionary devices he & his partners strove so earnestly to create actually were so quickly getting obscured by the radically different subsequent developments they made possible; Macs & other desktop computers I think will soon be as hard to find as Polaroid cameras & typewriters today, because I think the iPad/iPhone-AppleWatch is ushering in the advent of their replacement: the “KnowledgeNavigator”/AppleTV.

  3. BurmaYank

    It seems to me that Steve was utterly humbly content that his legacy should not be found in any of his dearly beloved brain-children, but rather in how high he helped make his mountaintop reach.

  4. I concur, that was one of his great strengths: that ideas are more important than form factors. I think this is by and large lost on most tech companies today (most, not all).

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