Flashback: Steve Jobs circa 1981

Video from Current TV (founded and owned by Apple Board member Al Gore) seen on YouTube features 27-year-old Apple CEO Steve Jobs in 1981 in a CBS news report by correspondent Barry Petersen about the personal computer:

Direct link to the video via YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkKwV7i6Vx0


  1. Steve is a visionary but he hasn’t always gotten it right. Does anyone remember Dean Kamen’s ‘Project Ginger’. Kamen was an established inventor who was working on a revolutionary transportation device that was shrouded in secrecy. Kamen trusted Jobs with a first glimpse of the prototype product and Steve allegedly predicted at the time that ‘cities will be built around the machines’.

    With Steve’s endorsement, people started imagining all sorts of exotic transportation devices (think Star Wars forest speeders etc) and some even thought that the holy grail of anti-gravity had been cracked.

    I can still remember my crushing disappointment on the day that Kamen eventually introduced the world to the Segway.

  2. Pierre: You’re wrong on the Ginger / Segway bit. There was a transcript of their internal meetings discussing that thing, Steve tore them all a new one because they were going to charge too much for it, release it with an ugly design, etc… he pointed out all kinds of flaws in it and told them to get bent. The bit about Steve Jobs being totally behind it were marketing by the Ginger makers and did not accurately reflect his attitude towards the project.

  3. I thought the IBM guy’s statement about computers becoming the “world’s biggest backyard fence to talk over before long” was pretty prothetic.

    He’s talking about email, but not just email, he’s talking about Joe Sixpack using email to talk about fishing trips.

    / my interpretation

  4. Yes MoRi, that was nice, but he looks to the pc as an accountant, you can do this, you can do that, while Jobs explicitly asks his interviewer about HOW he uses his stuff and how he will be seduce into it, that is, he tries to come up with something that will integrate with someone’s way of doing something, whatever that is, the IBM guy, otoh, can only think in terms of apps. I was glad to see that Steve has that vison from day one, that’s why Apple has come the way it did, imo.

  5. Quote MoRi; “I thought the IBM guy’s statement about computers becoming the “world’s biggest backyard fence to talk over before long” was pretty prothetic.”

    Just so you know – – – the word is ‘prophetic’ – not ‘prothetic’

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