What happened when The Chronicle of Higher Education sat down with Steve Jobs back in 1998

“Steve Jobs was tired, and he didn’t seem thrilled to be sitting down for an interview with The Chronicle,” Jeffrey R. Young reports for The Chronicle of Higher Education. “He was at a conference for college computing administrators, and he had just finished facing tough questions from higher-education leaders who wanted reassurance that Apple Computer was getting its act together.”

“This was 1998, and the company was at a low, particularly in higher education. The prevailing attitude in the hotel ballroom where Mr. Jobs had just given a keynote address was not one of reverence for an executive known to be one of the best pitchmen of all time. It was deep skepticism,” Young reports. “My assignment was to explain to readers how Apple planned to win back colleges, which were increasingly switching to Windows-based machines.”

“I was just a couple of years out of college, and this chance to sit down with Mr. Jobs was the biggest interview I’d ever been assigned. To make sure I didn’t totally mess it up, my editors sent along a more-seasoned reporter, Goldie Blumenstyk. I’m glad they did, because this is probably one of my all-time worst performances as an interviewer (which I concluded by awkwardly handing Steve Jobs my business card),” Young reports. “Even so, the 20 minutes The Chronicle had with Mr. Jobs is revealing about this tech-industry icon, and it serves as a reminder of how much the relationships between colleges and Silicon Valley companies have changed in the last 17 years.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s always fascinating to step back and listen to Steve Jobs’ thoughts at any given time.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


  1. I think Steve Jobs biggest invention was a time machine. Againsts all odds, he always knew exactly what people will want before they even know it. He knew went to hold back, when to let go. Just like if he was already there.
    It is and has been interesting to listen to a time traveller… Or may be an alien from outer space?

  2. I thought this would be his well known rant about then entrenched bureaucracy of teachers unions and how education reform needed to be merit based for teachers. He lamented how current public education pandered to aversion to school district risk of lawsuits and how ossified the curriculum was. Just like in his own home, he did not particularly favor the rise of computers dominating time in the classroom.

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