Playboy's 1985 Interview With Steve Jobs is Well Worth a Read

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Following yesterday's news of the death of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, Cult of Mac chose to highlight the magazine's 1985 Steve Jobs interview, which still remains one of the most insightful reads about the early life and influences of the late Apple co-founder.


    Quite apart from its centerfolds, Playboy magazine built an enviable literary legacy and earned a reputation for serious journalism in its 60-plus years, carrying interviews with such notable figures as Martin Luther King Jr, Stanley Kubrick, Bette Davis, and Miles Davis.

    The year that Jobs was forced out of Apple and started NeXT Computer, he sat down with the magazine to share his enthusiasm for computers, his hopes for the future, and the early days of the internet. The interview was conducted by David Sheff. Some choice quotes appear below, but you can read the full interview here.

    Steve Jobs on losing $250,000,000 in one year on the stock market:
    On his relationship with Steve Wozniak in 70s California:
    On the problem of new technologies overtaking the old:
    On why people will buy computers in the future:
    Article Link: Playboy's 1985 Interview With Steve Jobs is Well Worth a Read
  2. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Jun 19, 2013
    Read and playboy doesn’t seem to belong in the same sentence.
  3. vannibombonato macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2007
    “The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it into a nationwide communications network. We're just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people — as remarkable as the telephone.”

    In 1985...
  4. Swampthing Suspended


    Mar 5, 2004
  5. infinitejest macrumors 6502


    May 1, 2016
    Orange County, CA
  6. Kabeyun macrumors 68000


    Mar 27, 2004
    Eastern USA
    I like, and miss, his insights. There are visionaries and there are managers. He was both. Not often comes along someone who can both see things and run things.
  7. djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
    and that was 1985...
  8. Danoc macrumors 6502

    Mar 28, 2011
    That was almost already in place in the form of the Minitel in Europe:
  9. opeter macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2007
    Slovenia, EU
    That's inevitably what happens. That's why I think death is the most wonderful invention of life. It purges the system of these old models that are obsolete. I think that's one of Apple's challenges, really.

    Well, let' see, how long Tim Cook's direction will work.
  10. gixxerfool macrumors 65816


    Jun 7, 2008
    Say what you will about the man, you can’t argue he had vision. This is more true now than ever.

    Jobs: The developments will be in making the products more and more portable, networking them, getting out laser printers, getting out shared data bases, getting out more communications ability, maybe the merging of the telephone and the personal computer.
  11. kingalexthe1st macrumors 6502


    Apr 13, 2013
    "The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it into a nationwide communications network. We're just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people — as remarkable as the telephone"

    I wonder if he realised he would be *the* person to meaningfully bring those 2 technologies together
  12. JosephAW, Sep 29, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017

    JosephAW macrumors 68020


    May 14, 2012
    Never knew they interviewed him and wrote an article. (What do you call clickbate when it's on paper?) Is this the whole interview on MR? Guess I'll never know. NeXT...
    --- Post Merged, Sep 29, 2017 ---
    He must have heard Arthur C Clarke speak about this back in '64 as a kid and believed him.

  13. scottishwildcat macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2007
    He wasn't the only one with that kind of vision; Sun Microsystems' tagline back then was "The Network is the Computer", for example. (And they were a whisker away from buying Apple in the 90's... fascinating to think how that might have turned out for both parties.)
    --- Post Merged, Sep 29, 2017 ---
    Actually, in those days, it really did. There were a ton of good articles and short stories (not that kind) in Playboy back then.
  14. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    Hue Hefter will be missed and Steve was Apple's light.
  15. SHirsch999 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2011
    You must be young. There’s a reason why the joke about buying Playboy to read the articles even exists.
  16. Naaaaak, Sep 29, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017

    Naaaaak Suspended


    Mar 26, 2010
    Serious question: What is Tim Cook’s direction for Apple?

    Under Cook’s tenure we’ve seen thinner devices, the Mac as a second-class citizen, plugs on the bottom of mice, a lineup that still isn’t full Retina, and notches sold as design.

    Has Cook ever laid out a strategy like the digital hub? Or done a business-case introduction for a new product like the original iPod?

    Has Cook ever shown killer use-cases for Apple products or have all his pitches ended in “we can’t wait to see what you do with it” (i.e. no real use-case)? What is his vision? Is he positioning Apple to be somewhere specific, or just rolling with mostly iterative updates?

    It’s not practical to expect Cook to be like Jobs, but I don’t think the guy has any vision or roadmap. A great bean-counter, but a horrible leader.
  17. nextuser macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2016
    Jobs: That’s simply untrue. As soon as we can lower prices, we do. It’s true that our computers are less expensive today than they were a few years ago, or even last year. But that’s also true of the IBM PC. Our goal is to get computers out to tens of millions of people, and the cheaper we can make them, the easier it’s going to be to do that. I’d love it if Macintosh cost $1000.

    Cook: The next iPhone will cost $1000*. Pray I don't raise it further

    * $2000 in Australia
  18. Sasparilla macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2012
    Amazing insights by Jobs in 1985.

    Would have to guess Apple (just like Sun) would be gone at this point managed (for increased profits) into the ground...they certainly wouldn't have hired Jobs back.

    My guess is Apple is in about as good a place as it could have been - it needed Jobs to go out into the world with Next and Pixar and struggle and then come back. JMHO...
  19. Naaaaak Suspended


    Mar 26, 2010
    Have to keep those profit margins.

    I’d also add, has a release under Tim ever been delayed for QA reasons, or simply production reasons?
  20. bwintx macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2002
    “We’re living in the wake of the petrochemical revolution of 100 years ago. The petrochemical revolution gave us free energy—free mechanical energy, in this case. It changed the texture of society in most ways. This revolution, the information revolution, is a revolution of free energy as well, but of another kind: free intellectual energy.”

    I remember a Jobs-hating writer back then saying how stupid, presumptuous, and vapid that was. Funny that I don't remember today who that writer was, nor do I care. Steve Jobs, on the other hand, I miss just about every day.
  21. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Jun 19, 2013
    Child the 70’s here.... so not that young.
  22. akadafni macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2015
    My neighbors Playboy subscription came to our house once. When we went to take it to him we joked about only having it for the articles. He said "no I get it for the pictures". He was an older guy and honest. Lol
  23. manni, Sep 29, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017

    manni macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2010
    In fairness to Cook he is doing what any accountant would do when put in his position.

    For years people joked that Apple could stop updating laptops, put inferior equipment inside computers and then increase prices (as Cook did with the Mac Mini), double the price of accessories and just generally go mad with the money gouging and the Apple faithful would eat it up. Well Cook has put that into practice in a huge way and I suppose one must concede that he has been successful in the short term. Apple makes more money under Cook than it did under Jobs. A warning from history though, many forget that in the 80s after Jobs was forced out Apple actually went on to make higher profits raising prices and cutting development.

    We must simply accept that Jobs was a one off. It's extremely rare to have someone with ideals get anywhere in business. And Cook is not his own man, he has to answer to the board and he will care what investors think. He didn't create Apple, he can't have Jobs' independence. Again this isn't to knock Cook. If you put any accountant in that position he will do the same; he will ask "can we increase prices", "can we cut development costs", "can we use cheaper components", "can we make a shortcut here", "can we re-use this old design and production line" and then combine all that with a price increase etc etc. It's a pity but I think inevitable. In many respects they would be mad not to, it was just a unique situation we were in that when Jobs was in charge the underlying principle was making the absolute best products he could, under Cook, and likely whoever replaces him, the underlying principle is making the most money.
  24. jayducharme macrumors 68040


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    Wonderful interview. Interesting to read those thoughts now in the context of how Apple turned out.
  25. Rocketman, Sep 29, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017

    Rocketman macrumors 603


    It came true in 2008.

    What is the current combined installed base of iPhones and Macs now?

    What a prescient commentary on the present . . .

    I have at least two ideas big enough and impactful enough for Apple to fulfil this vision of Steve's.

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