25 Years of Mac: The Steve Jobs Playboy Interview

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Back in the dark mists of Time before the internet, Playboy magazine was among the more popular media vehicles serving up a stimulating cocktail of news, opinion, creative writing, gadget reviews and naked flesh. And over the years, the Playboy Interview gained quite a reputation for getting the most interesting newsmakers and personalities of the day to open up about their lives and philosophies in ways other mainstream publications could never quite match.

The Playboy interview with Steve Jobs was published in the February 1985 issue of the magazine, just a little more than a year after the debut of the Macintosh and a few short months before the Apple CEO would be ousted from the company he helped found. The long piece finds a 29 year-old Jobs at the top of his intellectual game and elicits commentary that, looking back on it now, makes Jobs appear both prescient and consistent in his views and in his dedication to Apple’s success.

Follow after the jump for a few choice comments from the interview and be sure to click through to the full piece from the Playboy archive.

Via Edible Apple


Jobs on why people will buy home computers in the future:

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.

Jobs on what it takes to create an “insanely great product”:

How come the Mac group produced Mac and the people at IBM produced the PCjr? We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didn’t build Mac for anybody else. We built it for ourselves. We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. We weren’t going to go out and do market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build. When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.

Jobs on his then-relationship with Steve Wozniak:

When you work with somebody that close and you go through experiences like the ones we went through, there’s a bond in life. Whatever hassles you have, there is a bond. And even though he may not be your best friend as time goes on, there’s still something that transcends even friendship, in a way. Woz is living his own life now. He hasn’t been around Apple for about five years. But what he did will go down in history.

Jobs on why the computer industry is dominated by young people:

People get stuck as they get older. Our minds are sort of electrochemical computers. Your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind. You are really etching chemical patterns. In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns, just like grooves in a record, and they never get out of them”¦ It’s rare that you see an artist in his 30s or 40s able to really contribute something amazing. Of course, there are some people who are innately curious, forever little kids in their awe of life, but they’re rare.

Jobs on his future at Apple:

I’ll always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I’ll sort of have the thread of my life and the thread of Apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There may be a few years when I’m not there, but I’ll always come back.

6 responses to “25 Years of Mac: The Steve Jobs Playboy Interview”

  1. Jacobscurtis555 says:

    When I first heard of Steve Jobs’s death, the first thing I remembered was the very first time that I heard of him, and that was reading the Playboy edition that contained this interview.  Seeing the cover of the magazine also brought back memories.  The world has lost a visionary.