In 1995 Steve Jobs was on the cusp of middle age -- 40 years old -- when he sat down for a video-taped interview by the Computerworld Information Technology Awards Foundation as part of an oral history project. The Foundation also produced the Computerworld Honors Program, whose executive director, Daniel Morrow, conducted this interview.
At that point in his life, Jobs was already a tech superstar. He had founded Apple Computer, been forced out of his own company, started another computer venture, NeXT Inc., and launched Pixar -- which would soon release "Toy Story."
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In other words, Jobs' departure from Apple more than a decade earlier had done little to slow his entrepreneurial drive.
When Jobs sat down for this interview, which was recorded on videotape, his return to Apple was still two years away -- and his once and future company was struggling to remain relevant. The products that would turn Apple around in the first decade of the 21st century -- Mac OS X, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, the iTunes store -- did not exist.
The complete interview, which lasted about 75 minutes, has been divided here into 16 different segments to make it easier for viewers to learn more about Jobs, his life, and his views. Below each video is a written excerpt highlighting part of the interview. Jobs talked about everything from his childhood in California -- the area that later came to be known as Silicon Valley "was really paradise" -- to his early days at Apple, the iconic 1984 Mac TV ad, his plans for NeXT and Pixar, and his fears for Apple's future.
Not surprisingly, Jobs offered some not-so-kind observations about John Sculley, the man who had forced him out at Apple. He also showed himself to be prescient with his predictions about the Internet and about how disruptive it would prove to be. And he had advice for would-be entrepreneurs that in many ways seemed to open a window into his own world and how he became so successful.
"I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the nonsuccessful ones is pure perseverance," he said. "It's pretty much an 18-hour-day job, seven days a week for a while. Unless you have a lot of passion about this, you're not going to survive. You're going to give it up. So you've got to have an idea, or a problem or a wrong that you want to right that you're passionate about, otherwise you're not going to have the perseverance to stick it through."
Jobs, who died Oct. 5 at age 56 after a long battle with cancer, also weighed in on death:
"Live each day as if it was your last," he said, "because one day you'll be right."
A full transcript of the video as well as the video are available here.