Business Technology

Monday 18 December 2017

Apple's Steve Jobs: my work will be obsolete by 2005

A newly released interview with the Apple co-founder Steve Jobs shows the iPod creator thought his achievements would be forgotten very quickly.

A video, recorded when Jobs was 39, has been posted to YouTube.

And it shows how the former Apple boss didn't think his work would be remembered.

"All the work that I have done in my life will be obsolete by the time I am 50."

At the time he was already well-known although he had been ousted from the company nearly 10 years earlier.

Two years later he was given the chance to lead the company again but the iPod wasn't launched until 2001 and that success was followed by the iPhone and iPad which have sold millions worldwide and revolutionised the industry.

He said: "This is a field where one does not write a principia, which holds up for two hundred years. This is not a field where one paints a painting that will be looked at for centuries, or builds a church that will be admired and looked at in astonishment for centuries. No. This is a field where one does one’s work and in ten years it’s obsolete, and really will not be usable within ten or twenty years.

"Nah, it’s not like the renaissance at all. It’s very different.”

He added: "It's sort of like sediment of rocks. You're building up a mountain and you get to contribute your little layer of sedimentary rock to make the mountain that much higher.

"But no one on the surface, unless they have X-ray vision, will see your sediment. They'll stand on it. It'll be appreciated by that rare geologist."

He died of cancer in 2011 aged 56 and he was mourned by fans and customers who saw him as a visionary.

The interview is part of a one hour documentary by the Silicon Valley Historical Association.

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