Thursday, November 17, 2011

Robert X. Cringely On His 'Lost Interview' With Steve Jobs

Found via The Big Picture.

It’s a little absurd to interview someone about an interview. But back in 1995, Robert X. Cringely landed a hell of an interview with a hell of a subject, at what was — in retrospect — a hell of a moment.

Steve Jobs was just two years away from retaking the Chief Executive role at Apple and beginning a run that would transform the Cupertino, Calif.-based Mac maker from loser to leader in the digital economy.

At the time of the interview Jobs was one such loser himself: his company, Next, was stumbling, and rival Bill Gates had taken Apple’s ideas and used them to sieze control of the personal computer industry. But Jobs was as cocky as ever. Jobs’ jabs at Microsoft which became part of Cringely’s PBS documentary ‘Triumph Of The Nerds,’ are now near legendary.

His longer observations about making and remaking products — the stuff that didn’t make it into the original documentary — are even more interesting. Until recently those 70 minutes were lost. The interview had been shipped to Portland Oregon to be used in a sequel to the original documentary, ‘Triumph of the Nerds.’ They never arrived. But the documentary’s director, Paul Sen, hung on to a tape of the original Jobs interview. After Jobs death he rifled through his garage, found it, and “was reminded how good it was,” Cringely says.

Cringely’s conversation with Jobs — now dubbed “Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview,” — will run, in its entirety, in select theaters next week.


Related link: 5 lessons from Steve Jobs' "lost" interview