Steve Jobs – One Last Thing premiered November 2011 on PBS. The documentary takes an unflinching look at Jobs’ difficult, controlling reputation and through interviews with the people who worked closely with him or chronicled his life, provides unique insight into what made him tick. Below is the full transcript….
Steve Jobs was a genius of the modern age. He gave us tools to change our lives and the way we communicate.
“Here comes a device that comes with no manual, and everybody knows how to use it… amazing.”
“They weren’t just hits in the sense that they sold well, but they actually changed the whole nature of technology and caused everyone else to follow them.”
This intimate portrait is a revealing insight into Steve Jobs’ life…
“Andy Warhol gets down on his hands and knees, Steve showing him how to use the mouse”.
His career…“He shook up a whole industry.”
His character…”Steve loved those creative ideas”.
His faults…”Steve ultimately betrayed everyone”.
His artistry…”Just the smooth lines of it”.
And his achievements…”He is going to inspire a whole new generation”.
By the people who knew him best.
“I’d give a lot to have Steve’s taste”. – Bill Gates
“If he needed you, he was your best friend, and he would seduce you”.
“When I was having a hard time, he would be on the phone, he’d drive up from Silicon Valley, take me out for dinner, hang out and take walks with me”.
“He turned on me, total street bully, in my face, We were… and I went crazy. I’d never been there. I don’t ever want to be there again”.
“How much fun we had… ohh…How much fun we had in those days doing things together, you know, but you lose it, you can’t ever go back, and just to have those conversations that make us both smile”. – Steve Woz
Through their eyes, we reveal what made him the man who always gave us…
“Now there’s one more thing.”
Steve Jobs “One Last Thing”
Steven Paul Jobs died on October 5, 2011, at the age of 56, a life cut short in its creative prime by cancer. His death was not a surprise, and yet its impact reverberated around the world. The news had spread, and the tributes were created on the new iDevices that his visionary genius had made. His is a success story that could only have happened in the U.S.A.
“I don’t mean to say that there aren’t geniuses and world-changing people everywhere… there are… But I think in Jobs’ case, the particular path of his career, this could only have happened in America”. – Walt Mossberg, Technology Columnist
Steve Jobs’ world-class salesmanship found a global audience in his famous Apple product presentations. He always had “one more thing” to announce.
“Everyone thinks, “Wow. That’s… that’s so much,” and, “well, we got one more thing,” and then you put your biggest thing at the end because it’ll tip it. It’s good, uh… it’s good showmanship really”. – Eddie Izzard, Comedian & Actor
Tragically that “one more thing” has now become “one last thing.” The news that Steve Jobs had finally logged out made headlines everywhere. This man really had changed the world.
“When you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way it is, and your… your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money”. – Steve Jobs
In this exclusive, never before seen interview, Steve Jobs gave a rare glimpse of his vision of the world.
“That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you, and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Um, once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again”.
In the Los Altos suburb of San Francisco, California, just about everybody was an engineer or worked in electronics, a childhood spent here in the future Silicon Valley was the first key lucky break in Steve Jobs’ young life.
His closest childhood friend was Bill Fernandez.
“In about eighth grade, halfway through, this new guy came into the school, who was Steve Jobs, and we were both introverted, intellectual, kind of socially inept, and we gravitated towards each other”. – Bill Fernandez, User Interface Architect
The two boys shared the same hobby.
“We started taking long walks and talking about the meaning of life and what is this all about, and after a while we started doing…In addition to walking and talking…Doing electronics projects together”. (Bill Fernandez)
Fernandez also knew another electronics geek, his neighbor’s son Steve Wozniak, universally known as Woz.
“So one day, Steve Jobs bicycled over to hang out with me and do electronics projects in the garage, and out in front was Wozniak washing his car. So I thought to myself, “Okay This Steve is an electronics buddy, he’s an electronics buddy. They’d probably like to meet each other.” (Bill Fernandez)
Fernandez had no idea at the time that the meeting between his two friends would change our world. Jobs and Woz were soon to start a business together. Its name was Apple.
“If Woz and Jobs had never met, there never would have been an Apple computer. There would have been computers, and there would have been personal computers, but we probably wouldn’t have the kind of wonderful empowering things that people fall into if Woz and Jobs hadn’t met
This neighborhood we grew up in had a lot of Lockheed engineers in it, and I would go up and down the street to the various dads on the street and get mentored in electronics, and Steve Wozniak’s father was one of the people who mentored me.
As Jobs and I were walking over, I noticed Woz out washing his car, and I said, “Hey, Woz. Um, come over and meet Steve.”
So, “Steve, meet Steve.” And this is where it happened, basically right here”. (Bill Fernandez)
Woz and Jobs became inseparable friends, but their first venture was not a computer. The pair developed an electronics kit mimicking telephone router codes to make free calls around the world.
“You know, when you make a long distance phone call in the background you hear, “do do do do do”? Those are the telephone computers actually signing each other, sending information to each other to set up your call. And there used to be a way to fool the entire telephone system into thinking you were a telephone computer.
You could, you know, call from a pay phone, go to White Plains, New York, take a satellite to Europe, take a cable to Turkey, um, come back to Los Angeles, and you’d go around the world 3 or 4 times and call the payphone next door, shout in the phone, and be about 30 seconds, it would come out the other phone”. – Steve Jobs
The pair quickly moved on from phone-jacking for fun to creating computers, building the prototype of the very first Apple.
It’s a fond memory for Steve Wozniak.
“He was always thinking about certain technology, the early products that got developed, the building parts, what those might lead to in our future, and he was always pushing me as an engineer…”Could you possibly add this someday, could you possibly add that someday?” Yes, yes, yes, I could,” thinking, “no. It’s way, way off,” but eventually we all did”.
In those early days, Woz and Jobs took their creation to the home-brew computer club, an early computer club, an early computer users’ group in Silicon Valley, where it quickly attracted attention from their peers.
“I met both Steves, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak at a meeting of the home-brew computer club in Palo Alto. Our first meeting was really simple. It was in the parking lot, and I helped them unload Woz’s FIAT and carried in what I guess was the first Apple I to show it off to the assembled multitudes”. – Robert Cringely, Technology Columnist
When that same first Apple I was auctioned in 2010, it attracted even more attention.
“It heralds the home computing revolution. This is the first computer where you use a keyboard and a screen to enter and read data”.
“Selling for £110,000.”
From the hippie days of 1970s California, a handful of teenage geeks emerged to change how we work, play, and communicate with each other.
“Founders can be divided into two camps. There are hippies, and there are nerds, and Jobs was definitely the hippie, and Woz was the nerd. And the hippie has the grand vision, and the nerd is able to realize the vision. The nerd knows everything about women but doesn’t know any women. You know, Steve knew women. So there’s that distinction. So they really needed each other. He knew how to beat it out of Woz, and he would do that, and his contributions at that time were saying, “gosh. We could sell these things.” I mean, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s huge when you’re dealing with a guy in Woz who never thought about selling anything”. – Robert Cringely, Technology Columnist
“I wanted it to happen so badly, I gave this computer away. I gave away the listings, no copyright notices, no nothing, and then Steve Jobs came and saw the interest, and he said “Why don’t we start a company to make some money?” And I said, “Fine.”” – Steve Wozniak
“They did want to start a business. They raised money to start a business. They knew that they couldn’t do it on their own. They sought out older people to help, and Steve Jobs in particular was quite persuasive”. – Robert Cringely, Technology Columnist
In Apple’s earliest days, the two Steves, Jobs and Woz, took on an older and more experienced partner. Ronald Wayne now lives and works near Las Vegas, a fitting location for a man who walked away with nothing from a $37 billion no-lose bet.
Wayne was invited to discuss a business proposal with Jobs and Woz.
“That was the first time I had met Steve Wozniak, a fascinating guy a fun guy to be with, very… not only a fun guy to be with, the most gracious man I’ve ever met in my life. As far as Wozniak was concerned, the world was a great big sand box with a lot of toys to play with”. – Ronald Wayne, Co-founder of Apple
But Ron’s opinion of Steve Jobs was not so hot.
I wouldn’t put gracious in his description. He had the kind of manner, the kind of approach to people and environments that were business directed, okay? He was extremely serious”.
Wayne acted as referee in a minor difference of opinion between the two equal partners.
“Well, Steve Jobs was so impressed with my diplomacy in that particular situation that he immediately came back and said, “Okay. What we’re going to do is form a company, with Woz and Jobs getting 45% each, and I would get 10% as a tiebreaker in the event of any philosophical disputes that might occur in the future”.
10% of Apple today would be worth $37,631,420,312.42, but despite his share in the company, Ron was worried that working with Jobs and Woz might prove to be too stressful.
“At 40, I thought I was getting a little old for that. They were absolute whirlwinds. It was like having a tiger by the tail”.
So Ron decided to hand back his share for nothing and walk away with no regrets.
“A lot of people have the impression that somehow or other I got diddled out of something. Well, I did not. Nobody diddled me out of anything”.
Wayne may not be bitter, but he wasn’t the only early Apple employee who made a life decision most of us would regret.
“The funny thing is that Steve Jobs hired me, and he said… he had hair just down to his waist at the time, and as I recall he only ate fruit, and he said, “we don’t have very much loot, so we’d like to pay you in stock.” I held out for the cash”. – Robert Cringely, Technology Comlumist
When Steve Jobs first launched Apple, the computer industry meant mainframes and minicomputers. Huge devices sat in air conditioned rooms, and users worked on terminals. It wasn’t a personal experience.
“The Apple II was the first computer that looked like a consumer electronic device. It was actually designed, and they thought about the user experience and that it was intended really to be used by a single person in some interactive way that was enjoyable to the user, different”. – – Robert Cringely, Technology Comlumist
“Steve always thought much more broadly than just technology. He was certainly a techno-visionary, but the key to his greatness is to see how broad he thought. He was obsessed with design, with elegant design, and he was obsessed with the overall experience of technology and the idea of creativity generally. So somehow he was able to bring these things together and create technology that made peoples’ eyes light up”. – Chris Anderson, Director, TED Conferences
“And I wait 8 hours in a line, and I’m hungry, I am everything you imagine, but I’m happy. I wait for my iPad and really, really, really happy now”.
Jobs drew on a diverse range of influences to feed his creativity, including a class he dropped into at college in Portland, Oregon, in the early seventies. Reed college has one of the best calligraphy courses in the U.S. His teacher had a major impact on his aesthetic and the clean lines of his products.
“We had many very bright students here, we had bright thinkers and people that wanted to change things and improve the world”.- Robert Palladino, Instructor of Calligraphy
But Palladino witnessed first hand the impact Jobs had on his peers.
“The other students brought him to me like they were bringing me someone very special. They really had a high regard for him. I guess they could see the dynamics already forming in his thinking”.
Jobs completed the course in 1974 but returned to Palladino just two years later. He was enthusing about a machine he had created in his garage and seeking advice on a font.
“He was interested in telling me what he was doing and how he was using what he had learned in class, but he wanted some help with Greek letters because he wanted a Greek font, and he couldn’t find satisfactory models to go from. Before Steve started working on computer typefaces, they were in very bad condition, and any improvement would be a step forward”.
The resulting fonts appeared not just on Macs but ultimately PCs, too, dramatically improving the user experience but not for Robert.
“I never touch computers. I write everything by hand. Getting letters in the mail is getting to be very rare”.
Dropping out of college, Jobs went on the hippie trail, traveling to India and studying Buddhism, this also had an impact on his work at Apple.
“I first met Steve in 1975. He had recently returned from India. He’s way ahead of his time. He wasn’t the typical teenager. He asked questions that were a lot more serious than the normal 20-year-old. He was looking to understand the true nature of things, and I think he came to the Zen center to continue his search. Steve was very much taken with Zen, Zen Buddhism. Zen represents the relationship between things, things of the world. In Zen, it’s expressed in the art. You see it in flower arranging, Ikebana, you see it in calligraphy, you see it in artworks. Steve was very much taken with that and especially calligraphy. He noticed the way the lines and the spaces had a relationship. I think his genius was being able to take the principles of Zen and incorporate it into the products that came out of Apple”. – Les Kaye, Abbot, Kannon Do Zen Center