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Business

Steve Jobs, the showman

Text by Sébastian SEIBT

Latest update : 2011-10-07

Since his first television appearance in 1978, Steve Jobs forged a distinctive image of a charismatic showman. Three decades of videos highlight how the Apple co-founder became the technology industry's pre-eminent salesman.

"Could you tell me where the bathroom, I think I'm going to vomit." In 1978, the young Steve Jobs, already Apple's CEO at the age of 28, encountered a serious case of stage fright as he prepared for his first appearance on television. This is the earliest known video of the Apple co-founder who lost his public battle with cancer on Wednesday at the age of 56.

Hard to imagine thirty years later, that same man once shaken with stage fright would feel so at ease in front of a global audience that eagerly clung to his every word. Over the years, Jobs, in fact, transformed himself into a veritable media icon that would later re-define the very meaning of 'salesmanship' in the digital era. His memorable appearances on stage revealed the charisma, including hints of occasional insolence, of a man who seemingly loved being the star of his own show.

 

In 1978, Steve Jobs, then aged 23, prepares for his first appearance on television. Two years after founding Apple, a visibly nervous Jobs is interviewed by the ABC television affiliate KGO-TV in San Francisco.

 

  

Steve Jobs unveiled the first Macintosh computer at an Apple shareholders meeting in 1984. This clip was long considered to be a 'lost video' until it re-appeared online just a few months ago and has since gone viral.

 

 

 

     

 
 
 

Steve Jobs the 'provocateur.' At his public presentation of the Macintosh computer in 1984, the Apple CEO compared IBM, then his primary rival at the time, to George Orwell's 'Big Brother.' The young Steve Jobs boldly declared that the new Macintosh stood as a bulwark against the implied oppression of IBM's domination of the global computer market. This was also the year when Jobs' unveiled Apple's now iconic Macintosh television commercial that was inspired by Orwell's '1984' and portrayed the Macintosh as liberating the masses from IBM.

  

Jobs was pushed out as Apple’s CEO in 1985, but returned to the post twelve years later; a move that was not universally welcomed. At the company's World Wide Developer's Conference (WWDC) in 1997, one participant challenged Steve Jobs and the decision to re-name him as the company's CEO: "It's sad and clear that on several counts you've discussed that you don't know what you're talking about."

 

   

Steve Job's 2005 speech to the graduating class at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California is widely considered to be the most emblematic of Jobs' status a true visionary.

At the time of this speech Jobs was already aware that he had pancreatic cancer and although he did not reveal it to the public, he encouraged the students to always remember their own mortality and to "find the strength to move forward." Several of Jobs' most well-known quotes are also from this notable 2005 speech.

In 2007, Wall Street Journal technology reporter Walt Mossberg achieved the once un-thinkable by convincing Steve Jobs' and his longtime rival Bill Gates of Microsoft to share a stage together. The two had battled for decades for the computer industry's intellectual supremacy, and yet, during this joint interview both Jobs and Gates seemed to relish the limelight together. The Mossberg interview with Gates and Jobs is legendary among legions of self-identified "computer geeks" around the world. 

 

In 2007, Wall Street Journal technology reporter Walt Mossberg achieved the once un-thinkable by convincing Steve Jobs' and his longtime rival Bill Gates of Microsoft to share a stage together. The two had battled for decades for the computer industry's intellectual supremacy, and yet, during this joint interview both Jobs and Gates seemed to relish sharing the limelight. The Mossberg interview with Gates and Jobs is legendary among legions of self-identified "computer geeks" around the world. 

 

 

Date created : 2011-10-06

  • OBITUARY

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