Steve Jobs passed away today. He will be remembered for revolutionizing at least four industries: music (iPod, iTunes Music Store), movies (Pixar), mobile phones (iPhone) and, of course, computers (Macintosh, iPad).
His contributions to the world have made my life immeasurably better. He continually pushed the envelope and the technology industry is demonstrably better for it.
Most people will remember him tonight for the products he had a hand in creating. I’d like to take a step back and look at the consummate showman and prescient visionary.
Because he generally shunned interviews and public appearances, there is not much public footage available of Jobs. In fact, I only know of three places that he had publicly spoken: Apple keynotes, the D: All Things Digital conference, and at Stanford’s 2005 commencement.
Most people only saw Jobs at Apple’s product launches. His ability to command the room and stage is legion.
While he had many great moments, the beginning of the iPhone keynote at Macworld in 2007 was his most masterful.
- Macintosh introduction (1984)
- iMac introduction (1998)
- Digital hub strategy (2001)
- iPod introduction (2001)
- iPhone introduction (2007)
- App Store introduction (2008)
- iPad introduction (2010)
- iCloud introduction (2011)
PCWorld has many more older keynote videos, if you’re so inclined.
If, like me, you prefer high-quality downloads, Apple provides a podcast of keynote speeches since 2007.
As Walt Mossberg noted tonight, Steve was most comfortable on stage, with a script. That is what makes his unscripted interviews at the D: All Things Digital conferences all the more compelling.
I watched these videos for the first time only a couple years ago. I was blown away by how eerily accurate Steve’s predictions were about where the technology industry would be today.
- Steve Jobs at D1 (2003)
- Steve Jobs at D2 (2004)
- Steve Jobs at D3 (2005)
- Steve Jobs at D5 (2007)
- Steve Jobs and Bill Gates at D5 (2007)
- Steve Jobs at D8 (2010)
All Things D also has some bite-sized clips from these interviews, including Jobs on phones, tablets, PDAs, and televisions.
Stanford Commencement Address
Perhaps Jobs’ most famous public appearance, however, is his 2005 Stanford commencement address. It is, as far as I know, the only time he has delved into his personal life at some length.
He tells three stories from his life: one about connecting the dots, another about love and loss, and the last about death. They are simple, amusing, insightful, morbid, and hopeful.
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” (Full text.)
Here’s to the crazy one.