So, thanks for the interview, Steve.
You're most welcome. Namaste.
So, what's the hardest thing about being Steve Jobs?
The constant pressure and sh*tstorm of a million distractions. Eurotards, Microtards, longhairs. Not to mention the SEC and US Attorney's office. Oh and Greenpeace. I hate Greenpeace. Really -- a lot.
What about people that ask you for tech support? Do you get that very often? Because my shuffle has been acting up...
Yes all the time. Luckily, however, I actually know almost nothing about computers. And people who know me know that. So they don't ask. But yes, strangers come up to me all the time.
Do they ever confuse you for the character actors that portray you on SNL and now Mad TV?
Yes and it drives me nuts. Or people will go, You know, you look a lot like Steve Jobs. But honestly, usually people do know who I am, and they get all weird and nervous around me, which i have to admit, never gets old. I love it.
I was really into NeXT, whatever happened with that?
Well, we had some issues around pricing. Like, we figured out what the product should cost, and then we multiplied that by four and set our prices that way. Turns out we were over-overpricing. When I returned to Apple we figured out how to overprice correctly. About 50% more than the reasonable price is about what people are wiling to pay to get a product that makes them cooler than everyone else. So now instedad of over-overpricing, we're just overpricing. And as our results indicate, it's working.
Speaking of overpriced, so were you really carrying the iPhone at the soccer game, or what?
Sure. Why? I've been using one since last summer.
Well, um, can I have a look at it?
Sure. Do you know where my office is?
I've been to the Apple campus, sure.
Great. Well just come on over, go to the front desk and tell them I'm expecting you.
I hear they're all locked in a vault. So will HyperCard work on this thing, or what?
I have no idea what HyperCard is. But, um, yes. it will.
Absolutely. What is HyperCard?
I guess that was after you left, it was in the 80s -- lived up through OS 9. They taught it in school.
Yeah, well, see, I am a dropout. And I have very strong feelings about that. And about education in general.
On the topic of strong feelings, what do you have to say to all the European countries criticizing Apple right now?
You know, I tend to get kind of hostile and upset about this topic... but lately I've been trying to just calm down and approach it rationally. Really what I'd say is, look, nobody is forcing you to use iTunes and iPods. You don't have to buy them. So vote with your dollars. It's as simple as that. We put a product out into the market that we think is insanely great. But if you don't like it, don't use it. Go buy a Zune, you'll love it. Or better yet, make your own music player... friggin Norwegians.
So if you had it to do all over again, would you still invent the friggin iPod?
Absolutely. But this time around I would make sure I got all the credit for it. I'm kind of bummed at the way all these other people have rushed forward trying to claim it was partly their idea too. Did you see that Wired story last fall? Made me sick.
Yeah. But, well, PortalPlayer did the software right? And it was a very engineer-driven effort...
No, I wrote all the software.
Really! I did not know that.
Of course you didn't. Because the anti-Steve propaganda machine has been kicking in in full force. I wrote OS X, too, but you never heard that either did you?
You know, I didn't!
Because Apple PR invents these frigged up stories.
So I actually wanted to know -- on the topic of journalism and outreach. Obviously you are pretty tight lipped about forthcoming products. What do you do when learning of a leak in the good ship Apple?
Basically, our ex-Mossad security team swings into action. I ran a photo recently of a leaker, and what we did to him. [Pulls out photo]
Ah. Ouch. And what about Scully? Did you ever pull a knife on that guy?
Wanted to. But so far just prank phone calls. Which, by the way, he always falls for, the dope. He so wanted to be like me it was just sad. He used to even talk like me, try to imitate me. I pitied him. Then he got me tossed, bastard.
Speaking of which, I know you and Gates are pals, we've all seen the pictures of you at D, and you're appearing together this year. Why do you have to go making fun of him on TV?
Look, Gates has spent the past thirty years stealing every one of my ideas and then making Special Olympics versions of what I make. It's insulting. If he's going to copy me, he could at least do a good job of it. Have you seen Vista? It's embarrassing. And even then they couldn't get it out on time. All they had to do was copy us and they still couldn't do it.
I dunno, it's got its pros and cons.
Really? What are the pros?
Well, it certainly handles business networking environments pretty well. And Media Center is pretty good -- and it predates Front Row...
Ouch. Okay, I'm outta here. Bye. [Stands up]
Ok, hang on, we can talk about something else...
Nope! This interview is OVER!
But what? You apologize?! For your lies?
Well, why don't you tell me who would win in a fight? Do you think Gates would have some secret implants or something you just didn't know about?
I would totally win in a fight with Gates. He does have implants but I don't think he's gonna hit me with his [redacted], honestly. And I'm a 10th degree Tai Chi master. I could tear out his heart and eat it in front of him. I know what you're going to say: Tai Chi is not a violent martial art right? Well, I do the violent form of it.
I think I'll pass on my question about how many of your fingers you think I'll break if you keep blogging about my girlfriend...
I only blogged about her once or twice didn't I?
Well, that's once or twice more than most tech execs. [Links here and here]
Yeah well she deserves more. Let me say this, all kidding aside. Veronica is a rock star. Seriously. Go look at all the other internet TV talking heads. They're awful. She's like an order of magnitude better than the others. And on top of that she's extremely beautiful. Let me ask you something. Is she as gorgeous in person as she is on TV?
I wish she didn't rate the Gigabeat above the iPod, but what the hay, she's entitled to her opinions. I really do think she's going to end up on network TV, or cable. Has she ever talked to anyone at Fox?
I hope not, TV is so old-media. Speaking of which, what's with the love affair with Time, WSJ, Newsweek, and those stodgy publications?
By the way, what was the question about breaking fingers? You want to break my fingers? Or you're going to break your own? You wouldn't pick on an old guy would you? --So you think I'm obsessed with Time, Newsweek, and the like?
Well, you do seem to give them the exclusives. You've been on the front page of Time more than a few times. Our pal Mossberg gets a lot attention from you.
I think maybe it's a generational thing. How old are you, may I ask?
I'm still in my 20s.
Yeah. See, when I was your age, Time and Newsweek and the Journal all really mattered. So I guess it's hard to undo that kind of thinking and try to imagine that, um, like Om Malik is really important or something.
Om is a pal of mine, I think he's doing some really important stuff...
No disrespect to Om, he's a pal of mine too...
So any chance of you debuting the next iPod on Engadget then?
I am pretty sure we're already making those arrangements. Can I turn the table and ask you a couple of questions?
We don't normally do that, but ok. Who am I to refuse Steve Jobs?
Hey this is new media, citizen journalist. Why should you stick to the old way of doing things? So, how many times have you taken LSD?
Hm, to date? None.
None. Okay, question 2. At what age did you lose your virginity?
See, these are two very important questions that I always ask everyone before I hire them. Did you know that?
What are the correct answers?
Zero acid trips means you don't get to work at Apple. Have you done mushrooms at least? Peyote? Mescaline? PCP? Anything?
Sorry, I don't do drugs! (Stay in school, kids.)
Damn. What is wrong with your generation, Ryan? It makes me sick. You all fell for that Reagan "Just Say No" stuff. Drugs are amazing and very important and will totally unlock your creativity. You should try acid. Forget ecstasy, it's for girls.
Well, we do our best to be sober when interviewing people.
You know this one time when I was at Reed and really experimenting with acid, we did some 4-way acid but we didn't realize it was 4-way so we each took a whole hit -- which turned out to be a quadruple dose. And I swear during that trip I imagined the iPod for the first time. This was the early 70s. Actually I imagined a little teeny tiny record player that you could carry with you. But that's basically what a hard disk is. I think.
How close did you come to realizing that vision?
Oh, the iPod turns out to be almost exactly what I saw back in the 70s. Acid is amazing stuff. Really.
Well, your wrangler is motioning that you've got to go -- anything you'd like to leave us with? Parting words for Engadget's readers?
We've got some amazing products coming very soon that are going to restore a sense of childlike wonder to your lives. I hope you enjoy using them as much as we enjoyed making them for you. And I'm not just talking about the iPhone. Also, go buy the Apple TV. It's insanely great. Peace out. Namaste. I honor the place where you and I are one.