The Lost Interview (1995)


Robert Cringely在1996年的纪录片《书呆子的胜利》中对史蒂夫乔布斯进行了采访。注意:这是在1995年录制的,也就是在乔布斯胜利回归苹果公司的前一年(他被董事会扫地出门,那段时间估计是他最难过最低落的时期)。

下面两个视频就是The Lost Interview,内容是一样的,时长1小时12分钟,英文配中文字幕:


1 Culture in the Products

The only problem with Microsoft is that they just have no taste. They have absolutely no taste, and I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way. They don’t think of original ideas and they don’t bring much culture into their product. You say, why is that important? Proportionally spaced fonts come from type-setting and beautiful books, that’s where one gets the idea. If it weren’t for the Mac, they would never have that in their products. So I’m saddened—not by Microsoft’s success, I have no problem with their success. They’ve earned their success, for the most part. I have a problem with the fact that they just make really third-rate products. Their products have no spirit to them. They have no spirit of enlightenment about them. They are very pedestrian. And the sad part is that a lot of customers don’t have a lot of that spirit either. But the way we’re gonna ratchet up our species is to take the best and spread it around everybody so that everybody grows up with better things and starts to understand the subtlety of these better things. And Microsoft’s just McDonald’s.


2 Content

People get confused; companies get confused. When they start getting bigger, they want to replicate their initial success. And a lot of them think, ‘Well, somehow, there’s some magic in the process of how that success was created.’ So they start to institutionalize process across the company. And before very long, people start to get confused that the process is the content. And that’s ultimately the downfall of IBM. IBM has the best process people in the world. They just forgot about the content. And that happened a little bit at Apple, too. We had a lot of people who were great at management process. They just didn’t have a clue about the content. In my career, I found that the best people are the ones that really understand the content. And they’re a pain in the butt to manage! But you put up with it because they’re so great at the content. And that’s what makes great products. It’s not process, it’s content.


3 Product People

The technology crashed and burned at Xerox. Why? I learned more about this with John Sculley later on. What happens is, John came from Pepsico. And they—at most—would change their product once every 10 years. To them, a new product was a new sized bottle. So if you were a ‘product person’, you couldn’t change the course of that company very much. So, who influences the success at Pepsico? The sales and marketing people. Therefore they were the ones that got promoted, and they were the ones that ran the company. Well, for Pepsico that might have been okay, but it turns out the same thing can happen at technology companies that get monopolies. Like IBM and Xerox. If you were a ‘product person’ at IBM or Xerox: so you make a better copier or better computer. So what? When you have a monopoly market-share, the company’s not any more successful. So the people who make the company more successful are the sales and marketing people, and they end up running the companies. And the ‘product people’ get run out of the decision-making forums. The companies forget how to make great products. The product sensibility and product genius that brought them to this monopolistic position gets rotted out by people running these companies who have no conception of a good product vs. a bad product. They have no conception of the craftsmanship that’s required to take a good idea and turn it into a good product. And they really have no feeling in their hearts about wanting to help the costumers.

该技术在施乐公司崩溃并被烧毁。为什么?我后来从约翰-斯库利那里了解到更多的情况。事情是这样的,约翰来自百事可乐公司。他们–最多–每10年就会改变一次产品。对他们来说,一个新产品就是一个新大小的瓶子。因此,如果你是一个 “产品人”,你就不可能在很大程度上改变该公司的发展。那么,谁影响了百事可乐公司的成功呢?销售和营销人员。因此,他们是获得晋升的人,他们是管理公司的人。好吧,对百事可乐来说,这可能是好的,但事实证明,同样的事情也可能发生在获得垄断的技术公司。像IBM和施乐公司。如果你是IBM或施乐公司的 “产品人员”:那么你制造了一个更好的复印机或更好的电脑。那又怎样?当你有一个垄断的市场份额时,公司就不会再有任何成功。因此,使公司更成功的人是销售和营销人员,他们最终经营着公司。而 “产品人员 “则被赶出了决策论坛。这些公司忘记了如何制造伟大的产品。把他们带到这个垄断地位的产品感觉和产品天才被经营这些公司的人腐化了,他们对好产品和坏产品没有概念。他们对把一个好的想法变成一个好的产品所需的工艺没有概念。而且他们的内心真的没有想要帮助消费者的感觉。

4 Computer Science

It had nothing to do with using [programs] for practical things, it had more to do with using them as a mirror of your thought process. To actually learn how to think. I think everyone in this country should learn to program a computer. Everyone should learn a computer language because it teaches you how to think. I think of computer science as a liberal art.


5 Dynamic Range

I observed something very early on at Apple, I didn’t know how to explain it then, but I’ve thought about it since. Most things in life, the dynamic range between ‘average’ and the ‘best’ is, at most, two-to-one. If you get into a cab in New York City with the best cab driver, as opposed to the average cab driver, you’re probably going to get to your destination with the best cab driver maybe thirty percent faster… Or a CD player, the difference between the best CD player and the average CD player is what? Twenty percent? So two-to-one is a big dynamic range in most of life. In software—and it used to be the case in hardware too—the difference between the average and the best is 50 to one. Maybe 100 to one. Very few things in life are like this, but what I’ve been lucky enough to spend my life in is like this.

我很早就在苹果公司观察到一些情况,当时我不知道该如何解释,但我后来一直在思考这个问题。生活中的大多数事情,”平均 “和 “最好 “之间的动态范围最多只有2比1。如果你在纽约市坐上最好的出租车司机,而不是一般的出租车司机,你可能会在最好的出租车司机的带领下快30%到达目的地……或者一个CD播放器,最好的CD播放器和一般的CD播放器之间的差异是什么?百分之二十?所以在大多数生活中,二比一是一个很大的动态范围。在软件方面–过去在硬件方面也是如此–平均水平和最佳水平之间的差距是50比1。也许是100比1。生活中很少有事情是这样的,但我有幸在其中度过一生的事情是这样的。

6 Really Good People

When you get really good people, they know they’re really good, and you don’t have to baby people’s egos so much. And what really matters is the work, and everybody knows that. So, people are being counted on to do specific pieces of the puzzle. And the most important thing you can do for someone who’s really good and really being counted on is to point out to them when their work isn’t good enough.


7 Asking “Why?”

Throughout the years in business, I found something. I always ask why you do things. The answers you invariably get is, ‘That’s just the way it’s done.’ Nobody knows why they do what they do. Nobody thinks about things very deeply in business, that’s what I found.


8 Success

I don’t really care about being right, I just care about success. You’ll find a lot of people that will tell you I had a very strong opinion, and they presented evidence to the contrary and five minutes later I changed my mind. I don’t mind being wrong, and I’ll admit that I’m wrong a lot. It doesn’t really matter to me too much. What matters to me is that we do the right thing.



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