Documentary Summary: The Lost Interview

This is an hour long interview with Steve Jobs, filmed when he was the CEO of NeXT, after being fired from Apple. As usual, Jobs has many very interesting things to say, and following are what I thought were three most interesting things (from a business context) –

1. The interviewer asks him whether it was difficult to run business without any truing, to which Jobs replies that if you ask people in business as to why things are done a certain way, most of the times they’ll reply saying because it has been done this way in the past, and that if you ask enough questions, you can eventually understand the real driver and learn the business and it’s not that hard.

2. Jobs says that Xerox could have been the IBM or Microsoft of the 90s but failed (for background: Jobs saw the concept of a graphical user interface at the Xerox Labs), but failed to do so because it has a monopoly on printers and product development was not running the company anymore, but rather it was being run by the sales-people who are not focused on building a better product. And this is how the company eventually lost its edge.

3. He says that once a company gets a little successful, it starts to think that secret sauce is somewhere in the process of what made them successful in the very first place, and then the company starts to institutionalize processes to recapture that magic and soon you have a lot of processes and no content, and he admits that Apple faced this problem too. He also says that people who have great content are very hard to manage.

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