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Steve Looks Back and Forward

Friday, October 20th, 2006

I did an interview with Steve Jobs for the fifth anniversary of the iPod, to go with the excerpt of the book that ran in the magazine. Most of the time when I talk to Steve, it’s after a product announcement and we spend most of our time discussing what he’s just revealed and the implications. This was a bit unusual in that he agreed to look back a bit on the iPod as well as assess the iPod’s current situation and where it might go (but only in the vaguest sense–no way he would ever preannounce anything).

The interview has been picked up widely, and most people commented on his comments about Microsoft’s Zune. (He’s not worried.) I knew that the Zune exchange would get noticed, but I was also pleased that at least a few people noted that he made some revealing remarks about design. One thing that has really impressed me is the consistency of his aesthetic over the years. The very first time I did a long interview with Jobs was a couple of months before the Macintosh was announced. (Do the math if you dare.) In The Perfect Thing I cite a quote from that discussion where he talks about his vision of design. It’s amazingly similar to what he is saying in this fresh interview about the hard work it takes to “peel more layers of the onion off” to get to the purest forms.

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