"The smallest company in the world can look as large as the largest company in the world on the Web. [It] is going to be the defining social moment for computers."The portrait of Steve Jobs who emerges in this largely raw footage of the Apple giant in a 1995 interview with Robert X. Cringely is of a mastermind in exile. At that time Jobs, nearing age 40, had been booted from the company he founded in a garage with Steve Wozniak. A little more than a year later, he would return to the leadership position and turn Apple into the most valuable publicly-traded company in the world.
--Steve Jobs, 1995
A year after his death, Jobs' prescience seems more otherworldly than ever. Talking at the very dawn of the Internet age, Jobs seems to intuitively grasp the implications of having computers everywhere in the world interconnected.
Cringely's interview, discovered in VHS tapes in a crewmember's garage, are decidedly low-tech, with squiggly lines and murky resolution. No doubt the fastidious Jobs, famous for his insistence that his products be beautiful as well as functional, would have disapproved.
Jobs, who has no reservation about hurling remonstrations at competitors and enemies, saves some of his nastiest barbs for Bill Gates and Microsoft.
"The only problem with Microsoft is that they have no taste," he says. "They just make really third-rate products. Their products have no spirit to them."
He also speaks about becoming rich so young -- he was worth $100 million at age 25 -- and some of his biggest missteps, such as tapping John Sculley to run their nascent company. Sculley would later push Jobs out in a battle for power.
"Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview" is a look at a genius after his big fall, but with eyes already on the pinnacle to come.
The video comes with decent extra features that take you deeper in to the Apple experience. Cringely and director Paul Sen provide a feature-length commentary track, and there's also an audio interview with Cringely. Andy Hertzfeld, who programmed the original McIntosh, sits in for an hour-long interview about the heady early days at the (then) scrappy little computer startup.
Movie: 3.5 stars out of four
Extras: 3 stars