Steve Jobs in unseen interview: my work will be obsolete

In a previously unseen interview, the late Apple co-founder says everything he's done will be obsolete by the time he's 50.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

Steve Jobs thought his life's work would be obsolete by the time he was 50. The revelation comes in a previously unseen interview with the late Apple co-founder.

The interview is from 1994, when Jobs was 39 years old, and was working at NeXT, after being ousted from Apple. Just a couple of years later, he would return to lead the Cupertino company to success. I've embedded the interview below.

"All the work that I have done in my life will be obsolete by the time I am 50," Jobs said in the interview.

He compared working in the technology field to building a mountain -- because of the rate of progress, your achievements soon become buried under what comes next. "It's sort of like sediments of rocks," he said. "You're building up a mountain, and you get to contribute your little layer of sedimentary rock to make the mountain that much higher. But no one on the surface will -- unless they have x-ray vision -- will see your sediment. They'll stand on it, it'll be appreciated by that rare geologist, but it's not like the renaissance at all."

The interview is from the documentary Steve Jobs: Visionary Entrepreneur. You can buy it from the Silicon Valley Historical Society.

Jobs died from cancer in 2011, aged 56. Most of his creations may be obsolete, but they haven't been forgotten. Last month, an Apple-1 computer from 1976 sold for a whopping £440,000. The fact it was signed by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak surely will have helped bump up the price.

There are two films in the pipeline about the life of Steve Jobs. The trailer for Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher, was released recently. The movie spans Jobs' time at college and continues up to the launch of the iPod in 2001. The other film, penned by The Social Network's Aaron Sorkin, will take a different approach, playing out three scenes in real-time, from behind the scenes of key product launches.

Is Jobs right about his achievements only being appreciated by a select few? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.