人生的秘密(乔布斯1994)

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这是乔布斯在1994年时所做的一个采访,地点是在NeXT电脑公司。这段来自Santa Clara Valley Historical Association所做的采访,在国内并不流行,也找不到中文版的字幕和讲稿,甚至连完整的视频(30分钟)都找不到。你现在看到的这个,是我刚刚从Youtube搬运过来的。网上可以找到这个视频的一些零星片段和零星语录,但完整版的英文讲稿也是只有这唯一的一份,来自glose.com。

在这里,感谢Santa Clara Valley Historical Association制作了这个视频,也感谢glose.com制作了讲稿。

需要说明的是,视频的标题是:Secrets of Life,讲稿的标题是:Life Lessons From Steve Jobs

这段采访非常棒,也是我专门发在这里的原因。


写到这,顺便想聊聊最近的一个想法:

现在越来越强烈地意识到,那个广为流传的观点是经不起推敲的:“当你想到要做某个事情的时候,世界上已经有很多人在做了”。

这句话经常会在各种场合看到。

比如,我的博士导师,就很喜欢讲这句话。他在评价一个技术的时候会说,“当你想做这个事情的时候,别的组已经在做了,比如MIT”。但实际上,你会发现,如果你真的做了的话(比如你没去调研就闷着头做),你会发现,任何时候(这么讲有些夸大)都不算晚。你永远不会是最后一个,只要你的智力水平是一般人的标准,你想成为最后的接盘侠也是很难的一件事情。很多时候,机会就在犹豫中浪费掉了。退一万步讲,即便是MIT做了,你依然有的是机会。因为如果你去仔细算一下,每个博士生只有一个研究方向,那么跟你做着同一件事情且水平在你之上的,全世界都屈指可数。

当然,事情要分两面看,我导师的观点毕竟是从科研的角度来讲的,因为奖励(credits)永远只给第一个做的人。这么说也不对,准确地讲,应该是,我的导师所在乎的奖励是“第一个做出来,然后让别人来跟随”。

事情没那么简单。

一方面是,科研和艺术以外的地方,先行者未必就有优势,很多事情是系统工程,需要集合各个领域很多人的力量,不是简单一个想法取胜的;另一方面是,我现在发现,这个世界上不会存在很多人“跟你同一个想法”“看过同一本书”“发现同一个秘密”“有着同样的计划”“或是已经行动了”。如果真的存在这样的人,那简直就是世界上的另一个你了,这样的人你要珍惜,你要结识成朋友。。。

所以,如果level up一下那个观点:你需要重新审视一下你在做的事情和你计划做的事情了,不要随随便便或是模模糊糊地用“别人也在做”这个思维定式来轻易地否定。

嗯,如果你完整地看完这两篇文章(因为字数限制,分成两次发),那你就是华语世界里看过乔布斯这个访谈的前500-600个人。。。因为这个公众号,三个月前开通,到现在也不过500多人。


中文版

翻译:Tony,Ashley,Panda,王璋超,路遥

视频:http://v.qq.com/page/g/n/1/g01707nxwn1.html

乔布斯 (苹果公司创始人):我们创立苹果公司的时候,不存在风险。这也是为什么你需要趁年轻的时候做。这也是为什么当我们创立苹果公司的时候,我们绝对没什么好输的(We have nothing to lose)。那个时候我20岁,Woz大概是24或25岁。我们没什么好输的。我们没有家庭,没有孩子,没有房子。Woz有一台旧车。我有一台大众的货车。我们能输的不过是我们的车和身上的衣服。我们没什么好输的,但是我们得到的都是赚的。我们考虑了如果我们失败了,并且输掉了所有的东西,收获的经验会比成本好过十倍。所以,我们能有什么损失呢?这没任何风险。

就从Steve Wozniak和我的合伙人都曾经在惠普公司工作过来看,苹果是一个非常典型的硅谷创业公司。事实上,当我们创立苹果公司的时候,Woz仍旧在惠普工作。惠普的意义不仅仅是开创一个公司的概念,而是整个硅谷的模范公司,它传递着创建公司的伦理准则,公司的创建是基于价值,而不只是基于赚钱。

惠普有“惠普之道”(the HP way),以及他们认可的价值。第一条是我们需要盈利,否则公司无法延续。在这条的后面,还包括他们如何对待员工以及引导企业生活,这些在我心中是非常理想化的。我们深受其影响。

第二件让我们变得很特别的事情是,我们做的产品的客户就是我们自己。我们在创造自己就很想要的东西,就像Hewlett和Packard一开始为工程师们制造测试仪器(注:Hewlett和Packard是惠普的创始人)。因为他们本身就是工程师,所以他们懂得如何为此做营销。他们知道工程师们想要怎么样的产品,然后为之进行设计。我们想要电脑,我们很明白自己想要什么样的电脑,因此我们又开发又营销。不过这一点,在我们开始向一些不同于我们的客户销售时,发生了改变。但是可以肯定的是,在苹果公司的前几年,我们就是把东西卖给那些跟我们一样的人。很多硅谷创业公司都是这样开始的。

硅谷,如果你一定要问它从何萌芽而来?那答案就是斯坦福大学。Fred Terman(注:斯坦福大学教授,曾任工程学院院长)鼓励Hewlett Packard,Varian兄弟(注:他们成立了瓦里安联合公司)不要回去东部,而是留在硅谷。这就是胚芽。

第二个重要的成长期,硅谷真正的现代时期,是当年William Shockley,一名种族主义者,回到了他的家乡帕罗奥多,创办了一家半导体公司(注:Shockley之前在贝尔实验室)。他是贝尔实验室的三位发明晶体管的人之一。他回到了Palo Alto的家里,创办了Shockley半导体,并且,他带去了将近半打这个国家最聪明的年轻人。某种程度上讲,多亏了他是一个很糟糕的经理和商人。其中的几个年轻人叛逃了,带头的是Bob Noyce,他从一家位于东海岸名为“仙童摄影工业”的公司里拿到了一笔钱,开创了仙童半导体。接下来的便是历史。仙童是硅谷继惠普之后第二家“母体”公司(注:仙童,fairchild也译作飞兆,这家公司至今还在,最近刚刚被安森美半导体收购)。这家公司是每家半导体公司甚至整个半导体行业的发射台(launching pad)。这些公司开创了硅谷。

所以,这是一个难以置信的地方。当你在这个世界末(注:指20世纪)回顾的话,我相信,本世纪最伟大的十项发明和发现,其中的五个可能就离这里10英里或者20英里远。基因科技,集成电路,微处理器,个人电脑,这些都出现在硅谷!

我认为这个方式很健康(注:他是想说创业要趁年轻)。一些人会讲,“嗯,你本来可以去读大学然后成为一名律师”。嗯,你是对的,你可以去上大学,25岁的时候成为一名律师。没有任何事情可以阻止你这么做。在你的生命里,你唯一真正拥有的就是时间。如果你把时间投资在那些可以丰富你人生经历的事情上,那你绝对不会输。所以,我常建议人们莫等闲。趁年轻没有什么可输的时候,去做点什么,记住这条。我认为这是最好的办法。并不是说人们不能在50岁的时候创办公司。我见过的。也有非常成功的公司。而是说当你年轻的时候,还没有什么可输的时候,也没有什么责任要负的时候,创办公司会容易非常多。

Nolan Bushnell (Atari的创始人):这么多年以来,在我们知道“人的因素”这个名称之前,我们研究各种复杂的方法来追踪人的因素。我们称之为游戏界面。但事实上,这是人性占据着主动位置。我认为并不是凑巧乔布斯在Atari工作,而是他懂得人性,并且最终体现在了Macintosh电脑上,“人的因素”的赢家。尽管有大量的工作是在PARC做的,但当乔布斯看到以后,他立刻懂了(注:这里是说乔布斯从施乐公司那里获得了图形界面的灵感)。

乔布斯: 我觉得有件事情非常之正确,就是多数人缺少人生经历的原因是他们从来不去求助。在我求助于人的时候,我发现他们没有一个不帮我的。我打了个电话——这让我想起以前-我八岁的时候打电话给住在帕罗奥多的Bill Hewlett(注:惠普的联合创始人之一)。他的号码我现在还存着。他自己接的电话。“喂?”“你好,我叫乔布斯。我十二岁,是个中学生。我想做一个频率计数器。我就想问问你有没有多余的器件可以给我用。然后他就笑了。他不仅给我频率计数器的器件,给我频率计数器,还让我那年夏天在惠普的频率计数器组装流水线工作。他竟然让我去那个组装频率计数器的地方工作。真心把我乐坏了。

当我打电话的时候,我发现没人跟我说不可以或者挂我电话。我就这样索取着。所以当有人打电话有求于我时,我会尽可能地回应他们,以感谢当年的那些不拒之恩。多数人从来都不愿意拿起拨通电话。多数人从来不索取,有时这就区分了行动者和做梦人。你要去行动,你要愿意接受失败。无论是开一家公司或者其他的,你要愿意接受在电话里被人拒绝这件事。如果你害怕失败,这条路你走不远。

我和Woz一起做的一件事是我们做出了蓝盒子。这些现在都已经过时了,但它们是可以自己动手做出来的。当你打长途电话的时候,你可以听到嘟嘟的背景音。这其实是电话在互相发送信号,互相发送信息来接驳你的电话。这些信号同按键电话差不多,只是频率不同。你可以自己做个盒子,产生这些频率,从而制造出那些声音。曾经有种方法可以骗过整个电话网络系统,让它以为你是一台电话,给你敞开大门,让你不花钱地给全世界打电话。实际上,你可以用一台付费电话来打,经过白原市,通过卫星到欧洲,通过电缆到土耳其,再回到洛杉矶。你跑了全世界三四次,只是为了打给隔壁的付费电话,在电话这端吼一吼,大约30秒后在电话那端听到。我要说一下,这个其实是不合法的。尽管如此,我们还是被惊呆了,所以我和Woz就想办法做出一台。我们做出了世界上做好的一台。这是世界上第一台数字蓝盒子。我们把它们给朋友,我们自己也用。你很快就把你想打电话的人打了个遍。

奇妙的是两个少年能用价值100美元的器材就做出这个盒子,从加州库比蒂诺控制了全世界电话网络价值上亿美元的基础建设。简直太神奇了。太神奇。这些经历教会我们“想法”(idea)的力量,明白如果你能做出这个盒子,你就能控制全世界上亿美元的电话网络基建。这非常有影响力。

如果我们不曾做过蓝盒子,现在就不会有苹果了。因为我们就不会有如此自信,去相信自己可以做出有用的东西。因为我们花了六个月的时间来探寻怎么做出这个盒子。这自身包含了非常多的流程,在蓝盒子这个例子里我们有着神奇的直觉,它可以影响世界并且有控制力,但对于苹果这就不仅仅是控制和影响了。这两者紧密相连。现在我真的感觉如果我们不曾拥有做蓝盒子的经历,这世上也不会有苹果电脑了。

如果你现在想要知道五年后会发生什么,你不能看主流的方向,你要看边缘的那些。在1975年的时候,这个边缘地带就是家酿电脑俱乐部。这个地区有因为买不起电脑而自己组装的一群人。电脑那个时候要5万美金,10万美金。谁买得起?

Steve Wozniak “Woz”  (苹果电脑创始人): 每隔两周的星期三晚上,我们会在斯坦福线性加速器中心开会。这一天是我生活里最重要的日子。两周里的其他时候都是我的空闲时间,思考计划,写写代码来嘚瑟,或者策划一下家酿电脑俱乐部的活动。说起那个时候,我很害羞的,从来不举手或者说什么。那个时候我们是有东西可以得瑟的。我用西尔斯百货(Sears)买来的彩色电视组装成我的电脑,大家就会凑过来问些问题,然后我回答他们。

乔布斯: 每个对组装电脑有兴趣的人都会来参加这个会议。上百人参加会议。它就是逐渐变成那么多人了。一开始大概50人。但最终扩张到200-300人。从有30到40人的时候我们开始去的。Woz和我总是全场最酷炫。我们是出了名的有最酷的玩意儿。

Bushnell:我记得乔布斯那个时候问过我想不想给他投资苹果电脑,用5万美元做第三大股东,我拒绝了。机会就这样没了。我记得乔布斯和Steve Wozniak正在做硬件游戏机breakout的一个设计,的确很聪明。因为在那个时候游戏机都很依赖硬件,他们就是在破釜沉舟。那个时候我们觉得70个芯片是件正常的事情,但如果你把这个数降到60,你就已经做的很好了。我记得他们把这个数降到了38。他们唯一的问题就是用了太多反馈回路因此做不了测试,我们只好回炉重造。但他们最终获得了奖赏,大家皆大欢喜。

乔布斯:这很有趣。当你看到某个东西并且惊叹道,“哇,这真是酷(neat)。”其实你如果回看几年前的话,你会找到这个东西的“先驱们”。你过去所学的种种累计起来就成了现在的一大步。我可能是12岁或者13岁的时候认识了Woz。Woz是我认识的人里面懂得电子学多过我的第一人,所以我们就很快变成了朋友。

Woz:那些没钱的家伙真的没有资金,去打造那种可以一个月一千台,卖到千家万户的计算机。我们也没有钱。但是乔布斯再一次走了出去,开始寻找愿意投钱的人。

Mike Markkula (苹果电脑的创始人: 乔布斯和 Woz 认为,他们也许能够在现有的基础上做出一个生意。但除了 Nolan Bushnell 在 Valentine 的朋友,他们不知道给谁打电话。所以乔布斯打给了 Don,然后 Dan 去了 Los Altos 的车库,出来时摇着头。他打电话给我,说那里有两个家伙,天呐他们真的需要一些帮助。

乔布斯:我们去谈了风险投资家,但没有任何人愿意给我们钱。其中一个还称我为人类的叛徒,因为我当时还留着长发。没有任何人愿意给我们钱。感谢上帝,否则的话他们最终会拥有我们公司的大部分,所以我想苹果以及一些其他公司,对于风险投资家是很好的例子,伟大的想法并不是那些头发不错的人的独家产品。

我们做出了 Apple I,卖出去了大概200个。那个产品最关键的,是我们学到了一些东西。我们做对了一半,但是获得了经验,弄清楚了如何实现下一次大的跳跃,从它们需要的市场中学习了很多,这个是让 Apple II 取得巨大成功的真正原因。我们于1977年4月在西海岸计算机集会上推出,那是我们第一次真正的成功。从此便一直销售,我不太清楚,在整个生命周期大概1000万台。这算是个人计算机第一次真正的成功。

直到后来,实际上在我们4月推出 Apple II 之后,大概那年秋天,我意识到我们需要做些广告。所以我一直寻找技术刊物,有一家公司的广告引起了我的注意,是英特尔的。于是我打电话给英特尔,问他们是谁做的广告。他们说,“Regis McKenna。”我说,“Regis McKenna 是什么?”他们说,“是一个人。”于是我去找了 Regis McKenna。我第一次去那儿,他差点把我们赶出来,但最终他还是接受了我们这个客户。他参与的时间很早。Fred Hoar 大概两年后才进来。

Regis McKenna (CEO of Regis McKenna, 苹果公司的早期公关): 个人计算机行业与英特尔真的有很大的不同,它是作为一场反文化运动兴起的。第一批参与者是计算机行业里留着长发的软件开发者或爱好者,他们将自己从统治计算机行业的大型机领域中区分出来。在大型机领域,老大哥的世界,集中式的计算世界,个人计算机代表着个体,个体的自由,所以苹果的设计和开发都是轻量级的个人计算,这将它从非个人化的大型机区分出来。苹果的彩色标志有别于 IBM僵硬的黑白标志,在个人计算机出现之前,计算机世界所有的一切都是关于组织和个人的大型大规模的集中控制。个人计算机就像一场反文化运动,于上世纪60年代出现了。

Fred Hoar (Miller/Shandwick 科技公司总裁,苹果公司早期市场):青年人,其中许多人有两年经验,但比起某些有两年经验的人好上十倍。没有在任何大型官僚机构中会对成长的阻碍。这是创业公司。从各个方面都是原始的创业,更重要的是,它被赋予为真正的福音,真正的使命,换句话说,改变世界。一种真正改变世界的感觉。所以气氛中有一种年轻,一种激情,一种非常少的公司结构。但是整个流程大家都懂。他们可能不太会去编写流程,但你知道它就在那儿。整个流程就是去做出些事情,有所改变。乔布斯不停提到,“有所反馈(Give something back)。”那是一种真正不属于公司,却属于因果或者改革运动的感觉,随便你怎么定义它。

Scott McNealy (Sun微系统的创始人):我认为乔布斯为我们所有人做了一些事情。他打破了年龄的限制,年龄的天花板,那些作为孩子想做却不该做的事情。那时我们27岁,人们不会觉得奇怪,因为他在很年轻的年纪就创造了一个非常成功的公司。

其次,斯坦福大学、伯克利分校还有所有其他科技公司都在这里。这样的地理位置让每个人都不由自主地来到这个海湾的低地。非常棒的基础设施。我们几乎能在眨眼间启动公司,建立并运行。没有人会在意,我们很少刮胡子。

Larry Ellison (甲骨文公司创始人):我认为乔布斯也许是我们这行业中,在远见和领导力方面最有天赋的人。他真的是个人计算机之父。他真的普及了图形用户界面。他真的对伟大的技术拥有热情。

乔布斯:硅谷有一种创业的风险文化,正是这种区别于其他的关键原因成就了硅谷的存在。最首要的原因就是创业的风险文化,榜样起了很大的作用。其次是大学,斯坦福还有伯克利分销。如果没有这两所学校,也就没有硅谷,因为它们的优秀让留在这里的人也在不断地引进人力资本。第三个很多公司在这里开始的原因是融资网络。第四个原因蜂巢效应。蜂巢效应的意思是指很多非常优秀的人与公司的结合,使之更有生产效率。

举例来说,你想创业就需要先找到靠谱的人。你不可能总去找刚毕业的大学生,你要找的是有经验的人才。所以要到处挖人,甚至让他们背井离乡的跟着你干。如果你把公司开在蒙大拿了,你找的这些人举家牵了过来,一旦你的创业失败,这些人如果无法在蒙大拿再找到合适的工作,那么他们只能再搬回去。而如果你告诉他们的是,早上上班比去菜市场还要方便,那么他们就不用搬家了,孩子也不用面临转学等等一系列问题了。即使你的公司黄了,至少他们还能很快的再找一份工作,而你也能获得更有效率的招聘。这就是蜂巢效应。

以上这四点就是我所认为的硅谷能够发展到今天的原因。创业风险文化和榜样有很大的关系,从惠普开始,工程师的榜样,营销人员的榜样甚至是一些失败的榜样。有些失败案例与商界成功案例一样广为讨论。即使失败了,人们也钦佩于他们的敢于尝试。他们能够自己爬起来,拍拍身上的灰尘,然后去寻找下一份工作。或许他们不拥有这家公司,也不会成为下一家公司的创始人,但他们有一份很好的工作。他们怎么都不会贫困潦倒的。

Kevin Surace (Serious Energy创始人):像苹果的乔布斯一样,我们无法指望用户说出他们想要什么样的产品,但他们会说出他们所遇到的大量问题,然后我们才会推出他们想要的。很显然,从颠覆性创新的角度来看,乔布斯是非常具有代表性的。他曾经因为过于超前的发明创新而被炒掉,虽然他们又把乔布斯请回来了,但他仍然我行我素的大搞创新,事实证明他是正确的。他一直都是正确的,他们应该早点听他的。只不过他的创造力对于公司来讲太颠覆了。最终,他只能带着一个几乎要破产的公司回归苹果。现在,你的颠覆性不会对公司带来什么影响了。乔布斯或许不是一个温文尔雅的经理,但是没关系。他的决定有75%-80%是正确的,而这些正确的决定都是非常棒的。iPad就是一个神话,至少已经卖了2千2百万了(注:这个ipad有点乱入的感觉)。所以你要找到那些有颠覆性能力的人,给他们一个充满激情的平台,让他们去做出颠覆性的创新。

John Warnock (Adobe System创始人):我和乔布斯是在1983年的那个夏天相识。有一天他给我打电话说“哥们,我知道你们这帮家伙做了一个漂亮的项目,我打算过去看看。”于是我们给他演示了postscript语言的早期版本。他瞬间就着迷了,非常看好这个项目。他是一个能够看出科技发展方向的人,他想驱动苹果的发展但却被几乎所有的人否定。1985年他制造了先进的激光打印机,他给每个人打电话得到的答复却是“不行,你的打印机销量绝对不能超过电脑”,还有类似你这也不能做,那也不能做等等。但他还是做了,而且实际上也被证明了是正确的。

乔布斯在创立NeXT的时候我们就已经是朋友了。我们公司给NeXT提供显示技术支持。在这期间,他也在想如何帮助苹果并且给他们打了很多次电话。后来苹果给我们打电话问我,“你觉得我们要不要让他回来?” 其实那时候Chuck和我以及乔布斯都是很好的朋友。乔布斯回归苹果也是苹果非常愿意的。他对设计品味的感觉,对诠释完美的感觉还有对用户喜好的感觉绝对是前无古人的。

Charles Geschke (Adobe System创始人):其实乔布斯回归苹果的时候,他们正在非常兴奋的开发一款新电脑。就考虑到用户愿意买什么而言,乔布斯对此有着非常高的科技品味。坦率的讲我还是要为公司做打算的因为他看到我们的技术后是想要买掉我们的。他曾说过“你们为什么不愿意考虑加入苹果呢?”我们回复说我们更愿意保持独立。不过谢天谢地他渐渐的就不再问我们了,说保持独立也挺好。他后来做了一项投资帮苹果赚了不少钱。

乔布斯:我认为事情不会是那样的,因为我会亲历亲为。我做的这些事,是一种很奇妙的商业也是很神奇的生活奋斗。到我50岁的时候,我之前所做的所有都会被淘汰。Apple2代电脑刚刚被淘汰。Apple1代好几年前就过时了。Mac系统未来几年也游走在淘汰的危机边缘。

美国建国200年这一领域始终无人建立规则。这个领域也不是那种画一幅画就能被欣赏几个世纪或者建个教堂就能被列为世界奇迹的。这个领域就是踏踏实实的工作,10年后被淘汰,10到20年后彻底不可用。你不可能用回Apple1代电脑,软件都不支持了。未来10年也是如此,Apple2代电脑也不能用了,你甚至不愿意拆掉他了解他的技术。因为太落后了。

有点像沉积岩。你要造一座山,你可以贡献自己小小的一层让山再高一点。但是没有人能够脱离表面。除非他们有透视眼才能看到你贡献。他们会站在山峰上,也许会吸引几个地质学家。但这可不是文艺复兴。完全不一样。

Lisa Jardine (伦敦大学文艺复兴研究教授):如果我们关注一下社区的创造力和发展的前沿与他们周围文化的繁荣之间紧密的联系,我们发现伽利略和达明赫斯特是同一类人,美弟奇和乔布斯也是同一类人,并且几个世纪以来人类并没有变,雄心勃勃,思想敏锐,觉察市场,汇聚人才,用点滴科技发展推进企业前行,以及对消费产品的热爱,对人们乐于买卖的产品的感知。这一切造就了伟大的创业者。无论他们出生在1450年还是1970年,这都不重要。本质上,他们就是同一类人。

乔布斯:所以,我要说的是,当你长大以后,你会被告知世界就是那样的,你的人生就是要在这个世界里生活,不要试图去击破墙壁,要试着去拥有一个美好的家庭生活,要快乐,还要存点钱。但那是一个非常受限的人生。你的人生会在发现了这个简单的事实之后变得无比宽广,即:你所谓的生活,是由那些根本没有你聪明的人构建起来的。你可以改变它,你可以影响它。你可以创造你自己的东西,让别人去使用它。当你意识到你可以戳碰(poke)人生之后,一旦你往里推进,有些东西就会从另一头蹦出来。你可以改变,塑造它。最重要的可能就是,摆脱那种“生活就在那儿,你只是生活在其中”的错误观念,而应该去拥抱它,改变它,提升它,留下你的印记。我认为这非常重要,无论你是以何种方式获知生活的真谛,一旦你明白了,你就会想要去改变生活并让它更好,因为生活竟是那样一团糟。一旦你学会了,你就永远不会再像以前那样了。


英文版

Life Lessons From Steve Jobs.

文字来源:https://glose.com/book/inspiration-from-steve-jobs/life-lessons-from-steve-jobs/8e27c#1134

Excerpts from a Santa Clara Valley Historical Association/Silicon Valley Historical Association interview and the documentary Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance

NeXT Computer, Redwood City, CA

1994

Steve Jobs (founder of Apple Computer): There’s no risk. That’s why you need to do it young. That’s why when we started Apple, we said we have absolutely nothing to lose. I was 20 years old at the time, Woz was 24 or 25. We have nothing to lose. We have no families, no children, no houses. Woz had an old car. I had a Volkswagen van. All we were going to lose is our cars and the shirts off our back. We had nothing to lose, and we had everything to gain. We figured even if we crash and burn and lose everything, the experience will have been worth 10 times the cost. So what did we have to lose? There was no risk.

Apple was a very classic Silicon Valley startup in the sense that Steve Wozniak and my partner both worked for Hewlett Packard. In fact, Woz was still working there when we started Apple. Hewlett Packard was the genesis of not just the concept of starting your own company – and, of course, it was the primary role model of the Valley – but it was also the ethics or the ethical basis of how you wanted to build your company, a company that was based on values, not just based on making money.

HP had the HP way, and they had a list of their values. The first one was we need to make a profit or else we can’t keep this company going. But after that, they got into how they wanted to treat individuals and conduct their corporate life, and it’s very idealistic in my opinion. We were very much influenced by that.

The second thing that made us very typical in a way was that we were building a product that we ourselves were the customer for. We were building something we wanted ourselves, just like Hewlett and Packard started building test equipment for engineers. Well, they were engineers, so they in essence could do the marketing. They could figure out what an engineer might want in a product as well as design it. We wanted a computer, and we knew exactly what we wanted in a computer, so we could do the marketing as well as the engineering of that product. This changed later as we started selling to people that were different than us, but certainly in the first several years of Apple, we were selling to people that were just like us. A lot of Silicon Valley companies have started that way.

Silicon Valley, if you had to say what was the seminal bud, it was Stanford University, Fred Terman encouraging Hewlett Packard, the Varian brothers to not go back east, but to stay here. That was the germ.

The second big growth phase, and the real modern day shot in the arm, was when William Shockley, the racist, returned home to his hometown of Palo Alto to start a semiconductor company. He was one of the three co-discoverers of the transistor at Bell Labs. He returned home to Palo Alto, and he started Shockley Semiconductor, and he brought with him about half a dozen of the brightest young people in the country on this. In a way, it was very lucky that he turned out to be a terrible manager and businessman. Several of these people defected, headed by Bob Noyce, who raised money from a big company out east called Fairchild Camera and Instrument, to start Fairchild Semiconductor. And the rest was history. Fairchild was the second seminal company in the Valley after Hewlett Packard and really was the launching pad for every semiconductor company and the whole semiconductor industry, which built the Valley.

So it’s an incredible place. When you look back at the end of this century, I’m sure that people will feel that of the 10 greatest inventions and discoveries of the century, five of them happened within 10 miles of here or 20 miles of here. Genetic engineering, the integrated circuit, the microprocessor, the personal computer, it’s just amazing what this Valley has done.

I think that’s a very healthy way to look at it. Some people say, “Well, you could have gone to college and been a lawyer.” Well, you’re right, but you can go to college and be a lawyer when you’re 25. There’s nothing that stops you from doing that. The only thing you really have in your life is time. If you invest that time in yourself to have great experiences that are going to enrich you, then you can’t possibly lose. So I always advise people don’t wait. Do something when you’re young when you have nothing to lose and keep that in mind. I think that’s the best way. Not that people can’t start companies when they’re 50. I’ve seen that. Very successful companies. But it’s a lot easier when you’re young and have nothing to lose and don’t have the responsibilities to other people that you will acquire later on in your life.

Nolan Bushnell (founder of Atari): So over the years, we developed some very, very sophisticated ways of tracking human factors before we knew the name human factors. We called it gameplay interface. But in fact, it was human factors pushed to an extreme. I think that it’s not by accident that Steve Jobs worked at Atari because he understood some of the human factors that was part of it, that ultimately turned into the Macintosh, which has been the human factors winner. Even though an awful lot of it was developed at PARC, Steve knew it when he saw it.

Jobs: You know, I’ve actually always found something to be very true, which is most people don’t get those experiences because they never ask. I’ve never found anybody that didn’t want to help me if I asked them for help. I always call them up. I called up – this will date me – but I called up Bill Hewlett when I was 8 years old, and he lived in Palo Alto. His number was still in the phonebook. He answered the phone himself, “Yes?” “Hi, I’m Steve Jobs. I’m 12 years old. I’m a student at a high school, and I want to build a frequency counter. I was wondering if you had any spare parts I could have.” And he laughed. He gave me the spare parts to give me a frequency counter, and he gave me a job that summer at Hewlett Packard working on the assembly line putting nuts and bolts together on frequency counters. He got me a job at the place that built them. I was in heaven.

I’ve never found anyone who’s said no or hung up the phone when I called. I just asked. When people ask me, I try to be as responsive, to pay that debt of gratitude back. Most people never pick up the phone and call. Most people never ask, and that’s what separates sometimes the people who do things from the people who just dream about them. You’ve got to act, and you’ve got to be willing to fail. You’ve got to be willing to crash and burn with people on the phone, with starting a company, whatever. If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.

One of the things that Woz and I did was we built blue boxes. These are obsolete now, but they were devices you could build. When you make a long distance phone call and in the background, you hear doo doo doo, those are the telephone computers actually signalling each other, actually sending information to each other to set up your call. The signaling they use is a lot like touchtone phones, only it’s different frequencies. Well, you can make a box that emits those frequencies, that can make those tones. There used to be a way to fool the entire telephone system into thinking that you were a telephone computer and to open up itself and let you call anywhere in the world for free. As a matter of fact, you could call from a payphone, go to White Plains, New York, take a satellite to Europe, take a cable to Turkey, come back to Los Angeles, you go around the world three or four times and call the payphone next door, shout in the phone, and it would be about 30 seconds and come out the other end of the phone. These were illegal, I have to add, but in spite of that, we were so fascinated by them that Woz and I actually figured out how to build one. We built the best one in the world. It was the first digital blue box in the world. We would give them to our friends and use them ourselves. You rapidly run out of people you want to call.

But it was the magic of the fact that two teenagers could build this box for $100 worth of parts and control hundreds of billions of dollars of infrastructure in the entire telephone network in the whole world from Los Altos in Cupertino, California. That was magical. Experiences like that taught us the power of ideas, the power of understanding that if you could build this box, you could control hundreds of millions of dollars of telephone infrastructure around the world. That’s a powerful thing.

If we hadn’t have made blue boxes, there would have been no Apple because we wouldn’t have had not only the confidence that we could build something and make it work – because it took us six months of discovery to figure out how to build this. It was a tremendous process in itself – but we also had the sense of magic that we could influence the world, control in the case of blue boxes, but something much more powerful than control, influencing, in the case of Apple. They are very closely related. I really do to this day feel like if we hadn’t have had those blue box experiences, there never would have been an Apple Computer.

Now if you want to know what’s going to happen in five years, you don’t look in the mainstream, you look in the fringe, and the fringe back in 1975 was the Homebrew Computer Club. It was a bunch of people that were in this area that were into building their own computers because they couldn’t afford to buy them. Computers were $100,000, $50,000. Who could afford that?

Steve “Woz” Wozniak (founder of Apple Computer): Every two weeks, we had a meeting at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center on Wednesday nights, and boy, that was the most important day of my life. The rest of the two weeks was almost all my spare time was spent planning and writing some software to show off and planning for this event, the Homebrew Computer Club. Go down there, and as shy as I was – I’d never raise my hand and say anything – there was a period where we could show off what we had. I’d set up my computer with me Sears color TV, and people would come up and ask questions and I could answer them.

Jobs: Everybody that was interested in building computers was at that meeting. There were a few hundred people at that meeting. It got up to that big. Initially it was maybe 50. But it grew to 200-300 people eventually. We started going when it was literally 30 or 40 people. Woz and I always had the coolest stuff there. We built a reputation for having the neatest stuff.

Bushnell: I remember Steve Jobs asking me whether I wanted to help him fund Apple Computer, offering me a third for $50,000, and I turned him down. So that’s one that got away. I can remember Steve and Steve, Steve Wozniak, working on a product breakout and doing a design that was so clever, because in those days it was heavily hardware, that they essentially broke the bank. I think we felt that 70 chips was about a normal thing and if you could get it down to 60, you were really doing good. I think they got it down to 38. They only problem was it used so many feedback loops you couldn’t really test it, so we had to escalate it back up again. But they got their bonus, and everybody was happy.

Jobs: It’s interesting. You look at something and you say, “Wow, that’s neat.” But if you look before it by several years, you’ll find the precursors to it. All the things that you learned along the way that added up to take a bigger step. I met Woz when I was maybe 12 years old, 13 years old. Woz was the first person I met who knew more electronics that I did so we became fast friends.

Woz: A couple of guys with no money didn’t really have the capital to build the sort of computer that was going to sell zillions into all the homes, a thousand a month. We didn’t have the money either. But Steve again went out and started looking for people who would put money into something that could go.

Mike Markkula (founder of Apple Computer): Steve Jobs and Woz decided they might be able to build a business out of what they had. They didn’t’ know anyone to call except Nolan Bushnell’s friend on Valentine. So Steve called Don, and Don went over to the garage in Los Altos and came out shaking his head. Called me up and said there are these two fellas, and boy do they really need some help.

Jobs: We went and talked to the venture capitalists, and none of them would give us any money. One of them referred to be as a renegade from the human race because I had longer hair then. None of them would give us any money. Thank God because then they would have ended up owning most of our company, so I think that Apple and a few other companies were good examples for venture capitalists that great ideas are not the exclusive products of people with great hair.

We had the Apple I, which we sold about 200 of. The key thing about that product was we learned. We had it 50% right, but we cut our teeth, we figured out how to make the next big jump, we learned a lot from the market about what they wanted, and that really was what made the Apple II such a giant success. That was our first real success, and we launched that in 1977 at the West Coast Computer Faire in April. That went on to sell, I don’t know, 10 million units over its lifetime. It was the first really successful personal computer by a mile.

It wasn’t until later on – actually after we launched the Apple II in April, probably in the fall of that year, I realized we needed to do some advertising. So I was looking in technical journals and a company’s advertising caught my eye, which was Intel’s. So I called up Intel and asked them who did their advertising. They said, “Regis McKenna.” I said, “What is a Regis McKenna?” They said, “It’s a person.” So I went over to Regis’. The first time I went in there, he almost kicked us out, but he eventually took us on as a client. He was involved very early on. Fred Hoar came on maybe two years later.

Regis McKenna (CEO of Regis McKenna, Inc. and early Apple PR): The personal computer industry was really quite different from Intel in that the personal computer industry really began as a countercultural movement. The first people were the long hair software developers or hobbyists in the computer industry, and they really distinguished themselves from being part of the mainframe world that was dominating the computer industry. In the mainframe world, the Big Brother world, the centralized computing world, the personal computer represented the individual, the freedom of the individual, so the design and the development of Apple was lightweight personal computing. It came out of this counter distinction to the mainframe, which was impersonal. The Apple colorful logo was distinguished between sort of the stark black and white IBM logo, so everything that was in the computing world prior to the personal computing industry was big and massive centralized control of an organization, control of the individual. The personal computer industry was this kind of counter cultural movement that came out of the ‘60s.

Fred Hoar (President of Miller/Shandwick Technologies and early Apple marketing): Youngsters, many of them with two years experience, but that’s better than somebody with two years experience 10 times. You didn’t have any of those impediments to growth that happen with large bureaucratic organizations. It was the startup. It was the primordial stereotypical startup in every respect, and more importantly, it was informed with true evangelism, a true sense of mission, in other words, changing the world. There was a true sense of changing the world. So the atmosphere was one of youth. It was one of passion. It was one of creativity. It was one of very little structure. But a process that everybody understood. They might not codify that process, but you knew it was there. That process was to get something done and make a difference. Steve kept using the phrase, “Give something back.” There was that really sense of not being part of company, but being part of a cause or a crusade, whatever you like to call it.

Scott McNealy (founder of Sun Microsystems): I think Steve Jobs did something for us all. He broke the age ceiling, the glass age ceiling if you will, on kids going off and doing things that they shouldn’t be doing. People didn’t look at us as so young when we were 27 because he at a very young age created a very successful company.

Secondly, you had Stanford and Berkeley and all of the other technology companies here. The geography is such that everybody is forced down to the lowlands by the bay. It’s a great infrastructure. We were able to start the company in nanoseconds literally. Get it up and running. Nobody batted an eye that we were barely shaving.

Larry Ellison (founder of Oracle Corporation): I think Steve Jobs is perhaps the most gifted person in our business in terms of vision and leadership. He really is the father of the personal computer. He really did popularize graphical user interfaces. He really has a passion for great technology.

Jobs: There is an entrepreneurial risk culture in the Valley that is as key a reason to why Silicon Valley exists as any other reason. The primary reasons are the entrepreneurial risk culture, of which role models are a very big part. Second are the universities, Stanford and Berkeley. There wouldn’t be a Silicon Valley if there weren’t Stanford and Berkeley constantly bringing in human capital which decides to stay here because it’s so nice. And third, certainly for the number of companies that start is the financial infrastructure as well. Fourth is the beehive effect. You’ve got a lot of extraordinarily talented people. The beehive effect says that it’s a lot more efficient to have that talent and all those companies together.

Let me give you an example. When you want to start a company, you need to hire some experienced people. You can’t just hire people out of school most of the time. So you have to hire some experienced talent. You’re going to ask somebody to leave a job, maybe they have a family, and come to your place to work. Well, if your company is in Montana, and they move their family and your company fails, there’s not another company in Montana that they can go to work for most likely, so they’ll have to go move again. As where if all you need to do is convince them to turn left instead of right to go to work in the morning, but they keep their same house, their kids don’t have to change school, etc., and if your company fails, well, they just go get a job in a week at some other company. You’re going to have a much higher probability of recruiting. So that’s the beehive effect.

Those four things together are why I think Silicon Valley today is what it is. The entrepreneurial risk culture has a lot to do with role models, starting off with Hewlett Packard, and models of engineers that started companies, models of marketing people that started companies, and even some spectacular failures. Some of the failures are as widely discussed as the successes. Even the failures, people are admired for trying. I think they pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and go get a job. Maybe they don’t own the company, maybe they’re not a founder of the next company, but they’ve got a really good job. There’s no real chance that they’ll end up destitute.

Kevin Surace (founder of Serious Energy): Like Steve Jobs at Apple, we don’t anticipate that customers are going to tell us the product they want. They’re going to tell us the slew of problems that they have, and then we can come up with the products that they want. Obviously, from a disruption innovation standpoint, Steve Jobs is the epitome of it. Steve is the epitome of it because he got fired for being too innovative, and they brought him back, and he was still too innovative, and it just turned out he was right. He was right all along. They should have listened to him. But it was so innovative that it was disruptive actually to the organization. Finally, he came back with a nearly bankrupt company. Now it didn’t matter how disruptive you were to the organization. He might not be the gentlest, kindest manager, but it just doesn’t matter. He’s just right 75-80% of the time, and when he’s right, he’s right big. The iPad is an amazing – 22 million sold or whatever it is already. So you have to think that’s a once in a lifetime find of a person that is so disruptive that got to be back in a place where they let him be that disruptive regardless of what was going on in the organization.

John Warnock (founder of Adobe Systems): Steve has been a friend since May of 1983. He called one day and said, “Gee, I understand you guys have done something neat. I’d like to come by and see it.” So we showed him the early stuff in postscript. He immediately loved the technology, and was a great supporter. He sort of saw the vision for the technology and drove it through Apple even though almost everyone at Apple disagreed with him. He drove it through and got the laserwriter to be produced in 1985. He made calls that everybody said, “No, Steve, you can never sell a printer for more than the computer. Steve, you can’t do this. Steve, you can’t do that.” And he did it anyway. He was right. He actually was proven to be correct.

We were friends with Steve through his founding of NeXT Computers. We supported NeXT with display postscript. Steve has called many times when he was thinking about helping out Apple, and Apple called us and asked, “Well, gee, should we let Steve back?” You know, the whole thing. Both Chuck and I have been friends with Steve since the beginning. Steve’s coming back has been the best thing that could have happened to Apple. He has a sense of design taste and a sense of perfection and a sense of the customer like no one I’ve ever seen.

Charles Geschke (founder of Adobe Systems): The fact that Steve is back, they’re getting great machines, they’re very delighted about that. Steve has always had excellent taste in technology in terms of thinking of what people will buy, and frankly I think in terms of companies because he tried to buy us right after he saw the technology. He said, “Why don’t you just become part of Apple?” We said, “Thank you very much, but we’d like to stay independent.” To his credit, he eventually stopped asking and said it was fine. He made an investment, which made Apple a lot of money.

Jobs: I don’t think it will be like that because I’ll take myself. All the work that I have done – this is a very strange business and a very strange endeavor of life. All the work that I have done in my life will be obsolete by the time I’m 50. Apple II is obsolete now. Apple Is were obsolete many years ago. The Macintosh is on the verge of becoming obsolete in the next few years.

This is a field where one does not write a principia which holds up for 200 years. This is not a field where one paints a painting that will be looked at for centuries or builds a church that will be admired and looked at in astonishment for centuries. No. This is a field where one does one’s work, and in 10 years, it’s obsolete and really will not be useable within 10 or 20 years. You can’t go back and use an Apple I because there’s no software for it. In another 10 years or so, you won’t be able to use an Apple II. You won’t even be able to fire it up to see what it was like.

So it’s sort of like sediment of rocks. 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, unless they have x-ray vision, will see your sediment. They’ll stand on it. It’ll be appreciated by that rare geologist, but no. It’s not like the Renaissance at all. It’s very different.

Lisa Jardine (Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London): As soon as we look at the tight relationship between an individual’s being at the pulse point of inventiveness and progress in his community and the flowering of art and culture and so on around them, we realize that Galileo could be Damien Hirst, that Cosimo de’ Medici could be Steve Jobs, that mankind has stayed pretty consistent over the ages, that ambition, a sharp mind, an eye for where the market is, a stronghold on who the people are that can make the key bits of technological equipment that you need to move the enterprise forward, plus a love of the consumer goods and a sense of taste in your community, what people like to buy and sell, all of that together makes a major entrepreneurial figure. It doesn’t matter whether they were born in 1450 or in 1970. They’re fundamentally the same person.

Jobs: So, the thing I would say is when you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. But that’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. You can change it. You can influence it. You can build your own things that other people can use. The minute that you understand that you can poke life, and if you push in, something will pop out the other side, you can change, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing, is to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there, and you’re just going to live in it versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it. I think that’s very important, and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better because it’s kind of messed up in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.

2 Comments

  1. 十万个感谢!

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