12 most memorable Steve Jobs moments

12 most memorable Steve Jobs moments
Jobs introduces the original MacBook Air

We're going to miss Steve Jobs as Apple's CEO - not just because of his talent, but because of his talent for making tech interesting.

Just when things start to get dull, Jobs pops up with a new device, a new philosophy or a new feud - and the tech industry will be all the poorer without him. These are some of our favourite Jobs moments from the last 14 years.

1. "Tell me what's wrong with this place"

After more than a decade away from the firm he founded, Jobs returned to Apple in 1997. It was the beginning of one of the most incredible chapters the technology industry's ever seen. On his first day back, Businessweek reports, he asked executives to tell him what was wrong with the stricken Apple. "After some mumbled replies, he jumped in: 'It's the products!'"

2. "Thoughts on music"

Jobs has never been afraid to pick a fight, and in early 2007 he gave the music business both barrels, damning DRM copy protection and urging the labels to wise up. "Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats," he wrote.

3. "A glass of ice water to somebody in Hell"

The good Mr Jobs is rarely short of a memorable put-down, and his comments on Windows in 2007 were no exception: giving a Windows user iTunes was like giving a glass of ice water to somebody in Hell.

4. "The Post-PC era"

Speaking at the D8 conference in 2010, Jobs outlined his vision for the future: iPads and iPhones are cars, and PCs are trucks. "We're moving into the post-PC era, and this transformation's going to make some people uneasy."

5. "They have restaurants and swimming pools... for a factory, it's pretty nice"

Jobs doesn't always get it right, and his comments about subcontractor Foxconn - whose employees appeared to be committing suicide in alarming numbers - caused something of a storm.

6. "The whole ecosystem will go down the shitter"

Steve Jobs kills the Mac clones, first by attempting to change the licensing terms and then by shuttering the programme altogether.

7. "Don't be evil is a load of crap"

What do you think of Google's "don't be evil" motto, Steve? Speaking to Apple employees at a company event in early 2010, Jobs accused Google of trying to kill the iPhone - "we won't let them" - and railed against Flash. That's something Jobs would come back to just days later.

8. "Thoughts on Flash"

Did someone mention picking fights? Steve Jobs taking on Flash was jaw-dropping: "Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticising Apple for leaving the past behind," he wrote in 2010. Flash remains a no-no on iOS.

9. "We're not perfect"

The iPhone 4 "antennagate" furore was a rare example of Jobs fumbling Apple's PR, with Jobs managing to apologise for the issue while implying that everybody in the world was an idiot.

10. "The excitement of the internet. The simplicity of Macintosh."

Look! Steve's in a suit! Tear your eyes away from that, though, and look at the first iMac: a splash of colour in a world of beige, and one of the most influential designs of all time. They were pretty good computers, too.

11. "We love music"

"No-one has really found the recipe for digital music," Steve said in 2001 as he introduced the iPod. "This is huge". He wasn't kidding.

12. "No one wants to die"

Jobs' 2005 Stanford commencement speech was typically Jobsian: smart, funny and serious. "Have the courage to follow your heart and your intuition," Jobs said, explaining how his cancer diagnosis had affected his worldview. "They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."


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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now and her next book, about pop music, is out in 2025. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind.