June 1, 2012

Jobs Remembered At All Things D

Michael Harper for

Much has been made of Steve Jobs and his legacy at Apple in the months since his passing last October, and rightfully so. No matter which side of the Mac / PC or Apple / Google fence you lean on, one cannot deny the man his due. His revolutionary innovation–in combination with his tireless attention to detail–have been behind several world-changing devices and ideas. After all, without the Apple I and Apple II–as well as the iPhone and iPad–we wouldn´t have many of the fine technological advances we often take for granted every day. Now, as this year´s All Things D conference comes to a close, Jobs is remembered once more, both in statements from colleagues and in a video collection put together by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at All Things D.

Jobs was famous for his public appearances. During his product announcements and other bits of Apple-related work, Jobs took great care to craft his speeches, placing just as much emphasis on what he wasn´t saying as what he was saying. During his 6 appearances at the All Things D conference throughout the years, however, Jobs was able to show the world a different, more intimate and unscripted side of himself not often seen on San Francisco stages. As such, the Wall Street Journal have released a cache of videos–all 6 of Jobs´ appearances–to the iTunes store. Each of his appearances are available for free and in high-definition quality. One such appearance is the famous moment where he and Bill Gates–often though to be bitter rivals–took the stage together to discuss the state and future of computing.

During this year´s All Things D conference, however, Mossberg took some time to ask some of Jobs´ co-workers and colleagues about the impact he had on them as individuals and the industry as a whole.

Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle compared Jobs to some great and historic thinkers in his first public statements about the late Apple CEO.

Likening him to Albert Einstein, Henry Ford and Pablo Picasso, Ellison said, “Steve would translate good ideas into brilliant finished products.”

“He really was a creative artist, engineer, entrepreneur unlike anyone.”

“Obsessive-compulsive personalities are not all that rare among successful people,” he said. “Steve was brutal because he wanted the product to be great.”

Joining Mossberg and Ellison on stage was Ed Catmull, President of Pixar Animation Studios. Steve Jobs, of course, helped to found Pixar studios after he was famously asked to step down from his leadership position at Apple in 1985. Catmull said Pixar´s success was directly inspired by Jobs´ ability to change and learn from failures.

"He went through some very distinct phases. In the first phase, people misunderstood him," Catmull said. "But he was learning from those mistakes. The way he negotiated didn't work very well. But he was so incredibly smart that he changed his behavior."

Catmull also agreed with Tim Cook´s statements on stage the night before about Jobs´ ability to quickly change his mind in the middle of negotiations.

“It was amazing to see him flip, but he wanted you to argue back,” said Catmull.

"Steve was not intellectually insecure," Ellison added. "When he decided someone had a better idea, he moved on immediately. He didn't care. All he cared about was building the best product."

The Steve Jobs videos from All Things D are available now for free at the iTunes store and should be downloaded immediately.