I’ll admit I’ve never been a huge Steven Heller fan, mostly because I didn’t understand a lot of what he said. But Kerry McLaney in my office turned me on to this interview and I agree with her that it’s brilliant. By the way, if you go to the AIGA site with the original interview, you can click on the image of Jobs for a great flash animation.
I always wanted to ask Steven Jobs a key question. But since he’s so difficult to pin down, it had to wait until after his speech at the annual World Wide Developers Conference, just a few weeks before the highly anticipated launch of the revolutionary iPhone. Here’s how it went.
Heller: Mr. Jobs, it’s not easy to get you to sit for an interview, so I’ll make this short. Why do you always wear blue jeans and a black turtleneck?
Jobs: That’s what you got me here for? Why don’t we talk about my head-to-toe attack on Bill Gates with our Safari web browser available for Windows-based PCs or my revolutionary iPhone?
Heller: Sure, all that’s very interesting, but we don’t have much time. So, just answer this: Why always with the blue jeans and a black turtleneck? I know you can afford better clothes.
Jobs: You gotta be kidding! I’m sitting down with you because beginning today you can download this new software from Apple’s web site, and it’ll have twice the performance of Microsoft’s browser. I’m going to introduce this at today’s World Wide Developers Conference, and frankly, you’ve got the scoop.
Heller: Yeah, that’s a scoop, but so is this, if you’ll just answer the question: I’ve always wanted to know whether you’re saying “fuck you” to your audience or do your clothes have other symbolic significance?
Jobs: Look, I have no intention of talking fashion with you. I am encouraging Apple software developers to use modern Internet software standards to make applications compatible with Apple’s iPhone, which will go on sale June 29. I’m sure the announcement is likely to touch off a frenzy of activity and…
Heller: …And I can read all about it in the New York Times, but more to the point is, how often do you change your clothes. I mean, do you have an endless supply of baggy blue jeans and black turtlenecks, or do you rotate so they don’t get too raunchy?
Jobs: Are you some kind of moron?! I’m giving you the lowdown on how Apple will be able to increase its market share against the dominant software firm, because there are half a billion downloads of Apple’s iTunes software, mostly by Windows users, and you persist in this idiotic line of questioning?
Heller: You certainly are a tough interview, Steven—if may I call you Steven. So, tell me, do you get the jeans pre-washed or do you work them in over time during the course of rotating?
Jobs: Jeez. Rotate on this!!!
Jobs waves an iPod Shuffle with his forefinger. The interview ends abruptly.