This transcript was generated automatically. Its accuracy may vary.
[00:00:00] Intro: This podcast is brought to you by play.ht. All content is generated by artificial intelligence. Listener discretion is advised.
[00:00:18] Joe Rogan (via AI): Hello, freak bitches. Welcome to another episode of the Bro Jo Experience. And on this episode, I welcome my friend who's difficult to describe, um, fascinated by him, and I hope you'll be too.
And he is weird and brilliant and sometimes totally insufferable, but my guest today has made some of the great technological products of our age, and he's always pushing the envelope in in. Like, for example, with his next computer, he developed a new programming language and operating system, and then he became even more famous for making three applications for that computer, uh, word processor, a spreadsheet, and an image editor that just showed me that this dude was brilliant, had amazing taste, and I would just hope that I could be even like one 10th of the genius that my friend today is, and I can't even say his name.
So, So super psyched about having him in the house today, first time or, Yeah, we've had you on before, but not for a long time. You're like Patrick Sways and, um, Demi Moore and Ghost. You're a memory from the past. So without further ado, my friend who is difficult to describe and wonderful, and I'm so gratefully came on the.
[00:01:38] Steve Jobs (via AI): How's it going? Good to see you, buddy. It's been a long time since I've been on the show. I've missed this. It's always fun.
[00:01:45] Joe Rogan (via AI): How's it going? Come on. Tell me about Jobs.
It's always good to see you, buddy. I'm so happy you came on, man.
[00:01:55] Steve Jobs (via AI): Yeah, it's great to be on the show. Your audiences just so different from your normal Apple users, and that's a good thing.
[00:02:03] Joe Rogan (via AI): Well, you know, I was an Apple user way before I did this show. I've been a fan of yours and Macintosh since the 1980s.
[00:02:11] Steve Jobs (via AI): Well, you know, we just kind of figured that out. Even though Apple was big, it's still like half a percent of the total users, people who listen to your show are a different group. They're weird . Well,
[00:02:23] Joe Rogan (via AI): that's good. So you must be a fan of the show then, right?
[00:02:27] Steve Jobs (via AI): I am, I am a fan. I mean, it's nice to sit back in the car and listen to you ran
I've always liked you.
[00:02:34] Joe Rogan (via AI): Well, uh, appreciate that. And we have some weird tie, which hooks into the fact that I was a big fan of Gizmodo and I still go there all the time. But then there was some controversy or something.
[00:02:44] Steve Jobs (via AI): Well, you know, we always thought it was very funny. We were as surprised to see that stuff as you guys were to see it on Gizmodo. It's kind of a game. I
[00:02:53] Joe Rogan (via AI): got you, man. That's cool. So let's talk about some shit. All right. All right. So you studied at Reed College. Tell me about your time there. What did you learn? And you dabbled in Eastern mysticism there, right? Do you still go back and look at Hinduism and Buddhist texts and things?
[00:03:10] Steve Jobs (via AI): Not texts and things? I actually took a course in that I have a very deep belief that the people in the Indian subcontinent are most responsible for human civilization's current. Whether it's math or spirituality or the art of storytelling, Western civilization is based on the art of storytelling.
There's a great Indian epic that's 10 times as long as the ID and the Odyssey combined. Those things all came from the subcontinent, and they're simply the foundation of what's made our society what it is. I view that stuff as much more important than, you know, philosophy as it is classically understood.
There were two things that were really interesting about what was accomplished and what happened on the Indian subcontinent. One of them is the spiritual basis for life and the whole acceptance of the spiritual basis for life. Now, that may seem simple and obvious to some, but most people believe in God that God wrote a book called The Bible or Quran or something, and that that's the end of the story.
But my take on it is, okay, what does that mean? What I learned at Reed College is that it's not about believing in God or not, or even what the right answer is. It's about asking the right questions because most of our reality in our society is rooted in science, which we believe things because they're true.
If something is true, then it's not a belief. So what they can't handle is the idea that anything spiritual is true.
At Reed, I didn't know what the right answers were, but I knew how to ask good questions. I knew how to push back on things that didn't seem true to. And I think that's perhaps one of the key elements in being very innovative and creative.
[00:04:45] Joe Rogan (via AI): Do you still believe some of the things that you believe then? Are you semi-religious or something? Are you a Buddhist?
[00:04:53] Steve Jobs (via AI): I get asked that a lot. I think it's impossible to have somebody show you who they are and what they believe in one interview or even over a period of time. I think the best way I can answer that is by telling you, I've told the story before, but it's well, I was on a plane flying home with Liz and we were talking about reincarnation and ESP and whether there is anything more to this.
And as I was thinking about it lying in my seat, I thought about our children because I always knew, like if we had a daughter, for example, I knew that she would really turn out to be, I don't know, sort of weird or very ambitious. That's true of my nephews, but I always thought that she would really be.
When she was born before we even saw her, I was just so happy that she was gonna be born. And so I'm thinking about all this stuff and I said to myself, There must be some purpose or meaning to life, otherwise why? Go on? And suddenly it hit me. It's not a God in the sense that generally people think of it, but there is some kind of deeper meaning to life.
And it can't just be something that somebody made up because if it was, it wouldn't be compell. It would seem contrived and everyone would see through it. So I think that the meaning and the purposes by the cosmos, the nature of the cosmos, which is pretty bold thinking. I mean, I don't know how else to put it, but it's not religious in the way people usually talk about.
Taking LSD was a profound experience for me. LSD shows you that there's another side to the coin and you can't remember it when it wears off, but you. It washes over you and tells you that everything is connected. You're not here by accident. You are put here for a purpose, and if you can figure out what that is, then you'll learn more about yourself than anything else could.
It's pretty intense. I mean, it's not a light thing. It doesn't make you feel bad, It just reveals you for who and what you are. If you take L S D A second time, the effect is not as strong no matter how much more you. Your brain is doing things on the background conception that it knows this stuff already.
So I stopped taking them because they didn't give me anything more than that. I started to realize that there was a higher power that knew that I was connected to something and I wanted to learn more, although I wouldn't recommend it for everybody because I think it can be quite powerful.
[00:07:08] Joe Rogan (via AI): What did it change in your mind? What did you learn from?
[00:07:11] Steve Jobs (via AI): It reinforced my sense of what was important. Just love, feel, love for each other. Awe and respect for life, love and connection with people that ultimately some infinite tally small thing that I am is connected to everything that's happened before and it's part of everything happening now and always in the future.
There is no time window at deliverance for me. It was this incredibly profound experience. I mean, I didn't read any of those books before taking lsd, but I learned a lot more than just what they said. I was able to look at things. I was able to look at a computer and see how it was made. Look at it in its entirety.
[00:07:46] Joe Rogan (via AI): Was the Newton a product of that?
[00:07:49] Steve Jobs (via AI): My sense of that is that I was really impressed by this. I mean, back then it was a struggle. We were working like crazy and dealing with a defeat after defeat, after defeat, after defeat. But I, I could tell this was gonna be, I. There were times I thought, is it possible we're wrong because things just kept not working.
I remember that in the early days of Apple when we were making the Apple two and doing a really good job of it. All these companies that were giant then are gone now and they're gone because we did something right. It's no fluke that Apple is successful. It was doing something right. It had a vision, however fuzzy of where things are going.
It's not a design for a. It's a design for a process that will result in products, the process of innovation. Google has good products like Gmail and Chrome, but the ability to put these things out fast and iterate them every few weeks is hugely important, particularly for Google. Their search engine is so good and it iterates so fast that it's not matter if, if they're gonna be successful, but how long it will take.
You see what happened to Yahoo? Yahoo got rid of their browser group and they never iterated on that product. That was their innovation process. Apple, Google. There's a pattern here. The companies that are most innovative are primarily user interface companies. I don't think any of them consider themselves primarily hardware companies, even though they create a lot of hardware.
There's a depth to the user interface and an elegance and simplicity. There are companies who get it. You see this across the board, the watch companies that are popping up, they understand this. It doesn't happen by accident. You have to work at it. It's not something you can sit back and let happen. The problem with most companies is that it's not in their long term interest to make their products any better.
It's just in their short term interest to make the current quarter earnings report look good.
[00:09:32] Joe Rogan (via AI): How do you stay on your toes? You've been in the computer industry for 40 years. How do you keep from getting lax?
[00:09:40] Steve Jobs (via AI): Because I recognize that we live in a competitive universe and companies that are not doing a good job constantly get overtaken in terms of things we do.
I think we still have the best product or the best operating. Absolutely. But you've got to keep on top of it and you've gotta be perfecting it. You don't ever wanna let the product stay the same, otherwise people say, Yeah, yeah, we've seen these features before, but this time will be different. It never is.
So there needs to be a drive for perfection. You've gotta keep evolving and keep pushing ahead. This is really hard because what you have isn't broken. It just needs to be made. People don't pay you money to make it better. They pay only if it's a new product. So when you create something truly great in the world, truly revolutionary, you have a responsibility to push to keep making it even better.
It's like when we launched the Macintosh and we had the 1984 commercial on a big launch party. The day after that, I was in the back room with all the engineers getting ready to do what I should be doing, which is making it really. And I remember thinking, Why are we promoting this product? What's the big deal about this product?
This is junk. It doesn't do half the things we promise. We demoed it to too many people and it can't do half the things we said. Apple got lucky when Windows came out a year later because it allowed us to change our story. We went from being a failed company, just trying to get something out to being the younger, cooler alternative to IBM.
That was a great blessing, but if Windows had come out a year before we would've been toast, IBM would've eaten our lunch.
[00:11:18] Joe Rogan (via AI): Do you think you'd have done a better version of Windows or work with it?
[00:11:21] Steve Jobs (via AI): No. That's the problem I've always had with Microsoft. In many ways, they're smart people and they've done good work, but they've never had any taste.
They've never had any aesthetic sense, and I think that's because the people who founded the company in most cases, were fundamentally mathematicians and scientists, and they don't understand how people want to actually experience things. I say that because of their products. I think Windows three was a disaster for them.
It was a catastrophe. There was no thought given to how people wanted to use the product. They just did whatever they thought was right, and that took a very bad. There are people who believe in goodness, who believe in doing the right thing and people who believe in intelligence. But when these two things come together, it's magical, and that's what happened with the original Macintosh.
It was a group of people who believed in goodness and thought, We can do something that is good, that can be made by the smartest people in the world and will be for the benefit of all. That's what Apple has. The Mac has been wonderful for Apple, but it has also been good for the world. There are other companies who are trapped by the lawyers who can't make their products for the benefit of users.
Companies like Adobe make these awesome products like Photoshop and Illustrator, but then they sell them to you and you find out you only get part of the product, and then they make you buy more parts of the product to get it to work. That's like I sell you a quarter of a. And then you find out that to use the other three wheels you have to sign up for years of maintenance on the other three wheels.
That's a crazy way to do business.
[00:12:54] Joe Rogan (via AI): What would you do to fix Adobe?
[00:12:56] Steve Jobs (via AI): Well, I was talking to the guy who heads up the research lab, Dr. Lasseter. He's a very good guy, and we had a great talk, and I think they're on the right track with this whole digital hub thing. I think that was a great idea. That was a smart spin on a whole idea.
But the last time I talked to them, there were 800 people working on that. And that's too many people. For something like. They have to par it down and do what they do best. If they're all sitting around and they can do anything they want to do, you'll have managers who say, Well, let's take this group and let's have them work on our brand management and let's have them work on pricing.
If you want to give them something to do, they're brilliant at inventing new stuff, but that has nothing to do with running a company.
[00:13:36] Joe Rogan (via AI): Do you feel there are any other companies that are similar to Apple?
[00:13:39] Steve Jobs (via AI): I think that our culture is very unique and it's why I think people are excited to come here. And so I don't know if the same sort of thing would be successful anywhere else, but there are pockets of special efforts that you see in other companies where they have a small group that's on a crusade, depends what they're on a crusade about.
You see this at Microsoft. I think that the real trick is not to create a company, it's to create a. Uh, movement of people who want to change the world. A company is just a company. You can work there, you can get your check from them, but that's all it is. What's great about this is that we have a whole community of people who wanna change the world and make it better.
A lot of times in this, these big companies, they just wanna sell stuff. I mean, Apple sells stuff, so what am I saying? But at its core, it's about making great products that change the world.
[00:14:28] Joe Rogan (via AI): I think that's why young people love Apple, because it means something to.
[00:14:34] Steve Jobs (via AI): Yeah,
[00:14:34] Joe Rogan (via AI): they feel like they're getting in on something.
Your products have a feeling of personality. They seem to have a soul in a way, and some people almost get religious about this stuff because it's so powerful and it means so much. Is that good?
[00:14:48] Steve Jobs (via AI): If a company gets to the point where it's successfully doing a few things, you don't have to try and do everything.
We're in the process now of trying to cut the things we're doing so that we can concentrate on the few that are really high on our priority. Because if you try to do too many things, none of them get done well. You've gotta focus on a few and make sure those are done well.
[00:15:07] Joe Rogan (via AI): Do you feel like you are glorifying technology too much, that you have a responsibility to promote the idea of being more in nature than having to go ahead and put implants in your face or whatever because there's some crazy fucker out there who's gonna do.
[00:15:24] Steve Jobs (via AI): I think that we're right on the edge. Technology is a double edge sword. I'm not saying it's bad, it's just that it's double edged. Take the Human Genome project for instance, that was a huge double edge sword. The medical payoff is gonna be huge, but it's also gonna be used by maybe some crazy paramilitary group that wants to create the super soldier of the future.
I think we're on the good side of the line on that, not the bad side of the. We have done a lot of things that people didn't think were good, and one of the things we've done is make it possible for most people in the industrialized world to own a computer. In 1985, it was hardly anyone. That makes us part of the problem, but it also makes us part of the solution because we can do a lot to help educate people about what's good.
When I was growing up in the sixties and seventies, there was no way you could learn about computer. Computers were these big, crazy expensive things. And today, kids are growing up in the world where there is a computer in every home, and that's a big change. And it isn't necessarily good or bad, just different.
And what we want to do is help people make the most of whatever future comes. We always ask ourselves, what is the most insanely great thing we could do? If we can't think of that, then we do something less. If we do this, we have to do it right because both the positive and negative aspects of our products get magnified as they get more powerful.
It will be interesting to see what happens when you have computers that are as smart as people, but much more reliable. They won't get tired. They won't get sick. They won't go on vacation and leave work Un. You tell them to do something, they'll just do it, and they will have many more orders of intelligence than people have.
The computer will be a thousand times more important than it is today. We're right on the edge of that, so what do we wanna do about it? Do we want to just ride the wave or do something else?
[00:17:11] Joe Rogan (via AI): It kind of scares me, to be honest.
[00:17:14] Steve Jobs (via AI): It should scare you, but it is also really cool. That's the best way I can describe it.
It's really, really cool.
[00:17:20] Joe Rogan (via AI): That's the good news and the bad news.
[00:17:22] Steve Jobs (via AI): Yeah, that's how most of life is though. If it was just awesome, it wouldn't be balanced by something else. But you know what I think about this new world? I think there are a lot of people who are already outta work or who will soon be out of work.
It's just not the solution for everyone in the world. Things that are centralizing, like the automobile on the telephone are sometimes great, but if things concentrate power in a new way such that there is no longer any checks and balance. Well, that is scary, but you have to be honest about it. Are those good things for the human race in general?
I would say yes, but it is also a very scary thing. Yeah.
[00:17:59] Joe Rogan (via AI): Yeah. I didn't wanna bring it up, but the biggest thing on my mind is the guy who could make this thing into a weapon and how somebody could just manufacture these things and sell them to grade schools and whatever, and they would be out of control in a way that we couldn't deal with.
I've got three daughters that are young and I'm thinking about how to prepare them for this future world you're talking about.
[00:18:21] Steve Jobs (via AI): You need to make sure they know that they should never trust a computer they can't throw out a window. It would be good to teach them how to do.
[00:18:29] Joe Rogan (via AI): I want them to be able to throw out a Mac.
[00:18:33] Steve Jobs (via AI): Oh yeah, no doubt. This is not [inaudible] statement.
[00:18:36] Joe Rogan (via AI): I use a mac, but I can throw it out the window.
[00:18:39] Steve Jobs (via AI): I do too. I throw my computer out the window every few years just to make sure it works.
[00:18:47] Joe Rogan (via AI): And I know if it lands on cement, it'll still be okay. Thank you so much for doing this. I know that what you've told me has been amazing. It's been a personal dream of mine to meet you and to talk to you, and it's meant so much to me.
[00:19:01] Steve Jobs (via AI): You know, Joe, coming here today, I knew that there were two possible outcomes.
Either we talk about things that were new to me or we talk about things that were, things that were things you already knew a lot. Today we talked about things I didn't know a lot about and that was really fun. That worked out well for me.
[00:19:18] Joe Rogan (via AI): Steve Jobs, ladies and gentlemen. Goodnight.