Just Out: Steve Jobs Talks About His ‘Obsolete’ Legacy

A newly available video clip of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) legendary former CEO Steve Jobs has surfaced online. The clip comes courtesy of the Silicon Valley Historical Association and was initially reported on by Jim Dalrymple on his blog The Loop.

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The clip dates from 1994, when Jobs was still running NeXT Computer, the company he founded after being fired from Apple in 1985. In the clip, Jobs seems to be responding to a question about his legacy and how the computer technology industry is different from other endeavors.

Although Jobs is still recognized as one of the most important industry innovators today, the former Apple CEO frankly stated that, “All the work that I have done in my life will be obsolete by the time I’m fifty.”

“This is a field where one does not write a principia which holds up for 200 years,” Jobs observed. Although Jobs obviously felt that the work he was doing was tremendously important, he was also aware of the fact that technology changes so fast that much of what he was developing would soon be forgotten.

“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 with astonishment for centuries,” noted the co-founder of Apple.

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Instead of viewing his work like a Renaissance-era painting, Jobs believed his contributions to the tech industry were more similar to a “layer of sedimentary rock.” Although each layer contributes to the overall height of the mountain, “no one on the surface – unless they have X-ray vision — will see your sediment. They’ll stand on it,” stated Jobs.

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