Playboy Releases 1985 Interview With 29-Year-Old Steve Jobs

Long before Steve Jobs was as loved -- and feared -- as he is today, he was still an obsessive mind working to make Apple the premier computing company. In 1985, Playboy magazine sat down with the then-29-year-old for a lengthy interview that ranges widely in subject matter: from beach sex and Bob Dylan to computers and the entrepreneurial spirit. Here's a small snippet, but visit the Playboy site to read the complete 15,000-word interview.

Playboy: Was Wozniak obsessed at certain periods?

Jobs: [Laughs] Yes, but not just with computers. I think Woz was in a world that nobody understood. No one shared his interests, and he was a little ahead of his time. It was very lonely for him. He's driven from inner sights rather than external expectations of him, so he survived OK. Woz and I are different in most ways, but there are some ways in which we're the same, and we're very close in those ways. We're sort of like two planets in their own orbits that every so often intersect. It wasn't just computers, either. Woz and I very much liked Bob Dylan's poetry, and we spent a lot of time thinking about a lot of that stuff. This was California. You could get LSD fresh made from Stanford. You could sleep on the beach at night with your girlfriend. California has a sense of experimentation and a sense of openness--openness to new possibilities.

Besides Dylan, I was interested in Eastern mysticism, which hit the shores at about the same time. When I went to college at Reed, in Oregon, there was a constant flow of people stopping by, from Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert to Gary Snyder. There was a constant flow of intellectual questioning about the truth of life. That was a time when every college student in this country read Be Here Now and Diet for a Small Planet--there were about ten books. You'd be hard pressed to find those books on too many college campuses today. I'm not saying it's better or worse; it's just different--very different. In Search of Excellence [the book about business practices] has taken the place of Be Here Now.

Read the full interview at Playboy.

Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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