I finally saw Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview, the very-extended version of Robert X. Cringely’s 1995 interview for Triumph of the Nerds. You can see a few of the good parts from Triumph on YouTube, but there’s a lot more to it.
The release has been a pretty blatant money-grab. The full interview was supposedly lost from its filming in 1995 until Steve Jobs passed away last year, and then suddenly a producer found a VHS copy. It was then shown only in movie theaters for a short time, about a month after Jobs’ death, with the implication that it might never be released in other forms.1
Now, seven months later, it’s available on iTunes for $3.99, but only as a rental. There’s no purchase option available.
Presumably, once the rentals die down in another few months, it’ll become available for purchase, maybe with some bonus footage or director’s commentary to get people to re-buy it for $12.99.
But if you can get past that, it’s good.
There was, of course, a big risk that the 10 minutes of footage they used in Triumph of the Nerds was the only good footage in the interview. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case: most of the 70-minute interview was interesting and thought-provoking, as you’d expect from Steve. Even my favorite clip from Triumph, “Microsoft has no taste”, has a very good expansion in The Lost Interview.
Worth a rental.
I almost went to a showing in Manhattan, but couldn’t bring myself to spend so much time and money to get there for it. ↩︎