Steve Jobs riding a 1966 BMW motorcycle

Fri, Mar 19, 2010

Apple History, Featured, News

In a pretty rare and none-too-often seen photograph from 1982, Steve Jobs can be seen cruising along on a 1966 BMW motorcycle. The photo originally ran in a 1982 National Geographic article titled “High Tech, High Risk, and High Life in Silicon Valley”.

In the article, Jobs is quoted as wishing that the Apple computer becomes the “Volkswagen of the Industry” while opining about why his generation was more at ease with computing.

“For us, computers have always been around,” Jobs stated, “That’s what separates us guys from you guys. You were born B.C.—Before Computers. And it’s because of this place. I was born here. When I was 14,1 was asking famous computer engineers here questions. Apple came out of the microprocessor, created in this valley just five miles from here.”

The article observes that Jobs also owned a Mercedes at the time, and indeed, it remains his car of choice to this day, but its Jobs’ love for his BMW that’s most interesting.

In plaid shirt and jeans, he still prefers, as a friend said, “to drive his motorcycle to my place, sit around and drink wine, and talk about what we’re going to do when we grow up.”

One of Steve Jobs’ talents is his ability to see the big picture, an often understated gift in the fast moving world of tech. Jobs understands that while technology moves and morphs at warp speed, the larger technological changes that seep into and affect our culture occur at a much slower rates. Notably, even the 27-year old Jobs of 1982 was able to grasp this. “The broad integration [of Computers] into society, though, is going to be a 10- or 15-year process,” Jobs stated, “But I believe we are already making a little ding in the universe.”

Further Reading:

1985 Playboy Interview with Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs popping his collar


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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Zach Says:

    …what’s that quote about predicting the future by inventing it or some such.

  2. geo Says:

    That was Alan Kay, not SJ. “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

  3. Constable Odo Says:

    One thing for certain. Apple got into the mobile smartphone business at just the right time. On the other hand, maybe the iPhone really started the trend for even low-tech consumers to use smartphones. Now I hear that the mobile internet is going to be larger than the desktop. I find it hard to believe, but if it does turn out to be true, Apple has a good chance of being at the forefront. If the iPad becomes a success, then Apple will have a solid lock on the mobile internet. I’m not saying that Apple will have the most market share, but I’m sure they’ll be able to make the most money in proportion to market share.

  4. iPad Says:

    Thanks for the recommendation! I did a review on my website!

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