The future, as described by Steve Jobs in 1983

The future, as described by Steve Jobs in 1983
The Center for Design Innovation made available a speech given by Steve Jobs in 1983 at the International Design Conference in Aspen, Colorado. While citing some historical parallels in the development of different technologies, Steve Jobs set the landscape of the then-current state of the personal computer and the coming tidal wave it was going to have on society over the next several years.

He also discussed some longer term visions, such as someone walking around with a radio linked mobile device and being able to access their data from it. Being a design conference, he also enlisted help from the audience regarding the visual design of computers, acknowledging the reality of computers at the time, “If you’ve looked at computers, they look like garbage.”

Jobs described the early 1980s as the “I Love Lucy” stage of society’s experience with computers. He then forecasted the different effects computers would have on varying media. His predictions were pretty much on the money and we have certainly exceeded the vision of some of his ideas.

The speech is little over 20 minutes and with hindsight being 20/20, there is little that can be disagreed with regarding what he sees in the future. Share your thoughts with us about the speech.

sources: Center for Design Innovation via AppleInsider



1. xoutrageousx

Posts: 70; Member since: Dec 22, 2011

Steve Jobs at the end of the day was more than just a CEO, he was a visionary and had a plan all along.

2. No_Nonsense unregistered

And was that plan to shamelessly copy everything great (his own words) while restraining people from developing something that's pretty general in terms of usage?

5. Mittal

Posts: 494; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Even if thats true, u need brains to copy too... u need to know what is worth copying Irrespective of what they did/do ( i am no judge of that), they are top dog for a long time now...and we have made them that top dog

22. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

If thats the case......why in the hell do some ppl hate Samsung and give Samsung so much flak then? We can give praise to Apple/Jobs for copying.....but hate Samsung for it? The rationale and hypocrisy is astonishing....

23. Mittal

Posts: 494; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

First, i dont hate Samsung (mayb only for the build quality of a few devices) Second, why hasnt anyone sued Apple for copying their stuff? If they have, why havnt they won ? Please bear in mind im not advocating any company but just trying to be a bit rational

8. asulect

Posts: 131; Member since: Aug 27, 2012

Some companies take someone else old and under-achieved ideas, improvised upon them and bring it back to the world and create something that everyone else wants. Some other companies take someone else ideas and copied them into its own products to look and work the same as the original, and add in some extra features that users can be suckers in and brags about. It beats me why people defends the second type more than the first.

10. wassup

Posts: 565; Member since: Jun 23, 2011

That's because the first company is being a d**k, and asking for $30 for pinch to zoom even though they didn't invent it.

24. Mittal

Posts: 494; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

exactly... it seems the difference between receiving a thumbs Up/Down is the words u chose to express the same opinion!

9. picka_vi_materina

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

His idea wasn't just to copy, but also to patent competitor's effort ;)

15. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Im sure the Steve Jobs of 1983 vs the last decade were pretty different in some regard. Apple was a fairly successful company in the 80s, the Apple of today is humongous, when companies get that big, they change people.

27. darkkjedii

Posts: 31331; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Nope his plan was the same as every other company that's ever existed. Make all the money u can, keep customers loyal to your brand, bring in new customers and milk them all. Name one company that doesn't have that as their blueprint.

6. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

Steve Jobs was cool before 2001

16. PimpStrong

Posts: 310; Member since: Jul 25, 2011

He'd be one hell of a Scientology leader.

3. kombinatonz

Posts: 30; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

Who cares!

4. joaolx

Posts: 364; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Not you apparently but a lot of people might care.

7. wassup

Posts: 565; Member since: Jun 23, 2011

11. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

He is a kind jerk.....

12. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

There is such a gray area when labeling someone a visionary. No doubt that Steve Jobs and Apple created some intuitive products that enhanced our user ability. However, visionaries have been around since the beginning of man. Jules Verne, who maybe the foremost father of science fiction, envisioned a boat load of concepts many decades before anything had emerged or were remotely conceivable. Submarines and rockets dreamed of in the 1800's? Gene Roddenberry implemented many props in the original Star Trek that led to modern technology products also not even conceivable at the time. Computers used in everyday life or handheld devices, were basic props used in and out of movies far long before Steve Jobs was born. We must not over celebrate such elaboration on the basis of sound bites made at conferences. He didn't say anything different than Bill Gates, IBM or any other technology wonders had given their predictions for. It's easy to envision and predict when you are present during a chapter of technology breakthroughs. He may have helped fine tune products, but we must not over-analyze his role within the computer industry. I'm not claiming his role was irrelevant by any means, I'm just saying that worshipers tend to dig as deep as possible to elevate their personal favorites as the infallible. John B.

25. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

The term "visionary", when applied to Steve Jobs in the manner it usually is by the media and Apple enthusiasts, is laughable. The real credit should go to people like the Woz and Jony Ive. They're the artists weaving their works with the tools of their trade. I give him credit as the commissioner of the work, not as the artist that created it. All I take away from Steve is that he was a fan of sci-fi as a kid. Probably read a lot of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov, & most likely some L. Ron Hubbard...

26. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

Phonearena should repost that as an article. Kudos!

13. PimpStrong

Posts: 310; Member since: Jul 25, 2011

“If you’ve looked at computers, they look like garbage.” Sadly, 80's fashion didn't share this same view.

14. Peter27

Posts: 233; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

Recording at 13:00 - Google Maps in 1983 wow

17. Peter27

Posts: 233; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

Can someone please explain me how could it work ? I mean in 80's you did not even have a memory big enough to hold a digital picture, computers have been 16 bits with like 16 colors. i understand that computer was probably just giving commands when to show picture and which one, but i am sure there had to be some other device that was holding all this photographs. Just wandering.

18. Republican

Posts: 99; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

He was the most inteligent being ever to walk among mortals. Only Einstein compares.

20. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I think maybe Stephen Hawking might be in their too.

21. Republican

Posts: 99; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

In this order: Steve Jobs,Einstein,Hawkin.

19. bantheiphonedotcom

Posts: 28; Member since: Aug 24, 2012 Wow, I wish Samsung would have shown this info to that jury....

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