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Steve Jobs talks Beatles, Pixar in lost tapes

The myth of the iconic CEO
Steve Jobs Apple

(CBS News) Lost interviews with the late Steve Jobs reveal much about his break from Apple, the company he co-founded, between 1985 and 1996.

Full coverage of Apple at Tech Talk

Described as the Apple co-founder's "wilderness years," the lost tapes span several years worth of interviews with veteran technology reporter Brent Schlender. In the interviews, Jobs discussed many of the underlying philosophies at the core of Apple.

"Listening to [the tapes again] with the benefit of hindsight, the ones that took place during that interregnum jump out as especially enlightening," Schlender said of the lost interviews.

Jobs compared Pixar, the animation studio he purchased from George Lucas, to a laser printer during an interview in June 1995. His argument was that although the technology behind the scenes was incredible, people were only concerned with the output.

In an October 2004 interview, Jobs compares good management to the Beatles, emphasizing the importance of a checks and balance system. Jobs compared the chemistry between the John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr to that of the Pixar team at the time: Jobs, Ed Catmull and John Lasseter.

Some of the more heart-tugging moments come when in 1995 Jobs lamented the short 10-years he spent at Apple. The interview took place about a year before Jobs returned to Apple as chief executive officer.

"I was at Apple 10 years. I would have preferred to be there the rest of my life," Jobs said. "So I'm a long-term kind of person."

In that interview, Jobs compared building a company to running a marathon, saying that it required at least five years to do "anything of magnitude."

Schlender, who has been described as the writer who knew Jobs best, had previously covered Jobs for Fortune and The Wall Street Journal. Segments of the journalist's lost interviews were recently published in Fast Company.

"Rummaging through the storage shed, I discovered some three dozen tapes holding recordings of extended interviews - some lasting as long as three hours - that I'd conducted with him periodically over the past 25 years," Schlender recounted. Several of the tapes hadn't been revisited until Jobs passed away in October 2011.

Schlender's account of his time with Jobs is sometimes poetic and tragic, which is actually quite a fitting for his subject matter. The full story can be found at Fast Company.

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