NEW YORK — If Steve Jobs is synonymous with Apple, then the new glass cube rising up out of the Midtown Manhattan streets is a monument to Steve Jobs.
Brian Williams: Is this your Model T? Is this your space program?
Steve Jobs: This is the best store we've ever built, and I think that it's the state-of-the-art that we know how to do. Like, the cube is [an] extremely state-of-the-art use of glass. You know, there's hardly any metal holding it up. It's glass fins holding up glass.
It's not just the stuff in the store or his company. It's the fact that Steve Jobs helped bring us many of the icons of American life today. From tiny trash cans to clicking and dragging — the now-commonplace language of computers, the hand-to-mouse movements we no longer think about — it's a language he helped teach America.
Jobs: As the technology keeps moving and lets us do more and more, we want to bring customers with that, not just leave them using stuff that they could do five years ago.
Williams: Do you know the downside of innovation? The rap on it is the minute you buy an iPod, you have to get the newest iPod.
Jobs: You know, you keep on innovating, you keep on making better stuff. And if you always want the latest and greatest, then you have to buy a new iPod at least once a year.
That makes the Manhattan store the new center of the universe for those who swear by Apple.
"For some people it just satisfies, at just an almost spiritual level, that they become fanatics," says one customer outside the store.
Steve Jobs is a lot of things: Iconoclast, salesman, idea man, lover of technology. But that list apparently does not include reflective.
Williams: I'm going to ask you to be introspective for a moment. Where do you fit in the American family of thinkers and inventors?
Jobs: You know, I don't really think that way.
Williams: Try it.
Jobs: Well, I'm a private person. I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what's next.
For now, in a tough business and in a tough town, the Apple store in midtown Manhattan is what's next. That is, until the next thing comes along.
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