'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
Guests: George Lewis, Ron Insana, Nancy Snyderman, Jon Fortt, Janet Shamlian, Rob Enderle, Howard Fineman, Lance Ulanoff
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: We have breaking news tonight. Apple has
just confirmed the sad news that its co-founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs,
has died. He was 56 years old.
Steve Jobs battled pancreatic cancer and underwent a liver transplant
in 2009. He stepped down as CEO in August after saying he was no longer
able to fulfill his duties.
In a statement this evening, Apple said, "Apple has lost a visionary
and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those
of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost
a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that
only he could have built and his spirit will forever be the foundation of
A statement from Apple`s board of directors reads, "We are deeply
saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today. Steve`s
brilliance, passion and energy were the sources of countless innovations
that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better
because of Steve. His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his
family. Our hearts go out to him and al touched by his extraordinary
Joining me by phone is veteran of the industry, the technology
industry analyst, Rob Enderle.
Rob, thank you very much for joining me tonight.
ROB ENDERLE, TECHNOLOGY ANALYST (via telephone): My pleasure. Thank
you for having me.
O`DONNELL: Rob, when I read those statements, I realize that they are
true. This is someone whose spirit and genius has touched virtually all of
this in this country. You don`t have to be a Mac user, although so many
people are; an iPhone user, so many people are, to be affected we the
amazing, creative input he has delivered to this country during his
ENDERLE: Yes, that`s correct. He really had -- he was the heart and
soul of Apple and Apple became kind of the heart and soul of the technology
market while he was here. He was CEO of the decade, last decade. And
Apple rose to prominence as being the most well-valued company, highly
valued company in the United States, if not the world, while he was there,
at least for a short time.
He was an amazing individual and he`ll be one that will be long missed
and not easily replaced.
O`DONNELL: And it is as great and colorful an American success story
as we have. Someone who started trying to put a thing together called a
computer in his garage, thinking that there was home market for computers.
Those of us old enough to know that the home market for color televisions
had started not long before that know how extraordinary a dream that was
when he was working in his garage.
ENDERLE: Yes, that`s correct. It really was a rags to riches story.
He was an orphan and adopted as a child. He explored -- what many of us
explored as we were growing up, including traveling India by barefoot which
almost killed him. The -- he came to be a power and an icon both by virtue
of his unique vision and kind of his unique charisma.
He was able to retransform himself after being fired from Apple and
then come back and actually save the company he helped create. Raising it
to levels that it wasn`t even close to when it was initially formed. I
think at levels that nobody believed it could actually reach. The -- he
was a truly amazing person.
O`DONNELL: Rob, please standby. Stand with us -- stay with us for a
moment. We have more on this breaking news story, the life of Steve Jobs.
Here`s NBC News George Lewis.
GEORGE LEWIS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He was the father
of the iPhone, the iPod and the Apple Mac computer -- turning electronic
gadgets into objects of desire.
STEVE JOBS, APPLE CEO: I think if you do something and it turns out
pretty good then you should go do something else wonderful.
LEWIS: As he was fond of saying, "Wait, there`s more."
JOBS: Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone.
LEWIS: And people did wait -- in long lines for the first iPhones in
2007. Then, three years later, they lined up for the iPad, changing the
way people consume media.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Design plus function equals the right lifestyle.
And that`s what he filled.
LEWIS: In 1976, Jobs co-founded Apple Computer and within a few years
was worth $100 million. In 1984, he was showing off his new pride and joy,
JOBS: It has turned out insanely great.
LEWIS: As critics hailed the Mac, Jobs was on a losing end of a power
struggle at his company and left Apple a year later. He went into computer
animation acquiring Pixar Studios and striking pay dirt with a string of
hit movies, starting with "Toy Story."
CARTOON CHARACTER: To infinity and beyond.
LEWIS: Jobs came back to Apple in 1996 and began reinventing the Mac,
dressing it up in a variety of colors.
JOBS: They look so good you kind of want to lick them.
LEWIS: Concerns about the health of Steve Jobs began in 2004 when he
underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer. A year later, he spoke about that
during a commencement speech at Stanford University.
JOBS: This was the closest I`ve been to facing death and I hope it`s
the closest I get for a few more decades.
LEWIS: An intensely private man with a quick temper, Jobs kept
reporters at bay saying his health was nobody`s business.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys --
LEWIS: But Jobs was losing weight, something revealed in these photos
taken in 2007 and 2008. In April 2009, he underwent a liver transplant.
Five months later, back on the job at Apple, he expressed his gratitude.
JOBS: I now have a liver of a mid-20s person who died in a car crash
and was generous enough to donate their organs. And I wouldn`t be here
without such generosity.
LEWIS: On August 24th of this year, he stepped down as Apple`s CEO.
Back in 2005, he offered this bit of advice to the Stanford University
JOBS: Your time is limited so don`t waste it living someone else`s
life. Don`t let the noise of others` opinions drown out your own inner
LEWIS: Steve Jobs, a man whose own inner voice led him to create some
of the most visionary products of the Internet era. Jobs leaves behind a
wife and four children.
George Lewis, NBC news, Los Angeles.
O`DONNELL: I`m rejoined now by Rob Enderle, a technology industry
Rob, I don`t think there is a company out there that produces a
product where the consumer feels a more direct connection to the founder of
the company, to the guiding creative genius of all the products that Apple
has released. That experience of opening Apple packaging, whether it be
for the iPod, whether it be for Mac, the phone, it feels as if Steve Jobs
has designed every moment of that. Every moment of the unpacking before
you even turn on the machine.
ENDERLE: Well, he did. I mean, at Apple he was the super-user. He
was their focus group. The products were built to his specifications and
had to meet his personal approval.
Unlike no other CEO in the technology segment or most other segments,
he took a personal interest in the products and to a large extent, that`s
why Apple didn`t have too many of them. It actually had a very small
number of products because each one had to be blessed by its CEO.
Even the image that Apple portrayed to the world was largely crafted
by Steve Jobs, personally, as was most of the relationships that resided
around him. He was unique in the segment.
O`DONNELL: Rob, Tim Cook, the new head of Apple, had the misfortune
yesterday, I guess, of having to take the stage with the toughest act to
follow in the technology industry to introduce a new edition of the iPhone.
Some of the reviews were not so good, but trying to follow Steve Jobs on
that stage is virtually impossible, unimaginable in that business.
Where does Apple go from here?
ENDERLE: Well, unfortunately probably down. I mean, Apple was, I
think Larry Ellison said it best. Apple was the physical extension of
Steve Jobs` soul. You can`t have one effectively without the other. He
touched every part of that company.
I think one of the advantages of Apple was that Steve Jobs actually
managed much of what was in Apple. He was hands-on. He was a
micromanager. He made sure everything was perfect personally.
You extract somebody like that from a company, that company is forever
changed. It really is like ripping the heart out of a person.
And Cook was hired to do the things that Steve Jobs didn`t want to do.
So instead of being like Steve Jobs, he was actually pretty much his polar
opposite. So the fact that he stepped into Steve`s shoes, that should have
been obvious from the start.
O`DONNELL: Steve Jobs achieved something that every politician dreams
of, and indeed every dictator would dream of, which is the affection of
everyone who is in his realm and the credit for everything good that
happens in his realm. The consumer would credit Steve Jobs specifically
with everything they liked about Apple.
And there are all sorts of technology products out there including
automobiles, including very sophisticated automobiles, BMWs and others that
people buy. They bring passion to the purchase. But they don`t care who
is the head of that company when they`re buying that product. They don`t -
- they feel the connection to the product and sometimes an emotional
connection to the product, but not to the CEO of a company.
That seems to me to be a unique achievement of Steve Jobs.
ENDERLE: Well, that was because Steve Jobs personally did care about
the product. I mean -- when you`re a CEO, you get involved with investors
and partners and the day-to-day rigmarole of the company. And there are
many CEOs that often don`t really touch their products anymore and haven`t
for years. That is somebody else`s responsibility.
With Jobs, these were products that were made specifically to his
specification. They were his. He was a super craftsman scaling himself to
the millions of users that they had. It`s what made him different.
And the reality is, is when you touch an iPhone, at least today, you
touch Steve Jobs. That is unique. You just don`t have that with any other
O`DONNELL: Rob, the flag is now flying at half-mast outside of the
headquarters at Apple. A loss like no other company has suffered in recent
memory that we`re seeing today.
You`ve studied his life. He packed as much life as you possibly could
into 56 years. How did his illness change him?
ENDERLE: Well, to some extent it humanized him. You certainly saw
him waste away. Have to wrap his mind around the fact that he was going to
past and it weakened him, though.
To be clear, he held on to the job as long as anybody possibly could.
He was tied to the company as tightly as Walt Disney was tied to Disney, as
tightly as any executive I`ve ever seen. They were two halves of a whole
and when he left.
Clearly, Apple was left substantially reduced. And I think to a large
extent, when he left, he was substantially reduced. Both the company and
Steve Jobs need each other desperately and it`s doubtful any one of them
could survive the others. I think it was one of the reasons I think he was
tied so tightly to the job because he was convinced he couldn`t survive
without being a major part of Apple.
So it`s -- his passing is a great, a very deep meaning I think for the
overall technology market in general, and Apple in particular.
O`DONNELL: Technology analyst Rob Enderle, thank you very much for
ENDERLE: My pleasure. Take care.
O`DONNELL: Joining me now, by phone, is CNBC`s Ron Insana.
Ron, thank you very much for joining me.
RON INSANA, CNBC: Lawrence, thanks for having me -- truly sad day and
obviously for the Jobs family and the people around him. And also as was
just said, I mean, for an entire industry that`s been so innovative and Mr.
Jobs has been behind so many of these innovations. It`s a staggering loss
for I think really many people who have either as I`ve had, had the
pleasure to chat with him or interview him or those who worked with him or
lived with him.
O`DONNELL: Ron, I`ve known this, I believe, for a little less than a
half an hour. The second I heard it, I knew we had to just completely
rearrange our show and lead with this. This is very important news.
It is also history. I`ve been sitting trying to think of where we
will put Steve Jobs in American history. When we are listing the great
entrepreneurial innovators who changed our lives, who changed the way our
day goes, from Thomas Edison forward. This -- in that list, this name,
Steve Jobs, will be in bold print.
INSANA: Oh, absolutely. I think you`re right to identify Edison as
one and Henry Ford being another. As was just said, Walt Disney. Milton
Hershey. You know, companies where the individual`s legacy lived on
through the business entity they created.
And also changed culture, changed business, changed processes as Mr.
Jobs did repeatedly throughout his tenure, both while he was at Apple, when
he was gone and then more importantly when he came back. He has done so
many groundbreaking things.
And don`t forget, he also started Pixar, the animation company that`s
now owned by Walt Disney. He`s been on the forefront of so many different
And , you know, interestingly enough, Lawrence, when he came back to
Apple, the company was effectively believe to be going out of business and
it also, when he came back to Apple, he was really turning the company
around at a time after the Internet bubble burst. When people thought
there would be no new major applications that would excite the technology
industry. And the next thing we knew, we had the iPod , then the iPhone,
then the iPad.
And so, he has done so much to revolutionize technology as Walt Disney
did in animation, Henry Ford in automation, in autos, and also, as you say,
Edison and electricity and other industries. It`s truly -- he`s a giant
among industrialists, if you will, in the history of our country.
O`DONNELL: Ron, as we`ve been speaking, we`ve been rolling tape
obviously of Steve Jobs and the way he would take the stage for these
product demonstrations and deliver these stunning ways of changing our
relationship to the computer. Not necessarily in basic computer terms,
inventing something dramatically new, but finding a way to make it what the
consumer needed in order to harness the raw power of computing.
Here is someone who started a business in an industry that did not
exist when he was born. And then in effect created an industry, the home
computer industry that very few others at the time he did it thought was
possible. They thought that, sure, there`s a market for home toasters and
for television, but a home computer? Sounded crazy.
INSANA: Well, remember that IBM rejected the notion of a personal
computer many, many years ago, and decided there was absolutely no future
in individuals owning computers that sat on a desktop or ultimately on your
lap or in your hand.
And when Apple 2 came out, and I recall this rather vividly, that a
friend of mine that I knew in high school and bought one in early college.
And however clunky it seems in retrospect, remember that someone like me in
college was typing on, if I was lucky, an IBM seletric, more likely a
manual typewriter and using whiteout. My friend was typing on an Apple 2.
He got a dot matrix that took about 20 minutes per page.
And that same person who invented that, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak,
then later came and as you said, continued to make these products unusually
acceptable to individuals in ways that we`d never seen before. It was just
a quantum leap in the way these products not only were developed but now
And you look at the people who have come after Apple, whether it`s
with android phones, smart phones, whatever you want to call them or other
types of tablet devices. They`ve truly broken ground. You know, as early
as five or six years ago, people weren`t really contemplating.
So, he was continuously more than a step ahead of everybody else in
his competitors. It was interesting that he ultimately did open the
company up and make it more user-friendly than it was in the early days
when it was considered an educational product or an art -- graphic arts
product or part of a tight-knit community of Apple users. It is now in
many ways probably the most broadly recognized name in computing, which it
certainly was not in the early days of its introduction.
O`DONNELL: Ron, there`s a moment I experienced in college I will
never forget. I was in a casual conversation with a college dean who was
explaining to me he had just spoken to a kid who was thinking of dropping
out and he was trying to talk him out of dropping out, but this kid kept
telling him, this is the moment. I have to go to this. I have to go do
That kid was Bill Gates who had an idea for software. He did drop out
of Harvard College. He knew that was his moment. If he waited a few more
years until he graduated, the moment would have passed.
Steve Jobs seemed to know when he was working in this garage, this is
the moment. I can`t wait another year. How did they know what others
didn`t know, that this was the moment? That this was where you had to be
at that time in order to in effect create this industry?
INSANA: I think when you look back at all visionaries, there`s a
combination of real skill, real intellect and a feel for the environment
that may be lacking in some of their competitors. You sense that you`re on
the very cusp of radical change. And knowing that you have an idea, that
it might be early, it might be a few minutes early -- but it`s innovators
like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and, you know, Mark Zuckerberg, quite
frankly, all three of them, Zuckerberg and Gates, both dropped out of
Harvard. I think Harvard produced as many successful dropouts as it has
graduates by now.
But you see that opportunity. That narrow window in which you can
rush and bring something brand new. And really excite a consumer base.
And I think they all have an intuitive sense for that.
And, you know, in the case of most of the very, very successful
businesspeople that I`ve connected with, including Mr. Jobs, there is a
level of granularity that they get to in the understanding of their
business, of the marketplace, of consumer behavior, of life generally that
is truly amazing. If you had the opportunity to speak to some of these
individual, and I have in the past interviewed Bill Gates about not just
computers but the way he approached the vaccination issue for communicable
diseases in Africa -- granular knowledge of that.
The same with Steve Jobs or Bill Clinton or others who really could
really take very complex issues and understand them so thoroughly and then
use that intuition that they have, the excitement, the energy that they
have to really create these breakthrough moments, whether in business,
politics, or what have you. They`re really in many ways unique individuals
but share common characteristics -- extraordinary curiosity, extraordinary
drive, extraordinary understanding and intuition. Truly remarkable.
I remember after Mr. Jobs had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer
that he had, he had taken time off and he came back and was doing a product
introduction. And I had the good fortune of sitting down with him for an
interview via satellite. But we had at times had contentious on-air
relationships because I would often ask questions about the business and he
was focused on a product and we`d kind of go back and forth and he wouldn`t
want to answer a question.
And I recall after he came back, I said, listen, this is not a got-you
question. But I just want to know, how are you doing after your surgery?
He said, "Listen, I`m doing fine, thank you very much for asking."
It was actually one of the most genuine moments we shared on CNBC.
And from that point forward it was interesting, we had a kind of much
better on-air relationship. And I was fascinated to see a slight -- it was
just a glimmer, away from the personality that he often carried on the air
where he would answer only the questions he`s liked to answer and would be
very product-focused and very focused on his message.
He did at that moment become very human to me. And, you know, I even
to the extent that I`m capable, I feel a sense of loss here. It was like -
- it`s almost like I remember the night when John Lennon was shot. There`s
a certain similar feeling to that, that we`re losing an icon.
O`DONNELL: Yes, Ron, that`s exactly what I was thinking. And it`s
hard to compare these different kinds of people in our lives. But this is
a giant figure, and I think the Lennon comparison is there, as are others
When we think of now the second and third -- we`re into the second,
third, I don`t know, maybe fourth generation of technology entrepreneurs,
the Marc Zuckerbergs -- it is very clear from the start, that many of them,
virtually all of them, were looking for their way to become billionaires in
our digital lives.
But when you go back to the beginning, when you go back to where Steve
Jobs was in his garage and Bill Gates trying to write a new software that
had never been conceived of before, you get the feeling from them,
certainly, that they were much more excited at that time about this amazing
new technology that they knew about, that they were probably trying to
explain to relatives of theirs and been frustrated in realizing I can`t --
I have to do this, I can`t explain this, I`m going to need a product to
show them I get this.
You get the feeling from them that the money was secondary, that they
weren`t doing this to become billionaires. They were doing this to show
that it could be done.
INSANA: And remember when they were doing it as well, Lawrence, it
was almost impossible to think of billions of dollars.
O`DONNELL: That`s right. There weren`t billionaires among us.
INSANA: Millionaire was something that was in those days almost out
of reach for most people.
But I`ll tell you, I`ll share an anecdote, is with Bill Gates rather
than with Steve Jobs but it goes directly to that point. I was at the
COMDEX show back when that used to go on in the 1980s in Las Vegas one
month after the stock market crash in 1987.
And I managed to secure an interview with Bill Gates. He was a young
Bill Gates. Microsoft had made him at that point a billionaire, single
billion. He was worth about $1 billion. And the crash of `87 wiped out
about 33 percent of his net worth.
And so, we were talking. I said, listen, I rarely ask the touchy
feely questions given I`m working in business. Let me ask you something,
what were you thinking on October 1987? He said, "Well, I was sitting at
my desk, someone walked in, I was having a good day and told me the stock
market was down a lot." I said, "Oh, OK." "And I went back to work."
The concept of having lost $333 million in a day didn`t really seem to
faze him in the sense that you might imagine. I think that was true for
all those early innovators. They were idea guys. They were changing the
world in a way that was different than let`s say the `60s generation was.
The `60s generation -- we`re seeing this again today with maybe the
new iteration among the "Occupy Wall Street" kids and the Tea Party folks
who want to change their world. They were the idealist of the `60s, they
were the pragmatist of the `80s, late `70s, `80s, like the Gates, Jobs, and
others who really used their skill and their passion to create real
cultural change that actually is going to be maybe considerably more long
lasting than any of the other groups before them.
And this is not political change. This was cultural revolution,
technological revolution, that really has dramatically changed the way we
interact, the way we do business, the way we communicate. And that
happens, you know, once in a generation. And these were the guys, and
Steve Jobs certainly was at the forefront of that revolution.
And I would say to a great extent has left the company positioned to
do that. I know there were people who were complaining about the
introduction of the new iPhone earlier this week, that it wasn`t quite as
exciting as they might have hoped. And unfortunately those two events, the
introduction of that newest phone and Mr. Jobs passing, are going to be
maybe inextricably linked in the same week and make people doubt that Apple
can survive him.
I think he`s imbued the company with enough spirit and he`s got a
team, with Tim Cook and others deep enough, and a product pipeline deep
enough that`s going to survive him for several years to come.
So, for those who are I think maybe overly pessimistic about Apple`s
future, I think one of the genius elements of Mr. Jobs is he`s been able to
create an entity that probably has a very good life going forward.
O`DONNELL: Ron Insana of CNBC -- thank you very much for joining me
INSANA: Lawrence, thank you.
O`DONNELL: Bill Gates, the former chief executive of Microsoft, said
in a statement that he was, "Truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs` death."
He added, quote, "The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound
impact Steve has had. The effects of which will be felt for many
generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him,
it`s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely."
Joining me now on the phone is NBC chief medical editor, Dr. Nancy
Dr. Nancy Snyderman, what do we know about this illness that has taken
DR. NANCY SNYDERMAN, NBC NEWS CHIEF MEDICAL EDITOR: Lawrence, we`ve
known for quite some time that he has had a rare pancreatic cancer that no
one even from day one has ever used the word cure, but he had seven years
of really aggressive and really concentrated treatment.
I remember the day he announced that he had a hormone imbalance with
his pancreas. I thought that was probably a code word for a rare kind of
cancer that only makes up about 5 percent of the 47,000 cases of pancreatic
cancer that we see every year. And at that time started concentrated
And then you may remember years later when he announced he had a liver
transplant. It was for many doctors a sign that the tumor had spread to
his liver. Good news that he got a liver transplant, but guarded news in
that any time you get an organ transplant, you have to go on medicines that
suppress your immune system and that always raised the question of whether
it would hurt his immune system and allow this cancer to grow back.
Most people with his cancer, maybe two or three years, but the
survival rate overall is well below 10 percent. I just have to say, based
on the conversation listening to you guys the last few minutes -- I think
the country tonight is going to take a very deep sigh and pause and frankly
shed a tear. This is -- this is just profoundly sad, on a societal level,
on a scientific level and medical level.
O`DONNELL: Dr. Nancy Snyderman, thank you very much for joining me
SNYDERMAN: You bet, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: We`ll be back with more on the life and death of Steve
Jobs, the genius behind Apple, who died today at the age of 56.
O`DONNELL: We`re back with the breaking news of the death of Steve
Jobs today at the age of 56. Joining me now, Howard Fineman, editorial
director of AOL Huffington Post Media Group. Howard, thanks for joining me
HOWARD FINEMAN, AOL/HUFFINGTON POST MEDIA GROUP: Sure, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Howard, you -- when I read your title now, AOL Huffington
Post Media Group, it`s a job that would not have existed were it not for
Steve Jobs` creativity in his garage, thinking there`s a market for this
thing, this idea of mine, the home computer.
That`s where your work is now consumed, not just on home computers,
but on computers people are holding in their hands, created again by Steve
Jobs, the iPhone, other smart phone, digital devices.
This is -- I`ve been trying to place him, Howard, in his position in
American history, in our lives, from Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison,
forward, through the people who created things that changed our lives.
FINEMAN: Well, you`re absolutely right about the media business,
Lawrence, for one. When I joined "the Huffington Post," one of the first
things I did when I visited the -- our headquarters down in Soho at the
time was to meet with a group of developers. Of course, they were all
under the age of 26 or 27. And they just produced the Huff Post first new
generation of iPad app for our publication online.
And all the kids there -- and I say they`re kids because they are --
were totally fixed on how to talk in Steve Jobs` world. It was a world
that Steve Jobs created that we were so eager and are so eager to speak in
and speak through.
His genius was to be a kind of ambassador between the world of
machines and the world of humanity, and make people comfortable with and
eager to use intelligent machines. And I cover politics, but I can tell
you that, in a way, what this election is about coming up is whether we`re
still the kind of country that can create, can nurture and reward somebody
like Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs was never about fancy financial manipulation. He didn`t
care about arbitrage or leveraged buyouts. He didn`t try to manipulate
Wall Street, other than to try to sell great products that people would
Nor did he really get involved in politics. I mean, some of the high-
tech big shots do. I think that`s changing more than will. But Steve Jobs
has passed away before that new era has come about. He didn`t care about
super PACs. He didn`t care necessarily about endorsing candidates. He was
very open and really apolitical in the sense that he was always about what
he was creating.
When I think about our generation, Lawrence, when I think about the
Baby Boom generation and contrast it with the Greatest Generation, I often
think that we come up very short, that we`re the greediest generation, the
most selfish generation, turning individualism into a cult.
But Steve Jobs is the other side of that story. Steve Jobs took their
creativity that was born in the `60s and applied it to the world of
machines -- intelligent machines in a way that brought the spirit of
creativity of his childhood to not only the United States, but the whole
And if we`re a country that still can produce and nurture people like
him is what this election is about. It`s interesting that all the Occupy
people -- I would bet you that most of the kids and people who are down
there in Manhattan and elsewhere around the country in the Occupy protests
are sitting there with their Mac Airs, sending out reports from the front.
That`s something that Steve Jobs enabled for the Tea Party and now for
the kids on the other side.
O`DONNELL: Well, you know, Ron Insana was talking about the
technology revolution that Steve Job, Bill Gates and others created. It
was a revolution, indeed. His comments were focused exclusively on both
the business revolution involved and the product revolution involved.
But those products enabled revolution to be done a different way, as
we saw this year in Tahrir Square in Egypt, that this was a revolution
enabled by the technology that some of these people, like Bill Gates and
definitely Steve Jobs, thought up in their garages a generation ago.
FINEMAN: Well, the difference between Gates and -- Bill Gates and
Steve Jobs, in my estimation, having kind of lived through the development
of all these products, is that Bill Gates was for people who wanted to lift
up the hood, for the gear heads, if you will, because he came out of that
world of software.
Whereas what Steve Jobs did from the beginning with the Mac -- with
his Macs -- Macintoshes and forward, is to put it all in a case, to make it
user friendly, to make it really neat, to make it look great, to make you -
- a machine that would make you smile.
When you walk into an Apple Store, which is also a Steve Jobs
creation, the vibe in there, the sense of excitement, the sense of
exploration is the kind of thing he was always pushing. And people were
always trying to develop apps for everything he did once the iPhone came
about. And I know in the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama`s campaign was
perfectly attune to this world in general and to the Apple world in
You have to give credit in this case to Marc Zuckerberg and Facebook
as well because the Obama campaign was a Facebook enabled campaign, the
first of its kind. But also, you had people all over the country
developing special apps for the Obama campaign for iPhones, including maps
that would pop up telling you where there were undecided voters, telling
you how many times people in a precinct had been approached and so forth.
So the creativity that was enabled by jobs and by Gates and by
Zuckerberg and others was used first by Obama in 2008 and then by the Tea
Party in 2010, and will be used in ways we can`t quite imagine in 2012 in
this campaign. And I, as a former print guy, am racing to try to keep up
with those developments as part of "the Huffington Post."
O`DONNELL: Howard, we just got a statement from New York`s Mayor
Michael Bloomberg that I`d like to read. He has released this statement
about the death of Steve Jobs. "Tonight America lost a genius who will be
remembered with Edison and Einstein, and whose ideas will shape the world
for generations to come. Again and again over the last four decades, Steve
Jobs saw the future and brought it to life long before most people could
have seen the horizon.
"And Steve`s passionate belief in the power of technology to transform
the way we live brought us more than smart phones and iPads. It brought
knowledge and power that is reshaping the face of civilization. In New
York City`s government, everyone from street construction inspectors to
NYPD detectives have harnessed Apple`s products to do their jobs more
efficiently and intuitively.
"Tonight our city, a city that has always had such respect and
admiration for creative genius, joins with people around the planet in
remembering a great man and keeping Laurene and the rest of the Jobs family
in our thoughts and prayers."
Joining me now is Janet Shamlian, who is live just outside of Apple
headquarters in Cupertino, California. Janet, what is the scene there?
JANET SHAMLIAN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, this is the
home, the campus of Apple, Lawrence. And right now, the flags behind me --
I don`t know if you can see them. They`re flying at half-staff. There`s a
sense of sadness here. The news is still so fresh.
The work day here on the west coast is just ending, or in many cases
still continuing here. But this is the birthplace of everything that you
have been talking about, the iPhone, the iPod, the Mac, the Apps. And so
all of this, the creative genius of Steve Jobs, there`s a powerful sense of
just sadness here, even though that many people felt like this was coming.
And Apple has been very quick to respond. Go to Apple.com and there
is simply a picture of Steve Jobs in black and white, with the dates of his
birth and death. And Apple, within the last few minutes, has issued a
statement just expressing their sadness and what he has done for the world,
saying he has made it an immeasurably better place.
And, of course, millions of his fans around the world, Lawrence, would
agree with that. But this campus, where he had day-to-day contact with so
many people for so many years, people who built this company with him, over
a period of decades -- there`s very much a sense of sadness, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Janet, we`ve watched him publicly decline physically over
time. So there is not a shock about this from that perspective, but there
was a shock, I can tell you, when the word went out in our newsroom that
Steve Jobs had died. The first reaction was shock, and it was shock at a
personal level. It wasn`t the first reaction you always get to these kinds
of things in newsrooms.
There`s also -- there was very quickly a professional, let`s get to
work reaction. But it was -- at first landed emotionally.
SHAMLIAN: It did, because this is -- he is part of our day so much in
the stuff we use. Let`s talk about this comes one day after the big
announcement yesterday. And in some respects, it was a letdown. We were
all waiting for the iPhone 5, right? We got the iPhone 4S. We had the new
CEO there. It was the first time that Steve Jobs was not there for a major
In terms of product and personality, it just didn`t live up to the
past announcements that have happened just feet away from where I`m
standing now. But as you said, this is hitting people in a very personal
way, because they have incorporated these products into their life. We
feel like we know Steve Jobs.
In some ways, it`s a passing that would rival that of an elected
public figure in our country.
O`DONNELL: Janet, we now have a statement from Steve Jobs` family
that I`m going to read. The statement says, "Steve died peacefully today
surrounded by his family. In his public life, Steve was known as a
visionary. In his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful
to the many people who shared their wishes and prayers during the last year
of Steve`s illness.
"A website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and
We will be back with more. Janet, we`re going to break here. We will
be back. We will be back with more on the life and death of Steve Jobs,
the genius, the creative visionary behind Apple, who has died today at the
age of 56.
O`DONNELL: We`re back with more breaking news coverage of the death
today of Steve Jobs at the age of 56. CNBC`s Jon Fortt has more about the
life and work of Steve Jobs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON FORTT, CNBC ANCHOR (voice-over): Visionary, rule breaker,
creative genius. Steve Jobs, more than any other figure, shaped our
digital era on his own terms and created hundreds of billions of dollars of
value along the way.
His story has an unlikely beginning. Steven Paul Jobs was born in San
Francisco in 1955. Given up by his birth parents, he was adopted by a
family in the heart of Silicon Valley. He dropped out of college to pursue
his ideas, and teamed up with a friend to build a new kind of computer, one
that anybody could use.
The company they founded was the first to make computers truly
personal. At a time when PCs were green text on black screens, Apple
brought graphics and the mouse. At a time of beige boxes, it brought
Along the way, Jobs reinvented music with a little gadget called an
STEVE JOBS, FORMER APPLE CEO: I have one right here in my pocket, in
fact. There it is right there.
FORTT: And from there, went on to reinvent the phone.
JOBS: I think this is where the world`s going.
FORTT: Apple`s total market value recently reached above 340 billion
dollars. Its valuation is neck in neck with Exxonmobil at the top of the
heap for public companies.
The company has 47,000 employees. But those are just numbers. By the
time Jobs was done, he set a new standard for geeks, dreamers and business
schools everywhere. Built Silicon valley`s most valuable company and
brought industries to their knees.
But it wasn`t all glory and success for Jobs. Apple`s board forced
him out in the `80s. And for years, he struggled to regain his footing.
During those middle years, he bought a tiny animation studio from George
Lucas and started another computer company that seemed to go nowhere.
Then one of the great American comebacks. A decade after he was shown
the door at Apple, Jobs returned to save it. That other computer company
he founded, its software brought the luster back to Apple`s product line.
And that little studio --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To infinity and beyond.
FORTT: -- Pixar`s 12 films have an average gross of nearly 600
million dollars each. That`s the best record in Hollywood history. Jobs
sold Pixar to Disney for 7.4 billion dollars.
So how did it all happen? The main catalyst for Jobs` renaissance had
to be iTunes.
Apple launched it as Mac-only software in January 2001. When Jobs
unveiled the iPod music player later that year, it seamlessly connected
with iTunes and kicked off Apple`s strategy of marrying hardware, software
and Internet services in one premium package.
Next came the iTunes Music Store, selling songs for 99 cents. Today,
Apple`s iTunes is the top music retailer in the world, bar none, with more
than 10 billion songs sold.
For a generation, Jobs simply redefined the listening experience.
JOBS: Millions of people are going to buy this to listen to their
FORTT: On the strength of iTunes, Jobs remade Apple as a mobile
powerhouse and never looked back.
JOBS: Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone.
FORTT: In 2007, he launched the iPhone. Three years later, he
announced Apple`s first 20 billion dollar quarter.
But Jobs` changing physical appearance as he announced one triumph
after another was a signpost to his health problems. As iTunes took off,
he announced that he had surgery for a tumor on his pancreas. Soon after
the iPhone`s debut, he took a six month leave of absence and had a liver
JOBS: So I now have the liver of a mid-20s person who died in a car
crash and was generous enough to donate their organs. And I wouldn`t be
here without such generosity.
FORTT: After the iPad`s blockbuster holiday season, he said he would
step away again. We saw him as Apple launched the iPad 2 and its iCloud
initiative. But then Jobs announced his resignation, saying he could no
longer perform his duties as Apple CEO.
A creative titan of American business, he`s survived by his wife,
Laurene, and four children.
O`DONNELL: We are back with our coverage of the breaking news of the
death of Steve Jobs at age 56. That is a shot of Apple headquarters in
Cupertino, California, where the flags have been flying at half-mast for a
little over an hour now, at this point in the afternoon -- late afternoon
Joining me now is Lance Ulanoff, the editor in chief of Mashable.com
and former editor of "PC magazine." Thank you very much for joining me
LANCE ULANOFF, MASHABLE.COM: Thanks for having me on.
O`DONNELL: You were a friend of Steve Jobs for a very long time.
What is your reaction to where we are tonight with this news?
ULANOFF: Well, I should say, you know, I`m stunned. I worked with
Apple for year, you know, talking to them about products. I`ve been in the
same room with Steve Jobs during his many product announcements. I never
had the pleasure of sitting down to dinner with him, though I wish I had,
because I greatly admired what he did to our industry.
I`ve been in this industry for an awfully long time. And I have never
seen a figure quite like Steve Jobs. First of all, a true phoenix,
somebody who we wrote off in the mid `80s, as somebody who had one really
good idea and then couldn`t reproduce.
And you know, Steve Jobs went off, learned a bunch of stuff, started
other businesses, gave us Pixar, by the way, and then came back and
restarted -- really restarted Apple in the late `90s as almost a different
man, because his vision, his laser like focus allowed him to create a run
of products that we`ve never seen before.
We`ve never seen anything quite like it, a decade of iconic products
that people simply have to have. There are a lot of other good companies
out there making great products. But there`s something different about
Apple products. And that is because there was something different about
He has been irreplaceable. Apple knows that. Apple didn`t even
bother trying to replace him. Tim Cook is a very different kind of leader.
And that`s fine. You know, when I think about Steve Jobs, I don`t just
think about a CEO. I think about a visionary. I think about somebody who
knew how to package products, deliver them and then tell the tale of them
on stage in a way that, you know, people try and do and they just fail.
O`DONNELL: We`ve been watching video of him on stage. And he was
something of an entertainer, probably the best in that industry when it
came to introducing products and that sort of thing. But there`s also --
you can feel an entertainers grip in an Apple product when you open a box.
You get an emotional reaction to some of the ways you experience that
product for the very first time.
And you get the feeling that Steve Jobs knew -- he knew this thing is
going to amuse me, in the way that a standup comedian knows this will get a
laugh or a dramatist knows this will get a tear. He seemed to know what
the consumers` emotional reaction to his product would be.
ULANOFF: Yes, he knew it on stage. And he knew it away from the
stage. What he understood is that product experience was not simply the
product itself. So walk into an Apple Store and it begins the experience.
Talk to an Apple so-called "genius" and the experience continues.
Pick up the product, bring it home, look at the box. You know, where
did we -- why did we start doing what`s called unboxing stories online?
Because Apple created these boxes that were almost like art in and of
themselves. And you had to open each part and look at it. So the
experience just continued and each thing until you -- you know, one of the
last things that --
O`DONNELL: Lance, we have to break it there. I`m sorry. Lance
Ulanoff of Mashable.com, thank you very much for joining me tonight. "THE
RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" is next.
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