Rare Video Emerges of Steve Jobs at CAUSE ’98 Conference


A video has emerged showing Steve Jobs talking at the CAUSE ’98 conference. During the talk, Jobs warned that Apple should start focusing on building great products, instead of focusing on making a profit.

What happened at Apple, to be honest, over the years was… the goal used to be to make the best computers in the world. And that was goal one. And goal two we got from Hewlett-Packard actually, which was “we have to make a profit.” Because if we don’t make a profit we can’t do goal one.

So, yeah, I mean we enjoyed making a profit, but the purpose of making a profit was so we can make the best computers in the world. Along the way somewhere those two got reversed. ‘The goal is to make a lot of money and well, if we have to make some good computers, well OK we’ll do that because we can make a lot of money doing that.’

And, it’s very subtle. It’s very subtle at first. But it turns out it’s everything. That one little subtle flip takes 5 years to see it, but that one little subtle flip in 5 years means everything. So we’ve put those things in their proper order again.

During the talk, it is very interesting to see how Jobs talks about the future of technology. For instance, he thought that the PC and TV would never merge together. Almost two decades later, Apple is trying to improve the TV experience with the Apple TV.

The full video of Jobs at the CAUSE ’98 conference can be viewed below:

[via BGR]


  • Former Apple Fan

    What Jobs said then was prophetic.

    Apple has become more about profits and increasing value for shareholder than about giving the best product/value.

    Who will overtake Apple the way Microsoft overtook IBM?

    Lately Apple products are soldered/glued, have un-replaceable ram and now hard drives in the new Mac Book Pros. Apple products have become more like cars in that they are becoming more difficult to service yourself. Better or worse? I think for the worse.

  • noah

    I don’t see why people are taking this conclusion at all. If you want to make it about price (which I don’t think was ever the focus under Jobs), then just look at how inexpensive devices like the MacBook Air have gotten. Not only that, but the launch prices of their devices has declined as well. The MacBook Air launched at a whopping $1,799 USD (that’s _without_ SSD), whereas the new Retina MacBook launched at just $1,299. Likewise, the Retina MacBook launched for $1,699 in 2012, but the 2016 refresh starts at just $1,499 (again, in USD).

    Apple’s decreasing prices has been constant for years now, but what’s also constant is the concern trolling from those outside the ecosystem claiming Apple has lost it’s way. This is as old as time and has yet to be true, but people are still eager to dog-pile and waist their breath on ignorant statements.

  • iHeartYEG

    You fail to mention how decreasing prices is not exclusive to Apple, but computer products, overall, have decreased in price for years now. Computers with similar specs were relatively expensive a few years ago than they are today. Not just that, a 32GB USB drive (that’s _without_ 3.0 by the way) used to cost upwards of $100 a few years ago.

    One thing that is exclusive to Apple is while Apple’s various models did see a gradual price decline over the years, the basic models have also increasingly seen a steep decline in specs. You can argue that the iPhone 4 is exponentially better than iPhone 3G, and yet relatively cheap. And you won’t be wrong. But the competing products have the same specs at equal or lesser prices. So again, Apple is not the only company to reduce their rates over the years. What the user “Former Apple Fan” means to say is that Apple’s value for money has greatly decreased. Today’s MacBook at that price does not offer the same value for money compared to yesteryear’s MacBook Air at its price.

  • noah

    That’s not remotely true either. MacBooks and iPhones have all seen bumps in their base storage over the years. Apple develops their own ARM CPU in-house and is well ahead of the industry in performance. The iPhone, iPads and Macs all get brand new CPUs and GPUs each refresh, and they use the latest that’s readily available at the time of manufacture/design.

    What _you_ fail to mention is that decreasing improvements is not exclusive to Apple. If there’s a perceived decrease in improvement, look to Intel and AMD. The consensus seems to be that Moore’s Law is dead (although I’m not sure I agree).

    At least, I assume you are talking about decreasing relative performance gains, not decreasing specs from refresh to refresh. I’ve only seen actual performance decreases in the Mac Mini, which also saw a price drop and is just not a high priority product for them.

    Obviously for products like the MacBook there may have been a step down in performance in favour of massive size reductions and battery improvements, but that’s where the equity lies in those products. And again, that’s the latest CPU Intel has for that class of device.

  • Christine Williams

    I miss Steve Jobs so much. Haters and trolls will jump all over my next statement but I don’t care. Here it is: I can’t even imagine what Apple would have been today and what my iPhone would have become. I miss that man so much. That video made me cry.