Steve Jobs predicts the impact of the Internet in 1985

Of all of the incredible quotes around the republishing of the 1985 Playboy interview, one stands out for me.

Remember, in 1985 there were only BBS’s and DARPANET, the browser would just start to become popular a decade later.  Yet Steve Jobs already knew that the Internet was going to drive PCs into the home.

PLAYBOY: Those are arguments for computers in business and in schools, but what about the home?

JOBS: So far, that’s more of a conceptual market than a real market. The primary reasons to buy a computer for your home now are that you want to do some business work at home or you want to run educational software for yourself or your children. If you can’t justify buying a computer for one of those two reasons, the only other possible reason is that you just want to be computer literate. You know there’s something going on, you don’t exactly know what it is, so you want to learn. This will change: Computers will be essential in most homes.

PLAYBOY: What will change?

JOBS: The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it into a nationwide communications network. We’re just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people—as remarkable as the telephone.

Apple, shortly after Jobs’ departure, set up AppleLink and eWorld, without so much success.

Perhaps that is why the iMac, which essentially saved Apple, was so far ahead of its time.  Jobs was a decade ahead of everyone else.

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