Steve Jobs Is Just Getting Warmed Up

Time has a terrific profile of Steve Jobs and the iPad this week, in large part because they put it in the hands of ubercomedian/ubergeek Stephen Fry. It's a portrait of a man whose life and work are intrinsically intertwined.

The hardest-hitting question of Fry's hour-long interview—"Will you perhaps leave Apple on this high, a fitting end to your career here?"—elicited the response above. The iPad isn't the last stop. It's just another stepping stone towards whatever's next. There's no quitting for Jobs, because working is his life and his life is working.

The article's also a fun read for Fry's unabashed fandom. On how it felt to interview Jobs up close and personal for the first time:

"I have met five British Prime Ministers, two American Presidents, Nelson Mandela, Michael Jackson and the Queen. My hour with Steve Jobs certainly made me more nervous than any of those encounters."

And, touchingly, a brief aside to pay tribute to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams:

"One melancholy thought occurs as my fingers glide and flow over the surface of this astonishing object: Douglas Adams is not alive to see the closest thing to his Hitchhiker's Guide that humankind has yet devised."

Worth noting: Fry himself provided the voice of the Guide in the most recent (and sorely underrated!) film version.

The piece also delves into the back catalog of Apple history, including a moment when Jonathan Ive nearly quit the company:

[Jobs'] return to Apple in 1997, after it purchased NeXT, is now the stuff of legend. In the design department, Jobs saw the work of a young Briton called Jonathan Ive and asked for a meeting. Ive, underused and ignored for a year, turned up with a resignation letter tucked into the back pocket of his jeans. He left with instructions to unleash his talent.

Ive went on to design the the iMac, iPod, and iPhone. It's a seminal moment in the company's growth, and an anecdote that we hadn't heard before.

The reason this is such a wonderful profile is that it feels like it's coming from our perspective. Or rather, our perspective plus a healthy dollop of wry British witticism. It communicates that sense of joy and discovery that we could stand a little more of. Read it. [Time]