Seven Rare Steve Jobs Videos That Show How To “Think Different”

Steve Jobs was skilled at many things–technology, marketing, and managing just for starters. But while his talents could be attributed to many factors, one that surely played a role in his success was his ability to consider things from perspectives no one had. Here are seven rare videos which span his career and take us behind the scenes of his famous slogan.

Steve Jobs Thinks Different About Product-Making

This video shows rare footage of Steve Jobs from 1980 giving a talk about starting Apple. What’s particularly striking is Jobs’s explanation of man’s skill as a toolmaker to amplify his inherent ability, which he says is why Apple was formed: not as many other companies were–to create a product–but instead to create tools that enhance man’s innate talents.


Steve Jobs Thinks Different About Intelligence

In this video from 1982 (actually, an audio-recording-as-video) Steve Jobs talks to the Academy of Achievement about what makes a person intelligent. He contends that a lot of it has to do with memory and the ability to make connections. However, he says in order to make connections that are innovative, a person must not have the same experiences as everyone else or else everyone will just be making the same connections. The key, he says, is to get an many different and wide-ranging experiences as possible.

Steve Jobs Thinks Different About The Concept Of Spending Money

As an entrepreneur, I know the dread you feel why you are going over the numbers deciding if you have enough to start a company. Indeed, “What if I spend all this money and I end up with nothing?” is a common refrain I hear whenever I talk to others deciding to go all-in on an original idea that more often than not has an equal chance of failing or succeeding. In this video of a talk Steve Wozniak gave to the Colorado School of Mines in 1984, Wozniak reflects on how Jobs turned the table on his thinking when he expressed the same fears. “Yeah, we [might] lose all our money,” Jobs told Woz, “but at least we’ll have a company.”

Steve Jobs Thinks Different About The Low Periods Of Industry Innovation

This is a great video from 1985 that shows Steve Jobs talking to academics from Lunds University in Sweden and it should be required viewing for anyone who says, “Yeah, but Apple hasn’t innovated in years!” Here Jobs talks about how the mid-1980s were seeing a lack of major advancements in the computer industry. However, he was quick to point out that all industries go through slow periods, though even when they do there is momentum behind that that eventually leads to new spurts of innovation. Extra points to the video for shows Jobs arriving by helicopter.


Steve Jobs Thinks Different About Asking For Help

This is perhaps my favorite Steve Jobs video. In it you see a bearded Jobs from 1994–one of the most powerful and creative people the technology industry has ever seen–speaking about not being afraid to ask for help. In Western society–especially in America–asking for help often has false connotations associated with it that you aren’t smart, clever, or rich enough to do it on your own. But Jobs knew there was no shame in asking for help and here explains that the ability to ask for help is often the difference between the people who accomplish something and the people who accomplish nothing.

Steve Jobs Thinks Different About Animation

This is a video of a keynote speech by Steve Jobs at Siggraph ’95. In it, Jobs talks about an upcoming movie his new company, Pixar, is making called Toy Story. The speech is rare in that it shows Jobs’s masterful understanding of industries other than technology. In this case, it’s the film industry. Here he opines that the future of films will increasingly rely on animation instead of its traditional role as just a tool for children’s films. This was a groundbreaking assertion in 1995, but today it seems obvious as virtually every film made today features some type of computer animation–with some relying completely on it.

Steve Jobs Thinks Different About Marketing

In this amazing speech from 1997 in a Town Hall meeting room on the company’s Cupertino campus, Steve Jobs launches the most iconic marketing campaign in the company’s history: “Think Different.” Jobs reflects on the difference between using marketing to sell a commodity and using marketing to impart the ethos of a company to its users. You can see the correlation between the Think Different campaign and the speech Jobs gave 17 years earlier about man’s role as a toolmaker. This is the birth of Apple conveying its ethos that the company is a simple toolmaker for people with the passion and ability to change the world. (Extra points to Steve for the dig against the milk industry).


Thanks to David Blake of Degreed, who suggested some of these videos. Degreed is a new service that helps users tell the story of their life’s worth of learning and helps them track, measure, and share everything they learn. They have launched a series of case studies on the lives of interesting people, including Steve Jobs. The case study features 50+ articles, videos, and book excerpts that highlight the influences in his life, the pivotal moments in his education and career, and highlights his legacy today.

Read Design Crazy: Good Looks, Hot Tempers, and True Genius at Apple, our captivating oral history of the company that “taught the world taste.” The ebook is available through Apple, Amazon and Byliner.

[Image: Flickr user Ben Stanfield]


About the author

Michael Grothaus is a novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books. You can read more about him at