Steve Jobs had cofounded Apple Computer in 1976. The first popular personal computer, the Apple II, was a hit – and made Steve Jobs one of the biggest names of a brand-new industry.

At the height of Apple's early success in December 1979, Jobs, then all of 24, had a privileged invitation to visit Xerox PARC.


And they showed me, really, three things.


One of the things they showed me was object-oriented programming. They showed me that...


...but I didn't even see that.


The other one they showed me was a networked computer system. They had over a hundred Alto computers, all networked, using e-mail, et cetera, et cetera.


I didn't even see that.


I was so blinded by the first thing they showed me...


...which was the graphical user interface.


I thought it was the best thing I had ever seen in my life.


Now remember, it was very flawed. What we saw was incomplete, they'd done a bunch of things wrong...


...but we didn't know that at the time. But still, though: they had – the germ of the idea was there, and they'd done it very well. And within, you know, ten minutes, it was obvious to me that all computers would work like this, someday.


It was a turning point. Jobs decided that this was the way forward for Apple.