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PARC scientist retells story of Jobs at Xerox: ‘You’re sitting on a gold mine!’ (Video)

Fortune has flagged up a video from 2011 of an eyewitness retelling how Jobs behaved and interacted when seeing Xerox’s PARC revolutionary graphical user interface inventions for the first time. Although the video is old, it seems to have gone largely unnoticed until this week and features some interesting anecdotes about the events.

According to Tesler, a PARC scientist who ended up working for Apple shortly after, Xerox came to Apple about a business development deal regarding more mundane matters like Xerox distribution. In the end Apple sold Xerox bargain-priced shares in exchange for these deals, including the agreement (pushed through by Jobs) that Apple would be able to see everything “cool” going on at Xerox Parc. Tesler describes Jobs as being unable to hold back his excitement, paraphrasing:

“What is going on here? You’re sitting on a gold mine! Why aren’t you doing something with this technology? You could change the world!”

The extract above is part of a 100 minute video, if you are interested in the entire roundtable.

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  1. dcj001 - 9 years ago

    “PARC scientist retells story of Jobs at Xerox: ‘Your sitting on a gold mine!'”

    Benjamin. Please learn the difference between “you’re” and “your.”

    Your (possessive) many readers believe that you’re (you are) not trying hard enough to be literate,

    • dcj001 - 9 years ago

      Good job fixing one error. I would also delete and repost on Twitter with the correct spelling. That is just what I would do.

      • Benjamin Mayo - 9 years ago

        I do understand the difference, it was just an autocorrect typo. Thanks for pointing it out.

      • dcj001 - 9 years ago

        I disabled AutoCorrect a long time ago. I recommend that everyone does the same.

    • I can’t believe how many times I’ve had to give out this link:

      Every blogger should watch this weekly, if not more often.

    • standardpull - 9 years ago

      The importance of grammar cannot be overstated. Homonyms and auto-correct are no excuse for the human endeavor of journalistic web writing and editing. The indelible wrong word commited to paper can confuse the lesser soul into believing untruths and mystifying an otherwise unmysterious world. Thank you, dear commenter, for creating value. You may see this as a hopeless strategy for improving grammar worldwide, but oh how righteous.

  2. Bradley Gualco - 9 years ago

    Yes, he was the great consolidator of technology. I’m the consolidator of marketing and persuasion. Check out my blog at! Xerox didn’t know what to do with it all. My grandfather retired from Xerox. He loves the Mac, iPad and iPhone! I do too!

  3. vkd108 - 9 years ago

    Thanks, BENJAMIN MAYO, for this report. It was great.

  4. aeronperyton - 9 years ago

    50 years later and we’re still going to be hearing new stories and new accounts of everything that occured at Apple during its growth. Thanks for the video.

  5. Donald William Gillies - 8 years ago

    Jobs MADE those ideas INTO a gold mine.

    Xerox had a idiotic idea of selling a bitsliced microcoded 16-bit $10,000 workstation for … word processing, when a secretary cost … $10,000 per year.

    Jobs made the Mac a general purpose computer, vastly simplified the mouse (2 -> 1 button is no small feat), and he cut the memory footprint in 1/4th. I worked at Xerox OSD on the day the 128 KB macintosh was unveiled. At the time all Xerox developers received 768KB machines and 512KB was thought to be “unlivable”. The Macintosh idea of Quickdraw “picture language” and file ‘resource forks’ which put all the GUI data on disk and paged it in … cut the memory usage (and cost of the machine) in half.

    • Donald William Gillies - 8 years ago

      Xerox considered their bitmap editor called “doodle” to be a curiosity and would not show it to customers nor ship it on their 8010 documentation workstations from Office Systems Division.

      Steve Jobs made “macpaint” (a clone of the same thing) “fun” and used a carefully drawn picture of a sneaker (actually it was probably a floyded photograph) to capture the imagination of millions of people, and the Macintosh sold by itself thereafter …


Avatar for Benjamin Mayo Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.