After many unreturned calls and emails to Apple PR folks, after not receiving an invitation to the iPad launch event in San Francisco, after being shunned by friends who work at Apple because they think I’m going to get them fired, I’ve decided my dream interview with Steve Jobs is still going to take place.
If only in my mind. Ah, I can see it all now: friendly and brief.
To get things off on the right foot, I’d tell him that I interviewed a company years ago that had taken over Apple’s old headquarters — and I had stood at the very spot John Scully fired him in ’85. So at least we’d have something to share.
(Old reporter’s trick: It’s always good to put a source at ease by finding common ground.)
Here’s how I picture the interview going down, which isn’t completely make-believe because I’m stealing bits I’ve heard from real reporters who actually interviewed the man:
Tom: Why did you become a Buddhist?
Tom: Never mind, not important. So congrats on the iPad.
Tom: Kinda weird though. I mean, you did say you wouldn’t do another Newton after that debacle. You also said there’s no real need for an e-reader because, well, people don’t read anymore.
Tom: On that note, is the iPad’s docking station with a hardware keyboard a tacit admission that touch keyboards aren’t for everyone? Feel free not to answer that.
Jobs: Like I said at the event, the iPad is a dream to type on.
Tom: Right, I wasn’t there. So is the hardware keyboard for non-dreamers? Forget it. Keyboards are boring, let’s move on. What do you have against the Kama Sutra?
Tom: Your App Store seems to be a little controlling in the kind of apps it lets through, like the app that included the Kama Sutra. In fact, the App Store’s kinda like George Orwell’s 1984. Wait a minute. Wasn’t Apple supposed to be anti-establishment in that famous commercial?
Tom: How is Apple able to be so great at innovation?
(Another reporter’s trick: When things get testy, throw in a softball question.)
Jobs: The reason Apple is able to create products like the iPad is because we always try to be at the intersection of technology and liberal arts.
Tom: That’s nice. Any room at that intersection for businesses?
Jobs: Your question is unclear.
Tom: Okay. What do you have against CIOs?
Jobs: Who are you with?
Tom: I work for CIO.com. It’s tough for CIOs when Apple products sneak in through the backdoor of their corporations. To be fair, Mr. Jobs, Apple doesn’t support the enterprise in any meaningful way.
(Yet another reporter’s trick: Give one up for the home team, your readers.)
Jobs: So that’s what this is all about. You’re going to do a hatchet job on me.
Jobs: Hatchet job! What’s your name?
Tom: Tom, um, Kaneshige. Please don’t call my boss.
Tom Kaneshige is a senior writer for CIO.com in Silicon Valley. Send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or follow him on Twitter @kaneshige. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline.