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Xerox

People say sometimes, ‘You work in the fastest-moving industry in the world.’ I don’t feel that way. I think I work in one of the slowest. It seems to take forever to get anything done. All of the graphical-user interface stuff that we did with the Macintosh was pioneered at Xerox PARC and with Doug Engelbart at SRI in the mid-’70s. And here we are, just about the mid-’90s, and it’s kind of commonplace now. But it’s about a 10-to-20-year lag. That’s a long time.

Steve Jobs, 1994

When you have a market monopoly, the sales and marketing people end up running the company. The product people get run out of the company. Then the companies forget what it means to make great products. The [researchers] at Xerox PARC used to call the people who ran Xerox ‘toner heads.’ They just had no clue about a computer or what it could do.

Steve Jobs, 1995.

I do think that when people look back on this in a hundred years they’re gonna see it as a remarkable time in history. Especially this area believe it or not. When you look at the innovations that came out from this area, just that Bay Area, Silicon Valley and the whole San Francisco Berkeley Bay area you’ve got invention of the integrated circuit, the invention of the microprocessor, the invention from semi-conductor memory, certainly the invention of the modern hard disk drive, the invention of the modern floppy disk drive, the invention of the personal computer, the invention of of genetic engineering, the invention of object oriented technology, the invention of graphical user interfaces by Xerox PARC followed by Apple, the invention of networking. All that happened in this Bay area. Isn’t that incredible?

Steve Jobs.

What NeXTSTEP was, was the completion of turning some of that (Xerox PARC) vision into a reality. Incorporating the world’s first true commercial object oriented system, NeXTSTEP, and really for its time, being the most networked system in the world when it came out.

Steve Jobs.

(of Xerox PARC) They were very far ahead in their thinking. They didn’t have it right. The stuff they had done wasn’t really right. But its the germ of the idea of all three things was there. And the three things were: Graphical User Interface, Object Oriented Computing and Networking.

Steve Jobs.