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Steve Jobs praised for how he dealt with rude question in resurfaced footage

Steve Jobs praised for how he dealt with rude question in resurfaced footage

When the Apple co-founder was asked a savage question in the late 90s, he gave a pretty inspiring response.

Steve Jobs' legacy is pretty amazing - after all, he's the one who helped give the world the iPhone.

And yet not everyone was always so enamored with him - as seen in a resurfaced video doing the rounds online.

After co-founding Apple in the 1970s, Jobs left the company in 1985, but returned 11 years later. When he did a Q&A at the Worldwide Developer Conference in 1997, Jobs had just returned to Apple - and he was on the receiving end of some frankly quite rude questions.

Someone from the audience started by calling Jobs a "bright and influential man", before diving into a savage takedown.

"It's sad and clear that on several counts you don't know what you're talking about," the man said, before asking about OpenDoc - Apple's now defunct multi-platform software framework.

He ended his question just as rudely as he started it, by asking somewhat sarcastically: "Perhaps you could tell us what you personally have been doing for the past seven years?".

Ouch. If someone had come for us like that in our place of work, we'd probably have curled up into a little ball - but Jobs, who died in 2011, dealt with it like a champ.

Obviously used to critics, Jobs said honestly: "You can please some of the people, some of the time."

He was remarkably gracious to the man who was openly rude to him, and said: "One of the hardest things when you're trying to affect change is that people like this gentleman are right in some areas."

But the biggest lesson Jobs imparted in his answer is all about the importance of failure.

Steve Jobs rejoined Apple in the late 1990s.
Daniel Sheehan / Contributor / Getty Images

"Some mistakes will be made along the way, that's good," he said.

"Because at least some decisions are being made along the way, and we'll find the mistakes - we'll fix them."

This has become something of a common refrain among tech moguls - take SpaceX and Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, who's often credited with saying: "If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough."

Giving even more of an insight into how he approached business, at the Worldwide Developer Conference Jobs also spoke about how the process worked at Apple.

"One of the things I've always found is that you've got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology," he said.

"You can't start with the technology and try to figure out where you're gonna sell it."

According to Jobs, he has "made this mistake probably more than anybody else in this room, and I've got the scar tissue to prove it".

Featured Image Credit: Credit: Justin Sullivan / Staff / Getty / Jonathan Field Youtube