I take it you watched Pirates of Silicon Valley, a 1999 made-for-television film directed by Martyn Burke and based on the book Fire in the Valley: The Making of The Personal Computer by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine. If not, you should!

The flick depicts the Microsoft-Apple rivalry and covers the early days of Steve Jobs, played masterfully by Noah Wyle.

Those who saw the movie remember the famous job interview scene which explores the darker aspects of Jobs’ personality, with him famously asking a prospective employee – an IBMer – if he was still a virgin.

That scene sticks in mind as a classic portrayal of Jobs infamous personality tantrums. Too bad it’s been made up. Yup, you read that right, this never actually happened…

The revelation came in a blog post by Ken Segall, the marketing expert, former Creative Director at Apple and author of an upcoming new book on the company aptly titled Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success, due for release on April 26.

First, here’s that scene.

After seeing Wyle’s performance, Jobs was so impressed that he decided he would have the actor open the 1999 MacWorld Expo show.

Segall recalls Steve Jobs’ ‘Moment of Truth’

He was going to get Noah Wyle to walk on stage and pretend to be him. Steve had the physical part all figured out — he’d give Noah the black turtleneck, gray New Balances, even duplicate glasses from his personal eyeglass-maker. What he wanted from me was a script. What exactly should Noah say when he walks onstage? How would Steve join in?

I sent a script to Steve the following day. He liked it all, but he was especially fond of the ending. In the script, Steve would thank Noah for coming to Macworld, Noah would walk off stage to applause, but then stop as if he were suddenly remembering something. He’d then turn back to Steve to ask one final question: “Oh, Steve. Are you still a virgin?”

Steve didn’t make a single change to the script, but he did have one question: should it be “Are you a virgin” or “Are you still a virgin”?

“Hey, I don’t know,” I replied. “You’re the one who said it! What exactly did you say?”

Steve’s response surprised me. “No, that’s just it. I never said anything. This never happened — it’s all made up.”

Segall is certainly telling the truth.

He used to work alongside Steve on advertising concepts at both Apple and NeXT and is credited with dreaming up the iMac name.

Commenting on Apple’s wondrous spaceship-like campus, Segall recently wrote that “To Steve, designing and building his new company home is no different than designing and building an Apple product”.

Forbes had a chance to read through his upcoming book and highlighted eight leadership lessons that Segall learned from Apple’s co-founder.

So, there you have it.

Disappointed that the job interview scene was all made up?

  • Dan

    poor guy, he has a wife and he’s still a virgin, that’s gotta be rough

  • David Villamizar

    actually the steve jobs biography by walter isaacson tells that steve asked to other students about their virginity when he came back to the university after creating apple

  • I suspect it’s a garbled or exaggerated version of something much less interesting that actually did happen.

  • poor guy. he’s probably going to become a slut now

  • Anonymous

    I had a feeling that was a bit too full-on, even for Jobs. Still a top film though (in that “1990’s made for TV kind of way 🙂 )

  • jackbutler5555

    It is made up because Steve Jobs said it was made up? Was this kind of behavior untypical of Steve? Reports from people who worked with him closely would not rule out this kind of obnoxiousness and arrogance. This is a very clever ploy by Jobs apologists. They assert it never happened, not knowing whether it did or not, so that they can undermine the many stories about his underlying nastiness.

  • Jon Donnis

    According to Wozniak it did happen. He’s also said in other interviews (freely available on YouTube) that the personalities of the people in the film were pretty much spot on. So basically Steve Jobs was portrayed as an arrogant arsehole because he was an arrogant arsehole.