Steve Jobs’ dent in the universe—the shocking truth revealed!


Steve Jobs is a poster child for our Be Bold practice, and we’ve used the oft attributed Steve Jobs quote “we’re here to make a dent in the universe”, but caveated it with our inability to find the source.

We decided to research it.

The search screen for "Dent in the universe"

It turns out they’re not Steve Jobs' words after all, they’re Noah Wyle’s while playing Steve Jobs in the 1999 made for television movie Pirates of Silicon Valley.  

But that’s not where the story ends—we dug deeper, much deeper. We unearthed, what we believe to be, the inspiration for the fictional quote.

To put the matter to bed once and for all, we sought verification using the source document containing the quote, and low-and-behold Amazon had the source, a magazine article—and on Prime no less (way to go Amazon!).

Please understand that we only bought this magazine for the article—buried deep in an extensive, and rather good, interview with Steve Jobs (the bottom right corner of page 59) is this quote:

“We attract a different type of person—a person who doesn’t want to wait five or ten years to have someone take a giant risk on him or her. Someone who really wants to get in a little over his head and make a little dent in the universe.”
Steve Jobs Dent In Universe Playboy

And the storied publication that had captured this for posterity?

Playboy, February 1985.

Playboy with Steve Jobs Interview

So now you know. The shocking truth has been revealed.

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