Danny's Kids Page
with Danny Stricker (age 11)
Interview with 
Dr. Irwin Jacobs, Chairman of Qualcomm
October, 2001
Stricker: What do spend most of your time on as chairman?
Jacobs: I spend about a third of my time on technical and interacting with my engineering folks here, about a third of my time interacting with customers on their issues and trying to look at the products and perhaps a third of my time on organizational issues.

Stricker: What will the phones of the future be like?
Jacobs: Well they’re going to be very interesting phones. They will be not just telephones but they will also allow access to the internet and be fairly powerful computers in their own right. Some will have little cameras on them so that you will be able to take a picture and immediately communicate wirelessly. For many people they may in fact end up replacing their computers.

Stricker: You know that commercial where the girl in Italy buys a soda from a machine with her cell phone? Is that going to happen?
Jacobs: Well its easy to do that, I mean relatively easy to do that. The question is whether there is good economic reason to do it. I think that there will be shopping on the internet using your cell phones. You will be able to place orders and either give credit card information or some other type of electric money using your phone.

Stricker: What one thing do you do that makes you successful?
Jacobs: Hard work and finding good people to work with, two things.

Stricker: What was your favorite book as a kid?
Jacobs: I read a lot of Hardy boys. There were some books on submarines in World War II. I tend to read books that have to do either with science and technology or non fiction so right now I am reading a book called The Elegant Universe about general relativity and quantum physics.

Stricker: What do you think will be the biggest next new thing?
Jacobs: In communications I think wireless access to the internet.

Stricker: What do you think technology will be like in fifty years?
Jacobs: There will be things that we can not easily imagine. Integrated circuits that we use, the transistors on those that we use will have more power and therefore open up the opportunity to put more things on them. The way technology will move ahead will depend on making sure that we attract a lot of very good students that study technology. And then there will be a lot of opportunities for improvement.