Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (Part 2)

The Launch (A Dent in the Universe). It was now 1984. Microsoft was now competing with Apple. Revenue now largely came from its operating system. IBM was dominating the PC market. The Mac was not out yet. Once again, Steve set ridiculous deadlines for the programmers at Apple, which they eventually managed to meet. Lee Clow was tasked to design the advertisement for the Mac. Steve was a rebel deep inside. He was representative of the counterculture. It turned out to be one of the greatest commercials of all time.. “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984’”. Over the years, Steve became a master at product launches. He had his way with the media. It was Jan 24 and the team had completed the software for the Mac.

Obviously, I can talk. But right now I’d like to sit back and listen. So it is with considerable pride that I introduce a man who’s been like a father to me, Steve Jobs. – The Macintosh

Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone? – Steve Jobs

Gates and Jobs (When Orbits Intersect). The Macintosh Partnership. Bill Gates was another high school dropout. They both had very different personalities. Bill Gates was not someone who represented the counterculture. Rather, he dropped out of school to start a computer software company. Bill was more of the introverted sort. They each really didn’t like each other. Bill was not as closed and was open towards licensing of the operating systems. Steve thought Bill liked to rip off other people’s ideas and was better at philanthropy. Bill agreed to work on Excel, Word and BASIC for the Mac. Bill was a guy who hated the Mac and didn’t know how to appreciate it. They forged a deal where Microsoft would develop Excel for the Mac and Apple would stop working on BASIC. The software like Excel were sold separately from the Mac. Also, Microsoft bundled such software for IBM etc. Microsoft had an operating system known as DOS. There were fears that Microsoft were going to copy the user graphic interface(GUI). So they decided to copy Apple. Bill could not create GUI until 1983. Soon after, he create Windows. The deal to do non competing software was wearing out. Steve told him that he was ripping them off. Apple and Microsoft had a strained relationship after that. Windows was only released in 1985 and it was bad. Through improvement, it became better and now is a more dominant OS.

The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste, they have absolutely no taste. I don’t mean that in a small way. I mean that in a big way, in the sense that they don’t think of original ideas and they don’t bring much culture into their product. – Steve Jobs

Each one thought he was smarter than the other one, but Steve generally treated Bill as someone who was slightly inferior, especially in matters of taste and style. – Andy Hertzfeld

Steve was in his ultimate pied piper mode, proclaiming how the Mac will change the world and overworking people like mad, with incredible tensions and complex working relationships. – Bill Gates

Well, Steve, I think there’s more than one way of looking at it. I think it’s more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it. – Bill Gates

Icarus (What Goes Up…). Flying High. The Mac was doing well. Steve was now controlling Sculley, Apple’s president. Steve needed extreme control. Steve had the factory painted in bright colours. He was crazy and wanted to check for dust in corners of the factory. He wanted to instill a sense of discipline in the workings. He just continued speeding after he got a ticket for speeding. Especially in Europe, he kept pressuring the managers to increase sales forecasts. One had to out-bully him. Sales of the Mac started to slow in 1984 as it was underpowered. It had only 128K of RAM. It didn’t have an internal hard disk drive as well. There was also no fan on the Mac. This caused it to overheat easily. Steve turned 30 in 1985. A few of the engineers started to leave Apple. Steve was upset by this. Woz decided to start his own company and manufacture remote control device. Sculley didn’t really understand Apple’s products and hated tweaking by Steve on the design. Sculley and Steve got into a huge conflict. He told Steve to give up on the Mac division. He wanted Steve to work on new technology and products. The board had the final decision on what to do. The board wanted Steve to run a research lab. They sided with John Sculley to eject Steve from the Mac division. There was little cooperation between divisions in Apple. John Sculley refused to let Steve run the Mac division. Steve launched a coup and gathered his supporters to fight against John. The board had to vote on whether they preferred John or Steve. In conclusion, the board sided with John and Steve Jobs was out of Apple. Even those Sculley won, he also felt like resigning. Gassee would take over the Mac division as well as other products. Steve could be the board chairman, with no AppleLabs or operational duties. Jobs would be a visionary with no recognition. Steve now spent more time with his girlfriend, Tina Redse. The three men who brought him up (Sculley, Markkula and Rock) brought him down now. Steve had lost the respect from them. Steve thought Sculley was a bozo. Steve and his girlfriend headed off to Europe to take a break.

You have to be ruthless if you want to build a team of A players. It’s too easy, as a team grows, to put up with a few B players, and they then attract a few more B players, and soon you will even have some C players. The Macintosh experience taught me that A players like to work only with other A players, which means you can’t indulge in B players. – Steve Jobs

Your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind. You are really etching chemical patterns. In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns, just like grooves in a record, and they never get out of them. – Steve Jobs

If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away. – Steve Jobs

The more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to say ‘ Bye, I have to go. I’m going crazy and I’m getting out of here.’ And they go and hibernate somewhere. Maybe later they re-emerge a little differently. – Steve Jobs

Sculley believed in keeping people happy and worrying about relationships. Steve didn’t give a shit about that. But he did care about the product in a way that Sculley never could, and he was able to avoid having too many bozos working at Apple by insulting anyone who wasn’t an A player. – Al Alcorn

We have developed a great friendship with each other, but I have lost confidence in your ability to run the Macintosh division. – Sculley

The board felt that I couldn’t run a company, and that was their decision to make. But they made one mistake. They should have separated the decision of what to do with me and what to do with Sculley. They should have fired Sculley, even if they didn’t think I was ready to run Apple. – Steve Jobs


Prometheus Unbound. Steve was excited and now wanted to start a new company. Universities wanted machines that were more powerful than the Mac. Gassee cancelled the Big Mac experiment.He now persuaded some of the Apple’s current employees to join me. Steve wanted to create a computer for the higher education market. He only wanted a few of the top people from Apple but said he would not compete with Apple. Steve took 5 people with him, and they were to resign on their own accord. He took Page, Lewin etc. The Board was furious with Steve for poaching their staff. Mike Markkula, Rock etc were furious with Steve for taking 5 senior staff. People were shocked by his behavior. He drove to Mike’s house with his resignation letter. Both Jobs and Wozniak were out. The board sued Steve for poaching staff and breaches of fiduciary obligations. He liquidated his 11% of stock in Apple for more than $100 million. Tough love made him a better person. He named his next company ‘Next’. He contacted Paul Rand to design the logo. Rand was contracted to IBM but was given permission by the CEO to design the logo. He wanted the new PC to be a cube. NeXT was born. The lawsuit was settled when NeXT was placed with a few restrictions on what it could do. Esslinger also joined NeXT. Steve wanted a cube shaped PC. He was still prone to mood swings. Lotus agreed to write a spreadsheet for the NeXT operating system. He treated employees the same. NeXT was in trouble when they were slow to launch a product and cash was burning out. Perot was a venture capitalist who was willing to invest in NeXT. He eventually took a stake in the company. Bill Gates did not want to develop software for NeXT as it was not revolutionary. Steve tried to persuade IBM to stop using Windows, but rather collaborate with NeXT. Bill was furious on learning about this because he felt the object-oriented OS at NeXT was not compatible with IBM. Eventually the deal died. In October 1988, NeXT was launched. He controlled the design of everything. He charged the product at $6,500 each. This was way too expensive. The keynote was a success. However, the public response to it was lukewarm at best. Sales in 1989 turned out to be bad and NeXT was bleeding cash once again.

He had it in his mind to start a new company. He was young and rich, and had to find something to do with the rest of his life. – Paul Berg

As you know, the company’s recent reorganization left me with no work to do and no access even to regular management reports. I am but 30 and want still to contribute and achieve. After what we have accomplished together, I would wish our parting to be both amicable and dignified. – Steve Jobs

What I’m best at doing is finding a group of talented people and making things with them. I’ll always remember Apple like any man remembers the first woman he’s fallen in love with. – Steve Jobs

Part of my responsibility is to be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. – Steve Jobs

Steve Job’s product comes with an interesting feature called incompatibility. It doesn’t run any of the existing software. It’s a super-nice computer. I don’t think if I went out to design an incompatible computer I would have done as well as he did. – Bill Gates

PIXAR (Technology Meets Art). Steve went for a walk with Alan Kay. He brought him to Ed Catmull, a member of George Luca’s Lucasfilms. Steve was thoroughly impressed with the firm. John Lasseter was a star at animation. The IT division of Lucasfilms needed a buyer. Steve agreed to buy 70% of it for $10million. PIXAR married art with technology. Steve initially didn’t want to cede control. Lucas advised Steve that his people were only interested in animation. The Pixar Image Computer was a big thing. Soon, Steve began to control things and propose wacky ideas. Steve wanted to integrate hardware with software. He tried to lower the cost of the PC to about $30,000. Steve wanted to mass market it. However, the design features did not suit the common user. People were not interested in graphics rendering. Steve was an exceptionally charismatic man. Only Disney was interested in Pixar’s technology. Lasseter was a designer of animated films and Steve was thoroughly impressed with him. They complemented each other very well. Lasseter’s film was nominated for an Academy Award. Steve kept funding the animated films division. Alvy Ray Smith, a co-founder at Lucasfilms, hated Steve. He refused to be a slave for him. Smith left to set up his own design film. This was eventually bought by Microsoft. Steve was merciless about chopping people when the firm started bleeding cash. He also didn’t want to share information with Intel. Disney worked with Pixar to bring animated films to another level.

My view is that people are creative animals and will figure out clever new ways to use tools that the inventor never imagined. I thought that would happen with the Pixar computer, just as it did with the Mac. – Steve Jobs

A Regular Guy (Love is Just a 4 Letter Word). Jobs met Joan Baez and was attracted to her. He was ending his past relationship with Barbara Jasinski. The girl was 41 and he was 27. Joan was once a lover of Bob Dylan. Steve gave her a few of the Apple PCs. Joan hated a idea of a computer playing music. Joan also had a kid from her previous relationship. After 3 years, their relationship ended. Clara had lung cancer when Steve was 31. Steve now managed to find his biological mother. After Clara died, he contacted Joanne Simpson. Joanne was overwhelmed when he met Steve. Steve actually had a sister named Mona. Mona was a writer with a magazine. They became closer, like family. She wrote a book about him. It was known as ‘A Regular Guy.’ Now, they tried to hunt down their father. Steve had actually inadvertently met his father at a restaurant which he used to frequent. Lisa was the girl who Steve abandoned. When Lisa was about 8, Steve often visited her and brought her around. Lisa and Steve’s relationship would be a rollercoaster, with many ups and downs. Steve could be a very romantic guy. Steve met a Tina Redse, a blonde woman. Tina was very understanding and they hit it off. Steve was incredibly self-centered. Their relationship lasted for 5 years. There were plenty of fights during their relationship. Steve was someone who lacked empathy. Things were just not meant to be.

I believe in environment more than heredity in determining your traits, but still you have to wonder a little about your biological roots. – Steve Jobs

Steve believed it was our job to teach people aesthetics, to teach people what they should like. I don’t share that perspective. I believe when we listen deeply, both within ourselves and to each other, we are able to allow what’s innate and true to emerge. – Tina Redse

Family Man (At Home with the Jobs Clan). Jobs eventually married Laurene Powell. He gave lectures at Stannford. Laurene was impressed with Steve and he took her out for dinner. She left her number behind. He brought her to a vegan restaurant. Laurene did not worship money, which was good. He was 36 when he got married. Laurene was 27. . After marriage, Laurene set up her own company, Terravera. Steve lived in a very unassuming house with his wife. Burrell went psychotic. Lisa moved in with Steve when she was 14. Laurene was supportive and attended most of Lisa’s school events. Lisa got admitted to Harvard. Erin was 1 year old then. Erin was Steve Job’s daughter as well. Their son was known as Reed Paul Jobs. Reed turned out to be smart, creative and someone with good manners. Erin was born 4 years later. Eve was born another 3 years later. Steve was closer to his son than his daughters.

Every other CEO I know has a security guard. They’ve even got them at their homes. It’s a nutso way to live. We just decided that’s not how we wanted to raise our kids. – Steve Jobs

There were only two women in my life that I was truly in love with, Tina and Laurene. I thought I was in love with Joan Baez, but I really just liked her a lot. It was just Tina and then Laurene. – Steve Jobs

He had the power to focus like a laser beam, and when it came across you, you basked in the light of his attention. When it moved to another point of focus, it was very, very dark for you. It was very confusing to Laurene. – Kat Smith

He is the luckiest guy to have landed with Laurene, who is smart and can engage him intellectually and can sustain his ups and downs and tempestuous personality. – Joanna Hoffman

Toy Story (Buzz and Woody to the Rescue). ‘It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.’ Walt Disney. There was a fit between Pixar and Disney. Pixar wanted to do a film with Disney. Jeffrey Katzenberg was the head of Disney’s film division. Katzenberg was a tyrant and was similar to Steve Jobs. ‘Everybody thinks I’m a tyrant. I am a tyrant. But I’m usually right.’ Jeffery Katzenberg. John Lasseter thought of Toy Story as a movie. The two main characters were Buzz Lightyear and Woody. The story kept changing, but Steve kept costs under control. Steve only wants perfection. He was about to revolutionize the movie industry. He wanted to take Pixar public. Toy Story was released in Nov 1995. Toy Story turned out to be a huge success. Whose movie was it? Pixar or Disney’s? The IPO was also a huge success and the firm raised a lot of money from the public market. He was a billionaire now. Pixar had the ability to co-market and design the films. It was great

Everyone has had the traumatic childhood experience of losing a toy. Our story takes the toy’s point of view as he loses and tries to regain the single thing most important to him: to be played with by children. This is the reason for the existence of all toys. It is the emotional foundation of their existence. – Walter Isaacson

The Second Coming

What Rough Beast, its Hour Come Round at Last. NeXT was released in 1988. It failed to attract many customers. They targeted customers who wanted personal workstations. However, Sun Microsystems were doing well. Steve agreed to license NeXTSTEP OS to run on other computers. He also gave up on hardware. His movie business was doing well. However, he was disappointed with the PC market. Sculley was a bad CEOs and Apple’s market declined in the early 1990s. It remained stagnant. Sculley was too profit driven. By 1990, Windows 3.0 was out. Windows 95, released in 1995, was the most successful OS. Larry Ellison wanted to buy Apple and place Steve as CEO. Steve was not keen on this idea. Michael Spindler replaced Sculley as CEO in 1993. He, too, desperately tried to sell Apple to other giants. This failed. In 1996, Gil Amelio took over as CEO. Steve approached Amelio, wanting to be CEO. Apple needed a new operating system which was stable. It turned to NeXT. He wanted to get rid of NeXT, as it was bleeding cash as well. Amelio was torn between NeXT and Be (A company owned by Gassee). Amelio chose Jobs instead. Steve shook Markkula’s hand again. Apple paid $400m for NeXT. Steve agreed to be a part time advisor to the chairman back at Apple. He didn’t want to take over Apple then. This marked his re-entry back into Apple.

Windows has won. It beat the Mac, unfortunately, it beat UNIX, it beat OS/2. An inferior product won. – Steve Jobs

Steve’s sales pitch on the NeXT operating system was dazzling. He praised the virtues and strengths as though he were describing a performance of Oliver as Macbeth. – Gil Amelio

Don’t you understand that Steve doesn’t know anything about technology? He’s just a super salesman. I can’t believe you’re making such as a stupid decision…He doesn’t know anything about engineering, and 99% of what he says and thinks is wrong. What the hell are you buying that garbage for? – Bill Gates

There are a lot of other things going on in my life now. I have a family. I am involved at Pixar. My time is limited, but I hope I can share some ideas. – Steve Jobs

The Restoration

The Loser Now Will Be Later to Win. Even those he was 40, Steve was still very innovative. He wanted to build a legacy for himself. Steve didn’t want to take over Gil yet. Gil was bad at doing keynotes and lost his train of thought. Steve wanted to create an OS even better than Windows. Steve introduced his NeXT team back into Apple. Gil wanted to get rid of Newton. He eventually did. Steve was wresting power away from Gil. Gil said a lot of stupid stuff. Ellison from Oracle pretended to take over Apple. This put the heat on Amelio. Amelio also thought Steve liked him. He was dead wrong about it. Steve had his way of charming people. Amelio soon realized he was under threat from Steve. The board were worried that Apple would keep bleeding cash. The Board wanted Steve back. Steve declined the offer to be CEO as he had other commitments. Pixar just went public and he was happy being CEO. He didn’t want to be CEOs of two public companies. Eventually, he decided he would help them hire a CEO. Steve liked to ignore situations which were uncomfortable. Apple was complex and uncomfortable at that time. Steve wanted to see whether Apple could be saved before joining. Fred Anderson would be interim CEO. 12 years after Steve lost power, he was back. Steve lowered the exercise price of options to make it valuable. Steve sometimes used threats to get things done. He threatened the board that he will quit if they did not approve the option pricing. Steve even threatened that the whole board apart from Woolard resign or he will resign. Eventually, the board resigned. Steve was that powerful. Even Mike Markkula had to leave. Apple needed to reinvent itself desperately, or it was going down. Microsoft was highly dominant in the PC market. Steve chose his board members. Apple’s board is special. The CEO has control over the board.. Apple was only running at $20 per share in 1997. Microsoft gradually refused to design Word and Excel for the Mac. Apple needed Microsoft to continue developing for the Mac and invest in Apple. Bill liked it. Steve wanted commitment and an investment. Steve mentioned about the deal in his keynote. Bill featured in the keynote and said the application software would be for Mac as well. Microsoft would have non-voting shares in Apple. Apple was back and healthy.

I said this guy is the worst CEO I’ve ever seen. I think if you needed a license to be a CEO he wouldn’t get one. – Steve Jobs, on Gil Amelio

If we stay with Gil as CEO, I think there’s only a 10% chance we will avoid bankruptcy. If we fire him and convince Steve to come takeover, we have a 60% chance of surviving. If we fire GIL, don’t get Steve back, and have to search for a new CEO, then we have a 40% chance of surviving. – Apple’s Board of Directors

It was just what we needed, because whatever you think of Steve, he knows how to get the magic back. – Steve Wozniak

Okay, tell me what’s wrong with this place. It’s the products. So what’s wrong with the products? The products suck. There’s no sex in them anymore! – Steve Jobs

We too are going to think differently and serve the people who have been buying our products from the beginning. Because a lot of people think they’re crazy, but in that craziness we see genius. – Steve Jobs

Think Different

Steve Jobs as iCEO. Here’s to the Crazy Ones. Lee Clow was summoned by Steve. He had to prove that Apple was still alive. ‘Think different’. Lee Clow came up with this tagline. It made Steve cry. It was that brilliant. The team came up with a short poem. Richard Dreyfuss read the poem above. It was historical. The commercial featured many famous people. He was given permission to make use of Gandhi’s photo. Steve Jobs did the voice-over instead. Eventually, they used Dreyfuss version. It was not about him. He was super passionate about the ads. Steve finally decided to be the CEO. Steve decided not to take any money initially. Many chose not to be CEO, especially when Steve will influence him/her. The search did not produce the right candidates. His health was affected from running two companies. He developed kidney stones from working too hard. The company can be the best innovation sometimes. Should Apple have licensed their OS to make more money? This was the debate here. Apple eventually gave the license to 2 small companies. The clones ended up cannibalizing sales. Steve wanted it to be closed and he didn’t know any more licensing. Steve hated people who used powerpoints. ‘You are bright people. You shouldn’t be wasting your time on such crappy products. There were too many versions of the Macintosh, to suit customers needs. They were too confusing. The engineers were directed at 4 areas. Pro, Portable, Consumer and Desktop. He chopped off printers and servers. He killed the Newton, a stylus with a PDA. These people eventually moved to the iPhones and the iPad. It was good technology, but bad management. Apple lived because of their focus. In Sept 1997, Apple would nearly be insolvent. He laid off 3000 people. In the year he turned CEO, Apple lost $1 billion a year. The following year, it made a $300 million profit. Incredible.

There was a purity about that I will never forget. – Steve Jobs

We at Apple had forgotten who we were. One way to remember who you are is to remember who your heroes are. That was the genesis of that campaign. – Steve Jobs

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we seem genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. – Apple’s Think Different Commercial

There are cars people are proud to have – Porsche, Ferrari, Prius – because what I drive says something about me. People feel the same way about an Apple product. – Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle

What we’re trying to do is not highfalutin. We’re trying to get back to the basics of great products, great marketing, and great distribution. Apple has drifted away from doing the basics really well. – Steve Jobs

If the platform goes closed, it is over. Total destruction. Closed is the kiss of death. – Stephen Kahn

Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do. That’s true for companies, and it’s true for products. – Steve Jobs

I hate the way people use slide presentations instead of thinking. People would confront a problem by creating a presentation. I wanted them to engage, to hash things out at the table, rather than show a bunch of slides. People who know what they’re talking about don’t need PowerPoint. – Steve jobs

Design Principles. The Studio of Jobs and Ive. Jony Ive was the head of Apple’s design team. He wanted to quit. He was sick of the fact that the company focused too much on profits. Steve persuaded him otherwise. He had something for Apple and loved the people there. Jony was not replaceable and Steve liked him. Jony made a huge difference at Apple. Like Steve, he liked simplicity and it showed in his products. For Apple, the design comes first and then the engineers have to come out with a way to fit their chips inside. That should be the way products should be made. Design dictated engineering, not the other way around. Tim Cook was the chief operating officer in charge. Steve will go on the ground and feel the products in the lab to see if he liked them. Many rounds of iterations are made. He patented a lot of the design boxes. Steve liked to take credit for ideas.

There wasn’t that feeling of putting care into a product, because we were trying to maximize the money we made. All they wanted from us designers was a model of what something was supposed to look like on the outside, and then engineers would make it as cheap as possible. I was about to quit. – Jony Ive

The difference that Jony has made, not only at Apple but in the world, is huge. He is a wickedly intelligent person in all ways. He understands business concepts, marketing concepts. He picks stuff up just like that, click…If I had a spiritual partner at Apple, it’s Jony…He gets the big picture as well as the most infinitesimal details about each product…There’s no one who can tell him what to do, or to butt out. – Steve Jobs, on Jony Ive

Steve and I care about things like that, which ruin the purity and detract from the essence of something like a utensil, and we think alike about how products should be made to look pure and seamless. – Jony Ive

Steve and I spend a lot of time on packaging. I love the process of unpacking something. You design a ritual of unpacking to make the product feel special. Packaging can be theater, it can create a story. – Jony Ive

The iMAC (Hello, AGAIN). The iMAC was introduced in 1998. It was combination of Steve and Ive’s ideas. The PC had no floppy disk slots because they were turning obsolete. It had a built in hard drive. The PC was also created with a handle to make it seem more user friendly. It indeed was. Steve fumed when he wanted a CD slot instead of a CD tray. Instead for the next version of the iMAC, a slot was introduced instead. He kept tweaking with the lighting on stage during the rehearsals. He invited Markkula for a private preview of the iMAC. Mike was thoroughly impressed. Product launches were like theatre to him. It was launched on May 6, 1998. It was well received during the product launch. The design was brilliant and it fit seamlessly in a home environment. Bill Gates joked and said that if he painted the computer red, it would look like a Mac. It was the best-selling computer in Apple’s history. The iMAC was offered in 5 different colours. Steve made decisions on the spot, and he was often right. The problem with a CD slot was that when Panasonic offered a CD drive with rip and burn function, it was for trays instead. Apple lacked behind for a while in the music scene

When we took it (iMAC design) to the engineers, they came up with 38 reasons they couldn’t do it…No, no, we’re doing this. Because I’m the CEO and I think it can be done…And so they kind of grudgingly did it. – Steve Jobs

I don’t want the people I work with at Apple to think I am coming back to get rich. – Steve Jobs

CEO (Still crazy after All These Years). Tim Cook. He was less clear on whether he could run a company. Under Steve Jobs, underperforming was not allowed. The head of operations quit as he couldn’t take the pressure. In 1998, he met Tim Cook, who worked at the supply chain at Compaq Computers. He would later become indispensable to Apple. They saw things the same way. He wanted a JIT inventory system. He wouldn’t need to constantly supervise Tim. He decide to join Apple and work for a creative joy. Tim worked very long hours at Apple. He reduced excess inventory and made suppliers move nearer to Apple’s factories. He cut excess inventory to only about 2 days worth. He made a hundred turtlenecks for himself. He wanted collaboration at Apple too. Steve was against the Bozo explosion. He removed the iCEO to become permanent CEO. He only took $1 per year of pay. Apple stock was over $102 by year 2000. Steve refused to take the stock options. Steve wanted a private airplane. He got it. . Eventually, he demanded stock options as well. OSX was released in Jan 2000.

For most things in life, the range between best and average is 30% or so. The best airplane flight, the best meal, they may be 30% better than your average one. When I saw with Steven Wozniak (Apple co-founder) was somebody who was 50 times better than the average engineer. He could have meetings in his head. The Mac team was an attempt to build a whole team like that, A players. People said they wouldn’t get along, they’d hate working for each other. But I realized that A players like to work with A players, they just didn’t like working with C players. At Pixar, it was a whole company of A players. When I got back to Apple, that’s what I decided to do. You need to have collaborative hiring process…My role model was J. Robert Oppenhemier… – Steve Jobs

You never win an argument with him at the time, but sometimes you eventually win. – James Vincent

Apple Stores (Genius Bars and Siena Sandstone). Steve didn’t control the experience of buying an Apple product in a store. He felt that the sales staff needed to be educated on Apple’s products. The customers needed to know how creative their products were. Steve wanted his stores in major shopping malls. He wanted them to be bigger than Gap. The store would have to impute Apple’s qualities. The board was not keen on opening stores as Dell was successful even though they didn’t have stores. Apple built a prototype and Steve controlled the aesthetic and service experience. The stores commanded great sales volumes and were a huge success. Steve even had patents for his staircases. They also created the genius bar at the store. In 2011, there were over 300 Apple stores. The stores accounted for 15% of their total revenue. Steve was fighting the effects of cancer in 2011.

The store will become the most powerful expression of the brand. – Steve Jobs

The Digital Hub (From iTunes to the iPod). The first iPod was released in 2001. Steve discussed with his colleagues on what are the next 3 things Apple could do next. The PC was not so hip anymore. He wanted the PC to be a digital hub. He wanted the PC to sync devices etc . Steve was 45 and he wanted to build this digital hub for the Mac. Adobe didn’t want to make software like Photoshop for the Mac OS. He had a war with Adobe ever since. They ended up developing software in-house. iMovie, iTunes, GarageBand etc. The PC was morphing to be something else. He wanted video and photo editing to occur on PCs. Steve wanted an end-to-end solution. They were the only IT firm which provided everything. Music was going to be big. Steve came up with iTunes for that. He created a writable CD drive. However, he wanted the user to manage playlists etc on their PCs. At that time, there was a portable music player in the market that played mp3s. Apple bought SoundJam and converted their software into something simpler. It was eventually known as iTunes. Next, the iPod was in the mix. This was a portable music player. The problem was having a disk drive small but with ample memory. Rubinstein started working with Toshiba on manufacturing such devices. Tony Fadell was passionate about MP3 players and thrilled to be on-board. Phil suggested using a track wheel. Jobs proclaimed ‘That’s it!’ Steve wanted most of the functions performed on iTunes, and not on the iPod. Most Apple devices also wouldn’t have an one-off switch. Jony felt the whole iPod should look white. This would make it look classy and non-disposable. Everything would be white, even the earphones and charger. Apple integrated software, hardware and devices. iPod sales would leave to increase in sales of the iMac. Oct 23, 2001 marked the launch for an iPod. It became a hit for consumers. It married art with engineering. Bill Gates was also impressed with the iPod.

Taking LSD was one of the two or three most important things he’d done in his life. – Steve jobs, to Mike Markoff

Don’t worry about Sony. We know what we’re doing and they don’t. – Steve Jobs

Wow, it makes sense that Apple was the one to come up with it. After all, Apple’s whole history is making both the hardware and the software, with the result that the two work better together. – Steve Wozniak

There was something very significant and nondisposable about it, yet there was also something very quiet and very restrained. It wasn’t wagging its tail in your face. It was restrained, but it was also crazy, with those flowing headphones. That’s why I like white. White isn’t just a neutral color. It is so pure and quiet. Bold and conspicuous and yet so inconspicuous as well. – Jon Iver, on why the first iPod was white



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