Originally Posted by reliason
The puff piece on Jobs career gloss over many of Jobs' failures.
The Apple Lisa
The Hiring of Scully
NeXT failure to find a niche (it was not started as an OS company, but as a hardware vendor to compete with MS and Apple)
The Mac Cube
They also left out some important points.
NeXTs Acquisition of Renderman
The Formation of Pixar
I believe this tablet, if announced, can be a game changer. I have wanted a functional tablet for years, I even own a Fujitsu tablet -- which sucks.
If he delivers a blinding brilliant product, but misses the price point, it will still be a failure.
It's been said that if you don't have any failures, then you're not taking enough risks. Apple's failures (since Jobs' return) have been few and far between and minor in importance. (So the Cube wasn't a real big success - big deal!)
Most of Jobs' failure at Apple were before his return. Think about how young and how inexperienced he was at the time. He was only 30 when he left Apple.
Especially considering that critics said that Apple should be closed or sold, that the retail operation would be a failure, that cheap MP3 players would destroy the market for the iPod, that since people could get a phone for free or near-free, no one outside of business executives would pay $200-$300 for a phone, that no one would buy Macs when they could buy Dells cheaper, that Macs could not survive because there wasn't enough application software, that Apple would fail at the PowerPC to Intel transition, etc., their success is truly remarkable.
Add to that their continued success during a worldwide recession where even flat revenue would be considered success for almost any other company and you have a truly remarkable company that has been running on all cylinders for some time.
When most companies have a failing product, they simply discontinue it and produce something else instead and no one even notices. (Sony's XBR10 series of TVs has barely made it to retail and they seem already discontinued.) If Dell or Lenovo stopped making a computer, would you even know? But everything Apple does is placed under a microscope.
Some critics have complained that Apple is not really a computer company anymore, but so what? Apple understands that it's in the business of selling hardware and software products and services that enable the delivery and manipulation of media and data. The particular device you use to accomplish this is not really important. Companies who don't understand that do so at their peril. (In post-WWII, the railroad companies essentially went out of business in the U.S. because they did not understand that they were in the transportation business, not the train business. Imagine if the railroads had invested in airlines and built lines to airports to transport people to downtown and to smaller cities, etc. Likewise, in the early 1950s, the Hollywood movie studios did not understand that they were in the entertainment business, not the "movie" business, and originally refused to sell product to or invest in TV production.) What Apple has understood better than anyone else is the importance of the ecosystem. It's the ecosystem that has made the iPod, the iPhone and Apple retail an enormous success.
And it's not just Apple. Jobs bought Pixar from Lucas for $5 million (+ an investment of $ 5 million), managed it brilliantly and sold it to Disney for $4.7 billion.
I actually would like to see Apple have another (moderate) failure. One learns more from failure than from success and Apple still has a bit of an "arrogance" problem.
Name one other company that has executed as brilliantly as Apple during the last ten years. Imagine if there were ten companies in the U.S. that performed as well as Apple (not just financial success, but in terms of impact on the marketplace and industry.)