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Steve Jobs to Nike CEO: 'Get rid of the crappy stuff'

post #1 of 68
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When Nike CEO Mark Parker called Apple CEO Steve Jobs for advice as a newly minted chief executive, Jobs told him to "get rid of the crappy stuff," claims a report.

Writing for Forbes, Carmine Gallo reports that, shortly after becoming CEO, Parker called Jobs, who he is friends with, to ask for some tips.

Well, just one thing, said Jobs. Nike makes some of the best products in the world. Products that you lust after. But you also make a lot of crap. Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.

Jobs was "absolutely right," Parker admitted, adding that Nike "had to edit" when making business decisions.

Within months of becoming CEO in early 2006, Parker announced a special partnership with Apple. The Nike+iPod product line was a collaboration between the two companies meant to "create a better running experience." Nike+iPod allows users to connect a sensor to a compatible iPod nano, iPod touch, or iPhone to keep track of statistics.



"It's fun to apply technology in an area where A, it's never been done before, and B, everybody involved in it wants it for themselves," Parker said in an interview after the announcement of Nike+. "That's always a good sign. Everybody involved in this says, 'This is so cool,' It's great to work on things like this. The connection between the two different products and the potential it creates is huge."

In 2007, Parker promised that all Nike running shoes would be compatible with Nike+iPod by the end of the year.

Jobs outlined Apple's intense focus during an interview with Fortune in 2008. "Apple is a $30 billion company, yet we've got less than 30 major products. I don't know if that's ever been done before. Certainly the great consumer electronics companies of the past had thousands of products. We tend to focus much more. People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully," Jobs said.

"I'm actually as proud of many of the things we haven't done as the things we have done. The clearest example was when we were pressured for years to do a PDA, and I realized one day that 90% of the people who use a PDA only take information out of it on the road. They don't put information into it.

"Pretty soon cellphones are going to do that, so the PDA market's going to get reduced to a fraction of its current size, and it won't really be sustainable. So we decided not to get into it. If we had gotten into it, we wouldn't have had the resources to do the iPod. We probably wouldn't have seen it coming."

Not long after returning to the company in late 1996, Jobs terminated several projects, including the Newton platform. Since then, Apple has experienced a meteoric rise, culminating in the release of the iPad, which has been viewed by some as the Newton reborn.
post #2 of 68
Duuuuuhhh, a no brainer. How do these people get into such positions?
Apple had me at scrolling
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Apple had me at scrolling
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post #3 of 68
And yet people will still scratch their head and winder why Apple "can't" make a $300 computer if Dell and HP can.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #4 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

So says the guy with over 800 fart apps for sale for the iPhone.

Yes but he's gotten rid of thousands of crappy apps (smut and other useless app factory dreck)
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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post #5 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

So says the guy with over 800 fart apps for sale for the iPhone.

And then you'll flip-flop and scream censorship if Apple started flushing what they deemed to be "unproductive" apps right???
post #6 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

So says the guy with over 800 fart apps for sale for the iPhone.

Yup, Steve hand-coded every single one of them.
"We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."
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"We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."
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post #7 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

And yet people will still scratch their head and winder why Apple "can't" make a $300 computer if Dell and HP can.

Before the iPad I got a $300 Netbook for travel. It's one of the better makes, but the WinXP and several aspects of the hardware are just plain CRAPPY ! It's no comparison to the MacBook.
post #8 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

So says the guy with over 800 fart apps for sale for the iPhone.

Those aren't Apple Apps. Those crappy apps are from 3rd parties. Keep up with the original line of thinking.
post #9 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Those aren't Apple Apps. Those crappy apps are from 3rd parties. Keep up with the original line of thinking.

Yeah, if I recall, Apple took a stand against more fart apps.
I bet RIM would f'ing KILL for 800 fart apps.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #10 of 68
"...a new report claims."

It was amply reported at least as early as April 2010. Just Google "jobs nike crappy".
post #11 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

So says the guy with over 800 fart apps for sale for the iPhone.

Blaming Apple for the quality of some of the apps that can run on an iPhone or Mac is like blaming them for crappy music some people buy for their iPod.
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #12 of 68
Actually the number of fart apps has fallen below a few hundred and Apple has explicitly stated that they aren't taking any more. At this point there are more fart apps on Android, by far.

Not that any of that is remotely germane to the topic. I guess "fart apps" will forever remain shorthand for the lazy.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #13 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshA View Post

Before the iPad I got a $300 Netbook for travel. It's one of the better makes, but the WinXP and several aspects of the hardware are just plain CRAPPY ! It's no comparison to the MacBook.

No kidding. Great insight.
post #14 of 68
I find Steve's terse comments and answers very amusing.
post #15 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Yeah, if I recall, Apple took a stand against more fart apps.
I bet RIM would f'ing KILL for 800 fart apps.

Same goes for android.

Instead of 800 fart app, they have 80000 wallpaper "app".
post #16 of 68
This is not new nor news.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #17 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

This is not new nor news.

True. I'm sure I've seen this somewhere (I think it was even Apple Insider) before.
post #18 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

This is not new nor news.

It is to most folks, as evidenced here.
post #19 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Yeah, if I recall, Apple took a stand against more fart apps.
I bet RIM would f'ing KILL for 800 fart apps.

So would Android, because they all work and don't have viruses.
post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully

this is google's problem. they seem to say yes to everything. don't get me wrong, they have some great products, but i wouldn't call any of them elegant or polished.
post #21 of 68
It's not a "no brainer". In fact, it's something most companies still do wrong. Sometimes it's a simple comments that opens someone's eyes, something that you never have could thought of yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

Duuuuuhhh, a no brainer. How do these people get into such positions?
post #22 of 68
I. Cue majicj the troll, 3....2.....1......

II. Derail thread.
post #23 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I. Cue majicj the troll, 3....2.....1......

II. Derail thread.

Been trying to figure out which of our legacy trolls he is. I don't think he's tekstud but he's obviously someone who planned on getting banned: his join date is Aug 2009, but he's only got around 280 posts, and, at the rate he's been posting, it should be much higher if he wasn't stashing that moniker for a rainy day. So, I'm thinking some serial troll, banned not too long ago, about the time that he surfaced with his 2 year old alias. Maybe one of the AKAs of MacTripper, although, not sure about the posting style.
post #24 of 68
Do you think Steve was also insinuating that the crappy website should go as well?

I can't even get to the main page either because of Click2Flash or Ghostery or both. Nike.com (English or EspaƱol) is dead in the water for me.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

Duuuuuhhh, a no brainer. How do these people get into such positions?

with a few exceptions ceo's get to such positions either by being born to power and money or by being major suck ups to it and very ruthless.

very rarely does it have anything to do with actual capabilities.
post #26 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Been trying to figure out which of our legacy trolls he is. I don't think he's tekstud but he's obviously someone who planned on getting banned: his join date is Aug 2009, but he's only got around 280 posts, and, at the rate he's been posting, it should be much higher if he wasn't stashing that moniker for a rainy day. So, I'm thinking some serial troll, banned not too long ago, about the time that he surfaced with his 2 year old alias. Maybe one of the AKAs of MacTripper, although, not sure about the posting style.

You know, I just wonder about these career trolls. What's their motivation? all the ways they try to get in under the radar; even trying in some cases to insert themselves as friendly or knowledgeable (remember tekstud's iPhone purchase and how he "loved" Apple for about 3 months) before gradually sliding into the snarky, bitter role. It blows my mind to think of what these people are like in real life. Are they just as sarcastic and poison-tongued with their friends?

Anyway, this is old news: dates back a while as I dug up the original article over a year ago looking for material on Jony Ive. Still good stuff, though.
GIGO. The truth in all of life.
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GIGO. The truth in all of life.
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post #27 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

So says the guy with over 800 fart apps for sale for the iPhone.

NONE of which is MADE by Apple.
Big fat FAIL.
post #28 of 68
A 7" iPad would be a Newton, not a 10" iPad.
post #29 of 68
The first thought I had with this article was "Samsung". They make some great products. The 55" Samsung flat-screen I have is one of the best TVs I've seen.
My last non-iPhone was a Samsung: Poor, confusing user interface and frustrating limited controls. I was never so glad to be rid of a phone.
These are the kinds of products companies should trash (or never release to begin with). You can't help thinking "Do they even field test these products before dumping them on us?"
My wife's current phone is just as bad. I really hate using it, and she is constantly asking me to help her find basic things like "missed calls". She doesn't want an iPhone, because she wouldn't use the internet enough to justify data fees.
Are you listening, Apple? There are people out there that would buy an iPhone Nano!
post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

So says the guy with over 800 fart apps for sale for the iPhone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

Blaming Apple for the quality of some of the apps that can run on an iPhone or Mac is like blaming them for crappy music some people buy for their iPod.

So says the guy that allowed Nickelback on the iTunes Music Store.
post #31 of 68
cant believe I got trolled ---- EDIT --> remove
post #32 of 68
Meh. I've been wearing New Balance for the past few 10 years, not because of Steve, but because I need the extra wide fit. For "formal" shoes, for the past five years I've used black golf shoes (Adidas for a few years and now Mizuno) with the removable plastic studs.

For running, Runkeeper on iPhone is all I need to track my run, whenever I do run outdoors once in a while.

Ever since the sweatshop accusations I've been turned off Nike... that PR damage will take a while to be repaired in my mind, however true or not.
post #33 of 68
Old news.
post #34 of 68
Imagine if Microsoft did that. Put all their resources into building their best products, and axe the rest. They'd be left with... what would they be left with?

OK, maybe they're a bad example. How about HP? Umm...

Perhaps Dell, then... hmmm...

Pure Digital, perhaps? Made the Flip camera? Great product! Oh but Cisco bought them and then... hmmm...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

You know, I just wonder about these career trolls.

Don't.
A is A
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A is A
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post #35 of 68
Carmin Gallo over at Forbes blogged it as a part of his commentary on the new book he's writing on Jobs and innovation. Just citing some of the examples of what seems to drive Jobs relentless (and ruthless?) pinnacle of excellence pursuit.

Now everyone can relax. Trolls, trim your ear hair. Regular contributors, coffee/tea break. Horace back to work on your laser-targetted analyses. Slash, back in your Lane. Sam, more olives, Josh, get Ong it. Daniel a little more Dilgerence. Neil, Hugh are you, Hugh, Hugh? (sorry that last one was bad).

OK, back in 15.
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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post #36 of 68
It's going to be hard for Nike to get rid of "crappy" stuff when all they make is crappy stuff made with slaves in China.
post #37 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

You know, I just wonder about these career trolls. What's their motivation? all the ways they try to get in under the radar; even trying in some cases to insert themselves as friendly or knowledgeable (remember tekstud's iPhone purchase and how he "loved" Apple for about 3 months) before gradually sliding into the snarky, bitter role. It blows my mind to think of what these people are like in real life. Are they just as sarcastic and poison-tongued with their friends?

Some just like to fight, but I'm sure some are paid "public relations consultants" who contract out to spread FUD about competitors... On a site like AI they don't get much traction in terms of swaying opinion, but they can help frame the conversation--derailing it into annoying territory. It is part of a long term campaign to try to find exploitable weaknesses and impact customer sentiment...


[Edit: this is just conjecture, but I can't believe it isn't true--it would be to easy and cost effective...
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
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Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
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post #38 of 68
I love how this thread has turned into a discussion about fart apps.

Hilarious.
post #39 of 68
Quote:
. Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.

I'll tell you want is crap... The Nike+iPod dongle for the nano. It's not made for running. Use one for a while and *pop*, out it comes. And when it pops, Nike+ decides that you've finished your workout. No way to say, "No I didn't; please continue adding data now that I've stuck the dongle back in."

Nike+ on the nano is worthless. On the touch, it's not bad -- the best pedometer on the market. On the iPhone, it's greatly and easily surpassed by Runkeeper (or even Nike+ GPS, which doesn't use the pill in your shoe, afaict).

Funny that the "no crap" duo made crap working with each other.
post #40 of 68
part of what Steve said is so your marketing efforts can focus on the great stuff and isn't diluted by the crappy stuff or even the average stuff. The other part of it is it helps bring a ton more engineering efforts into the great stuff, which is part of why Apple's stuff works so well.

Not only do they focus their engineering efforts on just a few core products, they have a ton of engineering overlap across the products. Improvements for one improves most or all of the rest.
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