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Found Steve Jobs interviews show 'pivotal' growth during years away from Apple

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
A technology journalist has uncovered hours of previously-unreleased recordings of audio interviews with late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs that collectively show how the growth he experienced during his so-called "wilderness years" at NeXT and Pixar prepared him for success later in life.

Writing for Fast Company, Brent Schlender published selected stories and snippets from the interviews on Tuesday. The recordings cover a period of 25 years, with many of them having take place during Jobs' time away from Apple.

"Many [of the tapes] I had never replayed--a couple hadn't even been transcribed before now," Schlender wrote. "Some were interrupted by his kids bolting into the kitchen as we talked. During others, he would hit the pause button himself before saying something he feared might come back to bite him."

According to the journalist, the humbling period after Jobs was ousted from Apple in 1985 taught him adaptability, the value of partnerships and how to structure a corporation. Time spent at Pixar learning the business of making hit films would later help him trim down Apple's product line and produce a "decade-long string of hits," such as the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad.


iPad illustration of Steve Jobs by Jorge Colombo | Source: Fast Company


A key catalyst for Jobs' growth was his family, Schlender said, noting that his wife Laurene and his children had a calming effect on Jobs. Incidentally, having a family also helped him to understand the market that Pixar was trying to reach.

"In hindsight, Jobs's having a real family might have been the best thing to happen to Pixar. He was most effective as a marketer and a business leader when he could think of himself as the primary customer," Schlender wrote.

Jobs bought Pixar from filmmaker George Lucas for $5 million in 1985. The company struggled early on, but Jobs eventually decided to slim it down and focus on disrupting the animation industry. According to the interviews, he restructured the company to equally value team members working on the creative and technological sides. Schlender posits that Jobs applied a similar formula when he returned to Apple by integrating "designers and technologists" on his core team.

With hours of source material to draw upon, Schlender had a wealth of stories to tell about his interactions with Jobs. Fast Company has published a short collection of notable quotes from the tapes. For instance, Jobs once said that he models his management style after the Beatles.

"The reason I say that is because each of the key people in the Beatles kept the others from going off in the directions of their bad tendencies," he said. "It was the chemistry of a small group of people, and that chemistry was greater than the sum of the parts."

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 42
Never had any interest in his authorized biography or the specials that appeared on TV but i would love to get more insight into how he thought as a business man and, dare I say, futurist.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #3 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



iPad illustration of Steve Jobs by Jorge Colombo | Source: Fast Company

Was this interior of the Apple jet really........ pink?

Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

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Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

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post #4 of 42
Good to see Schlender hasn't lost his touch about knowing nothing about NeXT other than the histrionics of early NeXT. He did get the interior correct, but the claim of rewriting NeXTSTEP truly shows you how technologically inept journalists continue to be.

Porting to the x86 architecture is not a rewrite, but then again, he's a journalist. Mach, by design was portable, Brent. BSD 4.3 was already on x86 long before NeXT ported it.

In reality, Brent, the Industry refused to welcome a 3rd system solution and the help of Gates tanking any porting of MS Apps, along with Adobe only made it that much more difficult to expand the Quad FAT NeXTSTEP into consumers hands.

Hell, we couldn't even get OEMs to send us specs to write device drivers because they didn't think the market was worth it.

Of course, now that NeXTSTEP is OS X and iOS with the same minds they refused to listen to now dominates they want to kiss everyone's ass.

Matrox, Diamond, you name it, they are all near death or gone and instead of working with us back then they snubbed us.

Linux survives much in part because OS/2 failed and IBM got sick and tired of being married to MS who they despise. Billions later and along with Oracle, Sybase, RedHat, Intel and so many others it's still no where near the polish of NeXTSTEP in it's day.

There is a lot to be said for vision and Linux has too many geeks who think they are smarter and more talented than the likes of Steve Jobs and the eye for talent and focus he famously earned.

I actually thought we were going to see some old interviews. Hell, I've got plenty of those of Steve. I'm sure as hell not putting them out on the Web. I'll hold onto my memories of working there at a place you always walked into knowing your stuff was ahead of the competition.

Gates famous line about crap APIs on NeXTSTEP immediately told me the guy is a bald face liar who always couldn't seem to figure out how come Steve was always 10 steps ahead of him and was seriously annoyed the day Steve slowed down a bit to the point the Industry could `get it' and start to dump Microsoft in droves.
post #5 of 42
I'm keeping my NeXTSTEP 3 boxes forever. It's too bad Apple has been pragmatic about the OS X UI. It could use some freshening up but with user drag such as it is, it'll never happen.
post #6 of 42
I did a search for NeXT Computer on google and found no NeXT Computers for sale. I can only assume that they have all been gobbled up and if one was found it would be expensive. As for Pixar. Any of those computers are also hard to find. Seems since Steve's death all real countable memorabilia is mostly bought up.
An Apple man since 1977
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An Apple man since 1977
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post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


iPad illustration of Steve Jobs by Jorge Colombo | Source: Fast Company

I am not sure the jeans and mock turtle neck look work for Elvis Costello.
post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordonp View Post

I am not sure the jeans and mock turtle neck look work for Elvis Costello.

LoL

He's right about the Beatles - a Paul McCartney song would end up being too choir-boy cheesy if John Lennon didn't intervene and spike it up;

A John Lennon song would have so much offensive anti-establishment stink that it would take Paul's "scented air-freshener" style to tone it down.

The end result was some of the most perfect slices of Pop Music ever composed; add to that some sublime George "Mahavishnu" Harrison guitar mantras and funny Ringo Star quips, and the rest is glorious history.

If this is the "formula" Apple is employing going forward than I can't wait to see the exciting stuff Tim Cook and co are going to be announcing in the years ahead...
post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

Was this interior of the Apple jet really........ pink?

loool! that's also my question
post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Never had any interest in his authorized biography or the specials that appeared on TV but i would love to get more insight into how he thought as a business man and, dare I say, futurist.

Anybody with a serious desire to understand what made Steve the greatest businessman of the last hundred years would have read his biography by Walter Isaacson.
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

Anybody with a serious desire to understand what made Steve the greatest businessman of the last hundred years would have read his biography by Walter Isaacson.

Well, Warren Buffett seems a serious contestant. I read both bios, Buffett's is "the snowball".
Not to mention some of the "serious businessmen" of the 40s, such as Onassis.

While Jobs was certainly a genius, genius seems to be abundant in humanity. Well, sometimes as evil genius, sadly, Hitler, Stalin spring to mind, but I'm getting sidetracked here. My point is: Steve revolutionnized computers and movies, but "the greatest businessman of the last century" might not be his real clame to fame...

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #12 of 42
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

And where we can download this audio ... ???????

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Good to see Schlender hasn't lost his touch about knowing nothing about NeXT other than the histrionics of early NeXT. He did get the interior correct, but the claim of rewriting NeXTSTEP truly shows you how technologically inept journalists continue to be.

Porting to the x86 architecture is not a rewrite, but then again, he's a journalist. Mach, by design was portable, Brent. BSD 4.3 was already on x86 long before NeXT ported it.

In reality, Brent, the Industry refused to welcome a 3rd system solution and the help of Gates tanking any porting of MS Apps, along with Adobe only made it that much more difficult to expand the Quad FAT NeXTSTEP into consumers hands.

Hell, we couldn't even get OEMs to send us specs to write device drivers because they didn't think the market was worth it.

Of course, now that NeXTSTEP is OS X and iOS with the same minds they refused to listen to now dominates they want to kiss everyone's ass.

Matrox, Diamond, you name it, they are all near death or gone and instead of working with us back then they snubbed us.

Linux survives much in part because OS/2 failed and IBM got sick and tired of being married to MS who they despise. Billions later and along with Oracle, Sybase, RedHat, Intel and so many others it's still no where near the polish of NeXTSTEP in it's day.

There is a lot to be said for vision and Linux has too many geeks who think they are smarter and more talented than the likes of Steve Jobs and the eye for talent and focus he famously earned.

I actually thought we were going to see some old interviews. Hell, I've got plenty of those of Steve. I'm sure as hell not putting them out on the Web. I'll hold onto my memories of working there at a place you always walked into knowing your stuff was ahead of the competition.

Gates famous line about crap APIs on NeXTSTEP immediately told me the guy is a bald face liar who always couldn't seem to figure out how come Steve was always 10 steps ahead of him and was seriously annoyed the day Steve slowed down a bit to the point the Industry could `get it' and start to dump Microsoft in droves.



It is great that the reality of NeXT instead of being a failure actually helped Apple put the Art in to computers. whereas I believe MS's mad dash to become the Richest OS company, in effect removed any trace of Art...and any that it does have is Kitschy.

"Fast" and "Right" but not "Cheap" is Apple (State-of-the-Art)

"Fast" and "Cheap" but not "Right", but eventually "Correct" due to "Stockholm syndrome", seems to be MS and the rest of the PC Industry, State-of-the-Cheap...
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

I did a search for NeXT Computer on google and found no NeXT Computers for sale. I can only assume that they have all been gobbled up and if one was found it would be expensive. As for Pixar. Any of those computers are also hard to find. Seems since Steve's death all real countable memorabilia is mostly bought up.

Search for NeXTStep and NeXTCube. There are certain products on eBay right now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

Anybody with a serious desire to understand what made Steve the greatest businessman of the last hundred years would have read his biography by Walter Isaacson.

Defend. What part of Isaccson's fluffy biography that mostly covered a story i've followed most my life went into the technical detail about the man's approach to business? As lightknight points out Snowball is an excellent example of such a book.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Hell, we couldn't even get OEMs to send us specs to write device drivers because they didn't think the market was worth it.

Ah hardware companies... I think too many of them took Alan Kay's quote about being "serious about software" to mean that they can just design hardware and do a half-arsed job on the software side. I had the exact same experience writing drivers for Linux about 10 years ago (even as part of commercial projects).
Quote:
Linux survives much in part because OS/2 failed and IBM got sick and tired of being married to MS who they despise. Billions later and along with Oracle, Sybase, RedHat, Intel and so many others it's still no where near the polish of NeXTSTEP in it's day.

Linux survives because it's an easy system for comp sci students to tinker with.

That's why I got into it - it was easy to download and install on the "built from scrap parts" x86 box I had at the time (all I could afford). All of the development tools were free, and the source code for everything was easy to find.

I realize now that I could have done the same with BSD. However, at the time, Linux was much more accessible. The community developing around it was friendly (largely because everyone was new to it) and Linus was still an enjoyable guy to work with at the time.
Quote:
There is a lot to be said for vision and Linux has too many geeks who think they are smarter and more talented than the likes of Steve Jobs and the eye for talent and focus he famously earned.

In terms of creating polished commercial technology (like iOS), I agree, Jobs' approach is much better. But there is something to be said for having a system where everything is wide open and the only limit is your imagination. There will always be a need for such systems as a place for comp sci students and academics to tinker, learn, and grow (be it Linux or some other open system).
 
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post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Defend. What part of Isaccson's fluffy biography that mostly covered a story i've followed most my life went into the technical detail about the man's approach to business? As lightknight points out Snowball is an excellent example of such a book.

You haven't read the book. On what basis can you claim that it is "fluffy?" Steve's approach to business is detailed in so many parts of the book, it is impossible to list them here.

I repeat. You haven't read the book !! C'mon, you are a shallow poseur, admit it !!

post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

You haven't read the book. On what basis can you claim that it is "fluffy?" Steve's approach to business is detailed in so many parts of the book, it is impossible to list them here.

I repeat. You haven't read the book !! C'mon, you are a shallow poseur, admit it !!


1) The book was been detailed and dissected for months. You couldn't not see an article about it every day on tech sites yet all that came out is fluff and no insight into Steve Jobs as a business man.

2) Steve said he cracked it! You really think that will make this book required reading for many business and economic students across the globe? Let me know when schools make this required reading.

3) What chapters are dedicated to detailing business management?

PS: You can make all the personal attacks you want but it's probably not your best course of action.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1) The book was been detailed and dissected for months. You couldn't not see an article about it every day on tech sites yet all that came out is fluff and no insight into Steve Jobs as a business man.

2) Steve said he cracked it! You really think that will make this book required reading for many business and economic students across the globe? Let me know when schools make this required reading.

3) What chapters are dedicated to detailing business management?

PS: You can make all the personal attacks you want but it's probably not your best course of action.

If you have not read the book, you are not qualified to opine on it. Nothing personal.

A film critic's review about a movie he has never seen would have no credibility, would it?
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

If you have not read the book, you are not qualified to opine on it. Nothing personal.

So why do YOU keep talking about it, then? You don't seem to have read it, otherwise you'd know it doesn't really cover what we're discussing.

Covers him crying. Covers him being a jerk and being remorseful about it. Has great lines like ' thermonuclear' and 'cracked'.

But it doesn't talk much about his approach to business.

As clarification, I don't really consider the fence painting teachings as an "approach to business". That's design more than anything else.
post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

If you have not read the book, you are not qualified to opine on it. Nothing personal.

That's an asinine comment on multiple levels. I have read plenty about the book to know that it's not a technical book.

I've never read Louisa May Alcott's Little Women but by your reckoning simply knowing about the book's subject matter isn't enough to know that it's not a book about space travel. If only there were such things as synopses, reviews, cataloging, and critical thinking that could clue someone in to whether something is what they are looking for.

And I looked for cues about Steve's deeply internalized business strategies when reading reviews... yet I found none. Nearly all of it was a rehash of topics I had already known, much like his biography of Ben Franklin... the world's most elusive serial killer.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So why do YOU keep talking about it, then? You don't seem to have read it, otherwise you'd know it doesn't really cover what we're discussing.

Covers him crying. Covers him being a jerk and being remorseful about it. Has great lines like ' thermonuclear' and 'cracked'.

But it doesn't talk much about his approach to business.

As clarification, I don't really consider the fence painting teachings as an "approach to business". That's design more than anything else.

I had pre-ordered the book from Amazon, and read it cover-to-cover as soon as I had it in my hand.

If you think "it doesn't talk much about his approach to business," then either you haven't read it, or you are still in kindergarten and the fine points of business strategy will always escape you.
post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

That's an asinine comment on multiple levels. I have read plenty about the book to know that it's not a technical book.

Nobody said that it is a technical book. Good lord, man, read the book first. You are embarrassing yourself !!
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

If you think "it doesn't talk much about his approach to business," then either you haven't read it, or you are still in kindergarten and the fine points of business strategy will always escape you.

That's enough of the personal attacks, I think.

So list some points if they're there. Edumacate us idimaots.
post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

That's an asinine comment on multiple levels. I have read plenty about the book to know that it's not a technical book.

I've never read Louisa May Alcott's Little Women but by your reckoning simply knowing about the book's subject matter isn't enough to know that it's not a book about space travel...

You don't really know unless you've read the book. You should have said, "According to several reviews I've read, blah blah blah," instead of claiming to know the details of that which you have not read.

I know I am correct on this matter because I am Steve Balmer, inventer of all knowledge.
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

Nobody said that it is a technical book. Good lord, man, read the book first. You are embarrassing yourself !!

And yet I clearly stated that I wanted an in-depth book about his techniques and you countered with personal attacks about how I can't say that it's not technical because I haven't read it.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #26 of 42
I realized when reading the biography that the Pixar and NeXT years were critical to Jobs' growth as a CEO. He struggled at a lot things and matured during his years away from Apple. Instead of running Apple as a success story and appearing to be crazy on its next product, he had to fix Apple and protect it, then nurture it to health. He worked on the iMac, but had to be careful and not let Apple go bankrupt in the mean time. He knew where to cut and learned how to focus the company and refine its product line.

It worked out better for Apple (obviously) and Jobs, too.
post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

And yet I clearly stated that I wanted an in-depth book about his techniques and you countered with personal attacks about how I can't say that it's not technical because I haven't read it.

The "Techniques" for Apple are quite simple:
Blend the Humanities and Technology
Trust your instincts.
If you have to use Power Point to make your point, you don't know what you are talking about.
Never skimp on crafstmanship and great design because it will evovle something from good to greater than the sum of its parts.
Fire Bozos.
Empower the creative process side by side with the technology side.
Streamline for clarity and product focus, not for cost cutting.

While the book is not a blueprint for running a corporation it is a personality study that shows how a company can reflect the vision of it's founding leader. It is a study on how to run a company "your way" and not "by the book". As is detailed by the power struggles between Job's and John Scully, the biggest lesson to running a company, is knowing your product and caring about your product. And if you don't understand that priority, then no book will help you.
post #28 of 42
It's an in-depth book about his psychology. It ain't a left-brain road map about techniques of business. Here's the part about how he recruited . . .

". . . Bill Atkinson. He was a doctoral student in neuroscience who had experimented with his fair share of acid. When he was asked to come work for Apple, he declined. But then Apple sent him a nonrefundable plane ticket, and he decided to use it and let Jobs try to persuade him. 'We are inventing the future,' Jobs told him at the end of a three-hour pitch. 'Think about surfing on the front edge of a wave. It's really exhilarating. Now think about dog-paddling at the tail end of that wave. It wouldn't be near as much fun. Come down here and make a dent in the universe.' Atkinson did." (p.93)

So, from one acid head to another. It's why the personal computer was first developed by only certain people around Palo Alto, where the CIA had introduced Stewart Brand, Ken Kesey, and enough others to start a viral wave of psychedelic enlightenment, of which Jobs was a beneficiary, and about which the Isaacson book is full of details. See especially p. 58, about computers as tools of liberation, seen that way by the psychedelicized hackers.

Which the victims of the current prohibition are ignoring, like Gruber and his pal what's-his-name, who panned the book and started the meme that Jobs hired the wrong guy to write it. If you've never done LSD, you are probably going to miss the importance of these psychological details, which Isaacson fearlessly but quietly includes. And if you don't read the book, you'll never get the chance to miss these details. //S

The weak index only lists 4 mentions of LSD. Here are others, including "acid": 31, 33, 34, 37, 58, 93, 142, 384.

Edit: good post from another angle by bmason above.
post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

Anybody with a serious desire to understand what made Steve the greatest businessman of the last hundred years would have read his biography by Walter Isaacson.

Honestly? Did _you_ read it?

It's hardly insightful, lazily written (IMHO), and so often trite that I found it very hard to get through. In good time, WI's effort will be roundly assessed to be an underachievement, given WI's unprecedented access to SJ while he was _alive_. What a blundered opportunity.
post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by cherrypop View Post

Honestly? Did _you_ read it?

Yes, I did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cherrypop View Post

It's hardly insightful, lazily written (IMHO), and so often trite that I found it very hard to get through. In good time, WI's effort will be roundly assessed to be an underachievement, given WI's unprecedented access to SJ while he was _alive_. What a blundered opportunity.

You are entitled to your opinion, but at least you read it.
post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Never had any interest in his authorized biography or the specials that appeared on TV but i would love to get more insight into how he thought as a business man and, dare I say, futurist.

I have to agree, I would be more interested in these actual tapes than his Bio, which I read and was disappoint since it was more about how others saw him not how he saw himself and what things he learned and realized as time went on.

The simple quote about him being able to make product and market it as long as he considered himself the customer. I always thought this is how he approached things, he was his own market research group. Also his management style he went out and found people who counter him. This is where most companies fail since most CEO lack confidence and they tend to encircle themselves with people like themselves.

Anyone who read the book and thought it gave insight into Job's does not realize Job was far more complex than the book could even cover in 900 pages. I said and other agreed anyone who thought they were going to read that book and come away with a clear understanding why Apple won and others are loosing was sadly mistaken and would be serious disappointed. It was nice story, but it did not reveal much about him.
post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmason1270 View Post

The "Techniques" for Apple are quite simple:
Blend the Humanities and Technology
Trust your instincts.
If you have to use Power Point to make your point, you don't know what you are talking about.
Never skimp on crafstmanship and great design because it will evovle something from good to greater than the sum of its parts.
Fire Bozos.
Empower the creative process side by side with the technology side.
Streamline for clarity and product focus, not for cost cutting.

While the book is not a blueprint for running a corporation it is a personality study that shows how a company can reflect the vision of it's founding leader. It is a study on how to run a company "your way" and not "by the book". As is detailed by the power struggles between Job's and John Scully, the biggest lesson to running a company, is knowing your product and caring about your product. And if you don't understand that priority, then no book will help you.


Actually, a much as I agree with your assessment, I am almost positive Jobs was not that thoughtful. He probably never sat down and gave it that much though, which was probably a good thing. I also believe he had no idea when he set out to do something what he wanted it to look like in the end. If he had his way he may not have ever shipped a product since he was always too focused on it could be better. There was one thing I learn working at apple right after he left was they work so hard to avoid the "Jobs" feature creep.

Over time he may be learned to control this or found people who control it for him like the audio tape reveal.
post #33 of 42
Love this quote from mdriftmeyer:
Quote:
Of course, now that NeXTSTEP is OS X and iOS with the same minds they refused to listen to now dominates they want to kiss everyone's ass.

"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 #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by cherrypop View Post

Honestly? Did _you_ read it?

It's hardly insightful, lazily written (IMHO), and so often trite that I found it very hard to get through. In good time, WI's effort will be roundly assessed to be an underachievement, given WI's unprecedented access to SJ while he was _alive_. What a blundered opportunity.

Give Isaacson a break. The biography was no where up to Isaacson's standards, but he was rushed by the market to spit the book out. He did. It should be viewed as no more than an outline of the book he may eventually write.

Any quality biography of Steve Jobs will take between 5 and 8 years of writing and research. Will that ever happen? Will people be interested enough in 2016 or 2020 to read it?
post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

...

There is a lot to be said for vision and Linux has too many geeks who think they are smarter and more talented than the likes of Steve Jobs and the eye for talent and focus he famously earned.

I actually thought we were going to see some old interviews. Hell, I've got plenty of those of Steve. I'm sure as hell not putting them out on the Web. I'll hold onto my memories of working there at a place you always walked into knowing your stuff was ahead of the competition.

Gates famous line about crap APIs on NeXTSTEP immediately told me the guy is a bald face liar who always couldn't seem to figure out how come Steve was always 10 steps ahead of him and was seriously annoyed the day Steve slowed down a bit to the point the Industry could `get it' and start to dump Microsoft in droves.

Sounds like YOU should be the one writing the next Jobs bio.

I'd agree that people like Steve and Woz had most of their problems coming from being a few decades ahead -- when the market only responds to 6 months. I definitely feel like I can relate to that.

... and I'm glad Jobs is getting his place in the sun -- but you and I know it's ONLY because Apple is the biggest company now -- and everyone in this country is totally obsessed hero worshippers towards the biggest and the best without having good sense to evaluate that before a stock portfolio does.

If something useful comes out of it -- it will be to get rid of the normal business mindset of trying to squeeze more "WORK" out of people. Pixar and NeXT allowed great minds to play. I think Google is TRYING that, but they don't quite have the focus, nor the creatives mixed with the engineers. The geeks tend not to respect the visionary people unless they've PROVEN something first.

I've always got the impression that Bill Gates was just a rip off artist. He's got this rep as some visionary and geek, but the only "innovation" was how to embrace and extend. He ripped off Basic from some other geeks in his computer club. He ripped off DOS from another developer by hiring a hacker. His innovations were all failures so he had to be the most frustrated rich guy. Still, you can't get that high on the rat heap if you don't have some sort of skills, intelligence, and perseverance. Although looking at the former CEO of GM and some of those backers of the Republican candidates -- I have to wonder if a lot of them aren't just 'good old boys.'
post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Good to see Schlender hasn't lost his touch about knowing nothing about NeXT other than the histrionics of early NeXT. He did get the interior correct, but the claim of rewriting NeXTSTEP truly shows you how technologically inept journalists continue to be.

Porting to the x86 architecture is not a rewrite, but then again, he's a journalist. Mach, by design was portable, Brent. BSD 4.3 was already on x86 long before NeXT ported it.

In reality, Brent, the Industry refused to welcome a 3rd system solution and the help of Gates tanking any porting of MS Apps, along with Adobe only made it that much more difficult to expand the Quad FAT NeXTSTEP into consumers hands.

Hell, we couldn't even get OEMs to send us specs to write device drivers because they didn't think the market was worth it.

Of course, now that NeXTSTEP is OS X and iOS with the same minds they refused to listen to now dominates they want to kiss everyone's ass.

Matrox, Diamond, you name it, they are all near death or gone and instead of working with us back then they snubbed us.

Linux survives much in part because OS/2 failed and IBM got sick and tired of being married to MS who they despise. Billions later and along with Oracle, Sybase, RedHat, Intel and so many others it's still no where near the polish of NeXTSTEP in it's day.

There is a lot to be said for vision and Linux has too many geeks who think they are smarter and more talented than the likes of Steve Jobs and the eye for talent and focus he famously earned.

I actually thought we were going to see some old interviews. Hell, I've got plenty of those of Steve. I'm sure as hell not putting them out on the Web. I'll hold onto my memories of working there at a place you always walked into knowing your stuff was ahead of the competition.

Gates famous line about crap APIs on NeXTSTEP immediately told me the guy is a bald face liar who always couldn't seem to figure out how come Steve was always 10 steps ahead of him and was seriously annoyed the day Steve slowed down a bit to the point the Industry could `get it' and start to dump Microsoft in droves.

Wow, good one. You obviously had an inside track, and have a lot of pride in how you helped shape the modern tech world with Steve. Thanks for your input.
post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by airmanchairman View Post

LoL

He's right about the Beatles - a Paul McCartney song would end up being too choir-boy cheesy if John Lennon didn't intervene and spike it up;

A John Lennon song would have so much offensive anti-establishment stink that it would take Paul's "scented air-freshener" style to tone it down.

The end result was some of the most perfect slices of Pop Music ever composed; add to that some sublime George "Mahavishnu" Harrison guitar mantras and funny Ringo Star quips, and the rest is glorious history.

If this is the "formula" Apple is employing going forward than I can't wait to see the exciting stuff Tim Cook and co are going to be announcing in the years ahead...

Good insight. But even the Beatles who flew so close to the sun couldn't stay there very long before there wings melted. How long will Apple endure at its lofty height without Steve? I have a ton of confidence in Cook. But what company could possibly keep this up?
post #38 of 42
It's futile to decide on the "best businessman". Jobs and Buffet are good examples of how two businessmen can have totally different career trajectories and skill sets. Here's what Steve has the best of, which can't be easily argued -- business story. Genius is great, but yes there have been a few. But couple genius with an amazing story, then you've got something very special. Watch a movie of Buffet's life, then a movie of Jobs' life. Which one captivates you and inspires you, and reaffirms in you the grandeur and heroism of human ingenuity and intelligence? In other words, which one makes you want to come back and see it again? If you answer Buffett, then you don't know Steve.



Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

Well, Warren Buffett seems a serious contestant. I read both bios, Buffett's is "the snowball".
Not to mention some of the "serious businessmen" of the 40s, such as Onassis.

While Jobs was certainly a genius, genius seems to be abundant in humanity. Well, sometimes as evil genius, sadly, Hitler, Stalin spring to mind, but I'm getting sidetracked here. My point is: Steve revolutionnized computers and movies, but "the greatest businessman of the last century" might not be his real clame to fame...
post #39 of 42
There is no doubt that those "wilderness" years away from Apple running NeXT and Pixar shaped Jobs into becoming arguably the most admired and dominant CEO the business world has ever seen. His ouster from Apple in '85 was really a long-term blessing in disguise. He needed those years away from Apple to learn all the ins and outs of running a business from the ground up. Not to defend Sculley in any way or form, but Jobs definitely seemed to be veering out of control at Apple after the introduction of the Macintosh. He just didn't have the discipline.

The experience he gained at NeXT and Pixar was critical in shaping his business acumen and technological vision for the future before he returned to Apple. Even NeXT often seemed like a mess that didn't know what to do with its amazing NeXTStep OS that was years beyond what anyone else was doing. I remember wanting a NeXT machine or installing the OS on an Intel machine so bad because it looked so far beyond what both Apple and Microsoft were doing in the early-to-mid 90's.

Jobs's experience running Pixar made him into the savvy negotiator he became when dealing with the media companies years later at Apple. You wonder if Jobs could have negotiated the deals with the record companies to get their music on iTunes if Jobs hadn't gone through some very demanding years negotiating with the likes of Jeffrey Katzenburg and Michael Eisner at Disney. These guys make the music industry seem like child's play in comparison.

Jobs learned from his mistakes and he made plenty during his original stint at Apple and during the wilderness years, especially at NeXT. What one learns from past mistakes should get absorbed and ingrained to the bones. The real lesson is not to make the same mistakes twice and I don't see any glaring examples of Jobs having done so after he returned to Apple. He was much more disciplined, much wiser, and much savvier than ever before.

Personally, I really didn't think he had those qualities in him when he returned although I was beyond elated when Apple bought out NeXT and made NeXTStep the foundation of OS X. If I had believed Jobs had changed that much during those wilderness years when he returned I'd be a filthy-rich multimillionaire by now. But I have no regrets and I'm extremely happy that Jobs lifted Apple (and AAPL) to where it is now. The story of Jobs is as much about how adversity shaped a genius during his formative years as the triumphs he achieved at Apple.
post #40 of 42
1) I read the book.

It was good for what it was. The writer seems to really respect Jobs. The biography medium does not really lend itself to much new information, since Jobs life intertwined with apple has already been dissected over and over again. Formula: novice/jerk->meteoric rise->jerky behavior causes fall from grace->learn lesson ->circumstances allow chance for redemption ->build empire->build legacy->pass the torch

2) This. As deceptively simple these concepts are, no one seems to be implementing them. Every other company are seemingly content with desperately trying to preserve the status quo, which is to do the same thing over and over and over again, and expect the outcome to be different.

Non-Apple formula:
market share is everything
sharefolders are always right
please the board
employ CEO who looks good in a suit
employ CEO with no imagination
employ CEO, but give him or her no real authority or only exists to suck up to the board
maintain incompetent board
employ B anc C players in critical positions and expect A player output
maintain a culture that only aspires to collect paycheck until retirement
flood the market with lowest common denominator products
features, features, features and more features
give stuff for free
pay people to use your stuff
pay celebrities and everyday people to pretend they like your stuff
announce your competition's funeral
announce amateur hour is over
make up numbers
make things up
make things up to inspire FUD
vaporware
create 17+ version of the same product
diversify, diversify, diversify
did I mentioned diversify?
cost cutting
more cost cutting
fire employees to stay afloat longer
disparage competition to pluff up your products
make up projections and cross fingers
rinse. wash. repeat until bankcruptcy or market irrelevance kicks in, whichever comes first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmason1270 View Post

The "Techniques" for Apple are quite simple:
Blend the Humanities and Technology
Trust your instincts.
If you have to use Power Point to make your point, you don't know what you are talking about.
Never skimp on crafstmanship and great design because it will evovle something from good to greater than the sum of its parts.
Fire Bozos.
Empower the creative process side by side with the technology side.
Streamline for clarity and product focus, not for cost cutting.

While the book is not a blueprint for running a corporation it is a personality study that shows how a company can reflect the vision of it's founding leader. It is a study on how to run a company "your way" and not "by the book". As is detailed by the power struggles between Job's and John Scully, the biggest lesson to running a company, is knowing your product and caring about your product. And if you don't understand that priority, then no book will help you.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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