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Ousted Apple exec Scott Forstall reportedly advising startups, focusing on philanthropy

post #1 of 66
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Not much has been heard of former iOS head Scott Forstall since he was fired from Apple in 2012, but a report published on Monday claims to shed some light on the ousted executive's activities over the past year.

Scott Forstall


Forstall was highlighted in one of technology and business publication The Information's first reports (via Business Insider), which assembled a list of the tech industry's "free agents," or big-name executives no longer attached to a specific company.

Over the past year, Forstall has spent time traveling to Italy and South Africa, possibly as part of a new interest in philanthropy. Exactly what philanthropic activities he participated in is not clear, as the report falls short of providing specifics, only mentioning a focus in education, poverty and human rights.

Perhaps more interesting is Forstall's alleged involvement in unnamed startups. According to the publication, he has advised a number of up and coming tech firms and is still in contact with venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins and Andreessen Horowitz. It is also noted, however, that Apple employees believe the former iOS chief is more likely to start his own company.

Forstall was ousted from Apple in 2012 following a brouhaha over the company's then-new Maps app. The debacle ultimately ended in a public apology from CEO Tim Cook, which sources say Forstall refused to sign.

Credited as the co-inventor of iOS, Forstall was an important figure in Cupertino, to the degree where some believed he could one day be Apple's CEO. The former SVP of iOS Software has been profiled as being "maddeningly political" and reportedly butted heads with other executives, including SVP of Design Jony Ive.

At the time of his departure, it was reported that Forstall would be staying on as a special advisor to Tim Cook until 2013, though his presence at the company effectively ended in October 2012.
post #2 of 66

I wonder whether he and Sinofsky have any meaningful contact. 

post #3 of 66
Not sure how he managed to stay out of the press this long. He is pretty high profile.

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post #4 of 66

Waits for the idiot(s) to say I hope he comes back to save iOS 7....

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post #5 of 66

Microsoft could sure use him to sort out their phones.

post #6 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post
 

Waits for the idiot(s) to say I hope he comes back to save iOS 7....

hahaha.  You should go on the macrumors thread.  It's loaded with them.

post #7 of 66

"...exactly what philanthropic activities he participated in is not clear, as the report falls short of providing specifics..."

 

Translation: He can't find a job and no one wants him. 

post #8 of 66

Go easy on him. In a parallel universe, where Apple Maps turned out amazing (it's getting there), he's being hailed as the new hero at Apple.

 

But skeuomorphism (sp?), that's a tough one.....

post #9 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post
 

"...exactly what philanthropic activities he participated in is not clear, as the report falls short of providing specifics..."

 

Translation: He can't find a job and no one wants him. 

Saying that "no one wants [Scott Forstall]" is a bit like saying that someone who wins a silver olympic medal must really suck at their sport.  I am no fan of skeumorphic design, but I think it is pretty clear that Forstall contributed greatly to the success of iOS, and to a lesser extent, Apple itself.  It's easy to be an armchair quarterback and criticize high-profile people who make high-profile mistakes, but it is awfully hard to be successful enough to become high-profile in the first place.

post #10 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post
 

Waits for the idiot(s) to say I hope he comes back to save iOS 7....

 

He's probably never seen it. He's probably still in the 26% of people using iOS 6.

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post #11 of 66
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Originally Posted by CanukStorm View Post
 

hahaha.  You should go on the macrumors thread.  It's loaded with them.

 

I saw...MacRumors forums are full of idjits...which is why I don't have an account with them anymore. 

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post #12 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post
 

"...exactly what philanthropic activities he participated in is not clear, as the report falls short of providing specifics..."

 

Translation: He can't find a job and no one wants him. 


Oh please.  Give me a break.  That man has more money than you will ever have in a hundred lifetimes.  He's not the kind of kind of guy that needs to find a "job".  He'll do his own thing, start a company, invest in companies, and the like.  He's not going to work for somebody.  He'll work WITH somebody perhaps, but he's in a position to write his own ticket.

 

post #13 of 66

Is it really necessary for AppleInsider to have this bigass photo of bug eyes? They can't at least scale it down about 50%???

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post #14 of 66
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Originally Posted by sflocal View Post
 


Oh please.  Give me a break.  That man has more money than you will ever have in a hundred lifetimes.  He's not the kind of kind of guy that needs to find a "job".  He'll do his own thing, start a company, invest in companies, and the like.  He's not going to work for somebody.  He'll work WITH somebody perhaps, but he's in a position to write his own ticket.

 

 

I agree...I think he'll end up with his own company. He left Apple with millions of dollars in his pocket. He by no means needs to find a job. He'll more likely use his money to start or partner up with his own company. 

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post #15 of 66

Let's see how successful he'll be without Apple. 

post #16 of 66
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Originally Posted by kkerst View Post
 

Let's see how successful he'll be without Apple. 

Right, because these guys are only smart when they're at Apple. Forstall was a mainstay on the NeXT team. Ron Johnson is the reason Target is where it is today. Tony Fadell is arguably one of the more innovative minds in technology right now. Apple hires smart people because they are smart, they don't instantly become smart once at Apple.

post #17 of 66
I always liked the guy. After Steve's passing he was the youngest and most energetic on stage - I think he connected really well during presentations. He's one of the very, very few who can claim to have given birth to a new platform (iOS). I wish him well going forward, and expect that he will go on to create some great new things.

FYI, "consulting agreements" are pretty standard and help justify the golden parachute and more importantly his stock options.
post #18 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post
 

Let's see how successful he'll be without Apple. 


He already is successful.  What's with the chip on your shoulder?  He could not do anything but live on a beach and that would be okay by me.  He doesn't need Apple anymore.

post #19 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Right, because these guys are only smart when they're at Apple. Forstall was a mainstay on the NeXT team. Ron Johnson is the reason Target is where it is today. Tony Fadell is arguably one of the more innovative minds in technology right now. Apple hires smart people because they are smart, they don't instantly become smart once at Apple.
Tell that to the Steve Jobs fanboys.
post #20 of 66

Capable high level execs like him are hard to find, I don't think even Apple could afford to let someone like him go (even though they did). Tim Cook should have found *some* way he could stay.

post #21 of 66

I love the number of negative opinions people have of someone who they never had met.  Scott is a brilliant man who much like Steve Jobs had reported difficulties working with people...  I wouldn't want to write him off as a bum just yet...

post #22 of 66

Steve created the Mac and then was ousted from Apple because he was hard to deal with, he then started Next.

Scott created iOS and then was ousted from Apple because he was hard to deal with, he then started ???

post #23 of 66

It will be interesting to see.  I personally would love to see him join the FireFox group working on the FireFox OS project.  But, I bet he has quite the extensive non-compete contract...

post #24 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post
 

Waits for the idiot(s) to say I hope he comes back to save iOS 7....

 

Yah. Because Jony Ive is a design genius who can design anything and do no wrong. Jony needs to stick with hardware. He is NOT an interface designer. And for good reason. He sucks at it. Big time.

post #25 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post
 

 

Yah. Because Jony Ive is a design genius who can design anything and do no wrong. Jony needs to stick with hardware. He is NOT an interface designer. And for good reason. He sucks at it. Big time.

I wouldn't say is sucks at it, but there are a few things he left unfinished:

 

http://uxcritique.tumblr.com

post #26 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

I saw...MacRumors forums are full of idjits...which is why I don't have an account with them anymore. 

Must say it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi ....
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post #27 of 66
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Originally Posted by kkerst View Post

Let's see how successful he'll be without Apple. 

I am sure he will be very successful. I always liked Scott he was very talented and he was a superb presenter.
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post #28 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post
 

 

Yah. Because Jony Ive is a design genius who can design anything and do no wrong. Jony needs to stick with hardware. He is NOT an interface designer. And for good reason. He sucks at it. Big time.

 

I knew there was one. If more then 3/4 of North America is on iOS 7 then something must be right. And don't say you were forced to...that would be a bunch of BS right there. 

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post #29 of 66
Apple owes a huge dept of gratitude to Forstall. iOS was a "bet the company" gamble according to Schiller. Now Apple is where it is because of iPhone and iOS, and Scott was right there leading the creation of iOS from nothing. To all the naysayers, give the guy a break... I expect big things from him in the future...
Edited by aussiepaul - 12/9/13 at 7:25pm
post #30 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post

"...exactly what philanthropic activities he participated in is not clear, as the report falls short of providing specifics..."

Translation: He can't find a job and no one wants him. 

He doesn't care having more than enough money to last several lifetimes.
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post #31 of 66

The ironic thing about skeumorphism is that this particular form of visual imagery persists in the OS X application icons that appear on the Desktop and the Dock. A legal pad represents Notes. A star and camera represent iMovie. It begs the question: What else would you put there?

 

So skeumorphism brings to mind a story that I believe appeared in a book by Alexander King, an odd duck of a journalist, recovering morphine addict and bon vivant who frequently guested on Jack Paar's Tonight Show in the late '50s.

 

Many years ago, a rich businessman was motoring through the Russian steppe when his car broke down on the edge of a tiny shtetl. The car managed to make it as far as the village mechanic, where the businessman was told it would be several hours before it could be fixed. Checking his pocket watch for the time, the businessman saw that it had stopped running as well. On the chance that he could get his watch fixed while he waited for his car, the man sauntered down the single street through town, looking for a jeweler. He nearly reached the other end of town before spotting a shop with numerous watches suspended in the front window.

 

Stepping inside, the businessman discovered the shop was otherwise bare except for a table and chair near the back. Sitting there was an old, bearded fellow, wearing a yarmulke and studying the Tannach. The old man looked up briefly, nodded slightly and resumed reading. Puzzled, the businessman asked, "Hello; can I get my watch fixed here?"

 

The old man peered up again, and with the faintest shake of his head, looked back down at his reading. The businessman was irritated and - figuring that the man was hard of hearing - said in a loud and imperious tone, "WILL YOU FIX MY WATCH, OR WON'T YOU?"

 

The elderly Jew was startled and returned the younger man's stare, "I hear you very well, so you don't have to shout. I am unable to help you, however, because I am not a watchmaker."

 

Even more irritated, the businessman shot back, "Well, what are you then?"

 

"I am a mohel. It is my ritual duty to circumcise the male babies in our shtetl."

 

By now the businessman was beside himself. He roared, "Well if you aren't a watchmaker, why are all those watches hanging in your window??!!"

 

With a twinkle in his eye and a ghost of a smile, the old Jew responded. "So vat vould you hang in the vindow?"


Edited by Kibitzer - 12/9/13 at 7:45pm

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post #32 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
 

Steve created the Mac and then was ousted from Apple because he was hard to deal with, he then started Next.

Scott created iOS and then was ousted from Apple because he was hard to deal with, he then started ???

 

Stop using Steve Jobs' bio as the pattern for others to follow. Success isn't that simplistic. Each person takes a different path, based on their strengths, weakness, and different circumstances.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #33 of 66
Wow I didn't know this was so personal on here folks. I'm just stating the obvious.
post #34 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
 

 

Stop using Steve Jobs' bio as the pattern for others to follow. Success isn't that simplistic. Each person takes a different path, based on their strengths, weakness, and different circumstances.

Well the article already states that Apple employees (presumably who know him) think he is more likely to start a company than other options.

post #35 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Capable high level execs like him are hard to find, I don't think even Apple could afford to let someone like him go (even though they did). Tim Cook should have found *some* way he could stay.

Some smart people are too mercurial to function within an organization once it passes a point in size. Had he been smart and could manage his emotions, it's a different story.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #36 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post

Wow I didn't know this was so personal on here folks. I'm just stating the obvious.

Don't take it so personal when someone disagrees with you. Especially when you state your opinion without giving some basis for it. Jest say'n.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #37 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

Waits for the idiot(s) to say I hope he comes back to save iOS 7....

The good old times when a button still looked like a button. He will be missed.
post #38 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

blah

Sorry I wasn't listening.
post #39 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post
 

 

Yah. Because Jony Ive is a design genius who can design anything and do no wrong. Jony needs to stick with hardware. He is NOT an interface designer. And for good reason. He sucks at it. Big time.

If we go by that sort of thinking, then Steve Jobs should have kept his mouth shut and shouldn't have gotten involved in computer design. He was not a designer of hardware, software or interface. And yet ...

post #40 of 66
That's exactly all it was: an opinion. I never said it was fact. People need to stop taking themselves so serious on here and chill out.

Anyway, it seems to me Apple combines the best of the best who function, as a whole, at the top their game - kind of like a think tank that actually produces something. So there, that was another opinion.
Edited by kkerst - 12/9/13 at 10:15pm
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