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Ex-Apple CEO John Sculley Dishes On Steve Jobs

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the still-rich dept.

Businesses 417

digitaldc writes "Here's a full transcript of the interview with John Sculley on the subject of Steve Jobs. It's long but worth reading because there are some awesome insights into how Jobs does things. It's also one of the frankest CEO interviews you'll ever read. Sculley talks openly about Jobs and Apple, admits it was a mistake to hire him to run the company and that he knows little about computers. It's rare for anyone, never mind a big-time CEO, to make such frank assessment of their career in public."

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Control (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33945404)

His tradeoff was he believed that he had to control the entire system. He made every decision. The boxes were locked.

It wasn't only back then, it's especially true today. I don't know why everyone on slashdot seems to give him a free pass but say DRM, locked-down hardware, restrictions, end user licenses and so on are bad. Apple and Steve Jobs is basically everything that we should be against. Even Windows is open, even if you don't get the source code. Linux is obviously the best choice.

Steve Jobs still is extremely fanatic about having full control in everything. So much for all us geeks who like to play around with the hardware and learn things. If everything back in the day was as closed as Steve Jobs wants it to be now, do you think we geeks could have learned so much ourself? Just to code some simple hello world application you would have needed to buy a "coding" license from Apple. Not really feasible for a 10 year old kid who is just starting to learn programming.

Re:Control (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33945458)

I don't know why everyone on slashdot seems to give him a free pass

One word: Shiny.

Re:Control (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#33945724)

When did nerds stop saying "wow, technically impressive" and start saying "ooh, shiny?" I always thought it was the artsy types that went for Apple, not nerds. When did nerds start caring what they looked like or what normal people thought about us or how pretty our computers were? I mean, a cool looking handmade computer case is one thing, but fashion?

Re:Control (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33945828)

I wish I could tell you...finding people that are more impressed by what's inside a computer than outside is getting harder and harder.

Re:Control (3, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | about 4 years ago | (#33946146)

That's because it matters less each day.

Re:Control (2, Insightful)

dubbreak (623656) | about 4 years ago | (#33946404)

That's because it matters less each day.

Especially in the lowend segment. Now an inexpensive netbook has enough "oomph" for most users daily tasks. It used to be that even a entry level user would have to check specs to make sure the computer would run whatever software they wanted to run. Now caring about specs and performance is left to high-end gamers.

Re:Control (1)

bberens (965711) | about 4 years ago | (#33945958)

Apple products aren't "technically" impressive. They don't have the most power, they don't have the largest feature set, etc. Apple excels at technology integration (itunes musc store for example) and UI design. That's why for Apple products "Ooh, shiny" is more appropriate. Business-wise I would agree Apple is pretty innovative, but from a geeky technology standpoint they're kind of meh.

Re:Control (4, Insightful)

twoshortplanks (124523) | about 4 years ago | (#33946274)

Business-wise I would agree Apple is pretty innovative, but from a geeky technology standpoint they're kind of meh.

I think some of the technologies from apple - for example Grand Central Dispatch [wikipedia.org] , chunks of WebKit, etc, are very cool bits of tech.

Re:Control (1)

paeanblack (191171) | about 4 years ago | (#33945992)

I mean, a cool looking handmade computer case is one thing, but fashion?

Stepping back for a moment, I'm failing to see the difference between the two.

You're attaching value to the pedigree of the object instead of its function. Caring about how the computer case was made instead of the end result isn't really any different from gushing over the designer label on your handbag.

Re:Control (3, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | about 4 years ago | (#33946040)

When did nerds stop saying "wow, technically impressive" and start saying "ooh, shiny?"

The same geeks never stopped or started.

There's the Linux crowd who prefer openness and always did, believing that the best way to stay on the technological frontier and staying out of bueracracy is to stay open and close to the community.

And then there's the Apple crowd who prefer coherence and functionality whatever the cost. It's not as important to those to always do the very latest hip stuff technology-wise, but the stuff should always work and it should be an ultra-smooth experience that may very well be the result of an iron fist. They also agree with the iron fist's philosophy in design, minimalism, and ease-of-use. There's no reality distortion field. That's an annoying myth. There's an agreement in philosophy though, a philosophy that is miles away both the Linux one and the Windows one.

And then there's Windows. Windows is neither open, on the technological edge, coherent, or well-engineered. So there's no surprise here that it's bashed from both sides.

I don't think many Linux users jump ship to Apple or vice versa though, as you seem to believe.

Re:Control (2, Insightful)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about 4 years ago | (#33946110)

It was shortly after Apple's Marketing Department redefined the word Nerd to include "artsy people" who know nothing about technology.

Re:Control (1)

swb (14022) | about 4 years ago | (#33946170)

When did nerds stop saying "wow, technically impressive" and start saying "ooh, shiny?" I always thought it was the artsy types that went for Apple, not nerds.

About 1998, when the Internet picked up steam and the computing universe became filled primarily with people accomplishing non-computing (ie, not math, engineering, science or data processing) tasks.

Now the computing universe if full of people who apparently "do things" with computers who have no idea how they work, just how to accomplish things with them.

Not to mention that in spite of the recession, there's an awful lot of "computer" jobs out there and it's attracted a lot of people to the field who in past decades (say, the 1980s) would have done some other job than "data processing."

 

Re:Control (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 4 years ago | (#33946390)

It's because the competition sucks so much. The general public want PCs that look nice and just work. It's not just design, it's also.. design.

- most hardware is fugly, or as overpriced as apple stuff
- other OSes and Apps are screwier than Apple's. My WinMob 6.5 phone can't synch mail with my Win7 desktop, and never will... no wonder Apple sounds so polished...

Computers are today's cars... nerds pretend they're looking for cool tech stuff. In truth, they're looking for social recognition and a comfort zone. Apple is getting better at providing that.

Re:Control (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33946438)

Halo effect. OS X is the nerdiest operating system EVER. Once people saw OS X and realized that Apple could be geek-friendly they figured the company wasn't all that bad. As long as Apple kept making a great OS and good computers that impression stuck.

I'm pretty sure that halo effect is being reversed with the iPhone though.

Re:Control (5, Insightful)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 4 years ago | (#33945538)

I don't know why everyone on slashdot seems to give him a free pass

I don't know what comment threshold you browse at to think that EVERYONE (or even close to that) gives Jobs a free pass.

Re:Control (5, Insightful)

onionman (975962) | about 4 years ago | (#33945550)

His tradeoff was he believed that he had to control the entire system. He made every decision. The boxes were locked.

It wasn't only back then, it's especially true today. I don't know why everyone on slashdot seems to give him a free pass but say DRM, locked-down hardware, restrictions, end user licenses and so on are bad. Apple and Steve Jobs is basically everything that we should be against. Even Windows is open, even if you don't get the source code. Linux is obviously the best choice.

Not really feasible for a 10 year old kid who is just starting to learn programming.

I think the reason that Apple is so celebrated here is that OS X provides what many long-time Linux users/developers have wanted: a highly functioning unix-like system under the hood with a nice polished user interface.

I do all of my "real work" on Linux systems, but my desktop and laptop are Macs because for most needs, it just works and I get a full bash shell and unix OS when needed. Yes, I pay a premium for that shiny hardware, but for me it's worth it not to have to deal with finding device drivers or re-compiling kernels, and it's nice to be able to view all forms of media, too.

Don't get me wrong. I still believe that Apple's DRM is evil and I wish that ever format was open and non-proprietary. I used to fight that fight when I was younger. But, now that I'm old, working full time, and have a family, I just don't have any energy left to get into fights with my desktop OS just to get some Dora The Explorer video to play for my kids.

Re:Control (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | about 4 years ago | (#33945742)

"now that I'm old, working full time, and have a family, I just don't have any energy left to get into fights with my desktop OS just to get some Dora The Explorer video to play for my kids."

My sentiments exactly. Wish I had mod points!

Re:Control (4, Informative)

the_humeister (922869) | about 4 years ago | (#33946194)

I do all of my "real work" on Linux systems, but my desktop and laptop are Macs because for most needs, it just works and I get a full bash shell and unix OS when needed. Yes, I pay a premium for that shiny hardware, but for me it's worth it not to have to deal with finding device drivers or re-compiling kernels, and it's nice to be able to view all forms of media, too.

Ever since Ubuntu came out, I've never had to recompile a kernel or find device drivers myself. I can still view any media I want, have a bash shell, and have a unix-like OS. I was amazed at how the Ubuntu installation found all drivers (even wireless!) for my wife's HP laptop with a Broadcom wireless chip (and that was 3 years ago on a fairly new laptop).

Re:Control (1)

dubbreak (623656) | about 4 years ago | (#33946454)

Ubuntu installation found all drivers (even wireless!) for my wife's HP laptop with a Broadcom wireless chip (and that was 3 years ago on a fairly new laptop).

Really? Until 10.4 I have always wrestled with wireless drivers for my wife's laptop (uses a broadcom chip). I've been wrestling with broadcom drivers for a decade it seems (then they finally opened their specs).

Re:Control (-1)

thestudio_bob (894258) | about 4 years ago | (#33945606)

I don't know why everyone on slashdot seems to give him a free pass but say DRM, locked-down hardware, restrictions, end user licenses and so on are bad. Apple and Steve Jobs is basically everything that we should be against. Even Windows is open, even if you don't get the source code.

I think you are somewhat directing you "anger" at iOS, but the OS X is certainly not closed. Yes, not as "open" as Linux, but certainly no different than Windows. And was the Zune open? Is the new Windows7 phone going to be open? I think not.

Re:Control (1)

bberens (965711) | about 4 years ago | (#33945988)

Aren't large sections of OSX open source? I never really cared that much about it, but I thought I'd read that before.

Re:Control (2, Informative)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | about 4 years ago | (#33946190)

The Darwin kernel [wikipedia.org] is, the userland isn't.

Re:Control (5, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | about 4 years ago | (#33946120)

If anything OSX is more open than Windows; the guts are open source (Darwin). It's just higher levels that are closed. On top of that Apple uses and contributes to a number of F/OSS projects to provide things like printing (CUPS), remote file system access (SAMBA), remote shell access (OpenSSH) and lots of others. I'd venture to say that more than 50% of of OSX is F/OSS code and Apple has generally been quite good about working with the projects they use. Apparently there's been some friction with the FSF a few times, but given that Stallman and Jobs are like oil and water...

Say what you want about the closed nature of the iDevices (and personally I like my iPhone, but think the iPad might be to limited ), but the Mac itself is way more open than Windows. It also represents, as another poster pointed out, what I've always really wanted. A reliable, Unix based, workstation with a good user interface, decent library of available commercial software, and capability to use pretty much all the F/OSS stuff I need.

If you want to see what Linux on the Desktop should look like, look no further than OSX. Not the design per se, though I like it well enough, but the way the OS works from a user point of view. In OSX you have a consumer OS. You never, ever have to go to the command line. You do anything you need to configure the computer in any way you need from simple easy to understand GUI tools. You can run all your software without hiccups, dependency issues, or driver headaches. BUT if you want to, and you know how to, you can quickly and easily open a command prompt, use the all the standard Unix tools, script to your heart's content, even install a Linux style package manager and use all the tools available to any of the free *nixes.

Re:Control (3, Insightful)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | about 4 years ago | (#33945886)

If everything back in the day was as closed as Steve Jobs wants it to be now, do you think we geeks could have learned so much ourself? Just to code some simple hello world application you would have needed to buy a "coding" license from Apple. Not really feasible for a 10 year old kid who is just starting to learn programming.

Hmm. Apple provides XCode and examples for free, installs perl, python, and a variety of other programming languages for free by default..

I think you might be mistaken about what Steve Jobs is trying to control. The handset market? Sure.The desktop market? .. Not as much as you'd like to lead us to believe.

Re:Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33946050)

I feel like some famous CEO recently said something about PCs being on the way out, and mobile devices being the future. Can't seem to recall who it was, but if that person's vision came true, it sure would seem like Steve Jobs was trying to control everything...

Not exactly a revelation (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#33945406)

Steve Jobs is a minimalist, heavy-handed, hard-driving, design-obsessed prick?!? Not exactly news.

And I'll say it once again. Considering the observation that Sculley makes that MS is all about hiring geeks and smart people and Apple is all about hiring designers and marketers ("Apple is a designers company, not an engineers company," as he says), it still amazes me that MS is so bashed on /. and Apple so celebrated. You would think the opposite would be true here. Are we still longing to sit at the cool kids' table or something, or have we just bought into that "lifestyle" shit too?

Re:Not exactly a revelation (5, Insightful)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | about 4 years ago | (#33945460)

It's because of two things.. 1.) It's Unix. All geeks worth their 2 ft. long beards love Unix. and 2.) geeks appreciate good design, even if they believe that sort of work is beneath them.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (3, Insightful)

wmac (1107843) | about 4 years ago | (#33945894)

So basically if someone takes Unix/Linux , puts a beautiful layer on it and sells it even more expensive that the other company (e.g. MS) which has developed everything, it is fine with you.

ven worse, if the company closes the hardware, forces everyone to buy every piece of hardware from them, it is ok, but if someone else tries to support every hardware provider, we call it a close system and we condemn it.

Are these the new type of judgments from technical people nowadays?

Re:Not exactly a revelation (4, Insightful)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | about 4 years ago | (#33946014)

You should note that not all techies care about the ideological stuff (or care all that much). All else being equal, I'll choose FOSS over proprietary, but it's not the only thing that factors into my evaluation of software. I love Unix for the command line. I like Apple's design, but not enough to pay $2500 for a desktop (my wife, on the other hand...). And for a development environment, I've become quite fond of the .NET environment. I use all 3 at home, and each fills its niche quite nicely.

Quite possibly, actually. (2)

aussersterne (212916) | about 4 years ago | (#33946262)

I started using Linux in 1993. This summer I switched to Mac OS X in frustration over usability issues, despite my technical preferences. I'd gladly pay $$$$ for a Linux based system with the integration, polish, and commercial-product-availability of Mac OS.

Unfortunately, such a system doesn't exist and is unlikely ever to exist, which is why I am now a Mac OS user.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33946290)

I think a large amount of confusion here is the use of the word "Design." Design is mistakenly interpreted by some as the way something looks. Design is actually the way something WORKS (as well as looks). How I interact with a tool can be as important as how well it works.

If you had 2 hammers, one with a rubberized grip on the handle, and another with metal spikes on the handle, I'd choose the rubberized one because it's more comfortable for me to use, even though both can drive a nail effectively. I'll respect everyone's intelligence enough to not continue the metaphor - but you get the idea. When Apple talks about design, they are not talking about making something that looks good and works terrible, they are talking about something that is thoughtful, inside and out.

I would say that Dell actually does more 'flashy" designs designed to catch the eye, but on the inside, it's still the same old rotten crap.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 4 years ago | (#33946394)

Sorry, "the other company that developed everything"? Don't quite get what you mean there. MS developed "everything" branded as MS, they had nothing to do with *nix based systems. And yes, I could roll my own version of Linux and sell it for whatever I wanted.

Closed hardware? Custom *nix systems are very often embedded in custom chips to do very specific things, it's about as closed as you get.

Limited hardware, closed *nix system: Apple.
Varied hardware, open *nix system: Linux
Varied hardware, closed non-*nix system: MS

Them's the main choices, and nobody is forcing you to go for one or the other. Me, I can't afford Apple kit and I despise using Windows purely as a user (rather than any particular ethical/moral reason), so I go with Linux.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#33945980)

geeks appreciate good design

How is a phone with an easily shorted antenna good design? How is making what should be a durable object (a phone) with a glass front and back "good design?"

When form doesn't follow function it's not good design. If you'd have said "geeks appreciate a good interface" I'd agree with you.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (1)

the_humeister (922869) | about 4 years ago | (#33946244)

I guess geeks don't like VMS then since Dave Cutler, the main guy associated with VMS development, went to MS and oversaw development of Windows NT.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (2, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#33946370)

It's Unix.

And just how many Apple users know how to write a simple shell script? Or do regular expression matching/text replacement in sed & awk? Or even know how to use vi or emacs?

Re:Not exactly a revelation (5, Insightful)

grub (11606) | about 4 years ago | (#33945476)


Obviously Apple isn't "all about hiring designers and marketers". All the designers in the world can't create a working product. That still takes engineers, programmers, etc.

What Apple does is come up with a nice design and have the technical people make it real. Most other companies have the techs make a product then have designers spray perfume on it.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33945652)

Mod this guy up! Perfect observation, and if you think back it perfectly explains how MS products end up like they do. Some geek obsesses over a few facets and makes those perfect then tries to pull the whole thing together later instead of having a plan from the get go.

Man is that weird but then most of my fellow geeks don't plan out things in advance even as often as I do (and I barely do that!)

Re:Not exactly a revelation (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#33945738)

Some geek obsesses over a few facets and makes those perfect then tries to pull the whole thing together later instead of having a plan from the get go.

May I remind you that we also celebrate Linux here?

Re:Not exactly a revelation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33945676)

Obviously Apple isn't "all about hiring designers and marketers". All the designers in the world can't create a working product. That still takes engineers, programmers, etc.

Just not antenna engineers.

Kinda makes the GP's point, now doesn't that?

What Apple does is come up with a nice design and have the technical people make it real. Most other companies have the techs make a product then have designers spray perfume on it.

What about make it work? Not so much - see "iPhone antenna" again. Or you could go back to whatever computer Jobs wanted to not have a fan. Well, at least not mechanical fan that would move air to cool the components - you'd better believe Jobs wants all his products to have the adulation-crazed type of fans - the more the merrier!

Re:Not exactly a revelation (3, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | about 4 years ago | (#33946340)

Oh FFS leave the antenna alone already. First, it seems the problems is hardly limited to iPhones, other phones demonstrate the same problems, they just don't have to hype and hate built up to make seem like such an issue. Second, there was a relatively straightforward fix within a week or two. Third, point me at a company that hasn't released a product with an engineering flaw. The devices were tested with cases on them, because they didn't them being leaked (lot of good that did). Was it a mistake? Of course. Was it an understandable mistake? Yes. It happens. Apple's initial reaction could have been handled better, but in the end it there was a reasonably painless resolution and they won't make the same mistake again.

No one is saying Apple is perfect. All they're saying is that Apple tends to fit engineering to the design rather than vice versa. It's bit them before (I think is was called the X-cube? Back about 8-9 years ago used to crack at all its joints?) it'll bite them again. It's generally been successful though, and I'd venture a guess that they've had no more engineering disasters than any other major tech manufacturer.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33945534)

I might be able to relate some of the fascination of Apple and the hatred of Microsoft here on Slashdot. It goes back to the early days when many of us from the usenet newsgroups found we could make a forum on the web. Apple promoted quality hardware and at the time many of us were losing our temper at ill behaved Microsoft products. And much of the culture of the internet in the day was very fluent with Linux. So we saw a Unix like operating system influence Apple.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (3, Funny)

0olong (876791) | about 4 years ago | (#33945566)

Considering the observation that Sculley makes that MS is all about hiring geeks and smart people and Apple is all about hiring designers and marketers ("Apple is a designers company, not an engineers company," as he says), it still amazes me that MS is so bashed on /. and Apple so celebrated.

That's because Microsoft has been too busy proving the opposite of the infinite monkey theorem: "Thousands of smart geeks typing on thousands of typewriters for an infinite amount of time will almost surely create the shittiest piece of work known to man."

Re:Not exactly a revelation (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#33945632)

Thousands of smart geeks typing on thousands of typewriters for an infinite amount of time

I think you just succinctly described /.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (3, Insightful)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | about 4 years ago | (#33945626)

it still amazes me that MS is so bashed on /. and Apple so celebrated. You would think the opposite would be true here. Are we still longing to sit at the cool kids' table or something, or have we just bought into that "lifestyle" shit too?

Ignoring your blatant trolling there, Apple may not be perfect, but they are certainly not as evil as M$. Apple wants you to use their hardware, they don't force you to use their software, which I'm ok with. Microsoft on the other hand tries as hard as they possibly can to lock you into their software, using all sorts of evil (and sometimes illegal) strategies. They have no interest in making people's lives easier or more compatible. You can't even read an HFS partition in Windows without special 3rd party software. MacOS has been able to read FAT and NTFS for over a decade. This is not just a technical limitation of Windows, it's deliberate. And that's just a single example. Not to mention the quality issues of M$ software. If M$ didn't exist maybe we would bash Apple, but until that time I will choose to bash M$ over Apple any day of the week. And lifestyle has nothing to do with it -- in my experience Apple products are of a much higher quality both aesthetically and technically, which I value, and thus Apple gets more approval from me than M$.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#33945682)

Apple wants you to use their hardware, they don't force you to use their software

I have a two word response to that: App Store.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 years ago | (#33945816)

The App Store is overwhelmingly dominated by non-Apple software.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (1, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#33945892)

But Apple has to approve it or you can't use it.

And, BTW, since when has MS "forced" me to use Windows or any other MS application? Last time I checked, I'm free to install whatever OS I want on my computer. I'm free to install whatever apps I want in Windows too. When Netscape was suing MS in the 90's, even they acknowledged that MS never tried to block anyone from installing Netscape (or any other browser) in Windows--which they could have. I've never once had MS tell me I *had* to use any of their software. There have always been competing OS's and applications, and no computer manufacturer has ever blocked them (nor has Windows ever blocked applications that competed with Internet Explorer, Office, etc.).

Re:Not exactly a revelation (2, Informative)

the_humeister (922869) | about 4 years ago | (#33946380)

As much as I don't like Apple, you're comparing the wrong things. You can also install whatever you want on the Apple computers you buy. You can even install Windows on the Mac now.

With the new Windows Phone 7 phones, there's probably going to be an app store and no sideloading, just like the iPhone. And because of that I have an Android phone instead.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 4 years ago | (#33946440)

Not only do they have to approve it, but you have to pay to get your apps onto the store at all.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (1)

puto (533470) | about 4 years ago | (#33946032)

Actually, I think it as around 2003 when 10.3 had support for reading NTFS partitions. 7 years, and on the mac is it still done through a driver/plugin. So seven years does not relate to over a decade.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | about 4 years ago | (#33946310)

Ignoring your blatant trolling there, Apple may not be perfect, but they are certainly not as evil as M$.

Would you like to back that up? So far your defense is, "I like Apple, so they're less evil, and when they do bad things, it's because I deserve it or for my own good.", which makes you one black eye from Steve Jobs away from being the basis of a Lifetime movie of the week.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33946364)

Why did you substitute a $ for S in all the instances of "MS" above?

Re:Not exactly a revelation (1, Insightful)

Jazz-Masta (240659) | about 4 years ago | (#33945664)

Steve Jobs is a minimalist, heavy-handed, hard-driving, design-obsessed prick?!? Not exactly news

In your professional assessment, you forgot "turtleneck-wearing"...

What I find interesting is that his followers are materialistic, light-handed, lazy, status-obsessed pricks.

Not quite the opposite, but tangential in some ways.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#33945820)

Uh oh, I think you just really pissed off an art major in a coffee shop somewhere.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (5, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 years ago | (#33945904)

What I find interesting is that his followers are materialistic, light-handed, lazy, status-obsessed pricks.

Ah, the whine of someone who can't afford something.

I couldn't give a damn about status or materialism. I don't buy designer labels or expensive watches, and don't even own a car any more. But when it comes to computing, I want the best tool for the job, and because I haven't been lazy, I can afford it. For about 7 years now, that's meant buying Apple.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33946348)

Um, no. I can easily afford it. I don't buy Apple, b/c I agree that Apple-lovers are status-obsessed pricks, and I dislike Apple as a company.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (1)

Jazz-Masta (240659) | about 4 years ago | (#33946372)

What I find interesting is that his followers are materialistic, light-handed, lazy, status-obsessed pricks.

Ah, the whine of someone who can't afford something.

I couldn't give a damn about status or materialism. I don't buy designer labels or expensive watches, and don't even own a car any more. But when it comes to computing, I want the best tool for the job, and because I haven't been lazy, I can afford it. For about 7 years now, that's meant buying Apple.

Actually, it was meant as a joke. Perhaps my subtle sarcasm about the "professional assessment" and "turtleneck" wasn't enough. I actually own an iPhone 4, iPod, and have a Mac mini at home. I also own a few Windows machines. Both machines have their strengths, but Apple is the #1 pusher of their products as a status symbol.

The reason why I purchased an iPhone 4 after my Blackberry was the email support. As a sysadmin, I push Blackberry at work because of the exchange, vpn, and admin functions. The reason why I purchased the Mac mini was for a small form-factor machine I could hook up to my TV, but also as something I could develop and learn Mac applications and sysadmin stuff on.

I also purchase the best tools for the job, which in my experience has been a mix of Windows-based PCs and servers, Unix/Linux servers, and Macs.

I'm sorry if I have offended you, but it was all in good jest!

Re:Not exactly a revelation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33946424)

Just the type of smug reply I would expect from a longtime Apple consumer. Dick.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (0, Troll)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 4 years ago | (#33946462)

Jeez, you talk like Apple is the best tool for everything that has ever needed computing. Sounds like an elitist snob to me.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (-1, Offtopic)

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Re:Not exactly a revelation (0)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 4 years ago | (#33945782)

MS is all about hiring geeks and smart people and Apple is all about hiring designers and marketers: it still amazes me that MS is so bashed on /. and Apple so celebrated.

Apple could be hiring pastry cooks. What matters is their final products.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (5, Informative)

molnarcs (675885) | about 4 years ago | (#33945784)

Steve Jobs is a minimalist, heavy-handed, hard-driving, design-obsessed prick?!? Not exactly news.

And I'll say it once again. Considering the observation that Sculley makes that MS is all about hiring geeks and smart people and Apple is all about hiring designers and marketers ("Apple is a designers company, not an engineers company," as he says), it still amazes me that MS is so bashed on /. and Apple so celebrated. You would think the opposite would be true here. Are we still longing to sit at the cool kids' table or something, or have we just bought into that "lifestyle" shit too?

Well, there is more to the interview than that, although I'd say yours is a fair summary. Still, I'd recommend everyone RTFA, it's an interesting, deeply personal account of the way Jobs works, and the reasons for Apple's phenomenal success. It is even more interesting how Jobs has changed in the past few years compared to Scully's account. One point that stands out in this interview is Jobs rejection of looking at anything the competition does, or others do in general. Yes, he had his own heroes like Akio Morita and SONY, but generally he was far less obsessed with what others do than today.

His attack on Android in the latest quarterly earnings press conference was positively hysteric:

"We think Android is very, very fragmented"

"We think integrated will trump fragmented"

"... we will triumph over Google's fragmented approach"

"...where PCs have the same interface, Android is very fragmented

The new bogeyman: fragmented FRAGMENTED FRAGMENTED!!!

There's a nice spin in there. At any given time, all important apps will be present in all markets (or at least the top three markets). What really happens here is that markets are actually forced to compete with each other a) for developers b) for users (markets that would demand exclusivity would simply die, even if anyone was stupid enough to pull something like that). This is good news for everyone, and the antithesis of everything Apple stands for. No matter how much he SJ tries to spin it, fragmentation is not a problem. Here's another real jam, the app itself (TweetDeck) was discussed earlier here on Slashdot.

"Twitter client, Twitter Deck [sic], recently launched their app for Android. They reported that they had to contend with more than 100 different versions of Android software on 244 different handsets. The multiple hardware and software iterations present developers a daunting challenge." Steve Jobs

Here is what the developers had to say about Jobs' remark:

Did we at any point say it was a nightmare developing for Android? Errr nope, no we didn't. It wasn't."

Indeed I recall reading their blog post about this, and the tone was more along the lines of "look how cool it is that TweetDeck runs on the craziest, wackiest combinations of ROMS and hardware. Looking at the list, it's amazing indeed (10 NOKIA N900, and even a few iPhone 3GS ... wtf?).

Re:Not exactly a revelation (1)

Pop69 (700500) | about 4 years ago | (#33945802)

Apple had Woz, that was more than enough to make up for all the smart geeks MS could hire

Re:Not exactly a revelation (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#33946010)

Alas, the Wizard of Woz is long gone. I always thought the real tragedy of Apple was that, of the two Steves, it should be Jobs that has continued and Woz that left. I often wonder what Apple would have looked like in an alternate history where Jobs walked and Woz was put in charge.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 years ago | (#33946280)

I often wonder what Apple would have looked like in an alternate history where Jobs walked and Woz was put in charge.

Apple products (if they existed at all) would be sold out of 1969 Volkswagen vans by couples with long hair and beards (male and female). The products would be powered by solar cells created out of fair trade hemp.

They would boot up using a special floppy.

There would be no iPod.

Bill Gates would be Sauron and Steve Ballmer would be Saruman.

You will be eaten by a Grue.

It's the Woz legacy (3, Insightful)

Deep Esophagus (686515) | about 4 years ago | (#33945852)

Some of us older geeks have trouble bashing Apple because we remember the Apple of Woz's day. It breaks my heart when, in a moment of nostalgia, I cry out "Apple ][ Forever!" and people think that means I like Macs. As far as I'm concerned, Apple stopped being Apple when Woz left, and I totally agree that Mac et al are about as closed architecture as you can get.

Why is apple so celebrated? Girls (2, Insightful)

voss (52565) | about 4 years ago | (#33945896)

Girls like Macs and Ipods and iphones. The nice thing about girls with macs is they dont bother you asking for free tech support since they rarely
need it and when they do they go to the apple store. They love their macbook with the same intensity as they love their cats. If a girl lets
you touch her macbook you know you are in a serious relationship. If a girl shows you her macbook she is expecting a compliment like complimenting
her shoes or her dress, it is not a random piece of technology for her it is a life accessory. If you want to get assaulted by a woman, mess with her
iphone... you do not touch a woman's iphone! If she shows you her first iphone, you are expected to oooh and ahhhh like she is showing you her first born. :)

The "lifestyle" accessories is a woman thing, which us male geeks can not possibly understand.

 

Re:Why is apple so celebrated? Girls (1)

Jugalator (259273) | about 4 years ago | (#33946134)

I agree; this may sound like a shallow idea of why Apple is so popular, but there is little disagreement that women care more for style and fashion than men. I think this has been a driving force for several thousand years during evolution, in order to maintain healthy homes and so on (evolution doesn't care for the current trends in gender equality politics). Heck, the biological differences go so far as to make women more sensitive to smells. So it's not just esthetics.

So I also think that Apple gain a quite clear edge here. It's not that many men are disinterested in fashionable products, it's just that even more women are, and the competitors don't see (or care?) for this fact as much.

Re:Not exactly a revelation (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about 4 years ago | (#33946492)

it still amazes me that MS is so bashed on /. and Apple so celebrated

Apple, unlike Microsoft, sometimes brings some pretty good pieces of ideas to market. Their products aren't anything I'd want, but they are fascinating and inspiring technological previews.

Take the iPhone. People have long known that really neat phones will be on the market any-day-now (whenever the hell that'll be) but the iPhone really showed that some day, someone really could make a phone that doesn't suck. It's not a mere idea anymore or cold-fusion-is-just-20-years-away kind of thing; it's pretty much as close to tangible reality as something can get without actually being tangible reality. Apple clearly would be able to do it -- right now, with the technology they have today -- if they wished. If they can do it, then others can do it, so someone probably will. Maybe even you can.

Compare that to Microsoft. Has any Microsoft product ever given you the feeling, "Some day things aren't going to be so bad?"

Considering the observation that Sculley makes that MS is all about hiring geeks and smart people

This is irrelevant if Microsoft wastes that talent. If none of them ever create something useful, then Redmond is just a black hole that people disappear into, removing talent from the industry. What's so great about that?

Sour Grapes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33945486)

it was a mistake to hire him to run the company and that he knows little about computers.

Ya right, I'm sure. I wonder if shareholders would agree...

Re:Sour Grapes (1)

kmcarr (1185785) | about 4 years ago | (#33946488)

Scully was referring to himself, not Jobs.

Level of Perfection (1)

lowrydr310 (830514) | about 4 years ago | (#33945528)

And on the other hand he would be almost merciless in terms of rejecting their work until he felt it had reached the level of perfection that was good enough to go into – in this case, the Macintosh.

So what the hell happened with System 7 and then OS 8? So much for "perfection."

Re:Level of Perfection (3, Informative)

MonoSynth (323007) | about 4 years ago | (#33945836)

So what the hell happened with System 7 and then OS 8? So much for "perfection."

When he came back to Apple in '97, he put OS Classic on death row, but he had to keep it alive because it would take six years to develop a stable, workable version of OS X out of NeXT's OS and there were no alternatives to bridge those years and there was a bunch of software to support.

I'm all for objectivity... (0)

magsol (1406749) | about 4 years ago | (#33945570)

...but given this statement:

Sculley talks openly about Jobs and Apple, admits it was a mistake to hire him to run the company and that he knows little about computers.

I find it very difficult to believe that the man who has presided over Apple's astonishing march back into relevancy over the last couple decades could possibly be labeled "a mistake".

Re:I'm all for objectivity... (3, Insightful)

Leebert (1694) | about 4 years ago | (#33945592)

He meant himself: Sculley admits it was a mistake to hire Sculley to run the company.

Re:I'm all for objectivity... (1)

chonglibloodsport (1270740) | about 4 years ago | (#33945624)

He is admitting that Steve Jobs made a mistake hiring John Sculley.

Apple never hired Steve Jobs, they bought his company (Next).

Re:I'm all for objectivity... (1, Redundant)

molnarcs (675885) | about 4 years ago | (#33945814)

...but given this statement:

Sculley talks openly about Jobs and Apple, admits it was a mistake to hire him to run the company and that he knows little about computers.

I find it very difficult to believe that the man who has presided over Apple's astonishing march back into relevancy over the last couple decades could possibly be labeled "a mistake".

RTFA - he refers to himself, not Jobs.

Re:I'm all for objectivity... (1, Redundant)

xednieht (1117791) | about 4 years ago | (#33945882)

Except that it isn't Jobs, he's a dork. I think all of the engineers and un-named employees at Apple would take exception to the perception that is being fabricated that the Dork is responsible for Apple's comeback.

As seems pretty typical of large corporations one person at the top takes credit for the brilliance of innovator's below.

Re:I'm all for objectivity... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 4 years ago | (#33946254)

Where were all those innovators below before Jobs took over?

I take it you also blame all the un-named employees at Enron for that company's failure?

Re:I'm all for objectivity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33946106)

Just bad editing in the summary. Welcome to Slashdot!

Re:I'm all for objectivity... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 4 years ago | (#33946144)

Sure that sentence is ambigiuous.

But the ambiguity resolved in the very next sentence. And if you know about the "march back into relevancy" then it should be clear which of the possible meanings are actually intended.

The height of CEO arrogance (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 4 years ago | (#33945774)

I didn't know really anything about computers nor did any other people in the world at that time.

Just because Sculley didn't know about computers at the time, he assumes that nobody did?

Bloomberg video of Apple's history (4, Interesting)

Jon Abbott (723) | about 4 years ago | (#33945792)

Bloomberg recently posted a 48 minute video of Apple's history here [bloomberg.com] . A lot of Sculley's interview comments made it into this video as well.

Re:Bloomberg video of Apple's history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33946094)

Sounds like sour apples to me.

Better standards breed better products (4, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | about 4 years ago | (#33945830)

FTA: "A big part of it was that we had to learn to make products the way the Japanese wanted products. We were assembling products in Singapore and sending them to Japan. And the first thing the customer saw when they opened the box was the manual, but the manual was turned the wrong way around – and the whole batch was rejected. In the United States, we’d never experienced anything like that. If you put the manual in this way or that way — what difference did it make? Well, it made a huge difference in Japan. Their standards are just different than ours. If you look at Apple and the attention to detail. The “open me first,” the way the box is designed, the fold lines, the quality of paper, the printing — Apple just goes to extraordinary lengths. It looks like you are buying something from Bulgari or one of the highest in jewelry firms. At the time, it was the Japanese."

These standards create better products that are deemed superior. Once that catches on, then others trying to compete will HAVE to match those standards in order for them to sell. This is a good thing for everyone. For example, Japanese cars were (and some still argue are) far superior than US cars. In order to stay in business US car manufacturers HAD to improve their design and quality standards to even compete with the Japanese. Now, US cars are much better quality than they were in the 70s, 80s and 90s and this is a good thing for everyone.

Re:Better standards breed better products (1)

molnarcs (675885) | about 4 years ago | (#33946294)

These standards create better products that are deemed superior. Once that catches on, then others trying to compete will HAVE to match those standards in order for them to sell. This is a good thing for everyone. For example, Japanese cars were (and some still argue are) far superior than US cars. In order to stay in business US car manufacturers HAD to improve their design and quality standards to even compete with the Japanese. Now, US cars are much better quality than they were in the 70s, 80s and 90s and this is a good thing for everyone.

While we are at cars, lets take the analogy a bit further. What if American manufacturers, instead of competing and trying to improve their products, started litigating against Japanese companies, asking the courts to ban imports of cars with infringing technologies. What if the courts granted their requests. Fast forward to today's patent wars. APPLE wants HTC gone from the US market. Nevermind that HTC was first one of the first companies to develop wireless touch devices, and that they designed the Palm Treo 650 and the iPaq, built the first WinMo phone, built the first Windows Mobile 3G phone, built the first 4G phone (close to two years ago)...

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that Apple found itself in the uncomfortable position of having to compete - the first time in over two years - which is a HUGE time frame in such a fast moving market. Their reaction to the emerging Android and other platforms?

1) Tried to enforce an EULA on their SDK that would have prevented developers coding apps for multiple platforms. That failed after a massive backlash, so next

2) They sued NOKIA (have no clue why, NOKIA has no big presence in the US market), than they sued HTC over ridiculous software/ideas patents, which is just a proxy attack on Android. Their buddies at MS sued the other successful Android handset developer, Motorola, but again, the main target here is Android.

3)????

Not sure what (3) is going to be. Part of me wishes that the courts granted everything Apple dreams of. Go ahead and remove all HTC (Android) phones from the US market. Bye bye EVO, Desire, etc. Remove all NOKIA. Remove all the Droids. Remove all INSERT NEXT APPLE LITIGATION TARGET HERE. Then see how happy customers are with their limited choices on top of the already ridiculous carrier lock-ins.

Difficult boss != bad boss (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | about 4 years ago | (#33945868)

Say what you want, but the fact remains that Apple's stock is at an all-time high, and that it tripled in value since January 2009, vastly outperforming the stock indices. Someone must be doing something right. Jobs may know little about computers, but so do a majority of Apple's customers (yes I know a lot of geeks own macs but they're still a minority in Apple's clientele). What Jobs does know is what his customers want. It's probably extremely challenging for a more technically inclined person to work for someone who knows little about the technical side and keeps on asking for cool-sounding features ("no Steve, that's not possible with today's technology", "no Steve, that would be prohibitively expensive"), but a challenge is not always a bad thing. Apple's technology may not always be game-changing, but the tension between geeks and shininess/usability freaks does result in game-changing products.

Re:Difficult boss != bad boss (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#33946172)

Say what you want, but the fact remains that Apple's stock is at an all-time high, and that it tripled in value since January 2009, vastly outperforming the stock indices.

Ahem. [bbc.co.uk]

Jobs is overrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33945878)

Jobs didn't build anything. Engineers build computers. Jobs just took advantage of them. Scully is even more clueless. Anybody can put stuff into what they think is a pretty package. That's subjective.

Re:Jobs is overrated (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | about 4 years ago | (#33946138)

Right...because a golden vision and knowing what your customers want isn't worth anything *sigh*. All one has to do is look at Apple's income statement and stock price to figure out Jobs is doing something right.

Re:Jobs is overrated (1)

JasperHW (710218) | about 4 years ago | (#33946406)

Man, I guess ol' MS is doing something right then too, seeing as how they clear almost double the net profit of apple. When did subjective, volatile stock prices became some sort of standard of real-world (not perceived) value? Aren't we geeks here who try to actually understand what numbers mean and be objective, rather than parroting out worthless numbers to imply apple dominance? http://royal.pingdom.com/2010/04/09/the-money-made-by-microsoft-apple-and-google-1985-until-today/ [pingdom.com]

Sour grapes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33946016)

Isn't Scully the guy that practically piloted Apple into the ground? Why do we care what he has to say then? Is Apple making shloads of money compared to when Skully was in? I'm not a Jobs fanboy but I think it's pretty clear he knows how to run his baby. I think Scully needs to STFU.

Re:Sour grapes? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 4 years ago | (#33946272)

So Scully says exactly what you said, but he needs to STFU and let the anonymous cowards have their voices heard?

My personal view... (4, Insightful)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | about 4 years ago | (#33946020)

I dislike Steve Jobs a ton, I dislike the overly proprietary nature of Apple devices, I dislike most of my alternative options more. I've been into Linux since 1995, I've been in IT even longer, I appreciate open standards and things that work properly and freely. My next laptop and computer? Macbook Pro and an iMac. This coming from someone who has built computers since the 386 days.

I can still run Windows or Linux on them, they are solidly built with all of the features I need, real battery life on the MBP, iLife which is perfect for my photos and music hobby work, my graphics apps run better, no antivirus/malware/B.S. All this comes at about a few hundred dollar premium, but the time not spent delousing an infection here and there over a few years alone makes up for it.

The problem is that I used to love to hack and play and even if things were kludgy or inelegant, they worked. As I've gotten older I really don't need 4,000 choices, I just want one that works like it should the first time and every time. Does that mean I'd ever think of renting movies/TV from Apple or play into any number of their lifestyle and hip and trendy stuff? No. It's simply the right tool for the job for me and denying it for image or trend reasons is silly. If a purple hammer sunk a nail each and every time on the first blow, I'd happily use the purple hammer.

Incorrect details (5, Informative)

Alioth (221270) | about 4 years ago | (#33946078)

He's also wrong on many details. The one that's most jarring to me is:

"... Herman Hauser, who had started Acorn computer over in the U.K. out of Cambridge university. And Herman designed the ARM processor, and Apple and Olivetti funded it."

Herman Hauser was a VC. He was one of the people who set up Acorn, but he didn't design the ARM CPU. The ARM CPU was principally designed by Sophie Wilson (instruction set) and Steve Furber (hardware architecture). Herman Hauser bankrolled it, he didn't design it.

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black (1)

sfarber53 (239131) | about 4 years ago | (#33946338)

John Sculley was the wrong man at the wrong time to run Apple. My criteria for saying so are simple: success. Jobs has always succeeded where Sculley was a disaster. Please understand that I am not a Jobs fanboy. He is not deserving of unlimited admiration for everything he does. Still there is the matter of Apple's stock being north of $300. Sour grape John. Very sour.

Apple is Expensive "WoW" factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33946362)

I'll hand it to Apple, In terms of "what I want" is always "What apple is currently offering + one component grade higher" , probably the entire reason I don't buy Apple too.

Apple releases the iPhone, meh, almost had me with the iphone 4, but the antenna issue killed it for me. Current iPhone is nearly as good as the Nokia N95 spec for spec and kills all current phones with the screen resolution/touch system.
Apple releases the MacMini, I bought one of the 1st generation Intel ones, price was right, it was somewhat upgradeable, and is fucking quiet, everything that most desktops and laptops from Dell, Sony, Toshiba, IBM, and HP aren't.
Apple releases the iPad. Don't I already have 3 PDA's? How much use did I get out of them? Fuck it, not buying one unless it does everything my goddamn cell phone does already (5Mpixel Camera, and a real GPS are missing.)

MacBook Pro? Would buy if they put 1920x1200 in the 15 inch model.
Mac Pro? Would likely buy if I was doing serious video work. For what I do, the mini works.

iMac? This is the problem, and I wish it would be rectified. I will never buy an iMac. Integrated screens belong in Laptops. If my cousin bob comes over and spills coffee on the machine, the entire machine is ruined, full stop. The iMac "Lamp" was actually a better idea because conceptually you could replace the screen component, but as implemented, wasn't great. It would be better for Apple to somehow make a "Desktop" model that would eat HP's lunch, but I don't ever see Apple making one because nobody wants to pay "more" for a nice unbreakable system, and instead buy shitty Dell's and HP's that are made mostly of cheap plastic won't even run 5 year old games. Wow How about that...

You can't play games on a Windows machine with shitty intel graphics, just like playing games on a Mac.

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