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How Apple's Story Is Like Breaking Bad

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the holiday-news-cycle dept.

Crime 288

theodp writes "Over at CNN, Omar L. Gallaga explains how Apple's story is like Breaking Bad, the TV drama whose protagonist — high school chemistry teacher Walter White — decides to use his science skills to cook methamphetamine to provide for his family after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Walter takes shocking, out-of-character risks but reinvents himself as a brilliant, feared meth chemist who grows more ambitious, ruthless and cocky with each victory. 'Like Steve Jobs,' writes Gallaga, 'Walter White's cancer awakens a panic in him to hurry up and leave a legacy through his work.' Gallaga continues: 'Like Walter White, it [Apple] has mixed the proper elements at just the right amounts to create highly pure, addictive products. The products have been made within secretive working conditions. The skill employed to design and manufacture them tends to make what competitors put out seem like cheaper, cloudier, less effective imitations.'"

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Samsung? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210243)

And Samsung is Pollos Hermanos or just Tuco?

Re:Samsung? (4, Interesting)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41210275)

Google is Hank.

TFA missing some crucial ingredients (4, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#41210847)

From TFA:

'Like Walter White, it [Apple] has mixed the proper elements at just the right amounts to create highly pure, addictive products. The products have been made within secretive working conditions. The skill employed to design and manufacture them tends to make what competitors put out seem like cheaper, cloudier, less effective imitations.'

 
I am no Apple fanbois, but I had spent past few decades in the tech field

What TFA has forgotten to list are the following:

I. Vision

Almost everyone in the Silicon Valley, since the 1980's, have gone through similar experiences, and have used similar gadgets.

What Steve Jobs got, which others unfortunately didn't have, is a vision.

From hardware (Mac to NeXT to iBook to iPhone / iPad), to software (MacOS to OS X to iOS), Mr. Jobs opted for his own path

That takes vision.

II. Attention to detail

We can't deny that the one thing that makes Apple different from the rest of the crowd is their attention to detail.

From the way MacIntosh can create smooth curvy fonts to the "feel" of the original iPhone when it first came out (as versus the offering from the rest of the cellphone industry), Mr. Jobs had taken great pain in making sure that the products that have the "Bitten Apple" mark on it come with as few bugs as possible

As I said, I am no Apple fanbois, and I do not own any Apple product
 

Re:TFA missing some crucial ingredients (3, Insightful)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about 2 years ago | (#41210901)

Jobs' vision. [makeuseof.com]

Re:Samsung? (5, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#41210867)

Why do I feel like I am watching a bunch of hens clucking?
Worst article and post followup in the history of slashdot....
This is not News for Nerds, its Drama for Dorks

Re:Samsung? (3, Insightful)

quenda (644621) | about 2 years ago | (#41210527)

Samsung is one of the companies that actually makes stuff. Apple just does marketting and distribution, and does it well.
So Jobs is more of a Gus, i think.

Re:Samsung? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210787)

Well, they're both dead.

Re:Samsung? (3, Insightful)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 2 years ago | (#41210857)

Samsung is one of the companies that actually makes stuff. Apple just does marketting and distribution, and does it well.
So Jobs is more of a Gus, i think.

Apple doesn't make stuff? Where have you been hiding for the last 36 years?

Re:Samsung? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210909)

Apple designs stuff. Foxconn makes it.

Re:Samsung? (3, Insightful)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about 2 years ago | (#41210921)

Samsung is one of the companies that actually makes stuff. Apple just does marketting and distribution, and does it well.

But most of all, Apple does design - "Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like," Jobs told the Times. "That's not what we think design is. It's not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."

Re:Samsung? (5, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#41210747)

Okay, seriously. This is getting a little over the top. Apple primarily makes smartphones, tablets, and laptops. If they fell off the face of the earth tomorrow people would just buy all that stuff from somebody else barely missing a beat. Yes, they are successful and yes, they make a lot of money. However, the level of philosophical importance that is being attached to the company is bordering on ridiculous. I'm not trying to be a hater but a ton of mindshare is devoted to this company completely out of proportion to their impact in the grand scheme of things. I get the amount of press that Microsoft gets as the computing world really does revolve around them but Apple? Really?

Re:Samsung? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210811)

However, the level of philosophical importance that is being attached to the company is bordering on ridiculous.

That border was passed a long time ago. Right about the time their products became "magical" and other such nonsense words...

Re:Samsung? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210825)

What if they fell off the Earth in 2006, before the iPhone? You'd be using Android (which looks suspiciously like BBOS) on a Samsung that looks suspiciously like a BlackBerry. They don't deserve the amount of mindshare they get because everybody else is criminally incompetent at UI/UX. Look around at your thermostats, car stereos, tv menus, etc etc. They're painful to use! Much like Jesus showed you a path to salvation, Steve Jobs showed you a path to a phone that doesn't suck ass. And yet TouchWhiz and MotoBlur are still touted as features. That's why Apple is important.

Re:Samsung? (2)

Zero_DgZ (1047348) | about 2 years ago | (#41210851)

That sounds good. Would it have an actual keyboard instead of some stupid on-screen BS? I thought we left that behind back in the PocketPC days, but surprise! Apple made a bad idea "trendy" again.

I could do without, thanks.

(Spoken by someone who STILL has a Nokia N900, because nobody has yet made anything better running a decent smartphone OS that has an actual damn keyboard.)

Re:Samsung? (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#41210895)

Spoken by someone who STILL has a Nokia N900

I had a Nokia 770 back in the day and I loved it. Carried it everywhere, wrote apps for it in Python, and used it as much as possible despite having one of the best Windows Mobile handsets at the time. Now I use a Galaxy Nexus and while it doesn't have the hardware keyboard (neither did the 770), I do have Ubuntu in a chroot, and a lot of the main cli tools like bash, vim, mc, etc. have native Android versions or can be easily compiled with the NDK so I'm not suffering too bad. I can't really think of anything I could do on the 770 that I can't do with the GNex but I do miss the old thing. Damn shame what happened to the company that made it.

Re:Samsung? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210873)

Steve Jobs showed you a path to a phone that doesn't suck ass.

Yes, while some may debate it, I'd say SJ did bring us the first smartphone that didn't suck and that was a huge milestone. However, that was 6 years ago. After that they just iterated. Nothing really new. Nothing ground-breaking. And certainly nothing to justify the open worshipping they receive in the press. Do people have no dignity anymore?

Re:Samsung? (2)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about 2 years ago | (#41210945)

Steve Jobs showed you a path to a phone that doesn't suck ass.

Yes, while some may debate it, I'd say SJ did bring us the first smartphone that didn't suck and that was a huge milestone. However, that was 6 years ago. After that they just iterated. Nothing really new. Nothing ground-breaking. And certainly nothing to justify the open worshipping they receive in the press. Do people have no dignity anymore?

Yeah, nothing apart from the first tablet that didn't suck and that was a huge milestone.

The bullshit is strong with CNN (5, Insightful)

siddesu (698447) | about 2 years ago | (#41210263)

Can't we for a while at least stop ascribing a success, which is due to the hard work of a very large group of people over a long period to one man, and further look for some magical parallels where there are none?

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (5, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 2 years ago | (#41210287)

Ya I'll be honest I was going to come on here and write some intelligent insightful comment on how the article was wrong and stretching in it's comparison but that seems like pointing out the sky is blue or water is wet.

This article is just so dumb I'm amazed it is on the front page of slashdot, sometimes stupid stuff gets on the front page but typically it isn't something like this that has no substance at all.

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (5, Funny)

methano (519830) | about 2 years ago | (#41210697)

I thought everything showed up on the front page of Slashdot. Is there a back page?

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210293)

No, because that wouldn't suck Steve's cock hard enough. Don't you see how innovative shiny rectangles are!!!

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41210347)

Can't we for a while at least stop ascribing a success, which is due to the hard work of a very large group of people over a long period to one man, and further look for some magical parallels where there are none?

tl;dr. Condensed version: "Rich people are right because they're rich and you're not."

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (5, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41210381)

Short answer: no.

Recently on Slashdot, somebody called Neil Armstrong "one of the greatest men of the last century". (I think Armstrong would have been livid at that description; like you, he hated minimizing the contributions of a lot of nameless people.) When I pointed out the absurdity of that description, I got flamed up the wazoo.

People need heroes.

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210477)

Jobs wasn't a hero. He was an anti-hero.

Those apple fans who wanted a hero looked to the other Steve...

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210653)

Forbes?

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210813)

I would say he means Wozniak

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210837)

I like Marcy Playground as much as the next guy, but I don't understand what John Wozniak has to do with anything?

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 2 years ago | (#41210507)

> People need Kool-Aid TM.
FTFY.

Heroes are for a group of people (i.e. fans) that are unable to unify themselves so they use an artificial means. i.e. sports fans, etc. Not that there is anything wrong with that, the problem is people like to stroke their ego by saying "I'm in this club, and you're not."

You got flamed because the group think doesn't want to hear the truth about themselves.

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41210731)

You got flamed because the group think doesn't want to hear the truth about themselves.

Who does?

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 2 years ago | (#41210897)

Neil Armstrong was one of the greatest men of the last century, but so were a whole heap of other people, including the men and women that made his flight possible.

I agree with the sentiment that we shouldn't diminish the contributions of the nameless people, but neither should we those of the renown people.

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (4, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 2 years ago | (#41210457)

There is a large group of hard working people working for each of Apple's competitors too.

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210547)

There is a large group of hard working people working for each of Apple's competitors too.

Although most of them put out crap...

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (5, Insightful)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#41210471)

Can't we for a while at least stop ascribing a success, which is due to the hard work of a very large group of people over a long period to one man, and further look for some magical parallels where there are none?

How soon they forget. When Steve Jobs came back Microsoft was having to prop up the company to avoid monopoly charges and Apple was still trying to sell slower technology for twice the money. Say it takes a team all you want, without Jobs Apple would have likely gone bankrupt so I'd give him some credit for their success.

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210517)

so I'd give him some credit for their success.

Don't be shy, say what's on your mind -- it is all his achievement.

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (5, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#41210839)

Ya I'll be honest I was going to come on here and write some intelligent insightful comment on how the article was wrong and stretching in it's comparison but that seems like pointing out the sky is blue or water is wet.

This article is just so dumb I'm amazed it is on the front page of slashdot, sometimes stupid stuff gets on the front page but typically it isn't something like this that has no substance at all.

Easy. Apple stories sell. Why did you think Gawker Media went apeshit two years ago with the iPhone 4 prototype they purchased? They probably made tons of money off that series of articles that they kept rerunning it for months afterwards. (Alas, they seem to have decided to waste that money on site redesigns that are worse than ever before and even unfriendlier to users which has steadily decreashed until the only ones left are trolls and such).

Slashdot knows that any Apple article would generate 300+ comments, even if it's something along the lines of "Apple announces nothing today, again." That's guaranteed advertiser gold. (It's Apple's turn - even all the flamewars and generally pro-Android sentiment still generates enough page views to be profitable. Enough that even pro-Android articles don't make so much money.).

How soon they forget. When Steve Jobs came back Microsoft was having to prop up the company to avoid monopoly charges and Apple was still trying to sell slower technology for twice the money. Say it takes a team all you want, without Jobs Apple would have likely gone bankrupt so I'd give him some credit for their success.

Well, Microsoft's investment was $150M. Apple bought NeXT for $430M. The money Microsoft put in could be far less (they could've bought Be for half that or so, which was using Gassee's inflated value of the company).

No, what Jobs did with Microsoft was basically pure investor relations. Investors tend to be like sheep - if a company is going downhill, investment money may not flow even if you come up with a killer product. By naving Microsoft BUY $150M worth of Apple stock (Microsoft never put money into Apple, they just bought stock), it signalled the markets that Apple was a company worthy of investment.

In addition, by having Microsoft re-invest in their Mac business unit, it signalled developers that the Mac was worthy platform to develop for, not another one to ignore.

Jobs' credit was basically counting on the ability of Apple fans to look the other way - this was a time when anti-Microsoft sentiment was high, that the Mac was merely the underdog in the Windows war, etc. So that keynote where Bill Gates towered over Jobs (on the large screen), it was a well-choreographed marketing moment - signalling developers and investors that Apple was viable, and hoping that the fanbase won't be alienated.

That would be all she wrote, except for being in the right place and right time with the iPod - being able to produce a device as big as a flash-based player, but the capacity of a hard drive player that could be loaded in minutes, not hours, and doing so just before MP3 players became commonplace, effectively being there from the get-go when the market took off. (Then having the RIAA embrace digital album sales...).

The switch to Intel came after Apple basically got spurned by both Motorola and IBM over PowerPC chip supplies (PowerPC AIM Alliance - Apple, IBM, Motorola). Motorola found it far more profitable to sell lower-end chips to the military, and IBM for embedded systems, and Apple always couldn't buy enough.

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 2 years ago | (#41210913)

Much of Apple's success should be attributed to Jonathan Ive. It's the iconic design of the iThings that initially (and even now, with those lawsuits) distinguished and propelled Apple forward.

What Steve Jobs did right was to give the design reins to Ive. In other words, Jobs was a businessman, and a savvy one at that, but he's not the all-around genius who singlehandedly restored Apple from near destruction as is often claimed.

Jobs was pivotal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210551)

Except that Apple was failing before jobs came along. He made it profitable very quickly. And Pixar, again, also his, also success. And NeXT, created some amazing products, and before that Apple went from nowhere to success.

At some point you have to accept he was pivotal in all of these. Even if it was simply to empower the right people, assign budgets in the right places and to fire a few slackers.

If it's soooo easy, then why is Apple finding it so hard now? Look at them, Siri was the last of Job's influence, where iPhone 5? Where's the magical new feature? The suprise wow thing??? If Jobs was pivotal in the success of Apple, then why have they degenerated into a crappy patent troll living on past glory?

Re:Jobs was pivotal (1)

siddesu (698447) | about 2 years ago | (#41210619)

If it's soooo easy, then why is Apple finding it so hard now?

Because not one company can be a leader for many years, especially in a dynamic field with high margins. This is economics 101, people catch up in the long run. Would Apple's problems be any different today if Jobs were still alive?

Re:Jobs was pivotal (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 2 years ago | (#41210871)

If it's soooo easy, then why is Apple finding it so hard now?

Because not one company can be a leader for many years, especially in a dynamic field with high margins. This is economics 101, people catch up in the long run. Would Apple's problems be any different today if Jobs were still alive?

Apple is having trouble? Since when?

Re:Jobs was pivotal (1)

mug funky (910186) | about 2 years ago | (#41210659)

that's been happening for quite some time. i think it's too soon to say they're in the doldrums just because we're between product launches.

Re:The bullshit is strong with CNN (1)

Hadlock (143607) | about 2 years ago | (#41210639)

Yes. Also this certainly falls in to the top 10 worst stories Slashdot has ever run. This is supposed to be News for Nerds, not Reddit's "what if" subreddit. Story quality has been sliding downhill pretty rapidly as of late.

Like Breaking Bad ... (2)

uq1 (59540) | about 2 years ago | (#41210271)

Is that why there have been so many deaths surrounding the manufacture of Apple products?

Re:Like Breaking Bad ... (1)

valentinas (2692229) | about 2 years ago | (#41210339)

"Burying bodies?"
"No, robbing a train."

Shocking! (4, Interesting)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41210279)

It is shocking how putting effort into producing a good product actually pays off from time to time.
Nowdays it takes a real outlaw to put significant effort into appealing to customers.

Re:Shocking! (1)

Trouvist (958280) | about 2 years ago | (#41210297)

For a moment there I expected you to use the word Maverick.

Re:Shocking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210349)

For a moment there I expected you to use the word Maverick.

I feel the need .. the need for speed.

Re:Shocking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210803)

It's more like apple to just tell everybody it's the best product than actually turn their fragile, restrictive, piece of shit into anything good. Then they sell their gear to school kids and grandmothers that don't know what a good high is.

Must be.. (2)

TheEffigy (2666397) | about 2 years ago | (#41210289)

Slow news day?

It's totally true! (4, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | about 2 years ago | (#41210315)

Walter White didn't invent anything! He just packaged up his meth in blue crystals instead of boring white ones and the spinners were all like, duuude, I'm only going to buy your meth!

Re:It's totally true! (5, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#41210583)

Walter White didn't invent anything! He just packaged up his meth in blue crystals instead of boring white ones

You are rated insightful more than funny, so even though this is meant as a joke:

Walter White had challenged the general attitude of "they are stupid junkies, they'll smoke whatever we give them" by insisting that a higher-purity product will sell better. It is actually not the worst analogy to, say, Microsoft (you'll get our new OS with your new desktop and like it) vs. Apple (let's make our OS so that users like it).

This is completely orthogonal to discussion of which may be better. It is simply a fact that achieving monopoly status leads to complacency towards customers.

Re:It's totally true! (3, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 years ago | (#41210631)

Walter White had challenged the general attitude of "they are stupid junkies, they'll smoke whatever we give them" by insisting that a higher-purity product will sell better.

I'm not sure if the attitude you are espousing is really all that common. Not really caring about quality is present among junkies, but junkies aren't going to be the most profitable customers, sometimes relying upon sexual favors in lieu of cash. Also, due to the contraband status of drugs, there is a significant advantage to having a concentrated product. Having less on you is preferable for not getting caught, so more profit per gram is highly advantageous. What Walter brings to the table is knowledge and expertise, which isn't really an area where Steve Jobs fits the parallel.

Re:It's totally true! (1)

bennomatic (691188) | about 2 years ago | (#41210797)

I'm totally in agreement with you. The butt of my joke wasn't meant to be Apple or Walter White, but the people who claim that Apple only succeeds by marketing or mind control.

Re:It's totally true! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210591)

Actually, if you recall, he, "Walter White", changed his formulation to use methylamine when they couldn't get a sufficient supply of Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) from their "smurfs" which accounted for the blue tint of the formulation. It was his competitor that was actually using blue food coloring to emulate Walter White's 99.xx% percent pure formulation vs their 70% pure formulation to compete - sounds like a familiar tactic ala Samsung

Re:It's totally true! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210599)

The blue was due to changing their method to methylamine, s1 e7 IIRC

Re:It's totally true! (1)

bothandeach (2706475) | about 2 years ago | (#41210635)

Apple just packaged up unpatented research at Comp Sci grad schools & Xerox Parc, and now wants to monopolize the market, as did Microsoft and Adobe before them. Robbers with expensive lawyers. Very very common ideas - patent office is to blame. The older I get the more I think the communists were right.

Re:It's totally true! (1)

mug funky (910186) | about 2 years ago | (#41210667)

season 9 no doubt will be a protracted courtroom drama where everyone gets sued over the blue crystal design patents.

Re:It's totally true! (1)

linatux (63153) | about 2 years ago | (#41210685)

Betcha can't do just one!

This is a new low. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210333)

I mean sure Apple's being a whiny patent troll and BB is a good show but...seriously? comparing a tech company that makes solid, if overpriced, products to a meth dealer?

Re:This is a new low. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210403)

Agreed. The meth dealer's probably got morals.

Re:This is a new low. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210465)

And is less harmful to our society's future.

Re:This is a new low. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210475)

No he really doesn't; at least not after the first season or two.

Ohmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210355)

No more Apple stories!

True (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210375)

Walter was a cunt as well.

Re:True (1)

srjh (1316705) | about 2 years ago | (#41210557)

Yo, Mr White!

This is just ridiculous (5, Insightful)

MogNuts (97512) | about 2 years ago | (#41210383)

Really? This article is just dumb. And ridiculous. And link-bait.

Stop with the BS "like Apple" stories and OMG Apple-is-amazing stories!

Where's the car analogy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210389)

This is Slashdot. Car analogies only, please.

KISS for real (5, Insightful)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 2 years ago | (#41210397)

People always blah blah about KISS. But when it comes to most products it usually ends up being too many cooks. Years ago I built a website for a telco. They wanted two things. One was online bill viewing and the other was to promote this new thing called DSL. Website was supposed to cost around $50,000. So we cook along and they keep adding more and more to the website with nearly every department in the telco getting their little bit in; one part being a what's happening at the local universities. After the budget blew through $200,000 they started to suggest that we cut the online bill check part along with the rate card. One of our people stood up in the meeting and said, "Those are the only two things on the whole damn site that people will want. Cut those and you have $200,000 worth of dog shit."

But it gets even worse. This new DSL was being introduced at a time before cable modems. The highest speed connection of any geek I knew was a 128k ISDN line and this new DSL was going to give you 1Mbs for $40. Then as I did up the specs for it for the site I realized that the whole business model was a stupid Novell system of renting applications such as Microsoft office. Internet was way down on the list of features. I called up the Product Manager and he said, "Well we might not even offer connectivity to the internet initially." I told him that if they were able to offer 1Mbs for $40 when all the competition was offering 56kbs for $20 they were going to clean up. He told me that there was pressure from their own dial up to not offer internet via the DSL. I think what may have saved it was that I told him he would be out of a job if he didn't offer internet and they would be out of a job while he would ride a wave to the future if he did.

Now think about the above. This is the big telco in my area taking business advice from a tiny web shop. Good advice if I say so myself.

So how many companies don't have a single man who can stand up and say "whoa there cowboy. That might look good on a spread sheet but our customers will want to ram it up your ass.... sideways....covered in the juice from a ghost pepper."

From what I have read about Steve Jobs is that people brought shit to him with a great story and they left his office crying. Then they came back to him with something less shitty and left crying again. This would happen over and over until it just wasn't shitty anymore.

It is hard to tell an employee that what they just spend a lot of time on was crap. It is unpleasant for most normal people. So I suspect that where Steve Jobs' genius lay is in somehow being an ass right up to but not beyond the point where everyone quit. Beyond that he was probably just pretty smart.

Re:KISS for real (2)

GPierce (123599) | about 2 years ago | (#41210533)

Byt when Steve Jobs wanted the Next to appear as an exact cube, it wasn't shit because he was the boss. Similarly, his Mac developer rules were not shit because he was the boss. And it wasn't shit when many developers and some of his more brilliant employees quietly walked away without crying,

When Apple wound up with a 10% market share and almost went out of business, it wasn't shit, it was just Jobs.

Re:KISS for real (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41210567)

Byt when Steve Jobs wanted the Next to appear as an exact cube, it wasn't shit because he was the boss.

What was wrong with the cube? I always thought that was kind of cool.

Re:KISS for real (3, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#41210601)

Little manufacturing secret: making a perfect cube (all angles 90 degrees) is nearly impossible to manufacture. It's easy to do near-cubes (91/89 degree trapezoids), but a perfect cube will not slide out of the mold, and requires extremely expensive technology to do. Every single other computer that looks like a cube will have a very shallow angle to it for those reasons. After all, why jack the price up a ludicrous amount for something you'll never really notice unless you regularly go around measuring angles on your things.

Jobs insisted on a perfect cube, which (from what I've read) only a single foundry in the United States could manufacture at the time.

Re:KISS for real (4, Interesting)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#41210661)

No one said he was perfect. There's a big difference between cultivating great ideas and coming up with great ideas. He seems like the type that was good at seeing the greatness in someone else's rough idea and helping them to polish it until it truly was great, but wasn't always so good at coming up with it on his own, since there are plenty of stories about him making utterly ludicrous suggestions and thinking they were the best thing ever. Thankfully, most of his stupid ideas (though not all of them) were shot down by those around him, since he apparently tried to make a point of surrounding himself with people who weren't yes men.

And your second paragraph is not factual. For one, Apple was down to around 3% when they nearly went out of business (they only got back up to 10% within the last year or two). For another, Jobs hadn't even been at the company for over a decade when all of that was happening, since he was booted out back in the mid-80s, as you'll recall. Blaming the near-collapse of Apple on Jobs is like blaming Julius Caesar for the fall of the Roman Empire. Of course, unlike Caesar, Jobs actually returned later on and saved the thing he had started.

And what Mac developer rules are you talking about? Stuff that happened back in the '90s when he wasn't there? Stuff that happened recently? I can't think of anything causing issues recently, other than some minor growing pains with sandboxing and the Mac App Store.

Breaking Pad! (1)

notb666 (1863678) | about 2 years ago | (#41210407)

Yeah right.

Not really (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210411)

The protagonist in breaking bad was a normal upright person who turned "bad" after he was diagnosed with cancer and tried to use his knowledge to support his family in the event he would die. Apple was an arrogant bully from the get go, they just hadn't had the chance to show it when they were smaller.

Authors clearly knows jack shit (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 years ago | (#41210451)

There were times when Microsoft could have decimated Apple by pulling its Office software from the Mac platform or choosing not to invest $150 million in the company, as it did back in the '90s. Instead, Microsoft let Apple continue and, in refusing to see Apple as a serious threat, lost the mobile phone, portable music, online video and tablet markets to Apple. It's increasingly ceding ground in computer software as well.

It wasn't about underestimating Apple, but rather, needing a visible competitor to not be broken up via an antitrust suit. Also, in what universe does apple have the 'online video' market?

Re:Authors clearly knows jack shit (1)

mug funky (910186) | about 2 years ago | (#41210689)

apparently people watch movies on their phones now.

i don't understand that one, either, considering the ludicrously big TVs everyone owns.

that said, it's not wise to compete with youtube on the low-res front. iTunes needs to push HD and true SD (not this hobbled 640xwhatever shit that they insist on).

also, DRM.

Fiction (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210459)

The difference is that breaking bad is fiction- it doesn't actually demonstrate anything. The writers decide the outcome, and the results are imagined, not real.

I must have missed the memo (3, Funny)

rjames13 (1178191) | about 2 years ago | (#41210469)

For the "I hate Apple week", has it already started?

Re:I must have missed the memo (2)

mug funky (910186) | about 2 years ago | (#41210699)

how do you get that from TFA?

oh, you didn't read it?

Woz as Jesse ? (2)

theodp (442580) | about 2 years ago | (#41210485)

Steve Jobs (Wikipedia) [wikipedia.org] : According to Wozniak, Jobs told him that Atari gave them only $700 (instead of the offered $5,000), and that Wozniak's share was thus $350. Wozniak did not learn about the actual bonus until ten years later, but said that if Jobs had told him about it and had said he needed the money, Wozniak would have given it to him.

Breaking Bad ("Say My Name" Recap) [latimes.com] : When Walter tries to browbeat Jesse into staying, the young man will have none of it. He even walks away when Walter tells him he won't get a nickel.

Worst. Simile. Ever. (1)

Everything Else Was (786676) | about 2 years ago | (#41210499)

OK, there may be worse, but admit it - this is pretty bad.

Walt's Not a Nice Guy (5, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41210513)

Walter takes shocking, out-of-character risks

Out of character? You haven't been paying attention, especially in the current season. They made it clear from the very first episode that Walt is not a nice guy. His anger issues cost him his share of the startup that would have made him rich, and sent him off to a teaching job he despises and that doesn't pay the bills. Later, he refuses to accept help with his medical expenses from his former partners, obviously still pissed at whatever issue forced him to break with them.

He wears a mask of a mild-mannered suburban nebbish, but his sociopath side becomes evident early on [youtube.com] and gradually becomes the only face he shows to his colleagues in the drug business. More and more, people suffer because of Walt's lack of moral center, sometimes just because he's mad at them. (So long Mike!)

Mr. Wizard [youtube.com] was always a front. Now he's Nero [youtube.com] .

Jeez, what a great show. I look forward to the final 9 eps with anticipation and dread.

Re:Walt's Not a Nice Guy (2)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | about 2 years ago | (#41210595)

Dread is right. BB is one of the few shows I've watched where I'm actually afraid to find out what happens next. Not in the horror movie sense...in the trainwreck sense.

Re:Walt's Not a Nice Guy (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41210677)

Also trainwreck-like in that you can't look away.

Re:Walt's Not a Nice Guy (1)

dthirteen (307585) | about 2 years ago | (#41210817)

Re: the three partners...I think Walt was with the girl, and then the other guy and the girl hooked up and that's why Walt bailed.

Re:Walt's Not a Nice Guy (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#41210859)

I think you are looking at it from the wrong Angle, The out of character risks Walter takes is putting his partners life ahead of his families and his own in many cases, basically it wasn't his nastiness that was out of character, it was the selfless acts. This is always the part that annoyed me and was really out of character with how he is portrayed.

Best products? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210545)

If you study the Betamax vs VHS, you will see many similarities between how IOS vs Android is playing out. Betamax was technically better in the beginning, it had an earlier start in a new market and it was controlled by basically one company but VHS came on strong with lower prices, more choices, flexibility and options. It eventually won over the consumers. Smartphones are not exactly like in a "format war" like home video was but based on the strong showing of Android devices in the last 2 years, the consumers are basically following the same pattern and eventually moving to the route with the most options. I know a lot of people like to claim Apple is doing so well because of the limited options but is that really why people choose Apple? They still had to make a choice. Limited options does not seem to be the reason people use to buy anything else they spend their money on. Car analogy here, what car company would make a killing only selling 2 different models per year? If they were good or had a good reputation they would do well but not simply because they only had 2 models to choose from.

Re:Best products? (3, Informative)

mug funky (910186) | about 2 years ago | (#41210737)

ummm... betamax was negligibly better initially, and inferior toward the end of the 80s.

the battle was won ENTIRELY on record time. when beta came out with long-play modes, they were suddenly at less quality than VHS for the same record time.

who would want a format with max length of 60 mins when the average movie is about 90 mins?

now... 60 mins is an eternity for a camera operator, as the only portable format at the time was 16mm film which gave just a little over 10 mins record time. so guess what happened to beta?

it's funny - lack of reading the market that led to the failure of both formats. beta missed the consumer market, and when DVDs came along, VHS missed the opportunity with the pro market (D-VHS launched too late and was only really competitive with HDV which was a much more convenient form-factor). beta is still alive because though it failed to disrupt the consumer market, it completely disrupted the news gathering and television markets and became a main-stay until just a couple of years ago (XDCAM is the news-gathering darling now, either on cards or caddied-blu-ray discs).

Keep moving... (1)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | about 2 years ago | (#41210561)

is this the new ' car analogy' trope? The ' breaking bad' trope!

Or how about this analogy? (4, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#41210579)

"Apple's story is like 'Breaking Bad' in that I really don't care about either of them, and am tired of people always bringing them up and telling me I need to be watching it"

Jesus fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210603)

Can everyone just shut up now? This has gotten so out of hand. Two or three articles a day trying to draw parallels between Apple and Linux and any other bullshit anyone can add to the mix. It's gotten old and fucking stupid.

advertisement (2)

amoeba1911 (978485) | about 2 years ago | (#41210633)

"If you want to know how Apple's epic run turns out or how its ongoing battle with longtime rival Microsoft is resolved, you can watch the series, which ends its current half-season of eight episodes with a finale Sunday night."

It sure sounds like an advertisement to me... either that or CNN really has completely run out of news to create. My expectations from CNN are very low, so this doesn't surprise me much. What surprises me is that this is on Slashdot. Perhaps the story title should be "CNN ran out of news" instead.

My favorite part on the CNN page, on top it reads: Filed under: Innovations ... How this is innovation?

Slow news weekend (1)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#41210877)

CNN really has completely run out of news

News is very slow right now. Huge news teams were tied up reporting the GOP convention, which is over, and Hurricane Isaac, which is over. So there wasn't much in the TV pipeline. Neither CNN nor Fox has anything substantive today.

Raspberries All the Way Down (1)

DannyO152 (544940) | about 2 years ago | (#41210647)

Jobs' sense of his specialness and his rush to get things done before he died was there way before the cancer was found. I rely on the Isaacson book for this tid-bit.

Meanwhile, Jobs is not Apple and Apple is not Jobs. Addictive, as in products, is a clumsy metaphor. Addictive as in meth is a physical and psychological state which reveals itself in isolation, anti-social behavior, and health decay.

Facile, featuring convenient memory holes, and poorly thought through. Yep, CNN all the way.

WOW! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41210657)

So our iPads are made out of meth? Cool recycling plan there... No wonder they want us to send them back..

Crook? (2)

p51d007 (656414) | about 2 years ago | (#41210739)

So, in other words, Apple is like Breaking Bad that Apple loves to do illegal things, take out the competition any way possible, and overcharge for their product? Yep, sounds about right.

Not a fan (1)

kiriath (2670145) | about 2 years ago | (#41210795)

I don't really like Breaking Bad, yet so many people tell me I should love it. I generally like shows like that too, just can't seem to make myself like that show.

I have seen enough to not really feel like this analogy holds any water. The show, like this analogy are weak and annoying. That's my two cents =\

Obligatory Car Analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210805)

I hope Faux News counters with a car version. I really don't understand anything tech unless it's explained in terms of cars.

Apple is the Little Red Hen (2, Interesting)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 2 years ago | (#41210865)

A better analogy would be that Apple is like the Little Red Hen [http] .

"Who will dare to make a computer that gets rid clunky serial ports and is USB-only to drive development of USB as a platform?" asked Apple.

"Not I" said Dell.
"Not I" said Gateway
"Not I" said Compaq.
"Not I" said Acer.

"Then I'll do it myself" said Apple. And she completely broke backwards compatibility to make the iMac.

"Who will make a minimalist music player without a billion clunky extras that product managers want to add and that has a really neat jog-wheel that give people a great user experience?"

"Not I" said Phillips.
"Not I" said Diamond.
"Not I" said Mitsubishi.
"Not I" said Sony.

"Then I will" said Apple. And they made the iPod.

"Who will spend large sums of money to have design engineers experiment for months molding a block of clay into a non-clunky shape that works great for cell phones?" asked Apple.

"Not I", said Samsung.
"Not I", said Nokia.
"Not I", said LG.
"Not I", said HTC.

"Then I will" said Apple. And she designed a phone with rounded corners.

"Who will spend lots of money and take some risk designing cell phones with a revolutionary slide-to-unlock feature and the first really non-clunky mobile web browsing experience that includes pinching and swiping gestures?" asked Apple.

"Not I", said Samsung.
"Not I", said Nokia.
"Not I", said LG.
"Not I", said HTC.

"Then I'll do it myself" said Apple. And she designed the iOS UI.

And when the iPhone was released, the tired little company in Cupertino asked her competitors "who will help me use my designs to make billions in revenue I've earned by taking all sorts of marketing and design risks and putting in so much efforts to do what competitors didn't to move a stagnant and complacent industry forward like I've always have had to do?" asked Apple

"I do" said Samsung.
"I do" said Motorola.
"I do", said LG.
"I do" said HTC.

"No, I'm going to keep all of those designs to myself" Apple said, and she happily sued them into oblivion. The end.

Re:Apple is the Little Red Hen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41210943)

That was brilliant, just wanted you to know someone appreciated the work.

Litigate! (1)

rips123 (654488) | about 2 years ago | (#41210891)

Clearly Apple should sue the producers for intellectual property infringement.
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