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The Press Reacts To Steve Jobs' Departure — in 1985 207

Posted by timothy
from the didn't-know-what-they-were-missing dept.
harrymcc writes "After reading a ton of stories about Steve Jobs' decision to step down as Apple's CEO, I turned the clock back and read a bunch about the first time he did so — unwillingly — in 1985. Some observers thought his departure would have little impact on Apple; others seemed to believe it was a great idea. And the Washington Post's T.R. Reid figured out that an Apple that chose to eject Jobs would be a profoundly lesser place."
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The Press Reacts To Steve Jobs' Departure — in 1985

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  • R.I.P. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lisias (447563) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @11:10PM (#37215096) Homepage Journal

    Apple, not Jobs.

    (I really hope for the best for this guy.)

    • by Anonymous Coward
      They should bring in some new CEO from a 'traditional' big company, like Coke. They could use some more stable strategizing. Maybe Bill Gates? RIP Steve, I loved the Newton, your greatest creation.
      • Yeah, like Commodore did? Commodore was a billion dollar company once. Thanks, Scully!
      • Re:Brilliant idea! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by icebike (68054) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @11:49PM (#37215348)

        Under Tim Cook, pinch hitting for Jobs, Apple did very very well.

        Look people, this is not 1985 any more. The bean counters that had control of the company back then are no longer in control, (one has to ask who put them in control in the first place back then...).

        This a different Apple, and one that does not rely on Jobs.

        Its time for him to move out of the day to day control.

        In spite of the rampant fanboyism Jobs is hurting Apple more than he is helping it these days. The ever tightening lock down, the clutching greed to get 30% of everything that comes on to the device, the total restructuring of the Ebook industry to serve Apple's interest and kill off the First Sale Doctrine, and the total paranoia about petty patent claims is seriously damaging Apple's brand. They have become what they sought to destroy in their Iconic Superbowl Commercial [youtube.com]. All of that was Jobs.

        Under Cook significant new features were added to IOS, long blocked by Jobs until he had to have his "hormonal imbalance" operated upon. New application models (like in-app purchases) were allowed into the App store, since shut down by Jobs.

        Frankly this all things to Chairman Mao nonsense is getting a little tiresome. Cult figures are so over done. All we are missing here is the Che Guevara tee shirt of Steve. Oh, wait, too late [redbubble.com].

        • by LocalH (28506)

          That's not the style commonly seen on Guevara shirts.

        • Re:Brilliant idea! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Friday August 26, 2011 @02:47AM (#37216178) Journal

          Actually, I'm going to take the opposite tack.

          Apple was far more litigious when Steve Jobs left. It was a Jobs-less Apple that sued Microsoft over the "look-and-feel" of Windows 2.0. There were spats throughout the '90s over QuickTime and TrueType (some valid). When Jobs came back, one of the first things he did was sign a patent cross-licensing agreement with Microsoft to get rid of all the lawsuits between the companies and get on with the task of coming up with the next big thing.

          One could argue that since Steve has been gone on medical leaves, we've seen Apple litigating instead of innovating. Most of the new and notable features of iOS 5 bring it to parity with Android. Where's the "skating to where the puck will be?"

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Rockoon (1252108)
            ..yeah, making friends with Microsoft had nothing to do with the fact that Apple was damn near out of business (enough money to operator for only a year or so left)

            Apple was gambling big back then because they had to... spending a ton of money they couldnt really afford to spend by picking up NeXTSTEP (because their own OS was in the toilet...) and then having to make a deal with the devil (aka Microsoft) in order to stay afloat...
          • Actually, I'm going to take the opposite tack.

            Apple was far more litigious when Steve Jobs left. It was a Jobs-less Apple that sued Microsoft over the "look-and-feel" of Windows 2.0. There were spats throughout the '90s over QuickTime and TrueType (some valid). When Jobs came back, one of the first things he did was sign a patent cross-licensing agreement with Microsoft to get rid of all the lawsuits between the companies and get on with the task of coming up with the next big thing.

            Err, would Microsoft have agreed to that if Apple hadn't been about to win the Quicktime case? Not to mention that Apple probably would have won the look-and-feel case against MS if their legal team hadn't botched the developer contract with Microsoft (they did win against DR).

        • by Stargoat (658863) *

          Apple has always required Jobs. This is precisely because of this Chairman Mao nonsense.

          The market is not practical. It has not priced into Apple stock that that Apple is only two years away from not mattering. Consumer goods cannot indefinitely sustain a computer business, particularly as the consumer goods are marketed so heavily with 'cool'.

          Jobs' purpose at Apple was to distract from this. He caused the market to pay attention to the sizzle; to distract serious men from the lack of steak. He did it

          • by vakuona (788200)

            Apple has $80 billion cash and bonds, and you think that is all sizzle and no steak.

            Jobs has built a company that is continually in innovate or become irrelevant mode. That is why they succeed, because their success depends on continuing to deliver. Microsoft could lay off all of its software engineers today and be making serious money for the next 10 years. That is why they have lacked innovation, because they didn't need to do anything to print money.

        • by roman_mir (125474)

          Look people, this is not 1985 any more. The bean counters that had control of the company back then are no longer in control, (one has to ask who put them in control in the first place back then...).

          - that's right! Different bean counters are in control. They have black jack and hookers.

        • by gilesjuk (604902)

          Look at Microsoft under Ballmer, the creative spark has gone.

          When Jobs left Apple in 1985 they bumbled along producing revisions of Macs and Mac OS that added very little. It took until 2001 and 4 years of Jobs to get a new OS with proper multitasking. OSX was based on all the work done at NeXT. Some of that work could have happened while he was at Apple and OSX (with a different name) could have been released in the 80s or 90s.

      • by unixisc (2429386)

        RIP Steve, I loved the Newton, your greatest creation.

        I thought NeXT was his greatest creation. Had they had more powerful CPUs, that thing may even have been a success.

        • Re:Brilliant idea! (Score:5, Informative)

          by bledri (1283728) on Friday August 26, 2011 @01:17AM (#37215768)

          ...

          I thought NeXT was his greatest creation. Had they had more powerful CPUs, that thing may even have been a success.

          NeXT is the core of OS X and iOS, so it's actually been insanely successful.

    • by perpenso (1613749) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @11:27PM (#37215206)

      R.I.P. Apple, not Jobs. (I really hope for the best for this guy.)

      Most people are familiar with Jobs' skill with respect to product design and marketing. However he possess a less publicized skill that is at least as important than the preceding, probably more important. He assembles teams of really exceptional people to implement his ideas. Once upon a time that would have been the Mac design team. Today that would be Apple's executive leadership. He is handing things off to an extremely capable senior management team.

      He is not handing Apple over to a sugar water salesman brought on board to provide adult supervision, he is handing Apple over to his hand pick proteges.

      • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Friday August 26, 2011 @12:00AM (#37215400)

        He is not handing Apple over to a sugar water salesman brought on board to provide adult supervision

        LOL. Too right. And that's what their (retarded) board thought they needed, circa (IIRC) 1985ish. I remember reading the preface to a Playboy interview of him from that era, where the author was warned, "Be prepared, you're about to be hyped by the best". And he was/is. Karl fucking Rove wakes up in the middle of the night sobbing, wishing he could spin a story the way Steve Jobs can.

        He assembles teams of really exceptional people to implement his ideas

        He assembles teams of really exceptional people to brutalize into doing exactly what he wants; luckily, he's usually 98% correct.
        FTFY

        Fact is, Steve must be dying (and KNOWS it) or he wouldn't be letting go of the reins, because he's THAT much of a control freak. Apple without him is going to become Ford without Henry, IBM without a Watson. NOT, not, not, a Microsoft without a Gates; Bill has never been a visionary, just a sharky cutthroat businessman. Steve, much as people can hate on him, is the real deal, he can look into the future, like an Edwin Land, (if you don't know who he is, shame on you, turn in your geek card) and CREATE a market around a new idea of his of a product/market that never existed before he dreamed it up. Sure, the haters will claim the Lisa was really the Xerox Star, but can they hand-wave away the iPod, the iPhone? No, I didn't think so. Much as the whole industry wants to hate on him, Steve has done more than Woz, Gates, Bushnell and Kay together to make the world we live in happen.

        • by adamofgreyskull (640712) on Friday August 26, 2011 @12:53AM (#37215674)
          Fact check. Sorry if this makes me a "hater" or a "hand-waver" but there *was* a market, however small, for portable mp3 players before the iPod. The Diamond Rio and the Creative NOMAD are the most memorable fore-runners. Similarly, there was already an almost 10 year-old market for "smart" phones before the iPhone came along, satisfied by offerings from Nokia, Microsoft, Palm and Blackberry. Or didn't you know that? Maybe you need to turn in your geek card? ;)

          Jobs steered Apple in the right direction; he recognised areas where they could excel and perhaps because of that you can claim he's a visionary, but he didn't invent (or even "dream up" the concept of) portable mp3 players or smart-phones, just directed his employees to produce marketably "better" ones.
          • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Friday August 26, 2011 @01:42AM (#37215882)
            Yup. And there was a market for "horseless carriages" before Henry Ford standardized them and started mass-producing them. And Maxwell had a pretty good handle on electromagnetic propagation before Marconi got involved. If you can't accept the notion that Jobs had a revolutionary, not (just) evolutionary, effect on mp3 players and cell phones, then you simply haven't been paying attention. I'm hardly one to be worshiping at the "Steve Jobs is our god, lead us where thou wilt" altar, I, at least, am willing to give credit where it's due. I'm not necessarily a fan of his, but I have to admit, "Steve, he's a visionary; Woz, he's an engineer".
            • by Anonymus (2267354)

              Except Apple didn't in any way improve them (maybe the user interface if you're going by the average device on the market, but even that surely wasn't the best). The iPod has been one of the most overpriced player on the market, with the fewest features, ever since the first one was released. I remember at the time (around 2001-2002) that you could get a competing mp3 player with the same features for literally less than half the price of an ipod. A player that also let you copy your files OFF OF the dev

              • Except Apple didn't in any way improve them.

                Sure sure. I mean, it didn't have as many features, right? That's what makes something better, features. Gotta get more and more of those features, that'll make it better.

              • Something might not be better simply because it is more popular but at some point you have to wonder: what is more likely that those >100 million people who bought iPods are idiots or that you might be wrong ? It's all just geek hipsterism: "Hah look at those sheeple, don't they know they should be ripping chiptunes to ogg then playing them on an mp3 player running Linux. So stupid."

                • by decora (1710862) on Friday August 26, 2011 @07:38AM (#37217322) Journal

                  i dont know if its 'stupidity', but i would call it 'ignorance' and 'lack of education'.

                  thats what allows best buy to scam so many and defraud so many. and it is wrong.

                  the objection to the iPod is somewhere along those lines. the main thing it did was integrate with iTunes ---- well, we had this site called mp3.com way, way before itunes,, and it got shut down by legal and corporate assholes for no good reason, based on the fraudulent legal system that doesn't allow you to claim that you own the music that you rightly bought and payed for (but somehow allows record industry executives to claim the own music that they stole and robbed from the artists who created it).

                  Jobs was somehow able to convince the corrupt music industry executives to let him send content over the internet. That's what the Ipod was about. Great for him... but many geeks view that as a consequence of his ability to schmooze and do smoke-filled-room negotiations... not as any kind of product innovation.

                  • i dont know if its 'stupidity', but i would call it 'ignorance' and 'lack of education'.

                    thats what allows best buy to scam so many and defraud so many. and it is wrong.

                    That's elitism. Even more than that it's willfully closing your eyes to facts and going for the easy answer. It's all to common in the geek world (or the real world for that matter) and it's holding people back :
                    - Linux doesn't succeed on the desktop because people aren't educated enough to use a "real OS"
                    - the iPod was popular because people are ignorant
                    - MP3.com went under because people are ignorant and corrupt
                    - ...
                    Tiresome. You get those same kinds of reactions if you debate anarchists or libertarians.

                    • You know nothing of the man, read a biography of his. Start with iCon, which was pulled from the Apple stores, just so you know you're not reading an "approved version." The guy was an electronics geek, good but good enough to recognize he was no Wozniak. The whole reason he and Woz hung out is because he was into electronics. He's a good business man too but that's not all he is.

                      Read how Woz describes the birth of the blue box [woz.com] :

                      "I read an article in Esquire Magazine [...] entitled "Secrets of the Blue Box-

                  • You know iTunes was made mandatory well after the iPod was market leader?
                • by Hatta (162192)

                  at some point you have to wonder: what is more likely that those >100 million people who bought iPods are idiots or that you might be wrong ?

                  If the idea that 100 million people could be wrong strikes you as unlikely in the least bit, you simply haven't been paying attention.

            • by several times. not 3 percent here or there. everyone gets a raise. like some kind of capitalist Oprah, the janitors got so much money they could dream of affording to buy Ford's products. Nobody on an iPad factory line can dream of buying an iPad.

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward

              PROTIP: Everyone in Germany had a smartphone with more functionality that the iPhone ever had (like the ability to run Java, or to replace the battery) before any iDevice was a glimmer in Jobs's eyes. And I don't even need to mention Japan.
              We listened to MP3s on them, and we still do. So what's the point of a separate player? More memory? My phone got *infinite* memory. With the help of teeny-tiny 8+GB cards that can be taken out of the slot and are so small that 20-30 of them are smaller than a single pack

              • PROTIP: Everyone in Germany had a smartphone with more functionality that the iPhone ever had (like the ability to run Java, or to replace the battery) before any iDevice was a glimmer in Jobs's eyes.

                And all they did with them was buy crappy Fun Applications at Jamba for 5 Euro a piece.

          • by Grygus (1143095) on Friday August 26, 2011 @02:06AM (#37215978)

            I was an early adopter in the mp3 player scene and I don't think it's at all an exaggeration to say that iPod revolutionized the market. I owned a Rio PMP 300 and later upgraded to a Creative Nomad Jukebox, but it wasn't until I got one of the earlier iPod models that I thought mp3 players had really arrived. The others were first, yes, and they did work, but very few people were all that interested until the iPod combined a small form factor and a large capacity. The interface was pretty cool at the time, too. Shame they were so expensive, but it didn't keep them from changing the way most people (and some manufacturers) thought about portable music.

            Again, you're right that smartphones do not owe their existence to the iPhone, but when the iPhone released there was nothing else quite like it; now virtually the entire market resembles the Apple product. You need a special sort of denial to say that the device wasn't highly influential. Smartphones as they exist today very obviously owe a great deal to the iPhone. Android in particular seems unlikely ever to have been designed had the iPhone not been released and been such a market success.

            • Need to correct you about Android. Having been involved with Android for a very long time (well before it was actually released, and even before the iPhone was released or even announced).

              In those very early days, the idea was to have a minimal approach (with only one or two buttons). It was in fact the hardware manufacturers who insisted on having more buttons. Multi Touch was envisioned as part of the system, but then hurridly disabled once the iphone came out, as Eric Schmid was at the time on Apple's bo

          • It wasn't even about the portable music player. It was about the overall infrastructure. When iTunes was released, the commercial music players sucked (think adware/spyware from Real) and the free music players were all about bling bling (think WinAmp) which chased away users like myself. (And I paid the $10 for WinAmp).

            He turned Apple into a music center... then, instead of treating iTunes as an accessory to a music player, he treated the music player as an accessory to this free program which he released
          • by Rakarra (112805)

            Fact check. Sorry if this makes me a "hater" or a "hand-waver" but there *was* a market, however small, for portable mp3 players before the iPod. The Diamond Rio and the Creative NOMAD are the most memorable fore-runners. Similarly, there was already an almost 10 year-old market for "smart" phones before the iPhone came along, satisfied by offerings from Nokia, Microsoft, Palm and Blackberry. Or didn't you know that? Maybe you need to turn in your geek card? ;)

            I think the grandparent was correct. sjobs had a big part of creating the market -- not necessarily creating new types of products. His strength was always in taking existing products and refining their designs and usability in a way where everyone actually wanted to use them. Looking back too, the choices just -look- so easy, easy enough so that you wonder why Creative hadn't done it. Or Nokia, or Palm (but we already know why Blackberry didn't, sadly).

          • by sunfly (1248694)

            And there were Microsoft tablets around 10 years prior to the iPad. It doesn't really matter. Most things Jobs invented already existed, but were terribly implemented. He had the vision and resources to build something people actually wanted. Your point is mute.

            (I personally do not own any apple products, but my family has several).

      • And yet again that is something that really separates him from Ballmer. Ballmers problem is that not only does he have even a remote interest in technology, he is also a really shitty manager. He has no control over what goes on in Microsoft, nor does he seem particularly interested. As such every major manager there is stuck in the late 90s mindset that their only "real" competition comes from within Microsoft and are constantly attacking other divisions and defending their own from what they perceive a
      • This is true, but I heard a rare bit on insight from a cable news pundit today, in essence: Steve Jobs is very particular attention to details. He dwells on things like color and whether headphones should have a small clasp to help keep them neat. Steve Jobs is the kind of person who knows when to veto cost savings in favor of design. Tim Cook is a numbers guy. He's surely a capable business leader, but will he have that extra talent an the guts that Steve Jobs had...
        • This is true, but I heard a rare bit on insight from a cable news pundit today, in essence: Steve Jobs is very particular attention to details. He dwells on things like color and whether headphones should have a small clasp to help keep them neat. Steve Jobs is the kind of person who knows when to veto cost savings in favor of design. Tim Cook is a numbers guy. He's surely a capable business leader, but will he have that extra talent an the guts that Steve Jobs had...

          My understanding is that Cook's background is as an operations guy. So its not numbers in the purely accounting sense. His operations background may come into play more in the sense of lets not repeat the confusing product line of the 90s. On the other hand an operations guy might have said the white iPhone 4 was too much trouble and canceled it. However in the last few years he has been running things off and on and has been getting mentored by Jobs for even longer than that.

          Besides, Jobs may still be a

        • Steve Jobs is very particular attention to details.

          Exactly! If you don't think Steve has been MIA, give Lion a whirl. I can't imagine Steve ever letting it get out the door. The attention to detail just isn't there.

      • i agree, it is important to find someone who can stay awake for 14 hours a day, doesn't care if their wages are kept low purposely by their own government to stop inflation (and instead, those wages go to buy bonds from US companies like Fannie and Freddie, which are glorified ponzi schemes), isn't going to kill himself, and won't leak the shape of an iPad to the media... yeah.

        it is hard to find good help.

      • Most people are familiar with Jobs' skill with respect to product design and marketing. However he possess a less publicized skill that is at least as important than the preceding, probably more important. He assembles teams of really exceptional people to implement his ideas.

        Well fuck me, I got that wrong. I thought it was that he could walk on water and turn water to wine.

        Gates and Jobs are both arseholes. Read how they treat staff. Their real skill is using others, and keeping the profits. And they were lucky. Some brains yes, but much smarter people have wound up destitute because they had a moral core. Do not overplay their intellect and charisma and underplay pure Darwinian chance and their ability to be dicks. And I don't give a shit how much charity they then do with the

      • From the quotes in TFA:

        Those steps, which include hiring managers from other companies, could transform the free-wheeling Apple created by Jobs into a more bureaucratic company. But Sculley says he’s convinced “a more disciplined environment will actually help us get innovative hints done quickly and effectively.”

        Apple, while having a solid management, still might miss Mr. Jobs. The company is weak in top engineering talent to guide product development. Moreover, more traditional managers like Mr. Sculley have often proved no more adept at running technology companies than the original entrepreneurs. Some analysts and former employees are worried that Apple is losing its spark and becoming stodgy, a process some refer to as ”Scullification.”

        But problems could arise in a year or two, when the time comes to develop completely new products. Almost all analysts and company officials say that Mr. Jobs lent a certain creative spark and vision to Apple, as exemplified in his leadership in the development of the Macintosh computer, a project he pushed with such passion that he neglected other Apple models.

        Mr. Sculley will hear none of that. ”We have the foundations in place for a really great Apple,” he said on Friday, in one of the first interviews he has granted since emerging victorious from his struggle with Mr. Jobs. ”We talk about vision and what Steve contributed to vision, and it’s an immense contribution, no doubt about it,” said Mr. Sculley.

        ”Computers were big boring blue boxes until Steve Jobs came along,” Mr. Sculley said. And Apple will continue to be driven by the same vision of making computers for the individual in a youth-oriented company, he asserted. ”But people tend to confuse vision with innovation,” Mr. Sculley added. ”The real question is innovation, and most of the innovation, including the innovations in Macintosh, came from a lot of people.”

        The distinguishing thing about Steven Jobs is that he has a vision, a pervasive philosophy, about the role of personal computers in modern life. His whole professional career has been an effort–remarkably successful, at that–to bring that vision to life.

        I can think of no greater expose of the weaknesses of the MBA bean counter management methodology than the comparison of Steve Jobs with John Sculley. The above quotes paint a picture of Sculley as a visionless bureaucrat with little appreciation for the subtleties of technology, and of Steve Jobs as a genius whose vision spanned the technology he was building and the users he was marketing to. The management school idea that managers do not need to understand their products to be

        • I can think of no greater expose of the weaknesses of the MBA bean counter management methodology than the comparison of Steve Jobs with John Sculley

          MBAs might not be what you think. I've been to business school recently. About 1/3 of my class were engineers. Even those with accounting backgrounds did not think as you suggest and were quite interested in some of the lessons that Apple and Jobs has taught the business world.

          MBAs are stereotyped and portrayed in the media about as accurately as engineers/scientists are stereotyped and portrayed in the media. I once had an arrogant engineers attitude towards MBAs and all things business and marketing. P

          • It isn't a stereotype. It is what is taught. I also have engineer friends who are taking or have taken their MBA's, but this doesn't change the fact that a key part of what is taught is that to manage a group of people, one does not need to know or understand what those underneath you do. My friends got the degree because it is a credential, an a way into other jobs. I am sure some of what they learned will be helpful too. However I have also seen first hand the consequences of a person with an MBA man

            • by perpenso (1613749)

              It isn't a stereotype. It is what is taught. I also have engineer friends who are taking or have taken their MBA's, but this doesn't change the fact that a key part of what is taught is that to manage a group of people, one does not need to know or understand what those underneath you do.

              I earned an MBA a few years ago, that is not what has been taught in recent times. That may or may not be what was taught many decades ago but that notion has long since been discredited in business circles. I confess that I did share your beliefs prior to going to business school. Part of what made business school fun was being amused at more former beliefs, I was as ignorant about business and managements as I had assumed MBAs were about their respective products and markets.

              My friends got the degree because it is a credential, an a way into other jobs. I am sure some of what they learned will be helpful too.

              Like my BS and MS computer sci

    • R.I.P. - Apple, not Jobs.

      Help me figure out what this means.

      Because far from being ejected from Apple, Jobs is "leaving" Apple to be "only" a board member, after totally and utterly filling every corner of Apple with his personal product philosophy.

      I mean, Tim Cook has only been essentially running the thing for a few years now anyway and Apple does not seem to have suffered....

      Not to mention Jonathan Ive is still there, the guy actually responsible for the literal shape of Apple as we know it.

      So the only i

  • by backslashdot (95548) * on Thursday August 25, 2011 @11:12PM (#37215116)

    The quote from Nolan Bushnell at the end pretty much sums up the truth.

    “Where is Apple’s inspiration going to come from? Is Apple going to have all the romance of a new brand of Pepsi?”

    LOL

  • by MacTO (1161105) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @11:23PM (#37215188)

    The Steve Jobs who was forced to leave Apple in the 1980s is not the same Jobs who returned to Apple in the 1990s. By the time of his return he was a much more experienced businessman, having not just Apple under his belt but NeXT and Pixar.

    We should also remember that the 1990s were a very tough time for Apple, even with Jobs as the CEO. He undoubtedly had acquired a lot more experience during that phase. He also had a fair bit of luck on his side. (IIRC, the iMac was basically handed to him from the previous guard and no one saw the iPod for what it would become when it was introduced.)

    The tone of the article seems to be that the departure of Jobs was the downfall of Apple, but it may have been the saviour of Apple. And even though we can probably agree that Jobs brought Apple back from the dead, he certainly had some helping hands.

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Friday August 26, 2011 @12:06AM (#37215430) Journal

      Actually, and I'm sure I'll get hate for saying this, it was Gates who saved his ass. Of course we know Gates didn't do it out of the goodness of his heart, he did it to keep from being the only OS company and thus a big ass target to regulators but he did save his ass.

      Not only did Gates cut a big fat check for Apple stock which at the time really wasn't doing squat, but also there was serious fears that nobody was gonna waste money developing for a "dying" platform. Having the head of one of the largest software companies on the planet come out and say 'I think the Mac has a great future and we at Microsoft are committed to supporting the Mac with our software" and then announcing a long term deal to supply MS Office really killed a lot of the skittishness. After that at the next MacWorld you saw tons of companies jump on board because if MSFT thought there was money to be made? Maybe there was.

      Don't get me wrong, once Jobs had the money he was fricking brilliant, killing all the huge lines of confusing plastic crap and making a small line of sleek and sexy products, one hit after another. But when Jobs first came back there was serious talk that Apple was a "dead" system (I know, funny now right?) and that Jobs didn't have a prayer of stopping the death spiral. Gates may be a ruthless bastard but if he hadn't helped out Apple at the right time and gave Jobs the funds and breathing room he needed to rebuild the line things could have turned out VERY differently.

      I just wonder how well Cook is gonna be able to break balls and steer the ship, because from everything I've read he has been more of a supply chain guy. Apple under Jobs has always been Steve's vision of perfection, like it or not, so we'll just have to see if after the products that were already in the pipeline have come and gone if Cook can come up with new markets to slaughter like Jobs did.

      Either way Via Con Dios Steve, you truly deserve to be in that tiny room of visionaries that can say "I changed the way things are done".

      • Lol wut? Gates (loudly and publicly) cut that big fat check to prop up his "See? We haves teh competition!" anti-trust pretensions. Anybody who's ever been within a 3-wood's distance from the industry knows/knew that Microsoft Office for Mac was a sop to keep the anti-monopolists at bay. Mac in the office???? In the graphic arts department, sure, but in the rest of the enterprise? Puh. Leeeeze, don't make me laugh. What Steve did (innovate) was so far out of Bill's wheelhouse (cutthroat business practi
        • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@worfMOSCOW.net minus city> on Friday August 26, 2011 @01:06AM (#37215728)

          No, that $150M Microsoft invested in Apple was purely a confidence move. It basically told investors "Apple is here to stay".

          Apple didn't the money ($150M? They still had at least $10B in the bank). But the public needed to see that Microsoft was investing in a "dying platform". They tossed money in (and got double back a few years later when they cashed out), but more importantly, they committed development resources.

          Investors saw the cash as "Apple can't be dying if Microsoft was willing to put up money", and developers saw the Office and IE commitment as "the two biggest apps on the planet - for Mac!".

          Really a brilliant business maneuver - the money was a lot to most people, but for Apple it barely even registered on the stockholder's reports and was barely needed.

          Business is a confidence game, and Apple wasn't inspiring any. By getting Microsoft to make a trivial investment, the confidence in Apple skyrocketed.

      • by am 2k (217885)

        I just wonder how well Cook is gonna be able to break balls and steer the ship, because from everything I've read he has been more of a supply chain guy.

        I think Jonathan Ive [wikipedia.org] is more likely to keep the creative ball going (as he's already been doing for years). He doesn't have to be the CEO in order to do that.

    • by epine (68316) on Friday August 26, 2011 @12:09AM (#37215448)

      Schindler: There's no way I could have known this before, but there was always something missing. In every business I tried, I can see now it wasn't me that had failed. Something was missing. Even if I'd known what it was, there's nothing I could have done about it, because you can't create this thing. And it makes all the difference in the world between success and failure.
      Emilie: Luck.
      Schindler: War.

      Steve was ahead of his time in the 1980s. He was a trendy gadget maker stuck in the PC business. His early attempts to gadgify the PC mostly lead to vanity art, and vanity will only get you 10% of the market, unless you can pull it out of your pocket in public display.

      On his HID aesthetic, it turns out the mouse had a correct solution: one button for selecting, a second button to summon a menu of actions (where your eyes are already looking), and a wheel for scrolling in between the two buttons. This is simpler than your telephone, simpler than your steering wheel, simpler than your stereo/VCR/TV/digital alarm clock/wrist watch. Hardly anyone who wasn't suffering post-traumatic Luddite syndrome would have found such a mouse difficult to operate, even in 1985. He directed his wrath at the mouse, when he should have directed his wrath at the worthless scroll-bars, which mostly take up valuable space to little effect, though we have a lot more of that now. He was always catering to "out of box" comfort zone, rather the comfort zone people grow into when they finally figure out how to make the hay fly. Just what everyone in the 1980s really needed: a good $4000 in-store experience for ten minutes, followed by three years of window thrashing.

      Way back, I had an opportunity to visit Parc and sit in front of what I recall as a Xerox Dorado (which I vaguely recall as consisting of $50,000 of ECL circuitry--I've recently done some LVPECL design work, and I *know* what that implies on the global warming front). The mouse had three buttons and was hideously complicated during my first ten minutes of grokage. I can understand why Apple didn't replicate a three-button Jack-in-the-Box for your average consumer.

      But for Jobs, far enough was never far enough until it was too far. Step two: defend the decision as if moral rectitude and reproductive fitness hangs in the balance. The winning conditions for Steve Jobs was a device that fits in your pocket which costs roughly $1000/year to operate. This was the business he was really building in the first place, long before this model was right for the world.

      Jobs paced himself more or less the same way as Andre Agassi's father. Andre had a rough patch, but seems to have recovered, for the most part, and there was much success along with the hardship. Jobs never wanted the PC to have a healthy adolescence, in which order arises from chaos. Which is fine, but he scorned the people getting on with what needed to happen, which is far less OK.

      In the larger view, perhaps it takes twenty years of demanding too much too soon to suddenly discover you're the man of the decade. Jobs did a fair amount of damage to common sense with his premature vision of appliancehood. But like Schindler, when the winning conditions finally arrived he acquitted himself at a level rarely achieved in life.

      I'm no fan of his bullshit years, though I admire his crowning achievement (which I'm tempted to cite as clang/LLVM, but that's just me).

    • by ehintz (10572)

      Truth.

      Jobs was very proud, when he came back, about how he simplified the stupidly complex product line (mainly Performas) into the nice G3 beige boxen. As an employee at the time I sat through countless presos extolling this great accomplishment. Always annoyed me that he took personal credit for that, when it was all Amelio's doing (the G3s were already on the production line when Jobs came back). And never forget that he got his start in the biz by shamelessly manipulating the Woz once he figured out he

    • by whoever57 (658626)
      Didn't Jobs try to promote Lisa and kill Mac before it was released? IIRC, the first Mac was released in spite of Jobs, not because of him.
    • Yeah, I remember hearing that Jobs himself considered getting booted from Apple was the wake up call he needed.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Don't forget too that unlike the 1980s, Jobs voluntarily stepped down. In the 1980s, he was fired by Sculley (which Jobs brought on because the Apple board refused to name Jobs as CEO as Jobs was "too young to be CEO".).

      Basically the executives at Apple back in the 1980s couldn't deal with Jobs' unconventional non-corporate style of management, so they fired him.

      Unfortunately, Apple's basic premise is unconventional, so the mismatch between management and Apple's corporate style basically drove it into the

  • Steve who? (Score:4, Funny)

    by wronski (821189) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @11:23PM (#37215192)
    Who cares about this Jobs fellow? Cmdr Taco has resigned!!
  • He might not have the umph left to go and run the company day-to-day but he will be Chairman of the Board and will be the man behind the man, guiding, advising, teaching, mentoring and unless the guy drops dead in the next few weeks Apple will continue to be the innovator that it has been with him at the helm and perhaps even if he does it will still be.

    When Steve dies, there will be a marble statue of him at the front door of Apple and Woz will put it up.

  • by decora (1710862) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @11:38PM (#37215290) Journal

    People said that slashdot couldn't survive without his inspiration. Boy, were they wrong. It wasn't a week after he left that OneSpot was brought on board, and with it's "Patented community ranking surfaces the best content for your audience" slashdot had "Increased revenue by 5 - 10% increased traffic".

    Next thing you knew it, we were able to click through and buy all of our favorite products, right from the slashdot home page. Things like tips on trimming belly fat, and mortgages and student loans to online Military History PHD programs. It was like the shackles were finally taken off, and slashdot could really become what it was meant to be all along - a tech industry juggernaut!

    Shareholders were so pleased, that the applauded the new CEO in a 10 minute standing ovation at the annual convention. Next came the integration with facebook, and the doing away with this whole 'anonymity' thing - long a bastion behind which trolls and troublemakers hid their identity in order to make pointless First Posts and disgusting comments about popular actresses. Facebooks 'real name' policy greatly increased the level of discourse on slashdot. Noted journalists from well respected networks like G4 were then able to come on slashdot without fearing a mass wave of heckling from the anonymous coward crowd.

    It was good to see more actual tech reviews on slashdot. Instead of the political stuff - I mean do we really need another hipster whining about how corporations are responsible for everything from child malnutrition to global warming? - we got actual information about the latest products, like the Olympus PEN E-PM1 Mini or the Xbox 360 ESPN app. That is what I had always wanted in a tech site, and that is what we got more of when Malda left.

    Things went great for a while. Profits were up, complaints were down. The site was harmonious, a word I picked up from a Chinese friend. You could finally browse slashdot for a whole day without seeing a single pointless flamewar. vi vs emacs? Who cares - we had all moved on to Eclipse and MSVC, hadn't we? These sort of 'beyond the pale' discussions got put right back where they belonged. Back in the pale.

    Those were slashdots 'golden years'. Then Malda won the lottery in 2015 and came back. Oh the horror. It devolved back, back into the same tired old arguments and debates. People disagreeing with each other. Who wants to read that? All I want to know is which new plastic glowing box I am supposed to buy. Is that too much to ask from a website that advertises itself as News for Nerds?

    • by noahm (4459)
      That's one of the best slashdot comments I can recall reading. And its complete lack of any real relevance makes it even better. I mean that in the best possible way. :D
    • by jafac (1449)

      I miss the language flamewars.

      C++ still sucks.

      It sucks forever.

  • Love him or hate him, Steve Jobs has earned a retirement. The amount he has contributed in the way businesses are run and how things are designed and marketed far surpasses the contributions in the same areas as anyone in this internet backwater. He's in poor health and he needs to enjoy what time he has left. I wish him all the best.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The amount he has contributed in the way businesses are run and how things are designed and marketed far surpasses the contributions in the same areas as anyone in this internet backwater.

      Wow, I really hadn't thought of that. Let's string him up IMMEDIATELY. Hanging's too good for someone who has brought us to a new age of no privacy, an age when Apple has made 2004 look like 1984 — but it is cost-effective, unlike buying a Mac.

  • by RevWaldo (1186281) on Friday August 26, 2011 @12:26AM (#37215528)
    Apple headquarters, main boardroom. It is full of executives in suits and ties.

    John Sculley: Right, all those in favor, say 'aye'.

    (all hands go up)

    Everyone: Aye!!

    (Steve enters, wearing jeans, sneakers, and a denim shirt. His hands are full.)

    Steve: Alrighty, folks, I got pizzas and Shastas. Now let's get this meeting started! (silence.) What?

    Front of the building.

    (Steve is bum-rushed out the front doors. Lying on the ground, a large duffel bag is tossed to him. )

    John Sculley: Just take your 400 million dollars and get out of our sight!

    (The doors close as the executives walk away inside. Steve gets up, brushes himself off, picks up the bag.)

    Steve: (yelling at the doors) Fine! I don't need you guys anyway! I'm gonna start another computer company that'll knock Apple on its ASS! It'll have PostScript-driven grayscale displays! Magnesium casings! I'll sell 'em to colleges for $10,000 each! AND THEY'LL BE GLAD TO PAY IT!

    .
  • to be the only country capable of mourning the loss of a multi-billion dollar CEO for a multinational corporation.
    There was a time in history when the passing of a CEO was the changing of the guard; no more amazing than the passing
    of a fart.

    If steve were truly the messiah of CEO's, kind and wise as only we see him, it would be an exception to the longstanding CEO rule of law.

    the facts stand that steve is rich beyond measure, lives in a mansion, and quite likely as you mourn his loss does not give tw
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Billly Gates (198444)

      Do you even remember how Apple was viewed before 1997?

      I brought a Mac magazine to school and was teased and laughed at. I was excited about the PowerPC processor and mentioned it was twice as fast. Basically the view was Apple sucked PCS RULE Apple was DYING bla bla. Only losers used macs. Cool kids used Windows and Compaqs etc. Here on slashdot I clearly remember Apple being made fun of as a DYING company using a DYing FreeBSD OS with the BSD is dying trolls reposted being modded up.

      Steve Jobs created the

      • Do you even remember how Apple was viewed before 1997?

        I brought a Mac magazine to school and was teased and laughed at....

        Ditto that.

        A low point for me was being ridiculed by Sears Auto tire monkeys for wearing an Apple "Been There, Done That" T-shirt while I was waiting for tires to be put on my car. Apple was circling the drain until Steve came back and set Apple back on course.

        Steve is an amazing example of what corporate management should be.
        His greatest skills are:
        * understanding what technology can accomplish
        * the vision to imagine a future where these technologies accomplish real-world needs while being simple to use
        * k

      • by Lisandro (799651)

        I wouldn't buy an Apple product if my life depended on it, but Jobs is undoubtly the best CEO of the past 25 years. I have a lot of respect for him and his work.

      • by kaoshin (110328)
        Wintels being only for poor people is an apple fanboy fantasy. Put the joint out.
  • I was a bit shocked to hear that Steve Jobs resigned from Apple. What shocked me moreso is that I heard from a coworker that I wouldnt necessarily consider tech savvy. Jobs is the face of Apple; the personality. I can probably count on one hand the number of CEOs that are the public face of their company. Steve Jobs wasnt a corporate suit. In fact, he didnt wear a suit. His attire is often the butt of a joke. I guess the bottom line here is that Joe and Jane Public have heard of Steve Jobs.

    Will the change
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      What shocked me moreso is that I heard from a coworker that I wouldnt necessarily consider tech savvy.

      That's because this is the pulse, and this is your finger, far from the pulse. Apple is one of the world's highest-valued corporations; that makes it of interest to fanboys and corporate whores alike.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Exxon [huffingtonpost.com] is also one of the worlds highest value corporations. I'd be shocked if any of my coworkers knew who the CEO of Exxon was. I sure don't.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          If he quit tomorrow it would probably be in the news, though, and your friends would have an opportunity to know who he was. The media being what it is, it'd probably make as big a deal about that.

          • by Hatta (162192)

            I doubt it. Eric Schmidt didn't get half of this coverage when he left Google. Job's cult of personality extends beyond technical or financial circles. He's a celebrity.

            It's stupid, but that's what it is.

    • by BigSes (1623417)
      Its obvious, he is dying. Look him up on TMZ. Its not marketing, it not anything more than mortality.

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