John Sculley: “I blame myself” for Apple’s near-death experience

Oct 15, 2010
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Ex-Apple CEO John Sculley - the man who first worked alongside Steve Jobs and then replaced him - has spoken out for the first time since leaving the company in 1993 about Jobs and the secrets of his success.  Talking to Cult of Mac, Sculley outlines the main areas you'd probably think Jobs was obsessive over - elevating product design, driving for perfectionism and prioritizing the customer experiences - all illustrated with examples of how the notoriously controlling CEO manages those areas.

That includes ruthlessly keeping teams to 100 members - with an add-one/lose-one policy to maintain that number - together with being "adamantly involved in the advertising, the design and everything."  As we've heard before, Jobs had no qualms about rejecting his teams' work: "It’s like an artist’s workshop and Steve is the master craftsman who walks around and looks at the work and makes judgments on it and in many cases his judgments were to reject something."

Sculley also praises Jobs for his end-to-end thinking, controlling the whole process of producing Apple's products from initial inception, though R&D and design, even to the outsourcing; as for Jobs versus Bill Gates, the ex-Microsoft CEO is described as being "never interested in great taste" only "being able to dominate a market."  There's a full transcript of the interview here, and it's well worth reading.


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