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Steve Jobs, the co-founder and former chief executive officer of Apple, said in an interview with his biographer Walter Isaacson that companies like Microsoft, IBM or HP were becoming “irrelevant” because at some points salespersons took the helm and the quality of products became less important than selling them in mass quantities.

“It’s easy to throw stones at Microsoft. They have clearly fallen from their dominance. They’ve become mostly irrelevant. And yet, I appreciate what they did and how hard it was. They were very good at the business side of things. They were never as ambitious product-wise as they should have been. Bill likes to portray himself as a man of the product, but he’s really not. Winning business was more important than making great products. […] I admire him for the company he built – it is impressive – and I enjoyed working with him,” said Steve Jobs in an interview for his biography (Amazon, B&N, iBooks).

According to the co-founder of Apple, big companies lose relevancy when they essentially become monopolies and salespeople start to lead them. The companies then change their focus from creating great products to earning maximum amount of money, which essentially locks the innovation.

“I have my own theory about why decline happens at companies like IBM or Microsoft. The company does a great job, innovates and becomes a monopoly or close to it in some field, and then the quality of the product becomes less important. The company starts valuing the great salesmen, because they’re the ones who can move the needle on revenues, not the product engineers and designers. So, the salespeople end up running the company,” said Mr. Jobs.

There are a number of examples, including Apple itself under John Sculley, IBM, Xerox and Microsoft, the company that Mr. Jobs considered one of the main rivals.

“John Akers at IBM was a smart, eloquent, fantastic salesperson, but he didn’t know anything about product. The same thing happened to Xerox. […] It happened to Apple when Sculley came in, which was my fault, and it happened when Ballmer took over at Microsoft. Apple was lucky and it rebounded, but I don’t think anything will change at Microsoft as long as Ballmer is running it,” said Steve Jobs.

The legendary co-founder of the most valuable tech company in the world also condemned startup creators usually called “entrepreneurs” and accused them of unwillingness to work and build something truly valuable.

“I hate it when people call themselves ‘entrepreneurs’ when what they are really trying to do is launch a startup and then sell or go public, so they can cash in and move on. They are unwilling to do the work it takes to build a real company, which is the hardest work in business. That’s how you really make a contribution and add the legacy of those who went before. You build a company that will still stand for something a generation of two from now. That’s what Walt Disney did, and Hewlett and Packard, and the people who built Intel. That’s what I want Apple to be,” explained Steve Jobs.

The co-founder of Apple passed away on the 5th of October, 2011.

Tags: Apple, Microsoft, HP, Xerox, IBM, Business


Comments currently: 13
Discussion started: 10/28/11 04:24:26 AM
Latest comment: 05/02/13 02:46:57 PM
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0 3 [Posted by: Filiprino  | Date: 10/28/11 04:24:26 AM]
- collapse thread

Apple in stagnation? Have you seen their growth?

And after all isn't what he said truth?
We see that in a lot of companies later, salesman come forth, quality goes down and the company doesn't care about customers.

We can see that in a wide variety of companies out there, from consumer electronics to video games and to go more generic in everything in our life.

Companies concentrate on squeezing more money out of us and they don't care for us after they sell their products.

I don't know if apple will go the same way now that Job's is gone but it will be another sad story for us the consumers.
0 1 [Posted by: nitro912gr  | Date: 10/29/11 07:38:03 AM]

They all suffer from tunnel vision because the don't see things from the perspective of the wider world. They don't see that soon all of these electronic gadgets will soon become obsolete.
Mankind has a great capacity for self-deception and an unwillingness to accept truth.

The floods in Thailand, the earthquake in Turkey, the past calamities and disasters and wars and the future turmoil is all ignored and these top men in the technology industry focus on their petty ambitions to heap more wealth and fame to themselves.

They are like industrious little ants swarming about not realising the jackboot of the human that will soon trample upon them.

Have your pipe dream while it lasts. Soon you will wake up to reality.
1 3 [Posted by: nostradamus  | Date: 10/28/11 06:16:29 AM]
- collapse thread

Why are you posting on here when you could be saving the world?
2 0 [Posted by: wicko  | Date: 10/28/11 02:24:44 PM]

show the post
0 3 [Posted by: nostradamus  | Date: 10/28/11 06:16:32 AM]

So what he say, that what happened to Microsoft will also happen to apple only time will tell.
2 1 [Posted by: Amir Anuar  | Date: 10/28/11 04:01:59 PM]

After you reach your peak there is no other way to go but down. Microsoft had its days though they won't be gone. Apple will have the same fate soon.

Anyway if many people will support an operating system compatible to windows but running as open source project, then everyone will be happy.
2 0 [Posted by: pogsnet  | Date: 10/29/11 12:13:15 AM]
- collapse thread

OS/2 tried to be alternative to Windows that ran DOS and Windows programs, but has problems. OS/2 was ahead of its time. Also OS/2 had no developer support.

ReactOS probably have the same fate as OS/2. I think it is best to adventure into a different OS like Haiku which is a fork of BeOS.
0 1 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 10/29/11 01:34:39 AM]
You're really confused.

OS/2 was developed for the 286 originally, when DOS was relevant and Windows was not. The problem was that it was not easy to switch to real mode from protected mode, so it ran DOS apps poorly, and could not multitask well. Windows/386 came out and took advantage of the Virtual 86 mode of the 386, and thus was used for that purpose. It gained an installed base, and then developers could write for Windows specifically.

OS/2 2.0 came out after Windows was an established standard, and although it was a better DOS than DOS, by then DOS compatibility was not as important as it had been in the past. Moral of the story, IBM should have developed OS/2 for the 386 originally, instead of the 286. By the time they saw the mistake, it was too late. That's why OS/2 lost.
0 0 [Posted by: TA152H  | Date: 10/29/11 07:11:00 PM]

The products that Microsoft does not impress me are Office and Windows. Sure Microsoft changed the look of Office to a ribbon style menu which I hate.

What Steve Jobs is saying is about the quality of the product and how simple it related to the consumer when it is on the shelves trying to sell it self. Microsoft did not make their new ribbon style menu look polished or they did not think it thoroughly. The multiple different variations of Windows is causing Microsoft to stagnate. Should those variations help businesses/corporations, but does not help me the consumer. What should I go for the Home or the Professional? Heck should I go with Starter? Also Oh Ultimate, but that is very costly and do I need all those features? I am just stating a point that Microsoft does not know what their product does when it is trying to sell itself to the public. I, the consumer, prefer one variation. I can buy Mac OS X because there is one variation. It is kind of funny that Mac OS X is sold for $30 when Windows 7 Ultimate is sold for $290, yikes.

Normally, when I am trying or going to buy Windows, I always think of all the problems I am going to have. Using and maintaining Windows is not easy, so for $290 it just not seem reasonable for me to buy it when problems are going to come up upon install.

Why do I need Xbox when it is just for gaming. Also why should I buy a Windows Mobile based phone when there is not one quality phone. Skype is going to sink further than it is since Microsoft bought it. Probably the worst product from Microsoft is Silverlight. Silverlight does not work well in any OS besides Windows, so mmm why is that Microsoft.

Microsoft needs to pretend that I am using their products when Microsoft is showing their product on stage. Steve Jobs does this by thinking of me the consumer and acting casual. Ballmer looks like he has some kind of disease when showing a product because how he acts.

How Google is showing their products on stage is close to Steve Jobs. Though Google is extra casual that brings in more people that have simpler minds.
2 1 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 10/29/11 12:38:22 AM]

Microsoft has been sagmented since well it become the mega company that it is today. I mean honestly when you have to be excited about a new product replacing its old product that sucked before it. that's a problem and this didn't happen to Micrsoft just once but few times in the past. It's never good PR to slam your older product to try to sell your newer product.
1 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 10/30/11 02:24:21 AM]

Hi there!
For a man who said selling isn't everything Jobs made it very clear that the company was doing veeeery bad in his absence. So he sold his fans the IDeea that HE is Apple, and Apple was made after hIs IMage :-)
No offense but Gates was a better businessman for leaving the company and living his life while he had the chance and he made a good retirement. If Bill Gates=Microsoft and Steve Jobs=Apple then Apple is dead, and correct me if I am wrong but most of MacFans love the shiny IMage that an Apple brings to their desks and they all know how big Jobs is for the company.
NOW Apple depends more then ever on salesmen because the Leader is dead, God help them survive this test. Microsoft will survive so easy from Gates death just by comparing the area covered by their products.
Just try and search how many software products Apple offers and how many Microsoft. Microsoft offers 1-200 software solutions not 2-30, if half of their solutions fail Microsoft will survive.
It's a shame Jobs was too stupid to try and give a chance to the company to grow on it's own terms. Now without the design IDeas of folks like Jobs the world of personal computing will go back to those ugly black&white cases(it's a metaphore, don't take it ad literam).
0 0 [Posted by: gagarici  | Date: 11/02/11 01:28:42 PM]

Apple's been chasing the shadows of companies like Microsoft since the early 80's and hating it ever since they lost the PC race. And that race was lost way way back then directly by their own Steve Jobs choice to persist in keeping all Apple products proprietary. Job's has always felt threatened by his competitors and puts them down, when truly its his own failings. Small man syndrome. But don't get me wrong. Apple's got some pretty little devices out there now. Just wish they were more functional. Apple propriety strikes again. For being thought of as such a brilliant man, I woulda thought that he would of learned from his failings the first time around. Apple's toast. Bankrupt within 7 years. When the masses learn just how inferior their products actually are, they will never go back to Apple.

Im sorry Applefanatics. Please don't stone me.
0 0 [Posted by: Eric  | Date: 05/02/13 02:46:57 PM]


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