It’s commonly believed that Apple wouldn’t have nearly gone out of business if it had only licensed the Mac operting system to other computer makers, like Microsoft did. But John Sculley explains why that was impossible:
With the invention of the Macintosh in 1984, Steve Jobs commercialized modern graphical computing. But he oversaw another invention from that era that was just as brilliant but no one mentions these days.
There’s a great scene at the end of Bridge on the River Kwai when Alec Guinness’ character assess his career in the British Army and admits it’s been a disappointment. Ex-Apple CEO John Sculley takes a similar look at his stint at the top of Apple, and says the company made a big mistake when it hired him as CEO. It’s the most surprisingly frank admission I’ve ever heard anyone make about their career.
One of the first things Steve Jobs did on his return to Apple was kill the Newton, the brick-sized messagepad that some blame for dragging the company towards bankruptcy. But John Sculley argues that the Newton actually prevented Apple from going out of business.