John Sculley On Steve Jobs: CultofMac's Exclusive Interview | Cult of Mac

John Sculley On Steve Jobs: CultofMac’s Exclusive Interview


John Sculley, Apple's ex-CEO, talks for the first time about Steve Jobs. Illustration by Matthew Phelan.

On Thursday, we’ll be publishing an exclusive interview with ex-Apple CEO John Sculley. It’s the first time Sculley has talked publicly about Steve Jobs since he was forced out of Apple in 1993.

In the interview, Sculley reveals the secrets of Jobs’ methodology, and a few surprises:

  • How Jobs modeled Apple on Italian car companies, not other computer makers
  • Why Jobs demanded the Mac team have no more than 100 people
  • Jobs’ other brilliant invention from the Mac era that no one ever talks about
  • The biggest mistake Apple ever made
  • How the Newton saved Apple from going bankrupt
  • Why it would have been impossible to license the Mac to other PC manufacturers

Jobs wooed Sculley from Pepsi to run Apple with one of the most famous lines in business: “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”

Jobs and Sculley ran Apple together as co-CEOs, blending cutting edge technology (the first Mac) with cutting edge advertising (the famous 1984 ad). But it soon soured, and Sculley is best known today for forcing Jobs’ resignation after a boardroom battle for control of the company.

“There are many product development and marketing lessons I learned working with Steve in the early days,” says Sculley. “It’s impressive how he still sticks to his same first principles years later.”

He adds, “I don’t see any change in Steve’s first principles — except he’s gotten better and better at it.”

The interview coincides with Bloomberg TV’s Game Changers documentary on Jobs, which also features Sculley (I’m in it too). Here’s the trailer: