Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Steve Jobs jumped in bed too soon with micr$oft in the 80s, Google in the double-oughts

When Steve Jobs recruited Microsoft to be the first outside developer of applications for the Macintosh in 1981, he was concerned that they might try to copy Apple's ideas into a PC-based user interface. As a condition of getting an early start at Macintosh development, Steve Jobs made Microsoft agree not to ship any software that used a mouse until at least one year after the first shipment of the Macintosh.

In 1983, after his visit to Apple, Bill Gates made an exciting announcement at the industry's biggest trade show, Comdex -- he had a new, mouse-based graphical user interface called Windows. It worked just like the top-secret one Steve Jobs had shown him. Bill gates had stolen Steve's thunder before the Macintosh had been released yet. When Steve found out, he went ballistic. A rift that took decades to heal was formed. And the crucial lead in bringing a product to market was hampered.

Fast forward to this century. Apple allied itself with Google,

In 2001, when Google was a noob start-up with roughly $50 million in revenues, Google's co-founders met Steve Jobs and wanted him to become Google's CEO. Having just developed the iconic iPod, Jobs demurred and took Larry Page and Sergey Brin under his wing and mentored them.

In secrecy, Apple started development of the iPhone in 2004. In August 2005, Google quietly bought the Android start-up, when no one outside of Apple was supposed to know that Apple was working on the iPhone. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt joined Apple's Board in August 2006.

Apple launched the iPhone in 2007; later that year Google showed a video that compared Google-Android's original pre-iPhone "before" prototype -- it looked and operated more like a Blackberry than the "smart" phone look we all know today. That video compared the old look to a post-iPhone-launch "after" prototype that heavily-resembled the look-and-feel of iOS. This new look incorporated many of Apple's signature touch-screen innovations.

Google's leaders betrayed a longtime personal trust and friendship of Steve Jobs, stealing what he believed was Apple's most prized possession.

In Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs famously quoted,

"…I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."
Steve Jobs is widely regarded as a visionary leader but could be harsh with people working around him. Leaders with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they're feeling, what their emotions mean, and how these emotions can affect other people. For many, high levels of emotional intelligence is essential for success.

Will Apple thrive as a creative company without Jobs? Did Steve Jobs balance emotion and intelligence as a leader? I believe he did -- his mistakes were from honest efforts at cooperation and collaboration, and an emotional commitment to others. Sure he was flawed -- we all are -- but his creative instincts were coupled with his emotional side. Even with some mistakes, we all move forward, if we persevere.

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