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Leading Apple With Steve Jobs: Management Lessons From a Controversial Genius by Jay Elliot

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Chapter 12

When Selling Becomes More Important than the Product

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

—Steve Jobs

In the early days, Steve and I had often talked about how well the Macintosh team was performing because they were focused on a single product. He didn’t like the technology decisions being made by the teams developing the new Apple III and Lisa computers, but at least each of the teams was focused on a single product. Steve’s dream was that he would eventually see the product-focused team become the standard throughout Apple.

Meanwhile, Steve recognized that the company had achieved amazing success despite never having a CEO with sound credentials for running a company, such as Apple. He set his sights on finding a seasoned business leader who understood consumer marketing. The man he found, John Sculley, certainly fit that description.

If you are familiar with the Apple story, you know that Steve and John at first got along like a pair of long-lost brothers. Journalists wrote about the two that it was as if they were “joined at the hip.” They were learning from each other and were each other’s greatest admirer. Those glory days lasted some two years.

But Steve had forgotten about his dream of keeping ...

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