Though Steve was incredibly astute at interviewing and hiring people, he wasn’t immune to mistakes, especially in those early Macintosh days when he was still honing his management skills.
When he was looking for someone to head up marketing for the Macintosh, Steve’s eyes had lighted on Mike Murray, a bright MBA student who attended one of the roundtable seminars Steve was giving now and then at Stanford University, not far from the Apple campus. Mike had a diverse and impressive background. He had grown up in Oregon and had picked up early business experience from his family’s creamery company. After getting an engineering degree from Stanford, he returned to Oregon and began working in the timber business for a time, then made an unlikely leap into the techno world by taking a job with Hewlett-Packard. That, in turn, led to a decision to get a business degree, which brought him back to Stanford.
Mike appeared to be a perfect match for Steve’s small team. He had a million ideas for market approaches and programs for the Mac. At HP, he had worked on a project very similar to the Mac. Perhaps as a result, the marketing ideas he brought to Apple would turn out to be more suited to a traditional technology company like HP than to Apple.
His fundamental idea was to position and market the Macintosh, not to home users, but primarily as an appliance for knowledge workers—the term management guru Peter Drucker and others were using to describe what they envisioned ...