John Sculley on Steve Jobs
“Looking back, it was a big mistake that I was ever hired to be CEO [of Apple]… When Steve left I still didn’t know very much about computers. My decision was first to fix the company, but I didn’t know how to fix companies… I’m actually convinced that if Steve hadn’t come back when he did — if they had waited another six months — Apple would have been history. It would have been gone, absolutely gone”
Hindsight is 20/20.John Sculley and Steve Jobs have what you most definitely call “history”. The early days of their relationship (after Jobs lured Sculley to Apple from his CEO Pepsi gig with the now-famous line: “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”) and subsequent blowout (ultimately leading to Jobs exit from Apple) is now tech legend. So it’s fascinating to hear John Sculley ruminate on those early days and (having the benefit of hindsight) share with us why Steve Jobs himself is now legendary. Mistakes, egos, destiny, good timing and luck all came into play. It’s a tech soap opera!
(The photo above is of Steve Jobs and John Sculley sitting on a park bench in Central Park, New York City, 1984 with a MAC under wraps next to them).