|Home » Learning Curve » Red Hat Diaries
What is Steve Jobs Good For?
For corporations interested in NeXT's space age technology the January 1997 'acquisition' of Apple was encouraging but Steve Jobs' subsequent mismanagement for the past ten years has been nothing but disappointment.
What is Steve Jobs good for? Temper tantrums? Lack of management skills? Obsessive behaviour? These are all things even his most devoted fans have recognised him for - but what's he good for?
Not much. Apple would be a far better more powerful financially more prosperous company if Steve Jobs were put back out to pasture as he was in the 1980s. [Mark M had the right idea all right.]
Steve Jobs does one thing well: keynotes. After that you can forget it.
Did Steve Jobs make the iPhone? Nope. Apple engineers did and some of them are very talented.
Did Steve Jobs make NeXT? Nope. Avie Tevanian and John Rubinstein and another 300 engineers did.
Did Steve Jobs make the iPod? Nope. Jonathan Ive and hundreds of other engineers did.
Is Steve Jobs holding the company back? Of course he is. Apple have horrible relations with retailers because of Steve Jobs inexcusable tantrums and tricks. Best Buy used to carry Apple products but in 1999 tired of Steve Jobs as Jobs insisted on shipping the products he wanted to ship and not the products Best Buy actually ordered. [Yes you read that right.] If you were a retailer and ordered products from a company and their dickhead CEO ignored your order and repeatedly sent you something else instead, what would you do? Besides trying to have him committed to an insane asylum?
Hewlett Packard have 23000 retail outlets in the US alone. Apple admit of only 185: their own stores. They won't even say how many (how few) resellers they have outside their own - akin to the anything but endowed fanboy refusing to shower with the rest of the knitting team.
Apple have no chief exec in charge of computer sales. They've collapsed all the previous corporate sales teams. Steve Jobs seems intent only on being able to make fanboys gawk and squeak at his January keynotes. Truly the man is today ridiculous.
Corporations who've invested serious time and money into OS X in the reasonable belief things would eventually 'take off' did not count on the 'bent' leadership of Steve Jobs. Shareholders who yelp for joy for the successes Jobs has seemingly brought the company have no clue whatsoever how much money they're actually missing out on.
Apple have discussion forums where any news of hardware or system software defects get systematically deleted. The 1984 Ridley Scott ad touted a challenge to IBM Big Brother and today under this obsessive micromismanagement of Jobs Apple are behaving precisely as they acccused their supposed enemies of doing thirty years ago - and actually worse.
Apple deny hardware defects even when everyone knows they're lying through their naughty teeth. 'Works as designed', 'within spec', and 'you're too picky' are phrases heard at all the 185 Apple stores and uncounted fanboy retailers. The Danish government recently spent a lot of money proving Apple guilty of lying - whoa but they succeeded.
Steve Jobs is an incessant horrific micromanager - don't kid yourself about him not being involved.
And that wonderful transition to 'Intel' - who did that benefit? As if IBM would have been hard pressed coming out with a PPC to put Intel to shame. [Which they've subsequently done.] It's just hard justifying hundreds of millions of dollars of investment for one twisted anal retentive who can promise only five or ten million sales. The games consoles need more power than personal computers - and they all use PPCs today. Are the coins falling in the slots yet?
And as a result a procession of some of the most ridiculous amateurish humiliating hardware defects in computer history - all categorically denied by
Apple Steve Jobs.
Jobs was most assuredly the cause of the stock options scandal. Nancy Heinen did that on her own? Oh puh-lease. Nancy was with Jobs since the NeXT days; she wasn't about to do something like that - only for Jobs and for no remuneration for herself. Neither was Fred Anderson. They did Jobs' bidding; and Jobs fucked 'em royal. Nice guy, Steve Jobs - but then again anyone who's lived close to him and seen him 'in action' in the community has always said he's a total asshole. Witness what he's doing with his properties.
Apple aren't a great company for anything any one single employee can contribute: they have some great people - along with some horrible weaknesses. But their true strength lies in their not being Microsoft. Soon purchasing agents will be sacked for not having something better to recommend than Windows and that associated M$ crap. To where look for alternatives?
Mark Shuttleworth is no sensation and that Elvis of FOSS Richard Stallman will always be a big fat joke. But there is one company that can exhibit the potential if only leadership comes into line.
Apple need a new leader. Yesterday.