A few weeks later Jobs and his family went to Hawaii for Christmas vacation. Larry Ellison was also there, as he had been the year before. “You know, Larry, I think I’ve found a way for me to get back into Apple and get control of it   without you having to buy it,” Jobs said as they walked along the shore. Ellison recalled, “He explained his strategy, which was getting Apple to buy NeXT, then he would go on the board and be one step away from being CEO.” Ellison thought   that Jobs was missing a key point. “But Steve, there’s one thingRead More →

By Thanksgiving of 1996 the two companies had begun midlevel talks, and Jobs picked up the phone to call Amelio directly. “I’m on my way to Japan, but I’ll be back in a week and I’d like to see you as soon as I return,”   he said. “Don’t make any decision until we can get together.” Amelio, despite his earlier experience with Jobs, was thrilled to hear from him and entranced by the possibility of working with him. “For me, the phone call   with Steve was like inhaling the flavors of a great bottle of vintage wine,” he recalled. He gave his assuranceRead More →

Apple’s chief technology officer, Ellen Hancock, argued for going with Sun’s UNIX-based Solaris operating system, even though it did not yet have a friendly user interface. Amelio began to favor using, of all things, Microsoft’s Windows   NT, which he felt could be rejiggered on the surface to look and feel just like a Mac while being compatible with the wide range of software available to Windows users. Bill Gates, eager to make a deal, began personally calling Amelio.   There was, of course, one other option. Two years earlier Macworld magazine columnist (and former Apple software evangelist) Guy Kawasaki had published a parody pressRead More →

It had taken Microsoft a few years to replicate Macintosh’s graphical user interface, but by 1990 it had come out with Windows 3.0, which began the company’s march to dominance in the desktop market. Windows 95, which was released in 1995,   became the most successful operating system ever, and Macintosh sales began to collapse. “Microsoft simply ripped off what other people did,” Jobs later said. “Apple deserved it. After I left, it didn’t invent anything new. The   Mac hardly improved. It was a sitting duck for Microsoft.” His frustration with Apple was evident when he gave a talk to a Stanford Business SchoolRead More →

He was also gloomy in an interview with Tony Perkins and the editors of Red Herring. First, he displayed the “Bad Steve” side of his personality. Soon after Perkins and his colleagues arrived, Jobs slipped out the back door “for a walk,”   and he didn’t return for forty-five minutes. When the magazine’s photographer began taking pictures, he snapped at her sarcastically and made her stop. Perkins later noted, “Manipulation, selfishness, or downright rudeness, we couldn’t figure   out the motivation behind his madness.” When he finally settled down for the interview, he said that even the advent of the web would do little toRead More →

When Jobs unveiled the NeXT computer in 1988, there was a burst of excitement. That fizzled when the computer finally went on sale the following year. Jobs’s ability to dazzle, intimidate, and spin the press began to fail him, and there was a series   of stories on the company’s woes. “NeXT is incompatible with other computers at a time when the industry is moving toward interchangeable systems,” Bart Ziegler of Associated Press reported. “Because relatively little software exists to run on   NeXT, it has a hard time attracting customers.” NeXT tried to reposition itself as the leader in a new category, personal workstations,Read More →

The new team at Disney—Michael Eisner the CEO and Jeffrey Katzenberg in the film division—began a quest to get Lasseter to come back. They liked Tin Toy, and they thought that something more could be done with animated stories of toys that come   alive and have human emotions. But Lasseter, grateful for Jobs’s faith in him, felt that Pixar was the only place where he could create a new world of computer-generated animation. He told Catmull, “I can go to Disney and be a director, or I can stay here   and make history.” So Disney began talking about making a production deal withRead More →

After a few minutes of pleasantries—far more than Jobs usually engaged in—he abruptly announced the reason for his visit. He wanted Amelio to help him return to Apple as the CEO. “There’s only one person who can rally   the Apple troops,” Jobs said, “only one person who can straighten out the company.” The Macintosh era had passed, Jobs argued, and it was now time for Apple to create something new that was just as innovative.   “If the Mac is dead, what’s going to replace it?” Amelio asked. Jobs’s reply didn’t impress him. “Steve didn’t seem to have a clear answer,” Amelio later said.Read More →

Even as Pixar’s hardware and software product lines foundered, Jobs kept protecting the animation group. It had become for him a little island of magical artistry that gave him deep emotional pleasure, and he was willing to nurture it and bet on it.     decree deep spending cuts across the board. When it was over, Lasseter and his animation group were almost too afraid to ask Jobs about authorizing some extra   money for another short. Finally, they broached the topic and Jobs sat silent, looking skeptical. It would require close to $300,000 more out of his pocket. After a few minutes, he askedRead More →

At one point the members of the Pixar animation team were trying to convince Intel to let them make some of its commercials, and Jobs became impatient. During a meeting, in the midst of berating an Intel marketing director, he picked up the phone   and called CEO Andy Grove directly. Grove, still playing mentor, tried to teach Jobs a lesson: He supported his Intel manager. “I stuck by my employee,” he recalled. “Steve doesn’t like to be treated like a supplier.” Grove also played mentor when Jobs proposed that Pixar give Intel suggestions on how to improve the capacity of its processors to renderRead More →