John Sculley interviewed by Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac has a fascinating and surprisingly open interview with John Sculley who was Apple CEO from 1983 to 1993. He was originally brought in because the board felt that Jobs was too young to run the company. It’s a very long interview so here’s a few highlights:

The one that Steve admired was Sony. We used to go visit Akio Morita and he had really the same kind of high-end standards that Steve did and respect for beautiful products. I remember Akio Morita gave Steve and me each one of the first  Sony Walkmans.  

Slightly amusing in the modern-day context of the iPod. Now an example of Steve Jobs perfectionism:

The Apple logo was multicolor because the Apple II was the first color computer. No one else could do color, so that’s why they put the color blocks into the logo. If you wanted to print the logo in a magazine ad or on a package you could print it with four colors but Steve being Steve insisted on six colors. So whenever the Apple logo was printed, it was always printed in six colors. It added another 30 to 40 percent to the cost of everything, but that’s what Steve wanted. That’s what we always did. He was a perfectionist even from the early days. 

And a snippet about the relationship between Apple and ARM:

The Newton actually saved Apple from going bankrupt. Most people don’t realize in order to build Newton, we had to build a new generation microprocessor. We joined together with  Olivetti and a man named  Herman Hauser, who had started Acorn computer over in the U.K. out of Cambridge university… …when Apple got into desperate financial situation, it sold its interest in ARM for $800 million.  

Sculley on his experiences at Pepsi:

One of the things that fascinated him: I described to him that there’s not much difference between a Pepsi and a Coke, but we were outsold 9 to 1. Our job was to convince people that Pepsi was a big enough decision that they ought to pay attention to it, and eventually switch.  

The rest of the article is here

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