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A Techy Entrepreneur

Didn't go to office today.... and am now in a techy-entreprenuer mood... Ever since I have read "from Pepsi to Apple" I have my own analysis of it, quite contrary to what the author said in the book...

Let me start by describing the book... It is about this guy (the author) called John Sculley who left an illustrious career in Pepsi to become the CEO of a then small firm Apple Computer Corp. Apple was found by Steev Jobbs a 19yr old youngster along with Mark Marculla and Steve Wozniak. After 2 yrs of its inception, both partners except Jobbs wanted to exit executive responsibility of the co. and the board was of the view that Steeve was too young to become the CEO... so they decided to hire an external CEO... mr. Scully was a potential candidate but none of the headhunters could convince him to join the co. Here Steeve came in and himself sold the idea to John Scully, who then was fascinated with Jobbs... then in course of time views of Mr. Scully and Jobbs rifted and so Scully finally got Jobbs out of his own company...The rift of ideas was on the issue of allocating resources between the two projects - Apple II (next in line of the traditional Command line PC's) and Macintosh (world's 1st mouse based GUI PC)

My own anlysis of the above episode is as follows. Though Steeve Jobbs might not have realised but he was not fighting for the Macinitosh Project, he was fighting for emphasis on software and not hardware. What Apple Corporation has not realised till today is that it is not in the business of selling computers but in the business of selling the software inside it. And this is what Steeve Jobbs was fighting for...but niether the board nor the professional Manager-Scully realised what they were selling. Had thye realised this then the world would have had GUI based systems much before Win95, and Apple would have been where Microsoft is today.
What is important here is not where Apple is headed or was headed,but the management learnings from it

1. Professional Managers are not always welcome. A new organisation should rather have a youngster as the CEO rather than a outsider, who will probably have his own mindset mostly with ideas of past than future.

2. Companies should never kill ideas. Though a lot of money is spent on new products but the usual trend is - screen ideas in their infancy, and devote large resources to the ones that get screened out. In my opinion the way ahead is - dont screen ideas in he beginning, this acts to prune creativity. Devote small resources to many ideas at a time. Let the ideas ripen and decide at a later stage which ones succeed.
In the particular case of Apple, it was very difficult to say whether Apple II was important or Macintosh, had the company not decided to do away with one at an early stage and had let both product lines grow parallely, it would have realised in 4-5 years that the Macintosh was future and Software was the heart of the PC market. It could have shifted its strategy then. But instead they did away with Macintosh intially, only to reintroduce it again later.

Well in essence, Mr. Scully tried hard to convince the world about his side of the story in his book, but I - being an entreprenuer at heart myself - will always support Jobbs,the entreprenuer............

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