How Steve Jobs Found Next after abondaning Apple
Steve Jobs had left Apple Computers. At age of 30, his success had , and he had got to prove himself again.
While working at Apple he had a vision and a mission, but now he had abondant the ship. And he was evaluating his own soul, about what he could do in life, and where he wanted to see himself in future. He had in his mind to start a new company but he was not sure about it
His self confidence had gone through a turmoil, with whatever happened in Apple. At Apple he after the launch of Macintosh, had figured out plans for a newer PC called the Big Macintosh.
The main problem with the Macintosh had been that it was slow, due to need for more power and memory. This was supposed to be addressed in the new Mac.
The Big Mac would be UNIX based powerful but user friendly consumer product. But when the management changed, and Macintosh division came in hands of Gassée, he discontinued it.
Engineers working over it, most of which were loyal to Steve Jobs, realised that the vision is dead, there manager just wanted profits and results, not innovation.
Rich Page, who had been working on the chipset knew that the there hardwork was in danger, and there manager didn’t understand things.
He called up Steve Jobs and asked him to Start a new Company, to rescue them all. This would help rescue them.
Jobs thought about for a while. Then he got to know there were some other members also willing to leave Apple, in total he had 5 members. They met and decided they are going to abondant the ship.
Jobs had lot of money, and net worth which he gained at Apple. He though had left Macintosh division, but still he was the Chairman of Apple. He went up for a board meeting and told, that he was planning for a new company, and would be taking few low level employees along.
He even suggested that resigning from Apple was no problem if this move was unacceptable. They members did some talks, and were okay with the decesion, they even though for taking 10% stake in the new company.
Later Steve talking with his future employees thought about, and decided not to get the investment. He had sufficient cash to fund the company with his own money. All the 5 decided, to resign together at the same time to give blow to Apple.
When they handed over resignation, the board was furious because they were not low level employees, but Jobs excused that they were to resign anyway, and also that they were disrespected after reorganization.
They were not managers, or top level executives but they had precious information regarding company. Even though this move was disliked, some people even thought that they should expose Steve Jobs. Sculley didn’t recommend him leaving board, and Steve had not made a decsion yet.
Later Apple employees tried to expose there co-founders, stating that he had misused his position, and taken away the employees for his new venture in unfair manner and much more
Jobs read the newspaper and considered it important to tell the newspapers the reality. He got a press people at his home, where he told he had already offered to resign. He considered all of the criticism misleading. He also told to media that Sculley after getting to know the names of employees leaving Apple, he had shown hope of collaboration between Apple and his new venture.
After efforts to reach settlements failed, Apple decided to sue him
Notwithstanding his fiduciary obligations to Apple, Jobs, while serving as the Chairman of Apple’s Board of Directors and an officer of Apple and pretending loyalty to the interests of Apple . . .
(a) secretly planned the formation of an enterprise to compete with Apple;
(b) secretly schemed that his competing enterprise would wrongfully take advantage of and utilize Apple’s plan to design, develop and market the Next Generation Product . . .
(c) secretly lured away key employees of Apple.
Steve Jobs was furious and knew it was unfair. He got many rounds of media reporters so that they can know the reality.
He questioned Apple that why a $2Billion worth company with 4500 employees, was scared by resignation of 5 emplloyes.
He sold all but one of his 6.5 Million shares, worth over a 100 Million USD to fund his new venture. He decided a simple name for his venture “Next”. Jobs knew that he needed a good brand image for it, he needed a good logo for the same. He got Paul Rand who was a reputed designer to #design the #logo for #next.
Jobs upon first ideas being presented, asked some further options. And Rand showed up brutal honesty, and a purity as a artist, he declined. He was determined to create the best logo. There were no options, there can’t be more than 1 great.
He created a great logo, with the alphabets split it 2 lines and spelt ‘NeXT’ rather than ‘next’. Jobs wished to make the yellow of ‘e’ in the logo brighter but Rand disagreed.
His new company and new logo were ready. Next payed $100,000 for the logo. A amount that most of people consider too big.
NeXT manufaturing was state fo the art. The whole process was done by robots, automated, with amazing precision. NeXT invested a lot of money to implement the machinery. Everything should have worked like a clock.
Except for the fact that Steve didn’t like the color of the machines. He wanted the machine cases to be perfecr cubes. He also wanted mold to produce perfect 90 degree angle of the casing. He also didn’t want any line visible at joints. For finishing those lines, he got big sanding machines that rubbed them off.
So, he had the machines repainted, and the additional coat of pain was enough to mess up the calibration of the machines, and affecting production gravely.
NeXT had to quit hardware production all together, and became a software company. And their products never really took off. NeXT itself didn’t really make any money.
Technologically, NeXT technology was awesome. It was perhaps the first Unix OS intended for the end-user. It had a lot of features that are today in Mac OS X (or macOS, however you want to call it). Networking was amazing. Multimedia was amazing. Performance was amazing. The whole object oriented design was amazing.
The collaborated with Lotus to write the code for a spreadsheet software, that would run in there PC.
The only time NeXT hit a homerun, though, was because of the merger with Apple. It was like the Roma Empire. Rome conquered Greece military, but Greece conquered Rome culturally. Same with NeXT. Apple aquired NeXT, but NeXT took over the established Apple culture at the time. NeXT technology became the foundation of Apple’s revolution. But NeXT ended up needing Apple to succeed.
One thing NeXT did was to, make its own custom chips, with custom functions, optimized for its PC named NextSTEP, Jobs would constantly reiterate the designs and functions making a trouble for employees, and being a cause of huge delay.
They were yet to ship any software and hardware, when they felt the need for cash. They put up invitations for buying 10% stake of NeXT at $3Million, valuing it at a total of $30 Million. It felt impossible to get investment, for they had nothing to show the investors.
But winds flew in there favor. Ross Perot, who liked Jobs and whatever they did, took up a costly affair to buy 16% in equity, if Jobs put up another 5 million dollar, valuing NeXT at $126 Million.
Steve had already got Lotus to code Spreadsheet for NeXT, but he still had Bill Gates on mind. Microsoft had huge profits when they did Macintosh together. Jobs met with Bill Gates and wanted to it once again. Though Bill Gates rejected Steve Jobs this time around. He had brutal honesty similar to Jobs, and could find faults in design of the case or storage, and other things.
Bill Gates felt highly unimpressed by NeXT, and called it the best incompatible computer. Microsoft had a approach of making things open to public, while NeXT wanted to control everything.
Jobs calculated what he would need to do in order to win battle with Microsoft. First was to license out software of NeXT to another hardware maker, and get into bed with IBM.
At a event Jobs got a chance to meet IBM executive at a party, where he was able to bad mouth Microsoft. And to his suprise, he asked how NeXT could help them. Steve had a meeting arranged. There he along with Bud Tribble, showed of there software. They were impressed by NeXT’s object oriented graphics.
IBM was impressed and wanted to license software. Managers could use it in workstation, if they liked the software. Soon, IBM sent a 125 page contract. Steve without reading said, he wanted a simpler agreement, he received it soon.
The NextSTEP computer, was shipped in October 1988. He wanted to shut the mouth of his criticizers. He wanted the launch to be perfect and the impact should be great. He took care of everything from staging to lights, and projections perfect. Jobs wanted to a demonstration for same.
He knew if wrong it will be huge mess, but he was ready for it. Jobs on stage started with history of computers and then came to what they had done.
He told public that it was the best they could have ever made, and his perfection reflected very well in it. The front row was cheering, for Jobs specially because they saw him after so much #time on #stage.
In the #demo of #NeXTSTEP, he even showed the ability of there #computer to record voice and send them as mail. Many features like digital books, etc. made it wonderful. Audience appreciated it. Though one thing that was not appreciated was price. They had been over priced at over $6k.
Another bad news included that the #software was yet in beta version. The software was not expected to be fully ready by mid 1989. #SteveJobs gave lots of interviews thereafter to create a good image and #buzz for his computer.
There computer shipped in middle of next year.