After the settlement Jobs continued to court Esslinger until the designer decided to wind down his contract with Apple. That allowed frogdesign to work with NeXT at the end of 1986. Esslinger insisted on having free rein, just
as Paul Rand had. “Sometimes you have to use a big stick with Steve,” he said. Like Rand, Esslinger was an artist, so Jobs was willing to grant him indulgences he denied other mortals.
Jobs decreed that the computer should be an absolutely perfect cube, with each side exactly a foot long and every angle precisely 90 degrees. He liked cubes. They had gravitas but also the slight whiff of a toy. But the NeXT cube
was a Jobsian example of design desires trumping engineering considerations. The circuit boards, which fitted nicely into the traditional pizza-box shape, had to be reconfigured and stacked in order to nestle into a cube.
Even worse, the perfection of the cube made it hard to manufacture. Most parts that are cast in molds have angles that are slightly greater than pure 90 degrees, so that it’s easier to get them out of the mold (just as it is easier to get
a cake out of a pan that has angles slightly greater than 90 degrees). But Esslinger dictated, and Jobs enthusiastically agreed, that there would be no such “draft angles” that would ruin the purity and perfection of the cube. So
the sides had to be produced separately, using molds that cost $650,000, at a specialty machine shop in Chicago. Jobs’s passion for perfection was out of control. When he noticed a tiny line in the chassis caused by the molds,
something that any other computer maker would accept as unavoidable, he flew to Chicago and convinced the die caster to start over and do it perfectly. “Not a lot of die casters expect a celebrity to fly in,” noted one of the
engineers. Jobs also had the company buy a $150,000 sanding machine to remove all lines where the mold faces met and insisted that the magnesium
case be a matte black,
which made it
more susceptible to
September 17, 1985Dear Mike:This morning’s papers carried suggestions that Apple is considering removing me as Chairman. I don’t know the source of these reports but they are both misleading to the public and unfair to me.
You will recall that at last Thursday’s Board meeting I stated I had decided to start a new venture and I tendered my resignation as Chairman.
“The best thing ever to happen to Steve is when we fired him, told him to get lost,” Arthur Rock later said. The theory, shared by many, is that the tough love made him wiser and more mature. But it’s not that simple. At the
company he founded after being ousted from Apple, Jobs was able to indulge all of his instincts, both good and bad. He was unbound. The result was a series of spectacular products that were dazzling market flops. This was the
true learning experience. What prepared him for the great success he would have in Act III was not his ouster from his Act I at Apple but his brilliant failures in Act II.
The Board declined to accept my resignation and asked me to defer it for a week. I agreed to do so in light of the
encouragement the Board offered with regard to the proposed new venture and the indications that Apple would
invest in it. On Friday, after I told John Sculley who would be joining me, he confirmed Apple’s willingness to discuss areas of possible collaboration between Apple and my new venture.
Subsequently the Company appears to be adopting a hostile posture toward me and the new venture. Accordingly, I must insist upon the immediate acceptance of my resignation. . . .
As you know, the company’s recent reorganization left me with no work to do and no access even to regular management reports. I am but 30 and want still to contribute and achieve.
After what we have accomplished together, I would wish our parting to be both amicable and dignified.
Yours sincerely, steven p. jobs
When a guy from the facilities team went to Jobs’s office to pack up his belongings, he saw a picture frame on the floor. It
contained a photograph of Jobs and Sculley in warm conversation, with an inscription from seven months earlier: “Here’s to Great Ideas, Great Experiences, and a Great
Friendship! John.” The glass frame was shattered. Jobs had hurled it across the room
From that day,
he never spoke to
Jobs, of course, didn’t see it that way. “I haven’t got any sort of odd chip on my shoulder,” he told Newsweek. Once again he invited his favorite reporters over to his Woodside home, and this time he did not have Andy Cunningham
there urging him to be circumspect. He dismissed the allegation that he had improperly lured the five colleagues from Apple. “These people all called
me,” he told the gaggle of journalists who were milling around in his unfurnished living room. “They were thinking of leaving the company. Apple has a way of neglecting people.”
He decided to cooperate with a Newsweek cover in order to get his version of the story out, and the interview he gave was revealing. “What I’m best at doing is finding a group of talented people and making things with them,” he
told the magazine. He said that he would always harbor affection for Apple. “I’ll always remember Apple like any man remembers the first woman he’s fallen in love with.” But he was also willing to fight with its management if
need be. “When someone calls you a thief in public, you have to respond.” Apple’s threat to sue him was outrageous. It was also sad. It showed that Apple was no longer a confident, rebellious company. “It’s hard to think tha
t a $2 billion company with 4,300 employees couldn’t compete with six people in blue jeans.”
To try to counter Jobs’s spin, Sculley called Wozniak and urged him to speak out. “Steve can be an insulting and hurtful guy,” he told Time that week. He
revealed that Jobs had asked him to join his new firm—it would have been a sly way to land another blow against Apple’s current management—but he
wanted no part of such games and had not returned Jobs’s phone call. To the San Francisco Chronicle, he recounted how Jobs had blocked frogdesign from working on his remote control under the pretense that it might compete with Apple products. “I look forward to a great product and I wish
but his integrity
I cannot trust,”
Apple’s stock went up a full point, or almost 7%, when Jobs’s resignation was announced. “East Coast stockholders always worried about California flakes running the company,” explained the editor of a tech stock newsletter.
“Now with both Wozniak and Jobs out, those shareholders are relieved.” But Nolan Bushnell, the Atari founder who had been an amused mentor ten years earlier, told Time that Jobs would be badly missed. “Where is Apple’s
inspiration going to come from? Is Apple going to have all the romance of a new brand of Pepsi?”
After a few days of failed efforts to reach a settlement with Jobs, Sculley and the Apple board decided to sue him “for breaches of fiduciary obligations.” The suit spelled out his alleged transgressions:
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.
At the time, Jobs owned 6.5 million shares of Apple stock, 11% of the company, worth more than $100 million. He began to sell his shares, and within five months had dumped them all, retaining only one share so he could
attend shareholder meetings if he wanted. He was furious, and that was reflected in his passion to start what was, no matter how he spun it, a rival
company. “He was angry at Apple,” said Joanna Hoffman, who briefly went to work for the new company. “Aiming at the educational market, where Apple was
strong, was simply
Steve being vengeful.
He was doing it
“He came to the board and lied to us,” Rock growled later. “He told us he was thinking of forming a company when in fact he had already formed it. He said he was going to take a few middle-level people. It turned out to be five senior
people.” Markkula, in his subdued way, was also offended. “He took some top executives he had secretly lined up before he left. That’s not the way you do things. It was ungentlemanly.”
Over the weekend both the board and the executive staff convinced Sculley that Apple would have to declare war on its cofounder. Markkula issued a formal statement accusing Jobs of acting “in direct contradiction to his statements that he wouldn’t recruit any key Apple personnel for his
company.” He added ominously, “We are evaluating what possible actions should be taken.” Campbell was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying he “was stunned and shocked” by Jobs’s behavior.
Jobs had left his meeting with Sculley thinking that things might proceed smoothly, so he had kept quiet. But after reading the newspapers, he felt that he had to respond. He phoned a few favored reporters and invited them to his
home for private briefings the next day. Then he called Andy Cunningham, who had handled his publicity at Regis McKenna. “I went over to his unfurnished mansiony place in Woodside,” she recalled, “and I found him
huddled in the kitchen with his five colleagues and a few reporters hanging outside on the lawn.” Jobs told her that he was going to do a full-fledged press conference and started spewing some of the derogatory things he was going to say. Cunningham was appalled. “This is going to reflect badly on you,” she
told him. Finally he backed down. He decided that he would give the reporters a copy of the resignation letter and limit any on-the-record comments to a few bland statements.
Jobs had considered just mailing in his letter of resignation, but Susan Barnes convinced him that this would be too contemptuous. Instead he drove it to Markkula’s house, where he also found Al Eisenstat. There was a tense
conversation for about fifteen minutes; then Barnes, who had been waiting outside, came to the door to retrieve him before he said anything he would regret. He left behind the letter, which he had
composed on a
printed on the new
“Steve, these are not low-level people,” Sculley said.“Well, these people were going to resign anyway,” Jobs replied. “They are going to be handing in their resignations by nine this morning.”
From Jobs’s perspective, he had been honest. The five were not division managers or members of Sculley’s top team. They had all felt diminished, in fact, by the company’s new organization. But from Sculley’s perspective,
these were important players; Page was an Apple Fellow, and Lewin was a key to the higher education market. In addition, they knew about the plans for Big Mac; even though it had been shelved, this was still proprietary information.
Nevertheless Sculley was sanguine. Instead of pushing the point, he asked Jobs to remain on the board. Jobs replied that he would think about it.
But when Sculley walked into his 7:30 staff meeting and told his top lieutenants who was leaving, there was an uproar. Most of them felt that Jobs had breached his duties as chairman and displayed stunning disloyalty to the
company. “We should expose him for the fraud that he is so that people here stop regarding him as a messiah,” Campbell shouted, according to Sculley.
Campbell admitted that, although he later became a great Jobs defender and supportive board member, he was ballistic that morning. “I was fucking furious, especially about him taking Dan’l Lewin,” he recalled. “Dan’l had built
the relationships with the universities. He was always muttering about how hard it was to work with Steve, and then he left.” Campbell was so angry that he walked out of the meeting to call Lewin at home. When his wife said he was
in the shower, Campbell said, “I’ll wait.” A few minutes later, when she said he was still in the shower, Campbell again said, “I’ll wait.” When Lewin finally came on the phone, Campbell asked him if it was true. Lewin ackno
wledged it was.
Campbell hung up
Lewin’s university consortium had been a godsend to the Macintosh group, but he had become frustrated after Jobs left and Bill Campbell had reorganized marketing in a way that reduced the role of direct sales to universities. He had been meaning to call Jobs when, that Labor Day
weekend, Jobs called first. He drove to Jobs’s unfurnished mansion, and they walked the grounds while discussing the possibility of creating a new company. Lewin was excited, but not ready to commit. He was going to
Austin with Campbell the following week, and he wanted to wait until then to decide. Upon his return, he gave his answer: He was in. The news came just in time for the September 13 Apple board meeting.
Although Jobs was still nominally the board’s chairman, he had not been to any meetings since he lost power. He called Sculley, said he was going to attend, and asked that an item be added to the end of the agenda for a
“chairman’s report.” He didn’t say what it was about, and Sculley assumed it would be a criticism of the latest reorganization. Instead, when his turn came to speak, Jobs described to the board his plans to start a new company. “I’ve
been thinking a lot, and it’s time for me to get on with my life,” he began. “It’s obvious that I’ve got to do something. I’m thirty years old.” Then he referred to some prepared notes to describe his plan to create a computer for the
higher education market. The new company would not be competitive with Apple, he promised, and he would take with him only a handful of non-key
personnel. He offered to resign as chairman of Apple, but he expressed hope that they could work together. Perhaps Apple would want to buy the distribution rights to his product, he suggested, or license Macintosh software to it.
Mike Markkula rankled at the possibility that Jobs would hire anyone from Apple. “Why would you take anyone at all?” he asked.
“Don’t get upset,” Jobs assured him and the rest of the board. “These are very low-level people that you won’t miss, and they will be leaving anyway.”
The board initially seemed disposed to wish Jobs well in his venture. After a private discussion, the directors even proposed that Apple
take a 10% stake
in the new company
and that Jobs
remain on the board.
“Well, Yuan Shao then. The highest offices of state have been held in his family for four generations, and his clients are many in the empire. He is firmly posted in Jizhou, and he commands the services of many able people. Surely he is one.”
“A bully, but a coward. He is fond of grandiose schemes, but is devoid of decision. He makes for GREat things but grudges the necessary sacrifice. He loses sight of everything else in view of a little present advantage. He is not one.”
“there is Liu Biao of Jingzhou. He is renowned as a man of perfection, whose fame has spread on all sides. Surely he is a hero.”
“He is a mere semblance, a man of vain reputation. No； not he.”
“Sun Ce is a sturdy sort, the chief of all in the South Land. Is he a hero？”
“He has profited by the reputation of his father Sun Jian. Sun Ce is not a real hero.”
“What of Liu Zhang of Yizhou？”
“Though he is of the reigning family, he is nothing more than a watch dog. How could you make a hero of him？”
“What about Zhang Xiu, Zhang Lu, Han Sui, and all those leaders？”
Cao Cao clapped his hands and laughed very loudly, saying, “Paltry people like them are not worth mentioning.”
“With these exceptions I really know none.”
“Now heroes are the ones who cherish lofty
designs in their bosoms and have plans to achieve them.
They have all-embracing schemes,
and the whole world is at their mercy.”
At this Dong Cheng drew out the decree he had received and showed it. His host was deeply moved. Then Dong Cheng produced the pledge. There were only six names to it, and these were Dong Cheng, Wang Zifu, Chong Ji, Wu Shi, Wu Zilan, and Ma Teng.
“Since you have a decree like this, I cannot but do my share,” said Liu Bei, and at Dong Cheng’s request he added his name and signature to the others and handed it back.
“Now let us but get three more, which will make ten, and we shall be ready to act.”
“But you must move with GREat caution and not let this get abroad,” said Liu Bei.
the two remained talking till an early hour in the morning when the visitor left.
Now in order to put Cao Cao quite off the scent that any plot against him was in proGREss, Liu Bei began to devote himself to gardening, planting vegetables, and watering them with his own hands. Guan Yu and Zhang Fei ventured to remonstrate with him for taking to such an occupation when great matters needed attention.
“the reason for this you may not know,” replied he.
And they said no more.
One day when the two brothers were absent, and Liu Bei was busy in his garden, two generals of Cao Cao, Xu Chu and Zhang Liao, with an escort came from Cao Cao, saying, “The command of the Prime Minister is that you come at once.”
“What important affair is afoot？” asked Liu Bei nervously.
“We know nothing. We were ordered to come and request your presence.”
All he could do was to follow.
When Liu Bei arrived, Cao Cao met him and laughingly said, “That is a big business you have in hand at home.”
This remark made Liu Bei turn the color of clay.
Cao Cao took him by the hand and led him straight to the private garden, saying, “
The growth of vegetables that you are trying to learn is very difficult.”
Liu Bei breathed again. He said,
“That is hardly a business. It is only a solace.”
In A Plum Garden, Cao Cao Discusses Heroes;
Using The Host’s Forces, Guan Yu Takes Xuzhou.
“Who is it？” was the question on the lips of the conspirators.
Ma Teng’s reply was, “the Imperial Protector of Yuzhou, Liu Bei. He is here and we will ask him to help.”
“Though he is an uncle of the Emperor, he is at present a partisan of our enemy, and he will not join,” said Dong Cheng.
“But I saw something at the hunt,” said Ma Teng. “When Cao Cao advanced to acknowledge the congratulations due to the Emperor, Liu Bei’s sworn brother Guan Yu was behind him, and grasped his sword as if to cut down Cao Cao. However, Liu Bei signed to him to hold his hand and Guan Yu did. Liu Bei would willingly destroy Cao Cao, only he thinks Cao Cao’s teeth and claws are too many. You must ask Liu Bei, and he will surely consent.”
Here Wu Shi urged caution, saying, “Do not go too fast. Let us consider the thing most carefully.”
they dispersed. Next day after dark Dong Cheng went to Liu Bei’s lodging taking with him the decree. As soon as Dong Cheng was announced, Liu Bei came to GREet him and led him into a private room where they could talk freely. The two younger brothers were there as well.
“It must be something unusually important that has brought Uncle Dong Cheng here tonight,” said Liu Bei.
“If I had ridden forth by daylight, Cao Cao might have suspected something, so I came by night.”
Wine was brought in, and while they were drinking, Dong Cheng said, “Why did you check your brother the other day at the hunt, when he was going to attack Cao Cao？”
Liu Bei was startled and said, “How did you know？”
“Nobody noticed but I saw.”
Liu Bei could not prevaricate and said, “It was the presumption of the man that made my brother so angry. Guan Yu could not help it.”
the visitor covered his face and wept.
“Ah,” said he, “if all the court ministers were like Guan Yu, there would be no sighs for lack of tranquillity.”
Now Liu Bei felt that possibly Cao Cao had sent his visitor to try him, so he cautiously replied, “Where are the sighs for lack of tranquillity while Cao Cao is at the head of affairs？”
Dong Cheng changed color and rose from his seat.
“You, Sir, are a relative of His Majesty,
and so I showed you my inmost feelings. Why did you mislead me？”
But Liu Bei said, “Because I feared you might be misleading me,
and I wanted to find out.”