How come the Mac group produced Mac and the people at IBM produced the PCjr? We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didn’t build Mac for anybody else. We built it for ourselves. We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. We weren’t going to go out and do market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build.
Steve Jobs, 1985
Some people are saying that we ought to put an IBM PC on every desk in America to improve productivity. It won’t work. The special incantations you have to learn this time are ‘slash q-zs’ and things like that. The manual for WordStar, the most popular word-processing program, is 400 pages thick. To write a novel, you have to read a novel, one that reads like a mystery to most people. They’re not going to learn ‘slash q-z’ any more than they’re going to learn Morse code. That is what Macintosh is all about.
Steve Jobs, 1985
It’s kind of like watching the gladiator going into the arena and saying, ‘Here it is.’ It’s really perceived as Apple’s do or die. And it goes even deeper… If we don’t do this, nobody can stop IBM.
Steve Jobs, 1984
And how are monopolies lost? Think about it. Some very good product people invent some very good products, and the company achieves a monopoly. But after that, the product people aren’t the ones that drive the company forward anymore. It’s the marketing guys or the ones who expand the business into Latin America or whatever. Because what’s the point of focusing on making the product even better when the only company you can take business from is yourself? So a different group of people start to move up. And who usually ends up running the show? The sales guy. John Akers at IBM is the consummate example. Then one day, the monopoly expires for whatever reason. But by then the best product people have left, or they’re no longer listened to. And so the company goes through this tumultuous time, and it either survives or it doesn’t. Look at Microsoft, who’s running Microsoft? (interviewer: Steve Ballmer.) Right, the sales guy. Case closed. And that’s what happened at Apple, as well.
Steve Jobs, 2004.