I think back to Detroit in the seventies, when cars were so bad. Why? The people running the companies then didn’t love cars. One of the things wrong with the PC industry today is that most of the people running the companies don’t love PCs. Does Steve Ballmer love PCs? Does Craig Barrett love PCs? Does Michael Dell love PCs? If Michael Dell wasn’t selling PCs he’d be selling something else. These people don’t love what they create. And people here do.
Steve Jobs, 2004
(about Microsoft) They are shamelessly trying to copy us. I think the most telling thing is that Tiger will ship at the end of the month and Longhorn is still two years out. They can’t even copy fast.
Steve Jobs, 2005
First I should tell you my theory about Microsoft. Microsoft has had two goals in the last 10 years. One was to copy the Mac, and the other was to copy Lotus’ success in the spreadsheet, basically, the applications business. And over the course of the last 10 years, Microsoft accomplished both of those goals. And now they are completely lost. They were able to copy the Mac because the Mac was frozen in time. The Mac didn’t change much for the last 10 years. It changed maybe 10 percent. It was a sitting duck. It’s amazing that it took Microsoft 10 years to copy something that was a sitting duck.
Steve Jobs, 2004
(about saying Microsoft have no taste) I told him I believed every word of what I’d said but that I never should have said it in public. I wish him the best, I really do. I just think he and Microsoft are a bit narrow. He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once, or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.
Steve Jobs, 1997
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.