Steve Jobs' Reaction to MobileMe Launch, Life at Apple After Jobs, and Other Anecdotes

193734 mobileme

MacStories details a new feature story from Fortune about Apple's management including a number of previously unknown anecdotes about Steve Jobs. The story is presently only available as an in-app purchase in the Fortune Magazine App [iTunes], but should appear online and in print shortly.

One interesting story is about Steve Jobs' reaction to the poor MobileMe rollout in 2008 which was marred with slow services and downtime.

In Fortune's story, Lashinsky says Steve Jobs summoned the entire MobileMe team for a meeting at the company's on-campus Town Hall, accusing everyone of "tarnishing Apple's reputation." He told the members of the team they "should hate each other for having let each other down", and went on to name new executives on the spot to run the MobileMe team. A few excerpts from the article.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?" Having received a satisfactory answer, he continues, "So why the f*** doesn't it do that?"

Jobs was also particularly angry about the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg not liking MobileMe:

"Mossberg, our friend, is no longer writing good things about us."

Jobs reportedly appointed a new executive on the spot to run the MobileMe team. Another particularly interesting piece was the fact that Apple is actively planning and teaching its employees for "life at Apple after Jobs.":

Steve Jobs hired dean of Yale School of Management Joel Podolny to run the Apple University, an internal group also featuring business professors and Harvard veterans that are writing a series of case studies to prepare employees for the life at Apple after Jobs. These case studies focus on Apples recent business decisions and internal culture, they are exclusive to employees and taught by top executives like Tim Cook and Ron Johnson.

MacStories also summarizes some of the other anecdotes from the feature article.

Top Rated Comments

/V\acpower Avatar
132 months ago
I can't imagine what happened to the "Ping" team...
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mdriftmeyer Avatar
132 months ago
Yes, he does take the heat. However, there are better ways of going about it... you don't *degrade* your employees.

Hate to destroy your vision of the OCD, angry, mercurial Steven P. Jobs with a whip persona, but the man on a daily basis talks and commends people across all lines of work he has his interest in.

He calls a spade a spade. He is always the first to praise his staff for superb work. Do you expect him to give them all a Capri Sun and we'll get'em next time kids when they deserve to be challenged for their efforts?

There are an awful lot of multi-millionaires working at Apple ever since Steve returned.

Nearly 33% of the staff was about to take 12 week sabbaticals when NeXT took over. They were all walking out of the company.

He ended that ridiculous program and told them they can walk now.

Most stayed and realized the man had vision far beyond the stories they had read.

The rest is proof of his broad vision.

Either you are a focus person or one who needs coddling. This isn't high school.

You either speak up and find your niche working there and leave because of other circumstances [as I did] or you moan and complain about the great Tyrant Steve Jobs that only ever existed amidst people who grew up always being praised as if they were mini-gods for just being able to participate in a school sport.

Merit gets rewarded handsomely with Steven P. Jobs corporations.

You earn your pay and take pride in your work. If you have no pride to be the best, don't apply.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Eddyisgreat Avatar
132 months ago
"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?” Having received a satisfactory answer, he continues, “So why the ******* doesn’t it do that?"

As a paying customer from the start of MobileMe, I find this incredibly amusing and wish I could've been in the room when this smack down was being hand delivered hot and fresh.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ethana Avatar
132 months ago
Grow up? No.. I've worked for long enough to know what you do and don't do to your employees. Sure, you don't wrap them up in cotton wool.... of course not.. but you don't go for the other extreme as well. You find out what went wrong and handle it *maturely* without lashing out. A *good* company will *learn* from its mistakes... Lashing out / degrading employees shows the culture of a company.

Steve Jobs created a billion dollar company. I doubt he's going to change his personality and management style. He knows what he needs to do to be successful, even if that means a few people won't like him.

That's why he has billions of dollars and you don't.

Business.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mdriftmeyer Avatar
132 months ago
Talking to employees like that is a good way for them to leave. A company that treats employees badly get a reputation, unfortunately, larger companies get a way with it. For example, EA. But they can still hire because who they are.

Perhaps the MobileMe problems were further up the chain?

Sounds like Apple has a culture of blame. A kind of company any employee wants to avoid like the plague.
Horse crap. If you have to have your ass chewed to get motivated it's clear you didn't put your best effort into your projects. He takes all the heat for any decision that Apple makes and produces for his stock holders.

You think he's going to coach everyone up like a life coach or your best friend?

You think Google, MS, IBM, Intel, AMD, Nvidia, etc., don't do the same thing? If so, then you've never been in the trenches.

You either fold or focus. He is the best at getting people to focus and they have the lowest attrition rate in the industry.

From MacStories:


Other anecdotes from the story:


* Just two people wrote the code to convert Safari for the iPad
* At Apple there’s never confusion “as to who is responsible for what.” In Apple’s parlance, a DRI’s name (directly responsible individual) always appear on the agenda for a meeting, so that everyone knows who’s the right contact for a project
* Steve Jobs meets with executives on Mondays to review every important project. On Wednesdays, he holds a marketing and communications meeting
Every Friday we turned in our progress reports in QA at NeXT and later at Apple when I was in Professional Services.

When we stopped doing that is when several of us, myself included, left.

Keeping a running history of timelines and achievements motivated everyone, especially when our name was on the report.

Everyone's work was available for review.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Atlantico Avatar
132 months ago
Apple after Steve Jobs will do fine, in fact it will be a very very interesting time. There are thousands of very talented people working at Apple, so I feel confident that things will work out just fine when he retires. :)
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 63 Feature

Top Stories: Beats Studio Buds Announced, Apple Watch Series 7 Rumors, and More

Saturday June 19, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The Apple news cycle started to move beyond WWDC this week, but that doesn't mean there still wasn't a lot to talk about, led by the official debut of the much-leaked Beats Studio Buds that might give us a hint of what to expect for the second-generation AirPods Pro. With no hardware announcements at WWDC, we also took a look at when we might finally see the long-rumored redesigned MacBook...
ios wifi settings

iOS Bug Causes Specific Network Name to Disable Wi-Fi on iPhones

Sunday June 20, 2021 4:15 am PDT by
A wireless network naming bug has been discovered in iOS that effectively disables an iPhone's ability to connect to Wi-Fi. Security researcher Carl Schou found that after joining a Wi-Fi network with the name "%p%s%s%s%s%n" his iPhone's Wi-Fi functionality was left "permanently disabled." Changing a hotspot's SSID did nothing to correct the problem, with even a reboot failing to make a...
macbook air orange

Apple Developing a Whole New Kind of MacBook Air

Monday June 21, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Apple is believed to be working on a completely new, high-end version of the MacBook Air, according to recent reports. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, has repeatedly discussed the company's work on a high-end MacBook Air. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and leaker Jon Prosser have also referred to a similar MacBook Air model. The high-end...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Says iOS Picture-in-Picture Coming to All US Users

Friday June 18, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
After a long wait, YouTube for iOS is officially gaining picture-in-picture support, allowing all users, non-premium and premium subscribers, to close the YouTube app and continue watching their video in a small pop-up window. In a statement to MacRumors, YouTube says that picture-in-picture is currently rolling out to all premium subscribers on iOS and that a larger rollout to all US iOS...
maxresdefault

Video: 20 Annoyances Apple Fixed in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey

Friday June 18, 2021 11:36 am PDT by
With iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, Apple is adding several quality of life improvements, which are designed to address some of the complaints that people have had with these operating systems for years now. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, we're highlighting some of our favorite "fix" features that address long-running problems in iOS and...
iOS 15 Users Underwhelmed Feature

Users Underwhelmed by iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Survey Suggests

Monday June 21, 2021 7:17 am PDT by
Users appear to be underwhelmed by Apple's upcoming iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 updates, according to the findings of a new survey by SellCell. The survey asked 3,000 iPhone and iPad users, evenly split between men and women, aged 18 or over in the United States, what they thought of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and the naming of the upcoming iPhone 13 lineup. Over 50 percent of all of the survey's...
purple iphone 12 and 12 mini

iPhone 12 Mini Production Reportedly Ended Earlier Than Expected Due to Relatively Low Sales

Monday June 21, 2021 7:07 am PDT by
Following widespread reports that the iPhone 12 mini has experienced poor sales performance, at least relative to other iPhone 12 models, Taiwanese research firm TrendForce today claimed that production of the device has already ended. According to TrendForce, the iPhone 12 mini "reached End-of-Life ahead of time" during the second quarter of 2021, suggesting that Apple will focus on selling ...
primeday2020 feature3

Amazon Prime Day: The Best Apple Deals

Monday June 21, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
Amazon's annual Prime Day event has officially kicked off today, beginning 48 hours of discounts, offers, and tons of savings across Amazon's storefront. This includes everything from home electronics to clothing, jewelry, video games, movies, and much more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

When Can We Expect the Redesigned MacBook Pros Now?

Wednesday June 16, 2021 7:11 am PDT by
With no sign of redesigned MacBook Pro models at this year's WWDC, when can customers expect the much-anticipated new models to launch? A number of reports, including investor notes from Morgan Stanley and Wedbush analysts, claimed that new MacBook Pro models would be coming during this year's WWDC. This did not happen, much to the disappointment of MacBook Pro fans, who have been...
space gray magic accessories trio

Apple Stops Selling Magic Accessories in Space Gray

Friday June 18, 2021 9:16 am PDT by
Apple this week stopped selling its Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2 accessories for the Mac in a Space Gray color, around three months after discontinuing the iMac Pro, which also came in Space Gray. Last month, Apple listed the Space Gray accessories as available while supplies last, and the company has now removed the product pages from its website...