Newsletter #420 Preview: Apple and Microsoft Deserve Hardball Questions

December 16th, 2007

When I used to make regular pilgrimages to the Apple campus in Cupertino, CA for a press briefing, Steve Jobs would, on occasion, take questions from the media. Now the personable salesman with the famous “reality distortion field” can sometimes take on a hostile demeanor when he’s asked a tough question.

Take the time, several years ago, when Jobs was asked about plans to discontinue the poor-selling Cube. He shot back: “You don’t know what you’re talking about!” and went on to proclaim that Apple was pleased with the sales of its diminutive computer with fashionable molded plastic exterior.

As the press expected, however, the Cube was cut from Apple’s product list within a matter of weeks.

Now it may well be that Jobs really hoped that the Cube could sustain itself in the product line, but, in the end, he had to accept the bad news from his sales department that it just wasn’t successful. This may have represented an internal battle between his emotional need to replicate the original NeXT Cube and make a go of it in its second incarnation as a Mac. Regardless, Jobs is also a responsible businessman and had to accept the inevitable in the end.

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.

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