Former senior engineer at Apple, Michael Lopp:
In my years at Apple, the Caffe Macs chatter about Forstall was that he was the only legit successor to Jobs because he displayed a variety of Jobsian characteristics. Namely:
- He was an asshole, but…
- Success seemed to surround him
[…] he was the best approximation of Steve Jobs that Apple had left.
To me, this is kind of a weird way to look at it. Steve Jobs was successful and a bit of an asshole, thus Forstall should have succeeded Jobs because he is successful and a bit of an asshole.
The problem with looking at it this way, is that Jobs — while he might not have agreed with everyone — showed those who deserved it respect. Forstall, if stories from inside apple are to be believed, didn’t: if you treat Jony Ive or Bob Mansfield in a way that would have them refuse to be in a room with you, you obviously aren’t showing them respect. And these are people who really do deserve it.
Steve Jobs wasn’t a success because he was an asshole. He was a success despite that.
The word that worried me the most in the press release was in the first sentence. The word was “collaboration”. Close your eyes and imagine a meeting with Steve Jobs. Imagine how it proceeds and how decisions are made. Does the word collaboration ever enter your mind? Not mine.
The word “collaboration” might not, but the word “integration” does. Apple’s success — when not being attributed to fanboyism and iSheep — is most often attributed to the tight integration of hardware and software creating a better user experience than their more fragmented competitors.
If the software guy for iOS can’t get on with the guy that designs the hardware, or the guy that designs the processors, or the guy software guy for OS X that doesn’t exactly promote integration.