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Apple’s decision to fire Scott Forstall may have been a mistake, according to Michael Lopp, a director at Palantir, and formerly a senior engineer at Apple.Forstall “was the best approximation of Steve Jobs that Apple had left,” says Lopp. “In my years at Apple, the Caffe Macs chatter about Forstall was that he was the only legit successor to Jobs.” Caffe Macs is the Apple cafeteria.
Why was Forstall seen as the next Steve Jobs? Because he was a jerk, but he was always successful, and no one could figure out how he did it.
While Forstall was disliked by his fellow executives, Lopp thought that was a good thing. He believes that Apple’s ability to innovate came from tension and disagreement.
He points to Apple’s press release announcing the departure of Forstall. The first sentence of release reads, “Apple today announced executive management changes that will encourage even more collaboration between the Company’s world-class hardware, software and services teams.”
Lopp zeroed in on the word, “collaboration,” and cautioned that it could spell doom for Apple: “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.”
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