The next year, he started leading a “computer appliance” project — an easy-to-use device that would sell for a mere $US1,000.
It would be called the Macintosh.
And it could change the world — and make Apple a ton of money.
“It does not take much imagination to see that a portable computer will open up entire new application areas, and once again give Apple access to a totally untapped, yet ripe, market,” Raskin wrote in a memo to Steve Jobs that was uncovered by Fast Company.
But as journalists Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli note in their new biography “Becoming Steve Jobs,” then-CEO Michael Scott encouraged Jobs to consider working on the project after he was taken off of the team for the ill-fated Apple Lisa.
But Jobs wanted to be in charge of the Macintosh. So he started undermining Raskin, reportedly contradicting him in public.
Then Jobs lobbied Scott, saying that he should lead the Macintosh team.
Scott sided with Jobs. Frustrated, Raskin left Apple in 1982.
“But before he left he fired off a memo to his bosses that still stands as an angry summary of Steve’s weaknesses,” Schlender and Tetzeli report.
Here’s the memo, as it appears in “Becoming Steve Jobs”:
“While Mr. Jobs’s stated positions on management techniques are all quite noble and worthy, in practice he is a dreadful manager … He is a prime example of a manager who takes the credit for his optimistic schedules and then blames the workers when deadlines are not met,” he wrote, adding that Steve “misses appointments … does not give credit … has favourites … and doesn’t keep promises.”
To Schlender and Tetzeli, Jobs was right to get rid of Raskin. Jobs knew that he could help the Mac reach its full world-changing potential.
Raskin’s goals, on the other hand, were too modest. So he was forced out.
“Steve never really cared if people thought he was selfish or if his elbows were a little too sharp,” Schlender and Tetzeli write. “He was willing to do whatever he felt it took to achieve his goals.”
In a Time Magazine article, Raskin furthered his evaluation of how Jobs did business, saying he “would have made an excellent King of France.”
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