Photo: Adam Tow, All Things Digital
Steve Jobs’ life and career is marked by smart decision after smart decision.But, he’s not immune from making a few bone headed moves.
From hiring the wrong guy to blowing acquisitions, Jobs has made a couple of mistakes over his long career.
We’ve put together the 10 worst decisions Jobs has made in his life. If we’ve missed anything, let us know in the comments!
Steve Jobs fathered a child when he was just 23. But he spent years denying that he was the father, going so far as to swear in a court document he was, 'sterile and infertile, and as a result thereof, did not have the physical capacity to procreate a child.' That was not true, obviously. When he was becoming rich from Apple, the mother of his daughter was going on welfare.
He later acknowledged he was in the wrong, and became closer with his daughter.
Steve Jobs was young at the time and under the impression that he needed adult supervision to run Apple. With John Sculley he got someone that didn't understand Apple. Eventually Sculley pushed for Jobs' ouster.
A decade later Jobs said, 'What can I say? I hired the wrong guy. He destroyed everything I spent 10 years working for, starting with me.'
Steve Jobs decision to dump all of his Apple stock probably seemed like a good idea when the company dumped him in the mid-eighties. Today? It's not looking too sharp. He's rich, but could be RICH.
After Steve Jobs was booted from Apple, he got back into the computer business with NeXT, which developed super high end, and super expensive, computer workstations. Sales were not very good, and eventually the company started focusing on software.
It was a rare miss for Jobs, but ultimately NeXT worked out. He sold it to Apple for $429 million and used the software as the basis for OSX, which in turn was the basis for iOS.
If only Jobs had pulled the plug on Apple's exclusive relationship one year earlier, the U.S. smartphone landscape might be radically different. Motorola released the first DROID phone for Verizon at the end of 2009. It was the first Android phone that we remember seeing in the wild. It was Verizon's answer to the iPhone.
If Apple had promised to deliver the iPhone to Verizon at the start of 2010, would Verizon have gone all-in with Android? Would Google have sold as many phones? Probably not. But Jobs waited and now Apple's market share in the smartphone world is standing still.
This is water under the bridge now, but for a short while Steve Jobs was in hot water over a 'backdating' scandal with stock options.
It seems like a relatively harmless infraction, but other CEOs were going down for the same mistake. Considering Steve Jobs doesn't really need the money, it's a silly and stupid mistake on his part to have even risked it.
Google now competes with Apple in just about every major business line for Apple. Both make software for tablets, smartphones, and desktop computers.
Apple foolishly gave Google a front row seat on how it operates those businesses by allowing Eric Schmidt to sit on the board for three years.
Apple had a 45-day period to do due diligence on AdMob. After those 45 days were up, it still didn't finalise its purchase of AdMob, and Google swooped in.
Not exactly the end of the world for Apple, but it was a pretty big brain fart.
Apple had its sterling reputation severely tarnished by Antennagate last year. The iPhone 4 became synonymous with dropped calls and signal problems. (Sneer if you want, but when we'd pull out the new iPhone a lot of people would ask us if we could even use it to make phone calls.)
Steve Jobs did Apple no favours by telling a customer, 'Just avoid holding it in that way,' when a customer emailed to say the signal dropped when the phone was held tightly with the bottom left covered.
Steve Jobs is worth billions. And yet, he seems to keep it all for himself. He is not attached to any big donations.
It's possible he privately and quietly donates to charities, but most wealthy people let the world know when they're making donations for two reasons: 1. It makes them seem like great people, and 2. It raises awareness about the cause they're donating to.
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