In 2008, when Apple launched MobileMe, its own advanced email system, it was a dud.
It cost $100 annually, but there were syncing issues, and emails were being lost. The Wall Street Journal’s legendary tech guru, Walt Mossberg, said he couldn’t recommend the service because it had “too many flaws.”
In response to the MobileMe flop, Steve Jobs assembled the team that worked on the service and chewed them out, according to Adam Lashinsky at Fortune, who has a big story on Apple, available only on newsstands or the iPad right now.*
He gathered the troops at the auditorium Apple uses on its campus to do demos of small products for the press.
He asked the team what MobileMe was supposed to do. Someone answered, and Jobs said to that person (and everyone else), “So why the fuck doesn’t it do that?”
He continued, “You’ve tarnished Apple’s reputation … You should hate each other for having let each other down … Mossberg, our friend, is no longer writing good things about us.”
Right there and then he named a new executive to run the MobileMe service.
Lashinsky says most of the team that built the original service was disbanded.
* The story is available for downloading by Fortune subscribers (free) and single-copy purchases.