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Who Killed Apple Computer?

Interesting writeup over at ArsTechnica ( ) by Eric Bangeman on the "confession" of Michael Mace ($72 )

"It's easy to blame all these failures on the company's senior execs, but frankly, I don't think they were powerful enough to inflict damage this comprehensive. Far too often, the problem was that we didn't work together toward common goals. This was partly due to the usual politics you get in any large company, but in addition we all believed we were so smart that we were unwilling to compromise and follow the visions of others. Passive resistance was the company's dominant culture. We'd sit in meetings and smile and nod at the plan of the day, then go back to our offices and swear about how stupid that idea was and how we were damned if we'd every cooperate with it.

Those of us who were managers often failed to insist that our teams work together. Instead of integrating them to cooperate toward a goal, we settled into walled fortresses, protecting our projects and budgets from attack by others. Ideas and initiatives from the outside were rejected as vigorously as your body's immune system rejects a germ.

We told ourselves that our core competency was designing user interfaces, but we were better at designing t-shirts and org charts. In ten years at Apple I worked in basically three roles, but reported into 12 different VPs.

We all wanted to be chefs. Nobody wanted to be a busboy. Our senior managers lacked the wisdom or the will to call off the game. And so our company fell. "

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, September 19, 2003

"Even today, the PC world has yet to fully deploy innovations that we worked on and failed to bring to market in the 1990s, things like component software..."

I guess COM passed him by then.

John Topley (
Friday, September 19, 2003

Gil Amelio harps on this in his book On the Firing Line: My 500 Days at Apple (I think that was the name). Interesting read.

Rob Warner
Friday, September 19, 2003

"We all wanted to be chefs. "

I am not suprised they ran into trouble if they wanted to be chefs in a computer firm. ;-)

Mike Grace
Friday, September 19, 2003 not dead...

Friday, September 19, 2003

Ha Ha I love it.

"Screw these interupt vectors.  I just want to make lamb tartar!" 

christopher baus
Friday, September 19, 2003

This reminds me of the "Bring out yer dead" scene from Search for the Holy Grail!

Apple: ...but, I'm not dead yet!

Wintel: Oh, he's just bluffing.  He'll be dead in a minute!


Friday, September 19, 2003

And the "bloody peasants" scene:

Peasant in field: "Who are you to give us orders?"

Noble on horse: "I'm your king!"

Peasant: "Who elected you, then? Some watery tart giving you a sword is no basis for a democracy."

Saturday, September 20, 2003

At least quote it correctly:

ARTHUR: Old woman!
ARTHUR: Man, sorry. What knight lives in that castle over there?
DENNIS: I’m thirty-seven.
DENNIS: I’m thirty-seven. I’m not old!
ARTHUR: Well, I can’t just call you ‘Man.’
DENNIS: Well, you could say ‘Dennis.’
ARTHUR: Well, I didn’t know you were called ‘Dennis.’
DENNIS: Well, you didn’t bother to find out, did you?
ARTHUR: I did say sorry about the ‘old woman,’ but from the
behind you looked—
DENNIS: What I object to is you automatically treat me like an inferior!
ARTHUR: Well, I am king...
DENNIS: Oh king, eh? Very nice. [stops, as do ARTHUR and PATSY] An’ how’d you get that, eh? By exploitin’ the workers, by ’angin’ on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic an’ social differences in our society! If there’s ever going to be any progress—
[Enter WOMAN, scrambling up the slope to the road on her hands and knees.]
WOMAN SERF: Dennis, there’s some lovely filth down here— Oh... [to ARTHUR, with respect] How d’you do?
ARTHUR: [To WOMAN] How do you do, good lady. I am Arthur, king of the Britons. Whose castle is that?
[DENNIS descends to the filth, kneels, and begins piling it up. ]
WOMAN: King of the who?
ARTHUR: The Britons.
WOMAN: Who are the Britons?
ARTHUR: Well, we all are. We’re all Britons and I am your king.
WOMAN: I didn’t know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous collective.
DENNIS: [To WOMAN] You’re foolin’ yourself. We’re living in a dictatorship, a self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes—
WOMAN: [To DENNIS, piling filth up also] Oh, there you go, bringing class into it again.
DENNIS: That’s what it’s all about! If only people would—
ARTHUR: [To both] Please, please good people. I am in haste. Who lives in that castle?
WOMAN: [To ARTHUR] No one lives there.
ARTHUR: Then who is your lord?
WOMAN: We don’t have a lord.
DENNIS: [To ARTHUR, ceasing his muck-piling] I told you. We’re an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive-officer-for-the-week.
DENNIS: But all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting.
ARTHUR: [impatient] Yes, I see.
DENNIS: By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs—
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: —but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more major—
ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
WOMAN: [To DENNIS] Order, eh? Who does he think he is?
[DENNIS goes back to muck-piling.]
ARTHUR: [To WOMAN] I am your king!
WOMAN: [To ARTHUR, stopping her muck-piling] Well, I didn’t vote for you.
ARTHUR: You don’t vote for kings.
WOMAN: Well, ’ow did you become king then? [goes back to muck-piling]
ARTHUR: [Staring off into the distance] The Lady of the Lake [angels sing], her arm clad in the purest, shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur [singing stops]. That is why I am your king!
DENNIS: [Ceasing his muck-piling again] Listen. Strange women lyin’ in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
ARTHUR: [To DENNIS] Be quiet!
DENNIS: Well you can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: I mean, if I went around sayin’ I was an emperor [ARTHUR comes down to him] just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they’d put me away!
[WOMAN wanders away as ARTHUR picks up DENNIS bodily]
ARTHUR: [Shaking DENNIS vigorously] Shut up! Will you shut  up!
DENNIS: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: [To everyone within earshot] Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help! Help! I’m being repressed!
[Enter other serfs.]
ARTHUR: Bloody peasant!
[ARTHUR stomps back toward PATSY.]
DENNIS: [To self] Oh, what a giveaway. [to other serfs] Did you here that? Did you here that, eh? That’s what I’m on about. Did you see him repressing me? You saw it didn’t you?

Anonymous COward
Sunday, September 21, 2003

Anonymous COward

Dude, was that long post necessary.  Just correct what was wrong.  No need to go over board...

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Was your post asking if it was neccesary neccesary ? He posted it, so one might presume he decided to post it, I doubt he thought it was neccesary in any functional sense.

I enjoyed it, and anyway, who made you post police ? some bint in a lake no doubt.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Im not convinced that your post questioning the necessity of the previous post regarding the necessity of the first post was entirely necessary either.
Clearly the second poster had decided to post (his pointless and entirely unnecessary post) questioning the necessity of the long post that brought this trend of unnecessary posting to all of our attention. 
No matter how pointless and idiotic you or I might regard the second post regarding the first post (the post that was originally questioned by the first questioning poster) the poster himself (or herself) obviously believed that his (or her) post questioning the necessity of the first post was necessary in itself.  Therefore your argument that his post was an unnecessary post is clearly unnecessary by its own arguments.
Frankly I believe that this dangerous trend of unnecessary posting needs to be brought to a halt before serious social damage occurs.

----i feel fine----

Monday, September 22, 2003

I didn't think we had a post police. I thought we were an autonomous collective.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Who Killed Apple Computer?

Apple, by standing against their partners and developers, in a market where Microsoft tried everything to win the heart of programmers.

side view
Monday, September 22, 2003

"I thought we were an autonomous collective"
If this is true then aren't all post equally valid and acceptable, posts that question the necessity of other posts and posts that question the necessity of questioning other posts?

Monday, September 22, 2003

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