TECH
10/15/2010 08:11 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

John Sculley, Steve Jobs' Ouster, Shares Jobs' Heroes, Ethos, Revenge-Seeking

Ex-Apple CEO John Sculley and Apple CEO Steve Jobs have a complicated relationship.

Jobs wooed Sculley from Pepsi in 1983, was later ousted by Sculley, and now, years later, the two remain somewhat at odds--Sculley says Jobs "won't talk to me" and is "still mad he got pushed out of Apple 22 years ago."

In an exclusive interview with Cult of Mac, Sculley spoke for the first time about Steve Jobs, sharing the chief executive's "secrets to success," his heroes, management style, inspiration, and more.

We've compiled some highlights from the interview, which can be read in its entirety here. Interestingly, Sculley used the terms "perfect" or "perfectionist" eight times during the interview.

Check out Cult of Mac's piece on "The Secrets of Steve Jobs' Success."

On Steve Jobs' heroes:
"Steve had huge admiration for Dr. [Edwin] Land [co-founder of Polaroid]. [...] [Jobs] became very close with Ross Perot. Ross Perot came and visited Apple several times and visited the Macintosh factory. Ross was a systems thinker. He created [EDS] and was an entrepreneur. He believed in big ideas; change the world ideas. He was another one. Akio Morita was clearly one of his great heroes. He was an entrepreneur who built Sony and did it with great products -- Steve is a products person."

On Apple's design ethos and inspiration:
"If you look at Apple and the attention to detail. The "open me first," the way the box is designed, the fold lines, the quality of paper, the printing -- Apple just goes to extraordinary lengths. It looks like you are buying something from Bulgari or one of the highest in jewelry firms. At the time, it was the Japanese.

We used to study Italian designers when we were looking for selecting a design company before we selected Hartmut Esslinger from Frog to do what was called the Snow White design. We were looking at Italian car designers. We really did study the designs of cars that they had done and looking at the fit and finish and the materials and the colors and all of that. At that time, nobody was doing this in Silicon Valley."

On the "Steve Jobs methodology":
"He always looked at things from the perspective of what was the user's experience going to be? But unlike a lot of people in product marketing in those days, who would go out and do consumer testing, asking people, "What did they want?" Steve didn't believe in that.

He said, "How can I possibly ask somebody what a graphics-based computer ought to be when they have no idea what a graphic based computer is? No one has ever seen one before." He believed that showing someone a calculator, for example, would not give them any indication as to where the computer was going to go because it was just too big a leap."

On Steve Jobs' "revenge": [Cult of Mac asks, "People say he killed the Newton - your pet project - out of revenge. Do you think he did it for revenge?"]
"Probably. He won't talk to me, so I don't know."