John Sculley, the man responsible for firing Steve Jobs in 1985, opened up about his time in Silicon Valley in an interview with Electricpig. Sculley was eventually pushed out of Apple in 1993, but he remains admiring of the current CEO, Jobs.
"The hard part in technology is not figuring out what’s going to happen, the hardest part is finding out when it’s going to happen, and who’s going to make it happen," he said. "Now, we’re in a new era, mobile, and it was launched by one person, Steve Jobs."
In a former era, Sculley got to know both Jobs and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. From the beginning, it was clear the two saw the world differently, though both wanted to "change the world."
Jobs' vision of the computer was focused entirely on experience--and still is.
“Steve’s metaphor for it was that the personal computer was going to be the bicycle of the mind," said Sculley. "Steve said ‘No compromise, I want the computer to be the easiest thing you ever used’, and to do that, you had to control the whole experience. If you look at Apple today, it’s still got those same principles.”
Sculley said that Gates, on the other hand, was "all about landgrab," creating Microsoft around "shrink wrapped software." Today, Sculley noted, the two companies still have distinct cultures.
Sculley spoke enthusiastically about the digital age, focusing on the rapid pace at which new technologies are embraced by the public.
“It took two years for the iPhone, it took one year for the iPad….there’s never been anything like that," he said. "The speed of adoption in this mobile era is totally unprecedented.”