Thanks Bill

by Guruprasad

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1997.
The most shocking moment in the history of Computer Industry!!Little did Steve Jobs know when he bitterly fought with Bill Gates in 1983, that he might have to bow down to Gates after 14 years.In 1997, when Apple was a sinking ship, it called Steve back into the company (By the way, Steve was fired in 1985 from Apple) and gave him complete freedom to rescue the ship. That was when a helpless Steve called up Gates asking for some financial help and meaningful partnerships which was codenamed “The Microsoft Deal”.

The announcement was made in MacWorld Expo 1997 and during the event, a painful Steve projected on its giant screen a video conference call with Bill via Satellite downlink and literally “bowed” down to him, thanking him for the support and agreeing to all his terms and conditions.

Here is a short clip of the event where the painful deal was announced:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxOp5mBY9IY

Inspite of getting an initial monetary support from such a giant like Microsoft (but the amount was small anyway, just $150 million which could last only a week for a big company like Apple), the industry had given up hopes on Apple and sometime in Oct 1997, Dell suggested that Apple should shut down the company!!

http://news.cnet.com/Dell-Apple-should-close-shop/2100-1001_3-203937.html

But Steve Jobs was not an ordinary man. He fixed a deadline of 100 days to reorganize the company, its product line and departments. By 1998, Apple was on the path to recovery and the rest is history.

Today, Apple is the world’s largest & most valuable tech company. On a broader sense, it is the 2nd largest company, with an Oil company being #1 and the time is not far when Apple will overtake the oil company too.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/24/apple_number_two/

Apple has proven that all you need to excel is: Passion & Innovation.

Here is an interesting short clip from 1997 where Steve Jobs talks to his employees about his strategies to rescue Apple, how brands are supposed to be, how to think different & be passionate. Very motivational:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmG9jzCHtSQ

A 1-min clip about his 1997 strategy to simplify the product line to just have minimal products. Brilliant!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkVs4ZqWgN8

Compare such a motivation strategy with the way in which the Nokia CEO handled the crisis recently by sending a mail to his employees about burning platform.

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/02/nokia-burning-platform/

You need to motivate your employees, not scare them. Past is past. You know what were the mistakes, the employees also know. No use scaring them. Motivate them to excel.

Thats what makes Steve Jobs different from other CEOs and Apple’s position today proves that the motivation in 1997 was worth it :)

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