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Some employees have already quit after hearing one too many "Steve wouldn't like that" from iOS SVP

In the gaping leadership hole left by the death of Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) co-founder and driving force Steven P. Jobs, there's significant questions about who will step up and be the most "Jobsian".  

I. The Disciple Has Borrowed Much From His Former Master

While Apple appointed Tim Cook to succede Mr. Jobs at the CEO spot, the quiet mild-mannered businessman seems an odd cog to replace flashy, obsessive, dictatorial, performance-driven former chief.  But Apple's long-time marketing chief Phil Schiller and the head of internet services Eddy Cue don't feel like a much better fit.

Some are arguing that the iOS chief -- Scott Forstall -- is the most "Jobsian" and thus may be destined to one day lead the company.  At the iPhone 4S unveil, Mr. Forstall, an Apple Senior Vice President, dropped into hyperbole and flashy presentations of the iPhone features that reminded many -- according to Bloomberg Business Week -- of Mr. jobs.

Scott Forstall
Scott Forstall, iOS SVP [Source: Fast Company]

The similarities are no coincidence.  Reportedly Mr. Forstall -- 42 and the youngest Apple SVP -- was taken under the wing of Mr. Jobs, who served as his mentor.  Andy Miller former head of Apple's iAd group describes Mr. Forstall's close relationship commenting, "He was as close to Steve as anybody at the company.  When he says stuff, people listen."

At conferences he mirrors Mr. Jobs' fashion choices, wearing black shoes, jeans, and a black zippered sweater.  On the go he drives a Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG, in silver -- the same car Mr. Jobs did.

II. A Ruthless, Yet Admired Leader

Like Mr. Jobs, Mr. Forstall has installed his name on numerous Apple patents -- 50 to be precise -- many of which Apple's competitors complain lift technology published in peer-reviewed literature ten years or more before the application.  But in adapting to the lust for litigation Steve Jobs acquired [1][2][3][4][5][6][7] in his later years, he's poised to continue Apple's strategy of using lawsuits as a tool against the mobile market's top players.

And he's also continuing some of Mr. Jobs other controversial habits, such as ruthlessly driving employees to perform and obsessing over every detail.  In fact his favorite refrain is reportedly "Steve wouldn't like that" -- a phrase of used by Mr. Forstall to evoke shame in his underlings.  And like his mentor Mr. Forstall is reportedly inspiring a high burnout rate, driving away Apple engineers to competitors.
Steve Jobs RIP
iOS Chief Scot Forstall evokes Steve Jobs name to shame his employees into submission.  He evokes strong reactions -- much like Mr. Jobs -- at Apple.  Some love him.  Others hate him. [Source: Apple]

Former Apple software engineer Mike Lee remarks, "I once referred to Scott as Apple’s chief a–hole.  And I didn’t mean it as a criticism. I meant it as a compliment. You could say the same thing about Steve Jobs."

But in performance it's hard to argue with Mr. Forstall.  He's engineered the world's second most used smartphone platform and the tablet used by more people around the world than another manufacturer or OS maker.  And he's reportedly inspired his i-device staff to virtually live at Apple, skipping social events, and becoming fanatically devoted to the unit's products.

That latter accomplishment reminds many of Steve Jobs in the 1980s who led the Mac group which had an "us-versus-the-rest-of-Apple mentality".  Wil Shipley, an independent software developer who works on site at Apple recalls, "Every iPhone engineer and iOS engineer I know at Apple has some of that.  They will tease me that iOS is crushing Mac in sales."

In high school Mr. Forstall played the lead in his school's rendition of the Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd, reciting the harsh line, "There are two kinds of men, and only two.  There's the one staying put in his proper place and one with his foot in the other one's face."

Now he lives by that line.

III. From Stanford to the King of iOS

Graduating from Stanford University, Mr. Forstall quickly assumed a leadership role, designing the "Aqua" Mac interface, which Steve Jobs once remarked made "you [want] to lick it".  And he led the design of Leopard, another big computer success story for Apple.

In 2005 Mr. Jobs put his top staffers to the task of designing a mobile operating system for a phone.  The iPod team was in charge of one design.  They picked a customizable, Linux-based OS.  Forstall's Mac team was in charge of the other design.  He designed a closed-source Unix-like OS with cold exacting design and little customization.

Scott Forstall and Steve Jobs
Scott Forstall (left) may be Mr. Jobs' (center) most dedicated disciple.  Indeed he shares the late leader's penchant for theatrics, unrelenting performance demands, and a belief in closed systems. [Source: David Paul Morris/Getty Images]

Mr. Jobs reportedly expected the Linux team to triumph, but to his surprise it was Forstall who delivered the device with the best battery life and interface.  So instead of making Android, before Android, Apple made iOS.

But Mr. Forstall, like Mr. Jobs did show selective flexibility when necessary.  After disallowing third party applications on the first iPhone, he embraced them in the second generation.  The result was the App Store -- an application market that smart phone leader Google Inc. (GOOG) has still been unable to surpass in pure app volume, despite holding nearly twice Apple's market share.

Looking ahead, everyone's question is where Apple will go without Mr. Jobs.  With Tim Cook, Apple might end up looking more like a more demure, yet successful tech leader like Microsoft or Dell.  With Forstall eventually taking command, though, Apple reportedly might look a lot like it would have had cancer not claimed the life of Mr. Jobs -- ruthless, stylish, flashy, polished, and ever hungry.

Source: Bloomberg



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RE: All this talk about Steve Jobs...
By web2dot0 on 10/13/2011 11:16:00 PM , Rating: -1
You can say that about any technology before Jobs. Without transitor, there's no computer ...
Without adam and eve, there's no us ... come on ....

Ritchie did was amazing, but let's face it, if he didn't invent it, someone else would of in about the same time. He's not the only one out there. Without jobs, there's no Mac,iPod, iPhone, iPad. All of which are major achievements. Steve jobs is not a one trick pony. That's all I'm saying.

But really, I wouldn't compare what Ritchie did to Jobs.

I do agree that there should be more coverage of Ritchie.


RE: All this talk about Steve Jobs...
By amanojaku on 10/13/2011 11:46:11 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Ritchie did was amazing, but let's face it, if he didn't invent it, someone else would of in about the same time. He's not the only one out there. Without jobs, there's no Mac,iPod, iPhone, iPad. All of which are major achievements. Steve jobs is not a one trick pony.
C and UNIX are essentially the foundations for all software in use today. Even when the code is completely different, syntax, function, structure... Damn near everything has been influenced by and built upon C and UNIX. Including Apple's MacOS and (at the time) OpenCL. There was nothing like C or UNIX, PERIOD.

The Mac? iPod? iPhone? iPad? Jobs neither invented nor innovated. Jobs didn't create the transistor, CPU, memory, PCB, interconnect, CRT, GUI, mouse, magnetic disk, CD, PDA, printer, scanner, touchscreen, multi-touch, OS, laptop, portable music player with an internal hard drive, cell phone, tablet PC, desktop... I'm tired of writing.


RE: All this talk about Steve Jobs...
By TakinYourPoints on 10/14/2011 12:26:43 AM , Rating: 3
True, but he has shown over and over how things should be executed properly on a high UI and design level. Also important.

Either way, I found out about this late last night on boingboing.net. It is ridiculous that Ritchie hasn't been mentioned here a whole day later, but maybe it's not that surprising. They don't call it the The National DT for nothing. He is as important as it gets for modern technology for all the reasons mentioned, but nothing about him is that controversial or hit generating either.

RIP


RE: All this talk about Steve Jobs...
By Omega215D on 10/14/2011 9:49:01 AM , Rating: 1
I get some of my geek news from slashdot. Those guys know how to make tasteful jokes on various people in tech after their passing. I'm sure he would've liked it.

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/10/13/0328230/De...

Of course the board is full of annoying Linux fanboys when anything MS comes up.


RE: All this talk about Steve Jobs...
By TakinYourPoints on 10/14/2011 6:17:48 PM , Rating: 2
As opposed to the annoying Android fanboys here. Pick your poison I guess.


RE: All this talk about Steve Jobs...
By Omega215D on 10/15/2011 1:20:38 AM , Rating: 2
I find that the Linux fanboys (nothing wrong with liking Linux, I use it as well) are arrogant and belittling towards Windows users. Die hard Mac users are the same way but spew half truths and nonsense that started with the Mac vs. PC commercial... maybe even before that (MacHeads segment).

Android fanboys are annoying but at least they aren't in as great a number as Apple fans and quite a few see the merits of all systems as well as negatives. Many of the other fanboys also disregard the total openness of configuration with Android OS when presenting their arguments and each skin/ UI is no way indicative of regular Android performance (not perfect but not a laggy useless POS either).


RE: All this talk about Steve Jobs...
By TakinYourPoints on 10/15/2011 2:09:53 AM , Rating: 1
I'm mainly a PC guy, but I find the PC and Android zealots to be by far the most annoying and vicious of them all. Maybe its because I spend most of my computer forum time in PC oriented ones, but I'm kind of blown away at how zealous some of these people are.


RE: All this talk about Steve Jobs...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/15/2011 2:18:15 AM , Rating: 3
I love how you're constantly lamenting how terrible DT is and how everyone is a zealot, but frankly it sounds like a bunch of sour grapes. You simply fail to make good arguments and have a horrible poster rating, even worst than mine. This isn't some stronghold of Android zealotry, frankly I think we're all normal people tired of Apple's bullcrap. Their "Mac vs PC" campaign offended anyone with a modicum of intelligence, and their legal cowardice and Imperialist attitude has everyone weary. It also doesn't help that you remind everyone of Tony every time you post.

Even on this you just can't help yourself. Come on, you know Linux fanobis are the absolute worst. THE most annoying, most elitist bunch by far! There's no comparison.

p.s. oh and go ahead and prove me right by making another stupid attack by calling me hillbilly or whatever.


RE: All this talk about Steve Jobs...
By TakinYourPoints on 10/16/2011 5:59:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It also doesn't help that you remind everyone of Tony every time you post.


You're the only one who keeps making this point. Unlike Tony, I'm not a zealot. You're much more like him than I ever am, you're just on the flip side of that debate.

You'll be hard pressed to find a bigger cheerleader for WP7 here, and I've said even before it was announced that Amazon's tablet will be the first non-iPad tablet to get it right. All that and I'm mainly a Windows guy. Nope, the only platform I truly dislike is Android, and for whatever reason that gets you soooo angry. It's pretty funny.

quote:
Come on, you know Linux fanobis are the absolute worst. THE most annoying, most elitist bunch by far! There's no comparison.


I don't spend much time on Linux or Mac sites, mainly PC and gaming sites, so I can't say that they annoy me at all. The PC only zealots though, MAN do they get angry if you like Macs (even if you also like PCs!) or say that Apple has laid the groundwork for UI or tech advances in any way. The most closed minded and openly hostile people I see are definitely those ones.

And the only reason I "lament" DT is that it is on the Anandtech sidebar. It's like The Economist with a side column by The National Enquirer. It's just awful reporting and editorializing next to the best editorials and reviews out there. And I really don't care about my rating, getting upvotes here is like getting upvotes on TMZ. If I wanted upvotes I'd just post "Apple and Sony suck" and get them by the hivemind, derp.


By Reclaimer77 on 10/16/2011 11:57:04 AM , Rating: 2
I can't ever really recall you NOT extolling the virtues of Apple here. Not a zealot? That's all you post about! Well that's your opinion. You not liking Android doesn't get me "angry", using completely irrational reasoning to back up your prejudice does.

quote:
And the only reason I "lament" DT is that it is on the Anandtech sidebar. It's like The Economist with a side column by The National Enquirer. It's just awful reporting and editorializing next to the best editorials and reviews out there.


That's not the "only" reason you come here every day and make nearly as many posts as I do. Daily Tech has it's benefits, mainly the comment slugfest. Come on, you know it's fun!


By Cheesew1z69 on 10/15/2011 9:41:54 AM , Rating: 3
And the annoying Apple fanboys...


RE: All this talk about Steve Jobs...
By wordsworm on 10/14/2011 6:18:46 PM , Rating: 3
You've got a good point. Maybe I ought to remove DT from my feeds. It's really disgusting that DT has failed to mention his passing... still!


By TakinYourPoints on 10/15/2011 2:11:35 AM , Rating: 2
Problem here is that I can't remove it from the Anandtech sidebar. At least you have the option to remove it from your feeds!


RE: All this talk about Steve Jobs...
By bupkus on 10/14/2011 1:29:45 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
...but let's face it, if he didn't invent it, someone else would of in about the same time.
One can easily say the same for all the iStuff. Just because Jobs pulled Apple back from the abyss doesn't mean someone else couldn't. Jobs, however, was given the chance because of his history with Apple and being a star promoter.

Jobs was given the opportunity to express his sense of style. Many others who are in the design business would only be given a chance for a bit role in technology.
Example: by such fumblers as IBM when Bill Gates suggested to IBM to acquire CP/M.
Fate is quite fickle and Jobs was, like Bill Gates, in the right place at the right time. I'm not saying he didn't have talent but to call him the great innovator who changed the world? B***S***! He was no more brilliant than Elvis Presley.

quote:
But really, I wouldn't compare what Ritchie did to Jobs.
Neither would I although I suspect my meaning is different from yours.


By vol7ron on 10/17/2011 7:34:59 PM , Rating: 1
I was going to comment on that argument, "if he didn't someone else would have." I really think that's the most ignorant argument ever. If someone would have at the same time, someone would have. You'd know it because, they'd both be fighting for adoption like what's going with Git and Mercurial (both similar revision systems).

Thank you for replying, I was too heated by the troll and had to detract. The thing is, there are many other people that were and still are making sexy devices. I think Dell's Axim and Compaq's iPaq were both attractive looking PDAs, which kind of both came at the end of the PDAs popularity (pre smartphone).

As technology shrank, devices would become sexier. I mean people go gaga over the MacBook Air, just because of how thin it is, but fail to recognize Sony's Vaio series and how thin they were (with hotter, slower processors).

Jobs marketed extremely well and his condescending, "never good enough", smug attitude got him the "bitch boy" attention he needed, so good for him. The world lost its best (or most prominent) marketer (Jobs) and its arguably most influential person/programmer during this tech area (Ritchie). You could call Ritchie a one-hit-wonder, but in this low scoring game, he hit a grand slam.

We as consumers are what suffer from both deaths. We only gain when competition prevails, yielding attractive innovation.


"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive














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