Steve Jobs: business genius or football manager?

Opinion

Steve Jobs: business genius or football manager?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has a reputation for being tough but the latest anecdote about the less than perfect launch of its MobileMe online service in 2008, shows that a brutal boss can also be, intentionally or otherwise, quite funny.

According to a report in Fortune magazine, Jobs called in the MobileMe team after the launch and asked them: "Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?"

One of the braver souls present gave Jobs an accurate description of what MobileMe was meant to be.

"So why the fuck doesn't it do that?," Jobs retorted.

Not that anyone had a chance to laugh as he then reportedly went on to berate the team for 30 minutes, saying they should "hate each other for having let each other down".

Whether this is good business practice or not is hard to tell. But to my ears, it sounds pretty much like something you would hear in the dressing room of a losing football team in the immediate aftermath of a disappointing defeat.

This was first published in May 2011

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