In other words
he did exactly what a good CEO is expected to do and refused to listen to the usual BS that PHBs and VPs are always prepared to spew to cover things up?
Apple fanbois were shocked to the core today at the news that not only does Steve Jobs swear but that the sainted one actually declared that a Mac product was a pile of steaming crap. Jobs' alleged tendency to rant and rage at his cowering VPs was revealed in a piece by Fortune magazine. The piece itself is subscription only …
Nope. If the reports are true, he showed himself to be on a level with the average three year old as far as problem-solving is concerned.
Good managers acknowledge that there's a problem, ask what the details are, what the plans are to fix it, how the manager can help (facilitation, resources etc) and what the estimates are of the time the fixes will take given the level of resources agreed upon. Then, on the agreed dates, they check that the fixes have been made.
Rinse and repeat until either the problems are solved or they have real evidence of incompetence. Even then, they never lose their temper. It's childish and usually counter-productive.
The checking of the fixes bit is the thing most managers fall down on: then, when they do find out that things are still not working because it's in the press or something, they throw a tantrum instead of asking themselves how they let things get to such a pitch.
All this sort of behaviour does is to make people afraid to reveal problems until it's too late. It's the kind of childish machismo much loved of 'The Apprentice' and it is simply bad management.
The people he was addressing are unlikely to have got into this mess on purpose. Having got there, Jobs' job is to help them get out of it: not to pout and stamp his feet (if the reports are true and that's what he, metaphorically, did).
I learnt all this from watching a previous boss I was lucky enough to work for. Someone without a paper qualification to his name, which probably stopped him from reaching the level he deserved, and for whom getting the job done right was more important than any fruitless ego trip.
Good on yer, Clive. Wherever you are.
Think of it this way... Suppose it was you that His Holiness had ripped a new one publicly and now you've been castrated in front of your own sub-ordinates, how would you feel? Has your ability to effectively manage your sub-ordinates been damaged? You're damn right it has!
Can't quite agree with you there. Whilst his approach may be on the unprofessional side (shouting out in front of everyone) you also cannot go with your offered advice which is akin to the mollycoddling support you'd offer a five year old that is still in very much in the early leaning phase of life. Presumably these people are paid quite high salaries for their perceived competence. That they have shown themselves to not have any by releasing something on a par with an internal beta on behalf of a company that cherishes it's "it just works" mantra (whether true or not) shows foolhardiness in the extreme.
"The people he was addressing are unlikely to have got into this mess on purpose."
Judging by how shit things were I simply cannot agree here unless they are incompetent in the extreme.
Interesting. I think the message is about delivery rather than content. A person at his level should be able to get the message across clearly and succinctly without shouting and bawling. It could be that heads needed to roll, in which case there are better ways to go about it, but sacking people should be the case of last resort and not the first. I would question why Steve, who seems to like to control everything, was not aware of how poor the situation was before it became so bad.
Engendering a climate of fear is not a good way to bring out the best in people. All it does is cause people to spend more time on political machinations in an effort to ensure that the blame can never be left at their door. That does more to stifle creativity than any lack of investment etc.
After the failure that was MobileMe at launch what do you think Steve should have done? 10% bonus to everyone and a tap on the back? The stir up got the job done and MobileMe worked fine since then.
Come on guys he isn't even barely Gordon Ramsay material, much less Steve Ballmer. Plus even with his more extreme chair throwing tricks Ballmer still got nothing really working.
And get your facts right, apps are not rejected due to the use of profane language.
Is this linkbait Apple bashing Monday at El Reg or is it because you've reviewed the Motorola Xoom?
Xoom is actually the perfect example of who a product would actually have improved by having SJ style approach, like "Why the fuck doesn't it charge at all via the perfectly fine USB port?" or "What is the SD slot for? So why the fuck is this out in the market already and it's still does nothing?". But apparently is was managed by a bunch of wussies afraid of hurting the engineers' feelings.
The USB spec 2.0 port provides 5 volts and a maximum current draw of 500 mA. The Xoom has a 24 Watt-hour battery that provides "up to" 10 hours of video playback, so doing the math (5V *500mA / (24Wh / 10 hours) = O crap i just fried my computer trying to watch video on my Xoom while charging via USB. The problem doesn't lie with Motorola but with USB. Do you complain that you can't charge your laptop via USB?
P.S.: Does the iPad even have a USB port or SD slot (or HDMI port)? Thought not.
I know the iPad charges from USB (although given the requirement for a high-power port if you want to do anything with the thing whilst it's charging, I'd hesitate to say it charges "just fine"), but USB isn't just a means of recharging mobile devices or tethering them to a PC, remember...
And the Xoom SD slot does actually work, as users of rooted Xooms have proven, it just isn't enabled in the firmware currently being shipped by Motorola. In contrast, no amount of rooting is going to enable SD support on the iPad, because you can't enable something that's physically missing. This is hardly an academic point, unless you believe that a) Motorola/Google have no intention of ever supporting the SD slot in a future official firmware release AND that b) they have every intention of attempting to block rooted access to the slot in a future official firmware release.
As I said, it's horses for courses - it seems you can get along OK with what the iPad has to offer, but some of us would prefer a tablet that does things differently, or actually does things in the first place.
the manufacturer was too cheap to add a port current controller (a standard part which most USB port and hub chips have support for), and either went for a simple fuse, or considered the PCB traces to perform that function.
You might want to inform people*) regarding the manufacturer, so that they can be avoided.
*) the model range I use myself doesn't have such cheapness issues.
I can confirm that USB ports shut down and generate a software warning if something tries to take too much current. On my PC, anyway.
If you need more than the USB current limit but less than twice as much, you can do what the vendors of some USB disk drives do. Supply a special USB cable with two host connectors, one for power + data and the second for extra power.
In the case of something containing a battery it should always be possible to charge off USB when the device is off, even if it would overload the USB with the device on. If you were really smart you'd have two batteries, with the device running off one while the other charges, with a controller switching the batteries around every few minutes. That way even if the power going out was in excess of the power going in, at least USB wouldn't overload, and you'd extend the runtime, though not to infinity.
Chris, the problem is not with USB, it's with the Zoom. USB was never designed as a mechanism to recharge batteries in electrical devices. The original design goal of USB was a data communications interface where low voltages and low currents are needed.
As for your specifying that USB specifies a maximum current of 500mA, I think that's BS. I haven't checked the electrical spec and I'm not going to bother. I think it's BS because they won't specify a maximum current, they will specify a minimum current.
If the designers of USB specify a minimum current then all 3rd party manufacturers designing products to run of USB they know precisely what current is gauranteed to be delivered by the USB connector.
If they specifiy a maximum current, which is what you state, then how can any designer design any product to run off USB and run reliably when they don't know what current will be supplied by the USB connector!
So I think your assertion that USB delivers a maximum of 500mA is wrong.
Of course the USB specification lists the maximum current a device can draw from each port, it'd be complete BS if they didn't because then you could design something that tries to pull a bazillion amps out of the port and then have grounds to complain that the port isn't meeting its design spec... Also, if the USB spec really did define a minimum current then every USB device would need to sink that current whenever it was plugged in, no matter how little current it actually required to operate.
Designers of USB devices DO know what current is guaranteed to be delivered by the port, because so long as their device doesn't try to exceed the maximum available current from the port then it will deliver exactly as much current as the device needs.
The non-charging via USB is a pain, but one that seems strangely consistent across Android tablets. On the other hand, the fact that it is a standard USB port makes it rather more useful in other ways compared to the USB connectivity of the iPad.
Non-functional SD slot? If you've got the choice of shipping hardware today which is partly disabled due to firmware limitations but which can be fully enabled by the user at a later date, OR shipping hardware today which is partly disabled because you removed the bits of hardware you don't yet have firmware support for and which will require the user to buy a completely new device if they want to add that functionality when its finally released, OR delaying shipment for an indefinite period until everything is working just fine, what do you do? Early adopters of the Xoom might not be able to do anything with the SD slot just yet, but sooner or later they will. iPad owners, on the other hand...
Horses for courses, Apple produce stuff that is, generally, well polished and functional as far as it goes, but which is a bit feature-poor with limited appeal to those of us who don't subscribe to the Steve Jobs view of how consumer electronics gear ought to be used. Meanwhile everyone else produces stuff that is, generally, lacking in the fine attention to detail, but which is also generally more likely to let us use it the way we want to.
It doesn't charge via USB because USB specs will not allow enough power into the device.. this is a limitation of the USB spec and not a result of any Motorola screwups.
The SD slot isn't working now but will be fixed with a firmware update.. ok.. its a screwup.. but an official firmware update will soon be in place... now where's that official Apple patch that that will give me flash?
first and most important - steve jobs requires products that do what they are supposed to do.
he can always sacrifice features (look at iphone 1) but available features/functionality/design have to be "perfect".
i'm not surprised, that he was angry, that his company released unfinished product.
(otoh there are apple products, that are not awesome, but they have to be finished according to apple design requirements - e.g. appleTV).
"he can always sacrifice features (look at iphone 1) but available features/functionality/design have to be "perfect"."
Oh, how I laughed. Like how the iPhone 4 aerial was "perfect".
I remember trialling an iPhone 3GS a friend had purchased because I was seriously thinking about buying one. There was huge inconsistency in which built in apps would support rotating the screen. Given that I found the portrait keyboard unusable (and the landscape one only a fraction better) the inconsistencies were a big issue to me. I suppose that fits your definition of "perfect" as well. The incredibly slow AT&T internet access was a big issue as well (as were the dropped calls on AT&T). Now I know that isn't directly Jobs' fault, but he did decide only to launch on a single carrier in the US, and he did decide to pick the worst carrier. Perhaps that also meets your definition of perfect. I could carry on listing all the plethora of flaws with other Apple products, but it just isn't worth it, fanbois like you will always claim it is perfect.
I know the flaws of my Android phone (and they are many), I also know that it does what I need it to do. I'll happily buy an Apple product when it does all the basic things I need it to do, and is value for money compared to other products that also do all the basic things I need.
As much as I dislike Apple for various reasons it's hard not to applaud that sort of behaviour. VPs get paid a lot of money, when they cock up they should pay the price. Far too often the guys at the top get away with passing the buck.
If investment banks all had Jobsian 'tyrant' at the top perhaps we wouldn't all have got so screwed by their incompetence.
The Reg is one of a dwindling minority of tech news sites that doesn't just reprint press releases and occasionally even does a bit of sleuthing. If that's not what you're after then why not just post pseudo-satirical blethers on the comments to an article about Steve Jobs? Oh, hang on...
I'm not sure you can claim red hair as a race.
I think you'll find it's discrimination, not racism.
I also think you are wrong on the English being scared of the Celts, but as I'm only one man I can't claim to speak for us all....
Any way, have a nice day just remember the sun screen, don't want you burning now...
My girlfriend's house mate is a red head, and the only thing about her that frightens me is that she insists on leaving half eaten food in her room until it's evolved into a form one step up from a politician.
(about two weeks).
Actually her singing is pretty scary too.
Are these normal traits for Celts?
Like, say Henry VIII or Lizzy I or Prince Harry (I know he is styled "of Wales" but that is because his Dad owns the place, not because he has any Welsh blood) or all those Vikings (hint: the ones titled "The Red") or the Teuton The Red Baron, or that famous Celt lover Oliver Cromwell. Or my favourite Celt: Malcolm X
To name a few.
I'm not a Jobs fan, but I actually find some of the style revealed in the article refreshing.
These days it seems rare for any manager to take responsibility for things they are supposedly in charge of, normally it's the poor guy at the bottom who gets shat on from a great height. So to hear that St Jobs listens to the little guy and rips into the stuffed shirt is wonderful.
I'm sure most of us have experience of managers who would actually assist production more if they didn't exist.
And mobile Me is still crap, gives you less than what you can get for free from Google, but for $99 a year. They have not added any convincing services to it since launch either. It was the only way to do over the air sync of calenders and contacts, but now you can do those with Google instead, though the Jobs phone cant have more than one Exchange account.
fastmail, now with Opera mobile powerhouse at their back gives similar services which are hosted on redundant IBM blades, with the latest standards accessible from ANY device with a fraction of the price.
I agree selling your soul to Google isn't worth 100 dollars but it is NOT only Apple offering such services.
All they did was losing the customers of mac.com with a stupid name like mobileme.
...i love the security of Find my Android that is supplied free of charge with Google, all the adverts on the mail and calendar line app get me going just great too.
Some folk just like things to be easy, have a Mac, use MobileMe - it takes very little effort and works great for about £5 a month... each to their own mind.
They could make sure MobileMe rock with some amazing grid technology (built into os x) and some magic like functions, perfect uptime and speed, a perfect mail service using all the web standards available today with a free pkcs7 mail signature.
All are possible and offered with xserve and os x server.
Imagine your prestige when you proudly say "our hardware and operating system handles 10M paying users".
Of course they did nothing like that and chosen to leave it as $100/year expensive mail/file storage (without https!) service.
Also to add another icon to already crowded windows control panel without asking user is a genius idea to advertise it.
At least mobileme syncs contacts properly unlike Google Contacts, google contacts really doesn't like names that have a pre-fix, are double barrelled, have spaces in the surname and have a postfix. It is trying to be too clever with its single name field to then determine what is what. Really screws over my contacts list and not least my own name.
And then there is the contact photo compressing issues that after years still hasn't been resolved.
And what about the calendaring where is barely supports caldav and then when you have multiple calendars only in a delegated mode. Oh how about setting reminders.
No Google's offering might be free but to me it is not that good, I happily pay for a service that does this stuff well in the cloud and is compliant with standards.
You can think all you want about how to run a company, but when you release a product, it has to work. So much manpower and energy is put into these products, and frankly to release something that is broken is not acceptable if you want to charge people. This IS taking responsibility and looking for accountability. This is why Apple has been so good at making stable products.
If you think on it, he was able to release a UNIX based OS (a spin off of BSD) and make a consumer device. He is running a multibillion dollar company with many arms. He relies on VP's who will take action before it reaches his face.
MobileMe, which is pushed on everyone at the Apple store, is broken. It has been broken for several iterations and needs to be revised. If anyone here wants to comment on it, I would hope they actually have used it. If they have, they have run into problems with it. The more devices you have the more problems exist. The company never trained their store employees to properly convert and set up their new customers with this product causing more support costs and failure of their servers than should have ever been allowed.
That being said, this is a very complex service; sync'ing email, contacts storage, etc into consumer devices. It is very very difficult to distribute and grow this technology. It may seem like Jobs is mean or not nice, but in Apple, you cannot accept failed products as good enough for general consumption. You have to do better, like release product that works if you charge people for it.
I have installed MobileMe for over 50 people and constantly fight with it for reasons like new accounts being set up without explaining to the customers what the user name and password is going to be for. Then subsequent signups with other user names and passwords that cause more conflict. It is a great idea, and it will get better now that Jobs is working on solving the problems.
Complete sympathy for Jobs having gone through similar things.
If someone reports to me that a product that was just launched has issues and they are being worked on then its something you can deal with. If on the other hand it was presented as a finished product and it turned out its a pile poo then I have gone through similar motions to Jobs and lost my rag.
I approve in honest and transparent management, but it has to flow both ways.
As a manager, you play to your audience. It's a show, you see, and your audience are the veeps and directors.
You want X, and in order to motivate your crew you have to hit them where it'll do the most good. And let's not discount the reputation factor; you can be guaranteed that news of this tirade was on everyone's lips without hours after it happening. No one wants to be in that situation, and will work their ass off to avoid it.
It know it's not PC, but negative reinforcement works well in many situations.
When the idiots at Nokia management shipped the flagship N97 that late with completely out of date and logic specs, if their CEO did swear to them with...
Oh wait, if it was SJobs, he would never allow it to ship and fire everyone who had the genius idea to ship it. So we (all of us) would enjoy market with real competition, not just iPhone vs. Google choice.
I really admire SJobs as a CEO, evil CEO but really knows how to treat those suits.
"He then summarily fired a few employees, pour encourager les autres."
"The beatings will continue until morale improves" :-)
Now, seriously, were the VPs given all the means needed to perform their task? Where they provided with reasonable and realistic time frames? enough qualified staff? enough money?
I ask this because I have seen both cases in real life, and I'm just curious. I'll hold my judgement on St.Steve and his toadies until I know the answer to these questions. Probably forever.
Been sworn at by various managers from EA and it's subsidiaries. There was one manager who didn't swear but his words were more biting and harsh than a couple of cuss words. Net effect, not much and the games still got released were crap. Still would have been if the managers offered words of praise and sugary sentiments. Polishing a turd in reality.
Who cares what ego maniac Jobs does?
I guess I'll look for an android system because the disk drive in the air mac barely lasted a year.
Apple should have a cloud back-up integrated into the OS if they expect us to continue buying their cheap hardware. Hey Jobs get off you ass and buy from the quality supplier in Shanghai for a change.
Lame Jobs- YOU ARE FIRED SUCKER!!
Battery life - the amount of charge it will hold - is not measured in Watt-Hours. It's measured in aH - Ampere Hours.
Yes, I do realised that Watt-Hours is equivalent to Joules. But what's important is the total amount of charge in the battery and that's measured in coulombs, Ampere Hours = (Amps x time_. Amps = coloumbs per second. So Ampere Hours = coulombs.
The correct units for the charge capacity of a battery is: Ampere Hours (or columbs). But it's industry standard to quote aH.
Batteries have a design voltage; amps times voltage equals watts, amp-hours times voltage equals watt-hours. Simple.
And with components inside a system working at different voltages (which tend to be different from the battery voltage again), it's easier to tally their power draw in watts and set that total against the battery capacity in watt-hours, than to do all that arithmetic with the current draw per component.
There's a good reason why battery capacity is expressed in watt-hours when it is.
Many large companies suffer from incompetent management that are absolutely fucking clueless. Too many managers and with not enough technical skill.
I work for one of the world largest technology companies, our managers haven't got a clue how to develop systems and if we carry on the way we're going, then a major business division is going to be history.
You end up with managers that are pure managers which don't have enough engineering expertise, they've got the MBA but they don't have the BSc or BEng. They move from one company to another taking on roles with greater responsibility - and the ever increasing bigger pay packets - but they have no idea of the problems going on in their engineering departments.
These managers are responsible for hundreds of people jobs but yet don't even know the basics of how to develop technology and systems.
It's nice to be important, but its important to be nice.... You big Jobsian Bully!!!!
Thats right my mum coined the phrase Jobsian and took out a patent on it so watch out apple my mums gonna sue!!!
Joking aside, no surprise. Look at it as if you were a customer. I like to be nice, I can speak to a customer service agent twice in a polit manner and get nowhere, on the third attempt I will be horrible and that turns out to be the last time I have to speak to them on the matter.
Sad fact of life is that being nice, means being patient too.
Thats a lot to digest boys and girls but in the meantime take care of yourselves..... and each other.
can we expect a nuclear explosion when he tries iTunes?
I've lost count of the number of people I know who change to a different lappy and lose their entire library.
Let's face it - Apple is a design company. They do nice boxes.
They can't design hardware that works (q.v. overheating MBPs, phone with broken antenna) and their own software is somewhere between broken and mediocre.
The irony is that while they're Nazis about usability in other people's apps, they seem to do a minimum of user testing for their own projects.
Apple has failed such online services again and again and continue creating new ones. (Rebranding)
Sure MobileMe syncs your calendar, address book and storage but why does it even cost for those services? I've never got what it's good for. There should at least be a free version otherwise it's not what it was supposed to be. From Google or Microsoft etc you do get your calendaring, contacts, mailboxes and documents storage without paying a penny.
Why do iDevices not have expandable memory? Partly because the idea would have been that extra data would be stored on mobile.me or whatever it's called today. Which would make sense for Apple--why create a market for SanDisk or take a couple of per cent on someone else's flash memory going through, when you could set up a nice internet services business?
Could make sense for users, too. I've had phones with MicroSD slots, and as it worked out, only used them for getting a basic memory storage (you could carry extras, but I didn't and I don't expect many people actually do). Whereas cloud storage for back-up, plus sync between desktop and iThings would be convenient, if the service worked and didn't cost too much.
But first, you've got to have the service working smoothly. So, big swearie-poos because Mr Salteena's plan is foiled. Figures.
So Steve Jobs IS as arrogant as he looks? Exactly the reason I won't buy Apple stuff and be brand locked. And the reason Apple just made the HDD connectors on the new iMacs proprietary so you have to go to them for parts. Yup, more outrageous overpriced hardware. And brand locking!
I'm an Apple repairer, and have been for 13 years, I've seen them go downhill, all thanks to that ugly arrogant prick Jobsworth who has fanbois wanting to suck his tiny dick around every corner who will buy his steaming shit if he sold it! Repairing the stuff brings me good money but I'll NEVER buy it personally! And no, I'm not a troll, I speak my mind.