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The late Steve Jobs, like other tech geniuses, was known for his willingness to be bold, take risks and defy conventional thinking.
That philosophy necessarily resulted in both breakthroughs and belly flops.
The breakthroughs were huge – really huge – from the Macintosh's graphic interface to the iPod to the iPhone. The successes not only overwhelmed the failures – they changed the world.
Oh, and one more thing – those successes also have made Apple the most valuable company on the planet.
But the late Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) CEO's "failures" can reveal as much about how he was able to re-invent entire industries as can his amazing achievements.
So now, on the third anniversary of his untimely death (Oct. 5), to encourage any budding geniuses looking at Jobs for inspiration, here's a look at nine times Jobs didn't nail it on the first try:
- No. 1: The Apple III, 1980
The idea for the Apple III was sound: a professional personal computer aimed at the enterprise market. But the execution was awful, and it was mostly Steve Jobs' fault. Seeking to make a sleeker product, Jobs insisted on a chassis too small for the components required, and he refused to let engineers install a cooling fan. As a result, the motherboard would quickly overheat, causing the chips to pop out of their sockets and the machine to malfunction. Trashed by the tech media of the day, the Apple III had lousy sales and missed a huge opportunity to take the lead in the enterprise market. That left the door open for the IBM PC, which arrived a year later sporting Microsoft Corp.'s (Nasdaq: MSFT) PC DOS. When the Apple III was discontinued in 1984, only 65,000 units had been sold and the company was out $60 million.
What came next was not a product, but a decision, that turned out much differently than Jobs intended…
About the Author
David Zeiler, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.
Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.