Start the conversation
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…