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  • 2 Post By nappy
  1.    #1  
    Interesting little passage from the fantastic Steve Jobs biography:

    Rubinstein’s case was a little more contentious. He was upset by Cook’s ascendency and frazzled after working for nine years under Jobs. Their shouting matches became more frequent. There was also a substantive issue: Rubinstein was repeatedly clashing with Jony Ive, who used to work for him and now reported directly to Jobs. Ive was always pushing the envelope with designs that dazzled but were difficult to engineer. It was Rubinstein’s job to get the hardware built in a practical way, so he often balked. He was by nature cautious. “In the end, Ruby’s from HP,” said Jobs. “And he never delved deep, he wasn’t aggressive.”
    There was, for example, the case of the screws that held the handles on the Power Mac G4. Ive decided that they should have a certain polish and shape. But Rubinstein thought that would be “astronomically” costly and delay the project for weeks, so he vetoed the idea. His job was to deliver products, which meant making trade-offs. Ive viewed that approach as inimical to innovation, so he would go both above him to Jobs and also around him to the midlevel engineers. “Ruby would say, ‘You can’t do this, it will delay,’ and I would say, ‘I think we can,’” Ive recalled. “And I would know, because I had worked behind his back with the product teams.” In this and other cases, Jobs came down on Ive’s side.
    That would explain the uninspired designs we saw coming out of Palm. But this next paragraph is the fun part:

    At times Ive and Rubinstein got into arguments that almost led to blows. Finally Ive told Jobs, “It’s him or me.” Jobs chose Ive. By that point Rubinstein was ready to leave. He and his wife had bought property in Mexico, and he wanted time off to build a home there. He eventually went to work for Palm, which was trying to match Apple’s iPhone. Jobs was so furious that Palm was hiring some of his former employees that he complained to Bono, who was a cofounder of a private equity group, led by the former Apple CFO Fred Anderson, that had bought a controlling stake in Palm. Bono sent Jobs a note back saying, “You should chill out about this. This is like the Beatles ringing up because Herman and the Hermits have taken one of their road crew.” Jobs later admitted that he had overreacted. “The fact that they completely failed salves that wound,” he said.
    Bono playing peacemaker between Steve and Palm is just awesome.
    LCGuy and SnotBoogie like this.
  2. #2  
    Wow.

    Thanks for posting this.

    "The more I learn, the more I realize just how little I really do know!" -Albert Einstein

  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by nappy View Post
    Bono playing peacemaker between Steve and Palm is just awesome.
    <staff edit> Its sad, not funny. He invested in Herman and the Hermits which makes him utter imbecile in his own eyes than?
    Last edited by HelloNNNewman; 10/29/2011 at 07:48 PM. Reason: language
  4. cgk
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    #4  
    So the bottom line was that Palm ended up with the guy who couldn't hack it because he was too conservative. Explains a lot about what we saw.
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by CGK View Post
    So the bottom line was that Palm ended up with the guy who couldn't hack it because he was too conservative. Explains a lot about what we saw.
    No , he tried to be open minded with Pre. It would be better if he stayed conservative as he was at Apple.
    I recently bought some cheap Pixi+ from Amazon, more as webOS memorabilia than to use it for real, but I ended using it as main phone for weeks while my GalaxyS is by my bed acting like alarm clock. Thing is, classic design and physical keyboard combined with universal search can overcome many of webOS's shortcomings. I owned Iphone and many other slab phones, but ease of dialing from Pixi+ is remarkable. Ruby killed it because it was too conservative, and kept pushing Pre line.
    Bottom line, Ruby tried to be like Ive but cooler and that killed webOS devices.
  6. #6  
    We all were frustrated at Rubinstein for some reason. Even Steve Jobs didn't want him.

    Steve: "Why can't we use these screws?"
    Rubinstein: "Because we can't!"

    Rubinstein killed webOS. Jobs saw what Rubinstein was and got rid of him before he caused problems.
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by chalx View Post
    No , he tried to be open minded with Pre. It would be better if he stayed conservative as he was at Apple.
    The fact that the Pre made it to a third generation speaks volumes about how conservative Ruby was in making product decisions. If at first you don't succeed, it's time to make changes to your product! While everyone else was going slab phone with on-screen keyboards, Palm held onto the physical keyboard and problematic slider in their webOS phones for two more Pre iterations. My own $0.02 is that the Pre's keyboard is totally unusable compared with the Treo, and should have been dumped before the Pre2. In terms of screen size, I have found a new appreciation of webOS after seeing it on the Touchpad, which has a virtual keyboard and enough pixel real estate where the user interface actually makes sense.

    To me, the Pixi seemed like a throwback to keep Treo fans happy, and not the next generation webOS phone. Falling back to the safety of an old, successful formula, and not moving forward to the next generation along with the rest of the industry. If that isn't conservative decision-making, I don't know what is.....
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    #8  
    I have to read this book.
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    #9  
    I forgot to add that the original Pre's fingerprint magnet case and slick plastic that made it feel like a bar of soap in your hands made it all the way to the Touchpad under Ruby's watch, again despite unpopular consumer and critic feedback that caused some people to buy the touchstone back to get a matte finish that hid fingerprints. Was he out of the loop when the "panda" (white) 64gb TP and Veer were in final design?????
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  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by nappy View Post
    Interesting little passage from the fantastic Steve Jobs biography:



    That would explain the uninspired designs we saw coming out of Palm. But this next paragraph is the fun part:



    Bono playing peacemaker between Steve and Palm is just awesome.
    yeah this is on my list of books to read after Michael Lewis's The Big Short. Yeah seem clear Ruby just totally lacked the vision or the unbreakable commitment to excellence that Jobs had. Apt to settle for mediocrity where as Jobs wanted agressive unbending ambition.

    I think we see that in the original pre that basically did just barely enough on stuff like the music player and other then adding a scrobbler never really got enough features relying instead on stuff like Remix. Not only that they were pretty half assed in their approach to syncing media. first trying to piggyback itunes rather then making their own client. It's not like nobody could build a better itunes that doesn't hog resources and actually does monitor folders. Oh and works on a PC. But yeah seems to me Ruby just lacked the vision and drive. And it reflected in the caliber of products they put out. But this book is on the list.
    You come at the king. You best not miss.
  11. gbp
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    #11  
    You guys have no clue how bad PALM was before Ruby joined. The team Ruby assembled includes current chief of Android design, Twitter CTO, chief of Nokia product design and many stars from Apple engineering team. Don't say that he was conservative. If he was slow, Palm would have just died. No webOS. No Pre, No Touchpad. The main issue is money. Palm did not have the money to fight off Apple and Android. Ask twitter CTO Michael Abbott about how fast they moved. He would tell you about how aggressive the team under Ruby was. Read here.

    When you don't have a spare billion dollars in the bank its always going to be tough to compete the likes of Apple and Google.

    Not everything Steve J says is correct. Steve is a bitter human being at times. Trying to accuse just about everyone. I bet Ruby can tell few tales of how stupid Jobs was.

    Ruby was not perfect, but he was no slouch either.
    Chill out.

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