Forstall, for the Record
On “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (Features, Oct. 17-23), I’d like to set the record straight on one point:
I inherited the competitive iPhone OS project from Jon Rubenstein and Steve Sakoman when they left Apple (AAPL). I quickly shuttered the project after assessing that a modified Mac OS was the right platform for the iPhone. It was clear that to create the best smartphone possible, we needed to leverage the decades of technology, tools, and resources invested in Mac OS while avoiding the unnecessary competition of dueling projects.
I did many problem sets with Scott Forstall as an undergrad at Stanford. He, Eric Ly (a co-founder of LinkedIn (LNKD)), and I worked together, often through the night.
Scott was never rude or obnoxious. He sometimes played a Peter Gabriel CD on a NeXT workstation. We thought it was incredibly cool that a computer could play music. That was 1989-90. We did the problem sets in the lab where he worked during the day and had access to the NeXT workstation. Scott had a creative spirit and made all-night problem sets more enjoyable. I would consider him a “people person,” which wasn’t that common among the computer science crowd in those days.
I was shocked to read that some prior colleagues at Apple found him less than kind. Some of the male students and professors in our major didn’t respect the females in the major, and that was not true of Scott. He was very respectful and sought to work with bright, talented people regardless of their gender, race, socioeconomics, etc.
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Good Jobs, People
Your Steve Jobs commemorative issue (Oct. 10-16) is absolutely outstanding, elegantly aesthetic, and profoundly informative. Going from page to page, I could comprehend the magnitude of this unique man.
You gave your readers exactly what they needed in the printed version. Even such a detail as moving the address label from the front cover page without obstructing Steve’s picture is very thoughtful. Well done—you deserve credit from all your readers. Other publishers of Steve Jobs tribute issues are far behind.
A quick note from one of your subscribers praising your special edition on Steve Jobs. So very well done and appreciated to bring notice of what innovation can create, along with passion and hard work—a lingering and fading trait of today’s workforce. Thank you all!
Rio Rancho, N.M.
I was deeply moved by your Steve Jobs tribute. I rarely find the time to read a magazine cover to cover, but this one is for the record books. Great job, guys!
Best. Issue. Ever.
It’s what Mr. Jobs would have assembled—simple without being simplistic, thorough, and compelling.
On Hiring, Think Small
Both Barack Obama, with his penchant for supporting small business, and Charles Kenny, making hay of the fact that jobs are higher-paying and more abundant in big business (“Small Isn’t Beautiful,” Opening Remarks, Oct. 3-9), are missing the point. What the world needs now isn’t just to keep the jobs that are already there. It’s to create jobs. And neither small businesses, as Scott Shane’s research clearly points out, nor slow-growing big businesses, which constantly seek to do more with less—as the ubiquitous billboards of the grotesque Accenture sheep in airports attest—are likely to create many new jobs.
As research has made clear, the vast majority of net new jobs are created by fast-growing entrepreneurial companies, from Amazon.com (AMZN) to Zara. If policymakers want job creation, rather than winning political points, it’s the development and growth of high-potential companies toward which their incentives should be targeted and for which disincentives should be removed.
London Business School
The Cowboy Way
Your profile of a swaggering Presidential candidate from Texas (“Rick Perry Needs a Miracle,” Features, Oct. 17-23) reveals some alarming similarities to the personalities of two ex-Presidents from the Lone Star State. Lyndon B. Johnson used the now-discredited Gulf of Tonkin incident to dramatically escalate the Vietnam conflict. George W. Bush led the nation into a bloody Iraq war based on weapons intelligence that was later proven false. Although these Presidents hailed from different parties, their impulsive actions contributed to the loss of more than 60,000 American lives (and counting), a generation of debt, and untold collateral casualties. Can we really afford another cowboy in the Oval Office?
Brad A. Hoffman