Watch a candid Steve Jobs brainstorming with his team behind the scenes at NeXT (video)

Walter Isaacson, in his  biography on Steve Jobs, didn’t go terribly in-depth on the NeXT era of his subject’s life. Luckily, incredible videos from the series Entrepreneurs have become available online and show Steve Jobs working with his team at NeXT. The videos really highlight Steve Job’s leadership style, at least at that phase of his career and show how hard it is to start a company. (via The Next Web)

Check out a few others after the break:

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Sony’s Stringer: “No doubt that Apple is working on changing the traditional television set”


A rendition of an Apple-branded television set.

The WSJ reports that amid losing money on every television set they make, Sony somehow has a strategy for redemption. Stringer declined to provide details about what Sony is developing but said “there’s a tremendous amount of R&D going into a different kind of TV set”.

He he has “no doubt” Apple’s Steve Jobs also was working on changing the traditional TV set. “That’s what we’re all looking for”, he noted, warning “it will take a long time to transition to a new form of television”. Slim margins, low prices and little innovation make the business of researching, developing and marketing high-definition television sets a cutthroat one, he remarked:

We can’t continue selling TV sets [the way we have been]. Every TV set we all make loses money.

His company, Stringer said, spent the last five years creating an ecosystem to take on Apple, even though the company had seen little success with the Google TV platform and other connected television efforts:
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Isaacson on Jobs’ final words: “Steve left us with a mystery” (and other great quotes)


Steve Jobs’s authorized biographer Walter Isaacson and Fortune’s managing editor Andy Serwer on stage at NASDAQ | Photo: Tanner Curtis

In a series of tweetsFortune released some interesting new quotes by Steve Jobs’ authorized biographer Walter Isaacson, who sat down for a “breakfast conversation” with the magazine’s managing editor Andy Serwer.

“It’s good that we’ve made a big deal out of a creative business leader, rather than a celebrity,” Isaacson told Serwer, describing his rock star status as a cultural icon of our time. “There’s an emotional connection Steve Jobs made across the world – like a rock star or a prince”.

“Steve thought the digital hub had moved from the computer to the cloud,” Isaacson said. Over the years, Jobs changed as a manager in a way that “he didn’t become sweeter or kinder, he learned to channel his energy and passion.”


Walter Isaacson signing books in Times Square | Photo: Tanner Curtis

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Ron Johnson tapping former Apple peers but not poaching…yet

Ron Johnson, Apple’s former vice president of retail and the creator of the Apple Store, left for J.C. Penney November 1 and already he is picking industry veterans to join his leadership team at the Plano, Texas-headquartered department store chain. The Wall Street Journal reports that Johnson is tapping former Apple talent, including former chief financial office of Apple Retail Michael Kramer and Apple’s chief talent officer Daniel Walker.

Interestingly, it was Walker who helped Steve Jobs hire Ron Johnson to head Apple’s retail efforts. Both men served at Apple from 2000 to 2005. Granted, Walker and Kramer are both long-exited Apple people, but the temptation for current Apple talent to somehow make its way to Penney will always linger.

Sure, you might say who would  rather work at J.C. Penney rather than the most powerful, cool technology company in the world. But on a granular level, there might be high paying jobs with Johnson that Apple won’t match that could draw some top Apple talent.  Johnson himself is probably the best example of that.

There is also likely a non-compete clause in Ron Johnson’s severance agreement barring him from poaching Apple employees, but those are easily circumvented.  Just as Steve Jobs poached a bunch of his top Apple engineers to build out NeXT…
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Mark Zuckerberg reveals that Steve Jobs coached him on company focus [Video]

Last month, after the passing of Steve Jobs, the media exploded with stories and interviews of the former CEO of Apple. In the 60 Minutes interview with Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs had some rough things to say about his competitors Google and Microsoft. However, in an outtake that didn’t make the televised segment, Steve Jobs expressed some respect for Mark Zuckerberg and his social networking giant Facebook.

“We talk about social networks in the plural,” Jobs said to Isaacson, “but I don’t see anybody other than Facebook out there. Just Facebook, They are dominating this. I admire Mark Zuckerberg . . . for not selling out, for wanting to make a company.  I admire that a lot.”

In an interview with Charlie Rose that’s airing later today, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerbeg reveals that Steve Jobs didn’t just respect Zuckerberg, but coached him on how to build the right management team and focus his company.  “I had a lot of questions for him,” Zuckerberg says. The topics include, “how to build a team around you that’s focused on building as high quality and good things as you are.”  Read more

CBS turned down Apple TV streaming agreement over ad split deal

During their earnings call this afternoon, CBS’s Les Moonves made comment (via GigaOm) that the media company turned down a partnership with Apple for a streaming deal on the Apple TV. Moonves says that the deal was turned down because of the ad-split revenue that Apple was trying to reach an agreement over.

It has been long rumored that Apple has been working on reaching subscription deals with media companies. In Steve Job’s official biography by Walter Isaacson, it was revealed that Steve Jobs “cracked the TV”. Today’s comments reveal that Apple is indeed going after media companies for agreements. But why?

These types of agreements will be implemented into the rumored “iTV” that is supposedly coming in 2012. From the D8 conference:

Then you get into another problem. Which is there isn’t a cable operator that is national. There is a bunch of cable providers. There isn’t like a GSM standard like with phones. Every country has different standards, different government approvals. It’s very balkanized. I’m sure smarter people than us will figure this out. That’s why when we say Apple TV as a hobby we use this phrase.

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Samsung requests depositions from Jony Ive and other key Apple inventors

Raising the stakes in the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Samsung over copycat accusations involving mobile devices, Samsung is upping the ante by asking to depose Apple’s iPhone designers, including Apple’s leading industrial design guru Jonathan Ive.

According to Josh Rosenthall of Edible Apple, depositions of Apple’s iPhone inventors Jonathan Ive, Douglas Satzger, Shin Nishibori and Christopher Stringer “will be taking place relatively soon” and ahead of the expedited trial between Apple and Samsung in the United States, scheduled for July 30, 2012.

According to Samsung’s motion, none of the aforementioned designers will be able to sit for deposition for various reasons. In the case of Jony Ive, the motion mentions “personal reasons”. Ive is especially important in this case. Jobs’s spiritual partner, it is said that no one could tell Ive what to do, at least until Jobs resigned. According to Jobs’s authorized biographer Walter Isaacson:

He called Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design chief, his “spiritual partner” at Apple. He told Isaacson that Ive had “more operation power” at Apple than anyone besides Jobs himself — that there’s no one at the company who can tell Ive what to do. That, says Jobs, is “the way I set it up.”

As such, Ive is the holder of Apple’s many secrets and inner workings, something Samsung is legitimately hoping to exploit ahead of the trial. And while Apple’s design guru really needs no introduction, here’s a brief overview of the others.

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Bill Gates on Jobs bio quotes “he said a lot of very nice things about me and he said a lot of tough things” [Video]

Gates defends himself slightly but seems smart enough (and secure enough) not to handle the tough words head on.

“Well, Steve and I worked together, creating the Mac. We had more people on it, did the key software for it.”

“So, over the course of the 30 years we worked together, you know, he said a lot of very nice things about me and he said a lot of tough things. I mean, he faced several times at Apple the fact that their products were so premium priced they literally might not stay in the marketplace. So, the fact that we were succeeding with high-volume products, including a range of prices, because of the way we worked with multiple companies, its tough.”

“At various times, he felt beleaguered. He felt like he was the good guy and we were the bad guys. You know, very understandable. I respect Steve, we got to work together. We spurred each other on, even as competitors. None of that bothers me at all.”

It is getting harder and harder to hate Bill.

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Free Steve Jobs Audio Book via Audible.com

From 9to5Toys.com:


Looking to get a free Audio copy of the Steve Jobs book (or any book for that matter)? If you don’t feel like shelling out the $35 in addition to whatever you paid for the paper/digital version, Audible.com offers a free audio book with a 14-day membership which allows you to pick up the book for free.

The 3x110MB download is DRM free and can be played on any iOS device or in iTunes among others. Audible.com does offer many membership benefits…

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Steve Jobs told Rupert Murdoch Fox News is an “incredibly destructive force”

Rupert Murdoch on Fox News talking about the iPad and Steve Jobs (2 minutes in)

Reuters points us to a section of Walter Isaacson’s ‘Steve Jobs’ bio detailing the relationship between Jobs and New Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch. News Corp. is behind the iPad-only publication, The Daily, which Jobs was originally supposed to introduce with Murdoch on stage prior to taking medical leave before the app’s February 2nd launch.

Isaacson writes about a conversation between the two men following New Corp.’s annual management retreat in June 2010 where Jobs tells Murdoch he’s “blowing it with Fox News” while calling it a “destructive force in our society”.

“The axis today is not liberal and conservative, the axis is constructive-destructive, and you’ve cast your lot with the destructive people. Fox has become an incredibly destructive force in our society. You can be better, and this is going to be your legacy if you’re not careful.”

During the conversation, Jobs apparently asked Murdoch to create a video reel consisting of Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity shows, to which Murdoch agreed. Jobs later revealed to Isaacson plans to have a similar reel made by Jon Stewart’s Daily Show team, a show known for calling out Fox News frequently. Isaacson quotes Murdoch, prior to Steve’s passing, as saying, “I’d be happy to see it, but he hasn’t sent it to me”.

Jobs told Isaacson he believed Murdoch didn’t like the direction Fox News had gone saying, “Rupert’s a builder, not a tearer-downer, he said. I’ve had some meetings with James, and I think he agrees with me. I can just tell.” Although, Isaacson quotes Murdoch as shrugging off Jobs’ complaints saying “He’s got sort of a left-wing view on this”.

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