Businessweek covers a talk given by Apple (and former Google) board member Bill Campbell who “held court” on Friday at the Mountain View headquarters of Intuit, where he serves as chairman. Notably, he discussed former Apple execs Tony Fadell who now runs Nest and Ron Johnson who just got fired from JCPenney. Of Nest, he pre-announced new products, saying
“You would think that people would yawn at something as boring as a thermostat,” Campbell said. “So, I’ve been surprised at how it has done and is doing. It will be the first of many products that come out of that company, which has a brilliant CEO and engineering team.”
Of Ron Johnson‘s exit at JCP, he said, “You have to keep your current business going while you experiment with a new one. He didn’t do that. He just put a bullet hole in his current business.”
But perhaps most interesting for those yearning for an iWatch, Campbell told the business software company :
Noting that he was not at liberty to give away specific details on future Apple gizmos, Campbell did tell the audience to expect to see “a lot of things going on with the application of technology to really intimate things.” He pointed to Google Glass as one such intimate object. “It’s a phenomenal breakthrough,” he said. “When you start to think about glasses or watches, they become as intimate as the cell phone was.”
In this case, Intuit could perhaps focus on more near term goals like getting Inuit’s Quicken and Quickbooks products to properly work on Apple products.
Later in the interview, during the question and answer session, Campbell provides a few tidbits of insight into the development of the first-generation iPad.
Campbell describes the collaborative and forward-thinking work ethic of Apple SVP of Market Phil Schiller and former SVP of iOS Software Scott Forstall while Steve Jobs was on medical leave.
Schiller and Forstall were proponents of the iWork suite for iPad and iBooks, according to Campbell.