Weeknote, Sunday 12th February

Quiet week.

I went along to give blood on Wednesday, only to be turned down because my iron levels were too low. Nothing, apparently, to worry about — they were 128 and the minimum level is 135 — but something I’m going to keep an eye on anyway.

Today we headed over to Folkestone with our friend Edward. While Kim and Edward met up with Judith, their old drawing teacher, for a bit of cake and a chat I went into the newly-opened Fond for a cup of coffee and a good read.

Reading and watching

I’ve been rereading John Sculley’s book Odyssey: From Pepsi to Apple. I got a copy given to me when I started at Apple in 1989, and I remember reading it and learning a lot. It’s a blend of Sculley’s story, including the period when he booted Steve Jobs out of the company, and business advice, which holds up well.

It’s often forgotten Sculley took Apple from a $1bn company to a $10bn one, a major feat of growth. He also made a mistake at the start of the history of the Mac of pumping up the price by $500 per device to pay for a massive advertising campaign, and he kept Apple’s margins high.

In some ways, Apple is still the company Sculley built: high margins, well-designed products, and proprietary technology. After Sculley left, Mike Spindler and then Gil Amelio attempted to take the company in different directions, towards more generic hardware and licensing MacOS. When he came back, Steve Jobs returned Apple to the model which Sculley had set — which was ironic given he had been “exited” by Sculley.

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