Yet Jobs knew that he could manipulate Sculley by encouraging his belief that they were so alike. And the more he manipulated Sculley, the more contemptuous of him he became. Canny observers in the Mac group, such as
Joanna Hoffman, soon realized what was happening and knew that it would make the inevitable breakup more explosive. “Steve made Sculley feel like he was exceptional,” she said. “Sculley had never felt that. Sculley became
infatuated, because Steve projected on him a whole bunch of attributes that he didn’t really have. When it became clear that Sculley didn’t match all of these projections, Steve’s distortion of reality had created an explosive situation.”
atmosphere. In the front of the meeting room, Jobs sat on the floor in the lotus position absentmindedly playing with the toes of his bare feet. Sculley tried to impose an agenda; he wanted to discuss how to differentiate their
products—the Apple II, Apple III, Lisa, and Mac—and whether it made sense to organize the company around product lines or markets or functions. But the discussion descended into a free-for-all of random ideas, complaints, and debates.
perfect for Apple, and Apple deserves the best.” He added that never before had he worked for someone he really respected, but he knew that Sculley was the person who could teach him the most. Jobs gave him his unblinking stare.
Sculley uttered one last demurral, a token suggestion that maybe they should just be friends and he could offer Jobs advice from the sidelines. “Any time you’re in New York, I’d love to spend time with you.” He later recounted the
climactic moment: “Steve’s head dropped as he stared at his feet. After a weighty, uncomfortable pause, he issued a challenge that would haunt me for
days. ‘Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?’”
Sculley felt as if he had been punched in the stomach. There was no response possible other than to acquiesce. “He had an uncanny ability to always get
what he wanted, to size up a person and know exactly what to say to reach a person,” Sculley recalled. “I realized for the first time in four months that I couldn’t say no.” The winter sun was beginning
to set. They left the
apartment and walked
back across the
park to the Carlyle.