Chapter 1: We Were Impatient
A New York Times
cartoon from the late 1990s perfectly captured the spirit of the age. Entitled "How to Start Your Very Own Silicon Valley Startup," its captions went thus:
STEP ONE: Go to Menlo Park. Find a tree.
STEP TWO: Shake the tree. A venture capitalist will drop out. Before he regains his wits, recite the following incantation: "Internet, Electronic Commerce, Distributed Enterprise-Enabled Applications, Java!"
STEP THREE: The venture capitalist will give you $4 million.
STEP FOUR: In 18 months, go public.
STEP FIVE: After you receive your check, go back to Menlo...
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
-- ROBERT BURNS, "Auld Lang Syne"
Widely published business theorist Peter Drucker criticized the career of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs by stating that Jobs met with too much success in the first five years of his career. Consequently, he never really had to make "the tough decisions." And when later he and his company did get in a bind, during the encroachment of new manager John Sculley, it became too easy, acceptable, and perhaps convenient for Jobs to part, quit, walk away. Start NeXT Software. Start Pixar. Come back to Apple on a white...