Speaking at Oxford, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared a lesson learned from the “spectacular” commercial failure of the Power Mac G4 Cube in 2000 — and from his mentor Steve Jobs. An anonymous reader quotes Business Insider:
“It was a very important product for us, we put a lot of love into it, we put enormous engineering into it,” Cook said of the G4 Cube on stage. He calls it an “engineering marvel.” At the time, Cook was Apple Senior VP of Worldwide Operations, recruited personally by then-CEO Steve Jobs… While the design was a hit, it was $200 more expensive than the regular Power Mac G4, a more traditional-looking PC with very similar specs. And some Cubes would develop cosmetic cracks in the acrylic cube casing due to a manufacturing flaw. In his talk, Cook says that Apple knew the Cube was flopping “from the very first day, almost…”
Ultimately, Cook says, it was a lesson in humility and pride. Apple had told both employees and customers that the G4 Cube was the future. And yet, despite Apple’s massive hype, demand just wasn’t there, and the company had to walk away. “This was another thing that Steve [Jobs] taught me, actually,” says Cook. “You’ve got to be willing to look yourself in the mirror and say I was wrong, it’s not right.” In a broader sense, Cook says that Jobs taught him the value of intellectual honesty — that, no matter how much you care about something, you have to be willing to take new data and apply it to the situation.
He advised his audience to “be intellectually honest — and have the courage to change.”
And the article points out that today there’s a small but enthusiastic community who are still hacking their Power Mac G4 Cubes.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.