John Sculley, the man who threw Steve Jobs out of Apple, made the right decision.

Everyone knows the story of Steve Jobs and how he built Apple computers with Wozniak. We all have time and again sympathised with him when he was thrown out of the company he himself created - Apple.

But not many people know the reason why he was thrown out of his own company and who was responsible for it. Ironically, it was the man whom Jobs hired himself after chasing him for a long time. Once a top CEO of America, John Sculley was once a name to be reckoned with. It is said that he single-handedly increased the market share of Pepsi in the Coca-Cola dominated market and turned it into a leading cola brand.

The book “Odyssey” is his complete journey from his earlier days in Pepsi to his final days in Apple.

The book is well written, very insightful and if you are not biased because of your love for Jobs then you will like this book. This book contains the Sculley’s side of the story and what leads him to turn his guards against Jobs and ask him to leave the company. He says that he admired Jobs for his brilliant mind and expletive personality but there were few personality flaws of his which just wouldn’t work in the corporate sector. His personal friendship and professional relationship with Jobs is what constitutes the majority of the chapters in the book.

There is no doubt about the talent of Jobs. Later in 90s, Apple called him back when Apple ship was sinking and he came back to lift it again and not only that, with the launch of iPod, iPhone and iPod, he turned it the most valued company in the world.

In the world where end defines the mean, we don’t care what was the inside story as far as our hero is getting successful. However, the truth is far from what we actually know.

Success hides the flaws in public eyes and failures bring it on the front page of newspapers.

Steve Jobs was not a very well-behaved man when he started Apple and the success of Apple which was a fluke initially which made him even more arrogant than he was. Luckily it was also his arrogance that was responsible for turning Apple into a Tech giant.

The arrogance is not something you will be usually advised to practice in your life —


Because it doesn’t work.

It used to work when there were fewer options but not anymore because now people have more options for everything compared to what they had in the 70s.

The book is, of course, Sculley’s version of what happened. After Jobs was thrown out, the media, along with Jobs, turned Sculley into a villain who according to them usurped the company and backstabbed the man who trusted him. After reading the book you will know that Sculley was not the Villain that media and Jobs made him to be, rather he did what was in his power and was a pragmatic decision at that time; he did what any CEO in his position would have done.

Yes, the book is written by Sculley himself but that should not be the reason for you to find bias in his version of events. The man needs to be heard, at least by young entrepreneurs to know the right from wrong and wrong from right. It is time that we get to know his side too. The book was written way back but wasn’t successful as people had always been more sympathetic and loving towards the enigmatic personality of Steve Jobs. After all who can deny that Jobs was a master salesman and a great brand strategist.

Sculley gives due credit to Jobs wherever he was good but at the same time, he also mentions that there are certain rules for doing business and while working one needs to have some consideration for their peers and employees feeling; like empathy, which Jobs was completely oblivious to.

He won’t care about the company’s investment methods and capabilities and board meetings and he wouldn’t care about his investors. He wouldn’t care about the products made by his own company like Daisy computers which was headed by a separate team, not by Jobs team who handled Macintosh division. The Mackintosh team would constantly mock the Daisy team. They would daily harass the Daisy team by telling them that their product is inferior to Mac, which was a really abhorrent behaviour by any employees in any company. Instead of condemning it, Jobs was actually the one who as promoting it.

When Jobs was hunting for CEOs for Apple; Apple was at its peak and was challenging head-on another Tech giant IBM, which had more than 80% of market share at that time. His hunt took him to Sculley, who was working as CEO at Pepsi and was a hotshot there for his strategies that turned around the Pepsi market and took a major share of Coca cola’s market in the US with his unapologetic and aggressive marketing and advertising methods.

If you remember the series of ads where a monkey is seen sitting on a table and has two covered bottles in front of him. He is asked to taste and chose one. The monkey chooses one bottle and enjoys it more than the other after tasting it. It turns out to be a Pepsi bottle while the other bottle, which the monkey didn’t enjoy was Coke. This kind of ad campaigning was against advertising ethics at that time but Sculley played with his guts and the campaign became a hit.

Sculley was a hot cake when Jobs went to him and offered him the job. Shifting from a giant company like Pepsi to another newbie company that deals with yet-growing computer technology seemed odd to him at first and he refused. It was then that Jobs looked Sculley in the eyes and came up with the now famous line which made him changed his mind —

“Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”.

The book is good to read for people who are not Apple fanatics because true Apple fans are like cult group members, they don’t listen to anything against Apple and Steve Jobs. For everyone else, this book is a wise read and a must read if you are curious to know the truth of the other side.

A Film Director|| An Author At Amazon || Quora Writer || Medium Writer || Book Reader || Film Enthusiast and Critic || Motivational Speaker. I love writing.