A great look back of his time inside (and outside) of Apple by Jean-Louis Gassee, on the 40th anniversary of when he joined the company — he joined the day Apple went public! A couple call-outs:
In 1985, Apple engineer Sam Holland convinced us to develop our own 4-processor CPU chip to power future Macs. This was to be done in collaboration with AT&T Microelectronics and led us to buy a Cray supercomputer on which to simulate the future world-beating Mac CPU. Although the project never panned out, it wasn’t entirely a failure: The idea that the Mac could be vertically integrated all the way down to the silicon manifested itself in the 2008 acquisition of Palo Alto Semiconductor, which led to the development of a line of best-in-class iPhone processors, and now MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops running on Apple Silicon M1 SoCs. True to form (and as discussed in the past two Monday Notes, here and here), critics, whether independent or otherwise financially connected, claimed that M1-powered Macs aren’t all that revolutionary.
Spoiler: they are.
Also, no surprise that Apple has long wanted to control their own stack, but it is surprising how long ago they were thinking about it.
I got one more peek behind the doors of my erstwhile employer when the company I co-founded with Steve Sakoman was in play to be acquired by Apple to rejuvenate its tired software DNA. Ultimately, Apple CEO Gil Amelio took a pass on Be and decided to go with Steve Jobs and NeXTStep. In retrospect, it was a wise choice. Jobs’ return reinvigorated the company; his team and their software would become the soul and brains of the most spectacular turnaround our industry has ever seen.