John Sculley On Apple Today, & HyperCard Regrets

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C|Net has published an interesting interview with former Apple CEO John Sculley. Mr. Sculley left Apple in the early 1990s after overseeing some of Appleis headiest expansion, and is somewhat credited with both the failures ad triumphs of the Newton, as well as a variety of other things beyond the scope of this article. The interview with C|Net focuses mainly on the tech industry of today from Mr. Sculleyis vantage point as an investment partner with technology-oriented venture firm Sculley Brothers. The interview also touches on some specific Apple memories that we found interesting. From C|Net:

When you watch the technology field, are there any times when you say to yourself that they really got it wrong in this area, or they are hitting it on the nose?
I think the computer industry now is almost like the fax industry or printer industry, in that it has been totally commoditized. The only exception to that is what Apple has been able to do with just beautiful products, well-thought through, no compromises, great styling. And that, at least, so far has not turned into a mainstream industry. Itis much more of a selective market industry. Taking an automobile analogy, itis more like a BMW selling inside of a much larger mainstream automobile industry.

Any missed opportunities that you wish you could do over?
As I look back on things that I wished we would have done differently when I was at Apple, I think one of the biggest missed opportunities, and it was on my watch, so I feel responsible and disappointed that we didnit do more with it, was Hypercard. It was created back in 1987 by Bill Atkinson, Appleis first software programmer. We could never figure out exactly what it was. We thought it was a prototyping tool. We thought it was a database tool. It was actually used by people as a front-end communications device for TCP/IP to connect the Internet to large Cray computers.

We werenit insightful enough to recognize that what we had inside of Hypercard, essentially, was everything that later was developed so successfully by Tim Berners-Lee with HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and HTML (Hypertext Markup Language). We didnit call it that. But essentially, we had all that hypertext, radio buttons and linking capability architected in the original Hypercard. In hindsight, I wish Apple had recognized that we had a huge opportunity to go take our user interface culture, and our know-how, and applied it to the Internet. I think we would have had a very different story for Apple during the 1990s. But that, of course, is hindsight.

Thereis a lot more in the full interview at C|Netis Web site, and we recommend it as an interesting read.

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