How Did Steve Jobs Get So Successful?

Ex-Apple CEO John Sculley gives tech blog the "secrets" to Jobs' success.

Oct. 15, 2010— -- The iMac, the iPod, the iPhone -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs is famous for his growing list of technological wonders. But what's the secret behind his Midas touch?

The elusive CEO likely won't tell you himself. But in an exclusive interview with the popular tech blog Cult of Mac, former Apple CEO John Sculley reveals a few secrets.

Jobs co-founded Apple Computer Inc. in his parent's garage in 1976, so the story goes, and in 1983 convinced then Pepsi Co. executive John Sculley to join Apple as its CEO. But two years later, after differences over how to run Apple, Sculley pushed Jobs out of the company he helped to create.

In his interview with Cult of Mac, Sculley says Jobs won't talk to him. Despite the strained relationship, Sculley still describes Jobs as a visionary leader.

"He felt that the computer was going to change the world, and it was going to become what he called 'the bicycle for the mind.' It would enable individuals to have this incredible capability that they never dreamed of before," he says. "He was a person of huge vision. But he was also a person that believed in the precise detail of every step. He was methodical and careful about everything -- a perfectionist to the end."

Sculley also says that one of the things that made Jobs stand out among others was his focus on minimalism.

"He always believed the most important decisions you make are not the things you do, but the things you decide not to do," Sculley says, recounting a visit to Jobs' house in which he noticed it contained only a picture of Einstein, a Tiffany lamp, a chair and a bed.

Many have attributed Apple's success to Jobs' relentless pursuit of user-friendly gadgets, and Sculley confirmed that was a hallmark of his style early on.

Sculley: Jobs Differs From Rivals Because of Commitment to Perfection

"He always looked at things from the perspective of what was the user's experience going to be. But unlike a lot of people in product marketing in those days, who would go out and do consumer testing, asking people, 'What did they want?' Steve didn't believe in that," Sculley says. "He believed that showing someone a calculator, for example, would not give them any indication as to where the computer was going to go because it was just too big a leap."

Jobs is famous for his eye for beautiful design, but Sculley says he also had a knack for recruiting the best people and believed in reaching out to those he wanted on his team.

But added that what made Jobs different from his rivals was his commitment to perfection.

In Sculley's interview with Cult of Mac, he goes into detail about his relationship with Jobs and Apple's strategy over the years. For more, read the full interview here.