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  • Report: Steve Jobs Initially Got it 'Wrong' on Retail


    In a candid new interview with Fortune, former Apple retail chief and new J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson opens up about how he convinced late Apple boss Steve Jobs to shed his initial vision for what would become the company's hugely successful retail presence.

    According to Johnson, Jobs originally wanted Apple stores to be tailored to business and creative professionals, not general consumers. "I said, 'Well, then I'm not coming. If you want to be a store for all Americans, sign me up,'" Johnson admits of his earlier talks with Jobs.

    Johnson admits, not surprisingly, that Jobs was at first stubborn about changing course with the retail strategy.
    But eventually, he conceded. And Jobs told his team of the new direction by walking into a meeting one day and abruptly dropping the news. "Ron thinks this store is all wrong," Jobs said, "and he's right. We're going to start over."

    In retrospect, Johnson was clearly right and helped Apple turn a pretty penny by moving away from Jobs' original vision. Today, with 360 Apple stores around the world at an approximate value of $7,000 per square foot, Apple was well served by Ron Johnson, who is now dedicated to helping J.C. Penney return to its glory days of retail.

    Source: Fortune
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Report: Steve Jobs Initially Got it 'Wrong' on Retail started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. Gustavo Saliola's Avatar
      Gustavo Saliola -
      A Man with a extraordinary vision, and a Mighty Set of Balls. Hope he will make it great with JC Penney.
    1. Bluprint's Avatar
      Bluprint -
      People primarily used macs to be creative. I remember that. Thanks to him, we are now dumber by allowing everybody and their house cat to post youtube videos
    1. ddonuts4's Avatar
      ddonuts4 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bluprint View Post
      People primarily used macs to be creative. I remember that. Thanks to him, we are now dumber by allowing everybody and their house cat to post youtube videos
      In other words...
      Then everyone took an arrow to the knee?
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Ron is the man, he definitely has enough money to retire but he loves what he does and he's very very good at it so he moves on to other projects! I really hope he can do the same thing with J.C. Penney.
    1. Jaesian's Avatar
      Jaesian -
      It's interesting because in Jobs' biography, that story of the meeting where he conceded to Johnson's strategy was not necessarily referring to the fact that they were marketing to the wrong demographic but were designing the way the store marketed Apple's products in the wrong manner. Jobs wanted the store to highlight the four products: PowerMac, iMac, iBook and PowerBook, while Johnson wanted to design the store to focus on what could be achieved with these products, such as a movie bay displaying the movie editing capabilities of the iMovie the various products. I think that Jobs may have had the wrong vision of the store, but the fact that he wanted a public store for easy consumer access meant he understood the possibilities the general consumer would have with these products.
    1. centori's Avatar
      centori -
      Oh come on, it is living man words against a dead man. He can said what ever he wanted. Shameless!

      Great store without greatest products, what can he sell? his ??S
    1. Psyko's Avatar
      Psyko -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bluprint View Post
      People primarily used macs to be creative. I remember that. Thanks to him, we are now dumber by allowing everybody and their house cat to post youtube videos
      By "allowing" people to post Youtube videos? Yeah, because only *some* people deserve freedom of speech. Quality is subjective, meaning that chances are low that the uploader decided to upload a video with the intention to provoke Google by using a few megabytes of their storage.
    1. Raketemensch's Avatar
      Raketemensch -
      Quote Originally Posted by centori View Post
      Oh come on, it is living man words against a dead man. He can said what ever he wanted. Shameless!

      Great store without greatest products, what can he sell? his ??S
      If you read the biography, you'll see that this story was already told in there, but Ron's voice wasn't included.

      So it isn't really ground-breaking news, nor is it a shameful attack against a dead-man, it's just fleshing out the skeleton of a story that was already out there.
    1. brownlace's Avatar
      brownlace -
      You guys are too funny! lmao