Steve Jobs’ Most Legendary Moment Was Actually A ‘Screwup’, Says Ex-Employee


Steve Jobs, the late co-founder and CEO of Apple, was known for being a very difficult person to work with, due to his highly demanding, exacting and at times irrational behaviour. Though it was part of his charm and therefore, majority of his employees loved him. Erin Caton, being an exception, who worked on MobileMe service, however believes that Jobs was “a bit of a dick” and says that it was his fault that the MobileMe launch went so poorly (via Business Insider).

Steve jobs

MobileMe, which was a web-based email service for $100 a year, didn’t launch well and led to lost emails. Jobs reaction towards the failed service is legendary. He gathered the MobileMe team in Apple’s auditorium, and said, “You’ve tarnished Apple’s reputation … You should hate each other for having let each other down.” He then replaced the leader of MobileMe on the spot. But according to Caton, it was Steve Jobs’ fault that the service launch was a failure. The team stayed up all night fixing the bugs. Then when they were done, they marched into the auditorium where “Jobs chewed them out”.

She says, “we had been telling our bosses that we did not feel confident about our launch date for a long time. We gave any number of suggestions of what we could do to launch that wouldn’t be such a giant production, but would totally have worked. Somewhere up the chain of command, it was decided it was not the Apple-way to launch something without a million fireworks.”

“He stood in front of us and yelled at us, told us that we should be mad at each other, said we could have done a staggered launch and complained that we didn’t even try to do all the things that we (those on the ground floor of production that actually make the f***king products of the world) had been begging to do,” she says. “It was the world’s best de-motivational speech.”

Just because he didn’t listen to the MobileMe team who warned of its doom, Caton says it was Jobs’s own screwup.


  • Mikhail_T

    Ok…and? We all know this because it happens in a lot of companies, Apple and Jobs are not immune to this. A lot of departments suffer failures and blame it on the upper managers for it.

    Instead of placing blame (especially on a deceased guy), how about saying what needs to be done and what could be improved by Apple?

    She doesn’t work for Apple anymore, so what was the point of bitching about this? The last thing you want to do is have a public post of you whining about what somebody else screwed up (again, a deceased one) because that’s going to look absolutely great for companies who do background checks before they even consider hiring you. Nobody wants to hire whiners, they want progressive folks who thinks about what needs to be improved, not folks who thinks about what other screwed up.

  • K3

    We’re how many years passed that and how much is the company worth today-sounds like someone might be looking for her 2 seconds of fame.

  • K3

    She just feels wronged and is looking for a little iCare package preferably sent by iWaambulance.

  • MobileMe

    With employees like this, I see why MobileMe sucked. Jobs should
    have canned her too.

  • Same thing happened with maps. Apple heads were told it wasn’t ready by the maps team but it was released anyway. Not sue if the same thing happened with iCloud but even today it doesn’t work very well

  • Anthony W

    This type of situation happens to all huge companies.

  • AppleSauce

    You must be a non-technical upper manager, lol.
    The reality is that more and more managers are not technical enough to understand the decisions they are making. If the development team is saying it is not ready, you are a moron not to believe them. Magically short changing the schedule does not produce products faster, it just raises the chances for more bugs due to less testing and rushed development.

  • Mikhail_T

    Did you even read what I said because it seems you think I’m on the side of the managers here and I’m not, never said I was because it wasn’t the point.

    I do agree with that many managers are not experienced/technical enough and yes, many of situations can be blamed on managers for not listening to their engineers but not all of them.

    However, as I said, that wasn’t the point. Re-read my post focusing on the engineer here, not the manager. My point was that, it’s a done deal, she’s talking about something years ago and blaming it on deceased SJ, instead of talking about how everyone could do a better job explaining to managers, how managers should be listening to their teams and so on.

    We have learned nothing new here, and all she is doing is harming her career, not improving it by getting on the Apple’s popularity.

    Stop blaming and start talking on how we can do better is the point.