Here’s how Steve Jobs smacked down Michael Dell on stage

It’s one of the most well-remembered quotes of computing history: when asked in 1997 what could be done to fix then-beleaguered Apple, Michael Dell told an audience of IT executives that he’d “shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders”. In private, Steve Jobs, who had just become interim CEO of the company, was furious, telling employees “f**k Michael Dell”.

In public, though, Jobs had a much more effective response:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=_hq0Ny1WgFs

In hindsight, Jobs laid out the exact plan that would see Apple become the biggest company in the world: “We are going to be second in logistics, and operations, and the buying experience, to no-one – including Dell.” That plan led to Apple becoming the king of manufacturing efficiency and retail that it is today.

Apple is now worth around $630 billion. Dell went private in 2013, at which point it was valued at around $24 billion. And, as was pointed out on Twitter, Jobs even remembered Dell’s comment on the day Apple passed its valuation:

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Image by Tom Coates.

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