In a very interesting interview with CultofMac.com, John Sculley former Apple CEO and a good friend of Steve Jobs for over 25 years opened up about what went on in the company’s early days. The most interesting, but not most surprising, part was when he explained which Japanese company influenced Steve Jobs the most.
“[One Japanese company] that Steve admired was Sony,” Sculley told the site. “We used to go visit Akio Morita and he had really the same kind of high-end standards that Steve did and respect for beautiful products. I remember Akio Morita gave Steve and me each one of the first Sony Walkmans. None of us had ever seen anything like that before because there had never been a product like that. This is 25 years ago and Steve was fascinated by it. The first thing he did with his was take it apart and he looked at every single part. How the fit and finish was done, how it was built.”
“He was fascinated by the Sony factories. We went through them. They would have different people in different colored uniforms. Some would have red uniforms, some green, some blue, depending on what their functions were. It was all carefully thought out and the factories were spotless. Those things made a huge impression on him. The Mac factory was exactly like that. They didn’t have colored uniforms, but it was every bit as elegant as the early Sony factories that we saw. Steve’s point of reference was Sony at the time. He really wanted to be Sony. He didn’t want to be IBM. He didn’t want to be Microsoft.”
Sculley added: “He wanted to be Sony.”