My friend Allen Hauge sent me a link to an article about the 10 Dumbest Things Steve Jobs Ever Did. They are indeed dumb … some of them only in hindsight. However, the list is missing one of the biggest mistakes Steve made, which allowed IBM to win the PC market.
Steve is rightly credited for resurrecting Apple. However, he made many mistakes early on, and in truth has been wrong more often than he has been right. Fortunately for Apple, his mistakes did not kill the company (they came close), and his “rightness” in the recent past is legendary.
So what is the biggie, they left out? The three new products that Apple introduced between the Apple II (a success) and the original Mac (the beginning of a success). Those three products, the Apple III, Lisa I and Lisa II were abject failures and as such gave IBM the ability to enter the PC market without much competition since the Apple II was quite dated by then.
Would the PC market be a different place today had any of those three products been successful? Probably. Apple is a bit player in the PC market not because they chose to be, but because Steve got it wrong early on.