By the mid-1990s, the conventional wisdom was that Apple computer’s glory days had passed. The once-proud tech giant was being replaced by new companies that were introducing better products for a lower price. When asked what he would do if given the chance to be Apple CEO, Michael Dell said, “I’d shut the company down and give the money back to shareholders.”

This comment did not sit well with Apple CEO Steve Jobs. He grabbed the microphone at a meeting of one of the Apple design teams and said, “The world doesn’t need another Dell or HP. It doesn’t need another manufacturer of plain, beige, boring PCs. If that’s all we’re going to do, then we should really pack up now. But we’re lucky, because Apple has a purpose. Unlike anyone in the industry, people want us to...

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