Watching 75-year-old John Sculley talk is mesmerising. He has the enthusiasm of a man in his 20s combined with the experience of a man who has been in charge of some of the biggest companies in the world including Pepsi and Apple.
Sculley, who is best known for being brought in to Apple as CEO by Steve Jobs only to oust the founder a few years later, was appearing at the Web Summit conference in Dublin to promote his many investments, startups and his new book called Moonshot.
Sculley spoke on stage and revealed that "Steve Jobs never forgave me. Apple was his baby" however in a Q&A with journalists afterwards, gave some revealing details about his time working with Jobs, what a great job Tim Cook is doing and why the next great innovator could be a woman.
The next Steve Jobs
Asked if he had met the next Steve Jobs yet, Sculley replied:
"I don't think I've met the next Steve Jobs yet but fortunately I met the first one" before adding:
"I think the next Steve Jobs may well be a woman. The reason I say that is for so much of the world women are an untapped talent resource and more and more women are getting technical educations."
Speaking about Jobs and how he worked, Sculley revealed that while the Apple founder always saw things visually, there was one area where he wasn't so capable:
"Steve Jobs ultimately was a designer. That's what he did, he designed things, but he couldn't draw at all, it might surprise you to know."
Sculley said he could draw so "Steve would come up with these ideas and I'd have to sketch it out and ask 'was that what you meant?'"
Sculley describes Jobs as having the "genius eye" adding that his definition of genius was "the ability to see the obvious 20 years ahead of your competitors" - something which Jobs was able to do with the Apple 2 and many years later the iPod and iPhone.
Sculley added: "You can be a genius at one thing but not necessarily a genius at all things. You can be a genius at one moment and not necessarily a genius at all times" adding that the next great innovator will need to be able to connect the dots and bring together various domains of expertise.
When asked about Apple today under the stewardship of Tim Cook, Sculley was effusive in his praise for the new CEO:
"I think Tim Cook is doing an extraordinarily excellent job of leading Apple. He is following the foundations of strategy that Steve Jobs left as his legacy and I think Apple has several more years of very high growth, high profitability ahead of it. I only have admiration for what he has accomplished."