In 2001 Jobs had a vision: Your personal computer would serve as a "digital hub" for a variety of lifestyle devices, such as music players, video recorders, phones, and tablets.
This played to Apple's strength of creating end-to-end products that were simple to use.
The company was thus transformed from a high-end niche computer company to the most valuable technology company in the world.
By 2008 Jobs had developed a vision for the next wave of the digital era.
In the future, he believed, your desktop computer would no longer serve as the hub for your content.
Instead the hub would move to "the cloud."
In other words, your content would be stored on remote servers managed by a company you trusted,
and it would be available for you to use on any device, anywhere.
It would take him three years to get it right. He began with a false step.
In the summer of 2008 he launched a product called MobileMe, an expensive ($99 per year) subscription service
that allowed you to store your address book, documents, pictures, videos, email, and calendar remotely in the cloud and to sync them with any device.
In theory, you could go to your iPhone or any computer and access all aspects of your digital life.
There was, however, a big problem: The service, to use Jobs's terminology, sucked.
It was complex, devices didn't sync well, and email and other data got lost randomly in the ether.
"Apple's MobileMe Is Far Too Flawed to Be Reliable," was the headline on Walt Mossberg's review in the Wall Street Journal.
Jobs was furious. He gathered the MobileMe team in the auditorium on the Apple campus, stood onstage, and asked, "Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?"
After the team members offered their answers, Jobs shot back: "So why the fuck doesn't it do that?"
Over the next half hour he continued to berate them.
"You've tarnished Apple's reputation," he said.
"You should hate each other for having let each other down. Mossberg, our friend, is no longer writing good things about us."
In front of the whole audience, he got rid of the leader of the MobileMe team and replaced him with Eddy Cue, who oversaw all Internet content at Apple.
As Fortune's Adam Lashinsky reported in a dissection of the Apple corporate culture, "Accountability is strictly enforced."