Jordan McMahon, for Wired:
When Jobs took over, he went on a campaign to salvage Apple’s remaining resources by hacking and slashing under-performing departments. The problem, Jobs said, was that Apple had lost its focus. The company was making too many products that people didn’t want to buy. After years of leading innovation in the PC industry, the Macintosh’s operating system had fallen behind its biggest competitor. “It used to be easy when we were 100 times better than Windows. But now that we’re not, you don’t know what to do,” Jobs told the room. This was a big slap in the face—just two years earlier, Jobs had quipped that Microsoft “had no taste.”
Soghoian didn’t like that. As Apple’s product manager of automation, he was tasked with finding new and clever ways to for users take tedious and repetitive tasks on the Mac—like organizing a bunch of files at once or resizing massive groups of photos—and write small bits of code to complete those tasks quickly.
“No, you’re wrong,” Soghoian told the notoriously brutal CEO. Jobs fired back: “And you are?”
“I’m Sal Soghoian, and you’re wrong. My technology is better than Windows.”
From AppleScript, through Automator, to Workflow for iOS, and Sal’s future in The Omni Group — the path of automation over the years is definitely interesting, but I still cannot fathom why Apple let Sal go.
Anyway, I rely on automating my tasks on Mac and iOS every single day, so I can’t help but wonder what its future will be. Keeping my fingers crossed.