So Apple needed a partner, one that could make a stable operating system,
preferably one that was UNIX-like and had an object-oriented application layer.
There was one company that could obviously supply such software -- NeXT,
but it would take a while for Apple to focus on it.
Apple first homed in on a company that had been started by Jean-Louis Gassée, called Be.
Gassée began negotiating the sale of Be to Apple, but in August 1996 he overplayed his hand at a meeting with Amelio in Hawaii.
He said he wanted to bring his fifty-person team to Apple, and he asked for 15% of the company, worth about $500 million.
Amelio was stunned. Apple calculated that Be was worth about $50 million.
After a few offers and counteroffers, Gassée refused to budge from demanding at least $275 million.
He thought that Apple had no alternatives.
It got back to Amelio that Gassée said, "I've got them by the balls, and I'm going to squeeze until it hurts."