When Michael Dell was asked at a computer trade show in October 1997
what he would do if he were Steve Jobs and taking over Apple,
he replied, "I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders."
Jobs fired off an email to Dell.
"CEOs are supposed to have class," it said. "I can see that isn't an opinion you hold."
Jobs liked to stoke up rivalries as a way to rally his team
he had done so with IBM and Microsoft-- and he did so with Dell.
When he called together his managers to institute a build-to-order system for manufacturing and distribution,
Jobs used as a backdrop a blown-up picture of Michael Dell with a target on his face.
"We're coming after you, buddy," he said to cheers from his troops.
One of his motivating passions was to build a lasting company.
At age twelve, when he got a summer job at Hewlett-Packard,
he learned that a properly run company could spawn innovation far more than any single creative individual.
"I discovered that the best innovation is sometimes the company, the way you organize a company," he recalled.
"The whole notion of how you build a company is fascinating.
When I got the chance to come back to Apple,
I realized that I would be useless without the company, and that's why I decided to stay and rebuild it."