Customer Reviews: Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple : A Journey of Adventure, Ideas, and the Future
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on April 8, 2011
Well, I read this book after viewing Job's lecture at Stanford […] really fascinating. So I would know what was happening behind the scenes, and what went wrong on the love story of Jobs and Sculley.

The book explains Sculley's East Coast (and Republican) vision of how to manage a big company, which, is, essentially, I may say a "military" way to organize a company, with clear objectives and responsabilities, vs. the West Coast (and Democrat) which is more cooperative and less organized. Of course you cannot manage a multimillion company with the manager deciding on everything, from the profile of the programmers to hire to the marketing budget.

It explains also the big mistake Sculley (and others have done) when trying to emulate the Sosa wars, with IBM-PC vs. Macintosh. A consumer may just pick one Pepsi on the shelves of a supermarket, and test it, and eventually switch brands... An IT Manager simply cannot do that, and its amazing that people as smart as Apple Board of Directors didn't see this. Anyhow, since then Apple has profiled his public and they did not try to compete with PC clones anymore. They aim their sales to a prospective buyer who is not the IT Manager anymore. Probably this is not a decision done by Jobs when returning to Apple.

What the book says is not as important as what the book hides, probably the fact that not all companies are created equal, and there is no such thing as "one size fits all". Probably Sculley was the right man for the job in a certain moment, but sure Apple under his management would have become a "me too" company, as Hewlett-Packard is now. Of course I prefer the panache of DEC trying to convince the world to follow their way - although they did not suceed - to the Compaq-HP deal, manufacturing dull machines with dull O.S.
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on August 17, 2001
Mr. Sculley describes how Steve Jobs lured him to Apple, and blithely exposes his thought processes behind the decision to go. Among other things, he insisted upon a lucrative compensation/house package, explaining that he simply could not be burdened with any personal financial considerations while dedicating his self-appraised tremendous powers to running Apple. The Apple folks agreed, Sculley got his huge salary and his new house, and under his hand the company tanked down the tubes forthwith.
Sculley presented management lessons as his narrative progressed. He did not directly discuss the matter of incentives, and the complacency which unearned wealth induces so quickly, electing instead to present that lesson by his own example. Perhaps if Mr. Sculley had been more concerned about his own financial condition as a function of the company's success or failure, he would have been more highly motivated to do a better job running the firm.
At least one member of every corporate board of directors should read this book, and keep this lesson about incentives in mind whenever it's time to hire new executives and develop their compensation packages.
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VINE VOICEon December 31, 2010
When the author relates the story of being lured from Pepsi to Apple, and the introduction of the Apple Macintosh, this book is fascinating. When John Sculley inserts sections about management styles, it can bore you to tears; just skip them, nothing noteworthy in the management sections anyhow. It was fun to read this book several years after its publication, with the added depth that passage of time provides. A must-have for those interested in the early history of Apple.
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on March 29, 2000
I started with an expectation of something that would be fast paced; however, this was not to be. Sculley's style is repetitive and slow. He makes a point in a couple of paragraphs and then goes on and on about the same thing. He also gives too much importance to his personal life in the book.
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on February 6, 2015
I read Odyssey because Sculley was considered an expert on marketing. On that topic the text does disappoint the reader; he’s an exceptional person who will teach you techniques, such ideas as “Marketing as Theatre” that we take for granted today.
John Sculley was an executive, who steered Apple Computer through the turbulent waters of the 1980’s who came from Pepsi. Yet, there’s an interesting soap opera in book. John Sculley helped oust Steve Jobs from Apple in the1980’s, but it was Steve Jobs who recruited John Sculley to come to Apple Computer in the first place. Who said computers were boring?
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on October 1, 2014
This was a first edition and the book is really old - I'm happy with this purchase.
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on March 1, 1998
This is a great book. It includes the famous Knowledge Navigator prophecy. It's interesting to see the thinking that lead to today's Apple. I can't figure out why they say this book is hard to find. I just bought a brand new paperback copy (2/28/98) and I know where there are more. Anyone interested? Lee Zurligen
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on May 22, 2002
I just bought the flat-screen iMac in Mar 2002 and was eager to know the history of Apple. This book gives excellent insights to the contrasting corporate cultures between Pepsi and Apple. The former follows protocol, and place huge emphasis on winning market shares, while the latter is about freedom, creativity, learning and creating market shares.
The style is simple and direct which makes it an easy read. Readers who are looking for style more than content may be disappointed though.
You will read about Jobs' infamous quote to Sculley: `Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want to change the world?'
Although published in 1988, the book still has a great appeal to anyone who wants to learn about Sculley, Jobs or Apple. After reading the book, I found myself regularly drinking Pepsi in front of my iMac! It gives great motivation for anyone who wants to start a new business or introduce new way of doing things.
A must read for all Mac users!
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on October 14, 1999
It's just as spectacular as it sounds: Odyssey. I't s a really captivatingly written book, easy to follow (for us non-executive types) yet incredibly fascinating. It shows a complete behind the scenes of the beginnings of Apple, and some info on J. Sculley's previous "life" at PepsiCo.
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on October 19, 2012
This is a book worth reading. Considering Apple's resurgence with the iPod and the iPad, it is very timely as well.
John Sculley was Pepsi's first MBA. After some time, he was recruited by Steve Jobs to be CEO (I think, since I have
forgotten his exact title).

After some time, Sculley forced Jobs out of Apple. And I guess you will have to read the rest of the story.
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