Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. We would be doing Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) late genius a disservice, however, if we didn't include one of the most famous examples of his sometimes caustic management style.
When a design flaw was uncovered in the 2010 iPhone 4 -- touching certain areas killed reception -- Apple initially avoided the topic with a companywide cone of silence. Jobs didn't help matters by chastising users, in one of his many off-the-cuff email answers, that they were holding it wrong.
Ignore the problem. Blame the customer. Refuse to apologize. Those approaches never work.Cooler PR heads eventually prevailed, and Apple instead spent $175 million sending cases to owners to resolve the issue. (Even now there may be questions about the problem. AntennaSys, an antenna design and consulting firm, did tests and told PC World that "all the hype has been just hype ... It's not any more sensitive to hand position that was the first-generation iPhone -- and probably many other phones on the market.")