Some timely Google/Apple observations and projections; read the full post
Look at Schmidt's background. He went pretty much straight from academia to becoming an early employee of Sun Microsystems, where he grew up with the company and became a star. Then Schmidt went to Novell, an established and dysfunctional company in crisis, and failed miserably. Now he's at Google and again a star. What can we learn from these earlier experiences that will help us predict what comes next? Plenty.
Eric Schmidt succeeded at Sun because everyone else there came from a similar background. Schmidt established himself as the company was establishing itself, so he helped to form the culture. He left Sun ostensibly because the Novell opportunity came up, but his willingness to leave probably says something about Sun, which was at a point where it, too, was starting to struggle a bit. Sun seemed on top of the world in 1997 when Schmidt left, but everyone at the top knew the company had been saved by the dot-com boom and that it was luck more than ability. Schmidt wanted to go someplace where he'd finally be the one in control and logic could prevail once more. Silly him, he chose Provo.