A refreshing reminder of how a company can dig themselves out of some deep decline.

Would there be iPhones, iPads and iPods on the market today if Sun Microsystems had been able to close a deal to buy out Apple in the mid-1990s?

No, says former Sun CEO Scott McNealy. “If we had bought Apple, there wouldn’t have been iPods or iPads … I’d have screwed that up,” McNealy conceded in a talk Feb. 24 with another former Sun top executive, ex-President Ed Zander, at a Churchill Club dinner at the Santa Clara Convention Center.