On Friday I was asked by a coworker to share one of my favorite Steve stories with the rest of the team. One of the funniest that came to mind was about the first time Dr. Dre showed up on Apple’s campus back in 2003. Being that we were trying to transition ourselves from being seen as a computer company to a music company it was critical that we have major figures within the music industry to speak at the keynote for the iTunes launch. Steve quickly discovered that he and Dr. Dre did not speak the same language. There were a few of us on the iTunes team who were used to working with personality types like Dr. Dre and we ended up coaching Steve quite a bit in preparation for this keynote. It was not long before we came to sobering realization that no amount of coaching was going to help.
The above video is from the iTunes keynote held at Moscone center. We couldn’t get Dr. Dre to follow the script for the life of us (with all of the media there, it was a royal nightmare).
Immediately following the Beats acquisition last week, Eddy Cue and Jimmy Lovine made an appearance at the Code conference.
Right around 30:20 in this video, Eddy Cue shares more about the future of Apple’s TV strategy than I’ve yet to hear mentioned on the public record from someone within the company. In the five years I was at Apple, Eddy and I worked very closely on a number of products together, he was responsible for presenting my design work to Steve on a weekly basis. Today he is one of the few figures who Apple now permits to be a voice of reason and face to the company. The full Walt Mossberg interview is about an hour long but is worth watching if you have a little time to set aside.
The interviewers did a great job of expressing the concerns about Apple’s need to have acquired Beats. Apple has acquired technology in prior acquisitions, never before have they had the need to acquire culture or keep a brand alive that was not conceived of internally.