Friday, October 09, 2009

Why Apple iPod outsell us?

I work in a small mp3 player company.

Last week, the managing director call up all the senior manager and experience technical people for a meeting.

MD says, "I am wandering, why Apple iPod still selling better than ours. The cheapest iPod shuffle cost much more than our cheapest mp3 player, and it doesn't came with a display."

."This meeting is our brainstorm session, how we can increase our sales and revenue. Each one of you has to contribute at least one idea."

I say, "May be we should have more color choice for our mp3 player."

Another technical guy says, " We can package the mp3 player with portable speaker."

The marketing manager says, "I try to get a new marketing executive to run a campaign to promote our product, and already inform the HR to get new people in."

While the HR manager still have no ideas why she was in the meeting, "Oh! Yes. I have already place the online recruitment, but so far no good response."

The Finance Director say, "If we need more people to research on new product, or run new campaign, we need to look at our budget again..."

The other technical guy and me, looking at each other. We know the answer in our mind, we need an iTunes.

It was 3 years ago, at the same meeting room, same topic, we propose to have a mp3 management software like iTunes, but much simpler. The first response from the previous MD is, "What iTunes? I thought we are talking about mp3 players here."

After we explain what iTunes is, we agree to allocate resources for it. Unfortunately after some discussion from the top management, we do not have the budget for it.

Since it was not in our KPI (Key Performance Indicator), we all just simply thrown out some ideas, write it down and end the brainstorm session.

While walking out from the meeting rooms and pass by some colleagues, I heard them talking with each other.

"This iTunes software is so easy and convenient to use, is even better than our own mp3 conversion software."

"Too bad, after I have updated to the latest version, it doesn't work with our mp3 player anymore."


I am not working in a company who make mp3 players. I just make up the story above, imagine myself working in Sony, Samsung or Creative Technology.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Some Apple and Newton history

This article stated that Newton PDA is Steve Jobs' failure ("most notorious failure, the Newton"), is totally wrong.

According to wikipedia, Newton development started at 1989 (Jobs already left Apple at that time), Apple CEO John Sculley is back behind the project. If you know Apple history well, Sculley was invited by Steve Jobs to join Apple, while he was a president of Pepsi Cola.

That is a legendary quote, Jobs ask Sculley, "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?". It was the year 1983, Sculley join Apple.

Sculley and Jobs has conflicts on Apple's management, force Jobs to leave the Apple Computer in 1985. Sculley leave Apple in 1993, Jobs came back to Apple in 1997 after Apple bought over the NeXT Computer.

The Newton development was stop at 1998, the year after Steve Jobs came back to Apple again.