iTunes was an accidental product

In the launch of Mac in 1984, Steve Jobs had used Chariots of Fire music as a backdrop and he had also quoted Bob Dylan in one of his speeches to shareholders in 1984 quoting ‘For the times they are a-changin’.

It was also wildly rumored that Joan Baez was once her girlfriend and in Walter Isaacson’s biography, it was recounted that Yoyo Ma was a close friend of Steve Jobs.

This led me into believing that it was his love of music that led him into developing iTunes and later iPod.

And this is far from the truth.

I had been poring over the book Becoming Steve Jobs over the weekend. Apple developed iTunes for the simple reason that iMovie had fared badly.  It was free but he can’t use iMovie to sell more Macs.

I had remembered that around that period in 1999, Apple had been emphasising on iMovie.  I did not take it too seriously.  I had thought that he only wanted to use iMovie as something to sell iMac for home users.

iMovie was Steve Jobs’ pet project and he was a dad and his kids were growing up.  iMovie would appeal to a typical family who would want to record some home videos.  How simple was that?

After the launch of iMovie, he realised that the product did not really appeal to many home users.

One thing that is unusual about this failure was that he realised that not only that people were not ready for iMovie, his Mac was not ready for iMovie too.  It was still cumbersome to edit a movie and a movie took up too much disk space.  You could not store too many video recordings into Mac.

Steve Jobs and his team then decided to focus on another possibility, the simpler iTunes.



Leave a comment

Leave a Reply