Austin Carr for Fast Company looks back at the project that started as “The Netflix Player” but was eventually spun out into the Roku box/company:
It was December 2007, and the device was just weeks away from launching. Yet after all the years and resources and talent invested in the project (a team of roughly 20 had been working on it around the clock, from ironing out the industrial design and user interface to taking trips to Foxconn to finalize production details), Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was having serious second thoughts. The problem? Hastings realized that if Netflix shipped its own hardware, it would complicate potential partnerships with other hardware makers. “Reed said to me one day, ‘I want to be able to call Steve Jobs and talk to him about putting Netflix on Apple TV,’” recalls one high-level source. “‘But if I’m making my own hardware, Steve’s not going to take my call.’”
In hindsight, good call.
But ultimately, Wood says, “It was totally the right decision. Licensing [digital content] has been hugely successful for Netflix. [The Netflix Player] would’ve created tension with partners, and increasingly decisions would come up where Netflix would have to decide, ‘Should we make decisions based on what’s best for licensing, or what’s best for our own hardware?’”
Sounds eerily similar to the dilemmas that both Google (with Motorola) and Microsoft (with Surface) now face, no?
“I had to repair the relationship. So the day the board called me to say I was CEO. … I decided to call my parents, my grown children, a couple of friends and Steve.”
Disney chief Bob Iger speaking to producer Brian Grazer at a Hollywood luncheon. And yes, he means Steve Jobs.
Larry Page, when asked by Fortune’s Miguel Helft if he really felt like Apple’s (and specifically Steve Jobs’) declaration of war against Android was just for show.
Good post by Mat Honan in the wake of a billion Steve Jobs tributes over the past few days. Honan tries to make sense of it all:
Even when we don’t discuss Jobs directly, he is still in our conversations. If you talk about mobile anything, you’re talking about Steve Jobs. Ditto Chinese manufacturing, digital animation, user interfaces, apps, hardware design — even the stock market itself, which is now firmly dominated by Apple, the metric against which all other companies are measured. There’s not an important mainstream technology product or service out there right now that isn’t a result of or response to Steve Jobs. It’s not so much that we want to keep talking about him; it’s that there’s no avoiding it.
Jobs, like the titans of industry before him, realized that when we think about how the world works, we are actually thinking about the way people have made it to work. And that means that if you don’t like the way the world works, you are free to change it. Which is exactly what he did.
There is no question that a hundred years from now, these stories will continue. As they should.
Classy tribute. RIP, Steve.
Perhaps the single worst headline in the history of headlines about Apple. And yes, that’s saying a lot.
It’s pretty sad what Forbes has become. Total trash.
Steve Jobs to software engineer Randy Adams upon learning that Ross Perot was coming to visit to decide whether or not to invest in NeXT.