“We knew we were snowing them the entire time!”
Hard to pick one excerpt from this great post by Steven Levy, so I’ll pick four:
It was at CES that year that HP announced its version of the iPod. That in itself was pathetic. The company’s motto at the time was Invent! But at the biggest event of the technology world, HP’s big newsmaking announcement was that it was selling someone else’s invention. Nonetheless in our interview on January 8, just off the show floor, Fiorina boasted about cobranding the iPod as if it were an innovative coup for her own company.
And soon after HP began selling iPods, Apple came out with new, improved iPods — leaving HP to sell an obsolete device. Fiorina apparently did not secure the right to sell the most current iPods in a timely fashion, and was able to deliver newer models only months after the Apple versions were widely available.
She was adamant that HP had the right to determine what color the HP iPod would be. Knowing Steve Jobs and his protectiveness about all things design, this sounded dubious to me. I got on the phone with him that very day, and asked him if HP would be producing blue iPods. There was a significant pause. “We’ll see,” he finally said with a bit of ice in his voice.
Those considering pulling a ballot lever for Fiorina should consider what she told me in January 2004 about why she thought Apple went to her for the iPod deal: “I think what Apple saw is an innovative company that they respected.” But Jobs and Apple apparently had a different view. As that aforementioned source told me, “We knew we were snowing them the entire time!”
As a reminder, this person wants to be President of the United States.