Steve Jobs and the iPod nano »

Steve Levy, writing at Wired, recounting a conversation with Steve Jobs the day Apple announced the iPod nano:

“This is a huge bet,” he said, describing how once or twice a year he gathered the top 100 people at the company—“not the top 100 in the org chart but if you were going to have 100 people on a rowboat with you, who would you want?”—to figure out big strategic issues. The previous year, he said, he had opened the meeting with a speech: “Our revenues have doubled in the last two years,” he told his team. “And our stock price is high and our shareholders are happy. We have a lot of momentum. And a lot of people think, ‘It’s really great, we’ve got a lot to lose, let’s play it safe.’ That’s the most dangerous thing we can do. We have to get bolder, because we have world class competitors now and we just can’t stand still.” The bold move was the Nano, replacing the wildly popular iPod mini with an even tinier, full-featured, color-screened successor. “We call this a heart transplant—stop one production line, start another. It’s amazing, and the team has done brilliantly and pulled it off.”