Is Dr. Dre The New Steve Jobs?
Apple’s recent purchase of Beats Music has been panned by numerous pundits as a distraction and not the right investment that Apple needs, etc. I have to tell you that I think it was a brilliant strategic move on Apple’s part in the high stakes game of high tech chess moves.
Over the past few years I have been watching the rise of Beats Electronics and have been amazed at where they have taken their products. Let’s face it, any company that can sell a $1000 pair of headphones has got some serious mojo in the marketplace. Then Beats was actually able to help HTC sell a significant amount of handsets with the Beats branding, something HTC had serous difficulty with up until that point against the Samsung juggernaut.
It was at that point I could see a huge “chink” in Apple’s armor and Beats was exploiting it brilliantly. What is that chink in Apple’s armor that Beats figured out? …
Apple was no longer the “Cool Kid on the Block” but just that big heavyweight from Silicon Valley. Enter Beats, with their New York and LA influenced chic products that were technologically more advanced than Apple could dish out. So Beats was able to deliver leading edge products that were also cool, kind of like when the iPod was launched with white headphones and silhouettes of really cool people dancing their asses off.
And the Beats Goes On …
Steve Jobs had a unique mix of confidence, child like innocence and a “depleted uranium” type of perseverance that powered him to create insanely great products. This brings us full circle to the title of this column, because I can see similar attributes with Dr. Dre and the crew at Beats Electronics, but can Dr. Dre fill Steve’s shoes? Time will tell, but he certainly has a good shot at becoming the “Next Steve Jobs” and radically influencing Apple’s product design to become “totally cool” once again.
I think Jay Samit, Chairman of Realty Mogul, got it right in an interview on Bloomberg’s “In The Loop” video segment when he said “Beats Electronics had figured out how to get into the Cars with their integrated hardware device” and that the Beats acquisition “was a very smart move by Apple and recognition that Apple is not the only cool brand anymore, which is why they got a lot of backlash”