What people said about the iPod 9 years ago when it launched...

The iPod made its debut in Oct 2001. It looked like this:

This is what they said:
iPoop... iCry. I was so hoping for something more.
Great just what the world needs, another freaking MP3 player. Go Steve! Where's the Newton?!
I still can't believe this! All this hype for something so ridiculous! Who cares about an MP3 player? I want something new! I want them to think differently! Why oh why would they do this?! It's so wrong! It's so stupid!
All that hype for an MP3 player? Break-thru digital device? The Reality Distiortion Field™ is starting to warp Steve's mind if he thinks for one second that this thing is gonna take off.
1. Not revolutionary. Big capacity mp3 players already exist. With Creative Labs' entrance into the firewire arena, future nomads will have similar specs and better prices.
2. A bad fit. This product is outside Apple's core competancy - computing devices. When many are calling for a pda, they release an MP3 player.
3. Without a future. This Christmas you will see mp3 players be commoditized. Meaning that the players from Korea will be way less expensive tha iPod. The real money is in DRM and distribution (ala Real Musicnet). If Apple were smart they would be focusing on high gross revenue from services rather than a playback device.

via forums.macrumors.com

Proof you can't listen to the commentators and the haters. You must continue to work on your product with extreme focus. It's easy to armchair criticize things, but hard to deliver. So... deliver.

You should follow me on twitter here.

49 responses
love this article and completely agree w/ you Garry.... was bummed tho to see no multitasking or camera... I'm sure it will be in the next rev.
Brilliant post Garry and great reminder
Great post! I was a little disappointed about some stuff but... this is going to be a great product.
Good marketing, solid hype-creation and an extremely loyal userbase sells products, REAL technological advancements *without marketing* rarely do. These are still crap products (considering alternatives), they're just made to smell better, and have the promise of getting you la.. err.. status.

What was it again.. oh yeah: Don't Believe The Hype. it still counts.

The killer comment though is "The real money is in DRM and distribution (ala Real Musicnet). If Apple were smart they would be focusing on high gross revenue from services rather than a playback device."

It was iTunes that propelled the iPod into a defacto standard for MP3 players, Apple used iTunes to shift the device. The revolution was in buying music. The device itself (esp the mark one) deserved some of the comments above.

Also, let's not forget that it works the other way too - armchair champions are still sitting in armchairs. Remember early '90s "multimedia"? (3DO anyone?)
People were wrong once, so therefore they're always wrong?
How quickly people forget
And yet, 9 years later, the iPod is still a fat MP3 player which now, happens to do video too. And the iPad is a large-screen, very pretty, closed-system iPod. The iPod could not have been a computer (and still isn't). The iPhone could have been a computer (but it's pretty small). The iPad could have been a computer, Should Be a computer, and isn't.

9 years ago it was 2001. Now it's 2010, we have learned a lot, we have better technology... and Apple ships a larger, flatter, iPod with a slightly different name.

great post and reminder to not always listen to what others are saying! Nooption, I agree... The ipod with itunes is just brilliant!
Wise words Garry.

This is why design by consensus rarely generates amazing results.

This post is a logical fallacy. Every product will have positive and negative criticism. It's fallacious to then leverage one light of commentary as to suggest a completely unrelated product 10 years later will be successful because people are saying negative things and that were wrong before.
This is fantastic. What a good thing to keep in mind whenever criticism arises from the armchair!
re: logical fallacy and iPad -- I never said anything about the iPad. I withhold judgment on that device... though I probably will buy one.


great post garry. even if it is not wildly successful in the market it will at least be so within their existing user base. continually sustaining such a high level of success is difficult
Multitasking shrinks your brain. Camera? When was the last time you used one to chat with somebody in a meaningful way?
fangohr "Multitasking shrinks your brain" that's a dumb statement. "When was the last time you used one to chat with somebody in a meaningful way? " Oh.... I don't know... maybe when my daughter's gymnastics team won 1st place and my daughter was able to share the good news with her Grandma in Colorado via Skype." Don't be a blind Apple fan. I'm a huge fan of the iPad and will be first in line to buy one, but don't be an idiot and refuse to admit it has flaws.
Fanboy? My statements didn't really have any correlation with Apple. I was asking when the last time was that you used the camera in a meaningful way. Glad to see that you were able to put it to use. In the way I use computers I find attached cameras more of a gimmick than a deal breaker.

Dumb? Multitasking does take a big toll on your brain and memory. Take a look at the links below:
and http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/20070201/multitasking-hurts-learning

Here is another article about Eric Schmidt worrying about the constant bombardment of bits of information and how it'll change kid's cognition. http://www.physorg.com/news183997070.html

I seriously think that multitasking can be in the way of concentration and therefore of getting things done. I am looking forward to trying out a device that might be able help me focus in a world in which every social connection or business entity is constantly pinging you to vie for your attention.

Also, John: Stop jumping to conclusions and calling me names. It doesn't make you look any smarter. I, just like you haven't used the device yet. We can speculate but don't really know what its flaws or upsides are going to be.
Way to go Gary! Never let the naysayers get you down. If you believe in something then you have to keep your eye on your dream and deliver!
Thanks Gary for posting this - people have such a short term memory - but I'm more disappointed in my fellow Apple fans who are disappointed in the iPad - not giving Steve the benefit of the doubt is just mutiny ;-) Especially after he's given us. "Meh" to the Armchair pundits!
@Ryo: was your Archos a delight to use, from tactilely scrolling through long lists to simple integration with your desktop music library?

You just go on crediting the iP* success to TBWA. I'm sure if Archos invested in their services, and maybe used white headphones, we'd all be more excited about the "ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet" and letting this silly overgrown iPod languish in the obscurity it deserves.

That might be nice, actually. Then those of us who design software wouldn't have to work so hard to impress users who have overinflated expectations of straightforward controls and intuitive models.

Agree with comments here about iTunes. People didn't get the real value of an iPod until iTunes came along and revolutionized music purchase.
Interessting to read what was back then, the Ipod was a big success for apple
Super idée, reparler de l'iPod 9 ans après sa sortie, c'est assez fun quand on connait le succès de ce baladeur mp3 à travers le monde :) A french blogueuse
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