Enron was accused of lying many times, but perhaps most vividly about its capabilities at Enron Broadband Services. Joe Hirko was accused of lying in a press release about Enron’s acquisition of WarpSpeed. A press release which was demonstrably factual and accurate and which was incidentally seen by perhaps five journalists in the entire world. Rex Shelby, Ken Rice, Kevin Hannon, Scott Yeager, and others were accused of lying at the 2000 Analyst Conference about the capabilities of the Broadband Operating System and EIN. None of their so-called lies were actually proved to be lies — and certainly not by the standard of the super-hyped tech sector of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
So when I came across this Apple report from 2004, I was goggle-eyed. Steve Jobs said at an analyst conference that there was no video iPod in the works.
Mr. Jobs addressed the issue of video on iPods when asked by Mike Wendland of the Detroit Free Press whether or not Apple was looking to add features to the iPod. “We want it to make toast,” replied Mr. Jobs. “We’re toying with refrigeration, too.” While intended to get a laugh, which it did, Mr. Jobs also offered a more substantive answer as to why Apple had heretofore not added too many features to the iPod. “One of the things we say around Apple, and I paraphrase Bill Clinton from the 1992 presidential race, is ‘It’s about the music, stupid.’” Mr. Jobs says that there is a big difference between the way people listen to music and other activities like watching videos. Specifically, he said, you can listen to music in the background, while movies require that you actually watch them. “You can’t watch a video and drive a car,” he said. “We’re focused on music.”
A year later, the video iPod debuted, complete with videos and movies available to buy on iTunes.
I don’t understand why Apple – indeed why many companies – are held to such a radically different standard than Enron.