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Apple's Steve Job's Wants To Free Music--But His Message Is About Freeing Consumers To Create Their Own Music.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on February 7, 2007

The media this morning is full of Steve Job’s online essay (is this his first personal blog effort?) and it frames his agument in terms of pressuring the music industry to drop its opposition to online piracy by ending its use of anticopying software encoded in songs. Jobs argues that the technology isn’t working, piracy continues and people would buy more music online if they could share. Remember, songs from one online store or catalogue often don’t work on another’s player.

But what Jobs is really doing is arguing for something much more important than just music. He’s saying that companies everywhere have to end their command-and-control cultures that try to silo off content, products, services, wahtever and and sell it directly to customers. There is a new world of co-creation out there with people demanding that they shape their own experiences, their own products. And companies have to provide both the tools and bits and pieces of the content to help them along. Think Home Depot when it still was retail focussed, with really smart employees offering advice and selling stuff to people to help them design and build their bathrooms and kitchens.

Corporate culture is moving toward a helping, empowering culture. Think about it. And read Job’s online. It’s more than music.

Reader Comments

Dan Lewis

February 7, 2007 4:30 PM

Apple and Jobs have been the epitome of “command-and-control culture”. If you are suggesting that Jobs is for a more open system then why hasn’t Apple licensed their computer operating systems for use on non-Apple computers?


March 23, 2007 12:08 PM

well, the music piracy is a big issue today and is hitting the music industry like anything. but the only way to stop it is to stop displaying it online, which is also not possible as it would snatch away the market from the music industries. also, the sites displaying the music would also suffer to a large extent.

but music piracy, a big issue today, is not only an online issue. many pirates release the audio cassets and cds and most recent, the MP3 format and DVD formats have created a wow in itself. hence, to avoid piracy, it should as well be stopped. this is regarding the Indian context I am talking about. I dont know whether the same is true for other countries as well or not.

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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