Birth Of iTunes

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I came across an interesting story while reading the book “The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership” by Richard Branson, an English business magnate, investor, and philanthropist.

Richard is very fond of pulling up April Fool stunts and he shared many stories which even gave him troubles in doing so. Among those stories, my favorite is the one when he proclaimed in a press conference that his company is going to create a system in which they are going to store all the music of the world and when the system would be ready anyone can connect to it and download free music from it. This was way back in the 80s when there was no cloud, no iTunes, and only cassettes.

Several music companies got infuriated and said that they will sue Virgin Records. The stunt served its purpose and created a lot of hype. Eventually, Richard announced that it was an April Fool stunt and everything got back to normal.

A couple of years later when he met Steve Jobs they had a brief discussion over Richard’s April Fool stunt. Jobs said that it was really a cool idea and worth pursuing too and to which Richard agreed but didn’t do anything about it. Decades later Steve started iTunes (which was actually Richard’s idea) and it eventually put Virgin Record out of business.

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