Jobs motivates the Zune team?

In reading the latest cover story from Business Week on The Soul of a new Microsoft, it was said that J Allard, the VP in the Entertainment and Devices unit, used a comment from Steve Jobs to rally the troops in developing the Zune. An email from him to his team said:

“I for one…want to see this guy eat his words…”

I thought, what words from Jobs could be so motivational? The article mentioned that Job’s slam was on Youtube, so I looked it up. You can watch it here (~50 seconds). In a nut shell, Jobs basically said Microsoft had no taste and built third rate products. Not surprising. What I found bewildering, was why focus on what Job’s thinks about your company as a motivational aid? Who cares. As if he’ll ever change his mind. Although, Microsoft has always been hyper competitive. Obviously, this is an attempt to tap into that part of the culture. A better motivational aid that comes to mind could be perhaps: “build the most beautiful music player ever.” That’s something I would get behind more than making Jobs eat his words.

The oddest thing noted in the article was that apparently Allard uses a Mac at work as his primary machine. He can “research” the competition better that way. Hmm, I just call it being more productive. 😉


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