Monday, July 25, 2011
Here is a short but fun story from a book by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller called Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN. First, i remind you that ESPN is owned by Disney. Now, the story goes that "ESPN president George Bodenheimer attended the first Disney board meeting in Orlando, Florida, just after Disney had bought Pixar and spotted Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a hallway. It seemed like a good time to introduce himself. “I am George Bodenheimer,” he said to Jobs. “I run ESPN.” Jobs just looked at him and said nothing other than “Your phone is the dumbest fucking idea I have ever heard” then turned and walked away."
The ESPN phone was the one you can see on the top. It was built by Samsung and Disney at that time expected to sell 230.000 of it but at the end they sold only 10000 "ESPN" phones. That year, Disney's mobile division wound up losing $135 million.
Six months later, Steve Jobs introduced to the world the first iPhone. So, for sure, when he talked to George Bodenheimer he knew how dumb the ESPN phone was!