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The iPod as Fad

In a News.com story, Dell CEO Kevin Rollins tags the iPod as a fad:

"It's interesting the iPod has been out for three years and it's only this past year it's become a raging success," said Rollins, who is also Dell's president. "Well, those things that become fads rage, and then they drop off. When I was growing up there was a product made by Sony called the Sony Walkman -- a rage, everyone had to have one. Well, you don't hear about the Walkman anymore. I believe that one-product wonders come and go. You have to have sustainable business models, sustainable strategy."
Two obvious follow-up questions for Mr. Rollins:
  • You talk about the iPod as a "fad". If Dell's own portable digital digital audio players had the overwhelming market share of the iPod, would you be giving interviews to the press and talking about portable digital audio players as fads?
  • You imply strongly that the Sony Walkman was a "one-product wonder". Yet Sony sold, by one calculation, 340 million of them over the years, and the Walkman was so successful that the word itself was placed in the Oxford English Dictionary. Are you saying that Dell wouldn't like to have a Walkman-like business?


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1. Of course.
2. Of course.

You have a brilliant career ahead of you of as a prosecutor (never asking a question to which you don't already know the answer).

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