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How Steve Jobs Buys a Company and Why Apple Bought Lala

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,441
11,827



Aubrey Johnson, a former Color employee, shares two stories behind the scenes at Apple's acquisitions of both Color and Lala -- both firms were founded by Bill Nguyen before being acquired by Apple for two very different reasons.

Like Pandora, Lala's music was streamed from the internet rather than stored locally. This allowed users to listen to a catalog of over 7 million songs for free as a stream over the web -- much like Pandora or Spotify today. Songs could also be purchased and downloaded, typically for a lower price than iTunes was offering.

Johnson writes that Lala's biggest strength was that it was at or near the top for many Google searches of particular songs, thanks to a search placement deal with Google. As a result, the firm was siphoning sales away from iTunes. As well, Google and Lala had partnered on Google's Music service. Both Nokia and Google made lowball offers for the firm, and Nguyen headed to Apple to see if they'd be interested in buying his company.
In late November [2009], Nguyen was seated at the dinner table in Steve Job's home on Waverly St in Palo Alto. Also present were Eddy Cue and Tim Cook and other Apple executives. Steve led the conversation while eating a beet salad:

"I'm going to give you a number, Bill, and if you like it, let's do it and just be done with this whole thing. Okay?" Bill agreed.

Jobs passed a piece of paper to Nguyen and Bill nodded. The deal was done.
After the acquisition, a number of Lala employees left the company with Nguyen, leaving millions in options on the table. Later, Apple apparently bought back some of those same engineers when the company purchased the remnants of Color, getting more experienced personnel for a significant savings.

Update: Johnson's post has been removed.

Article Link: How Steve Jobs Buys a Company and Why Apple Bought Lala
 

abhishake

macrumors regular
Jul 14, 2005
154
16
Nice.

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Chances are Google has more revenue & profits than Apple. They have a search engine, Android, RELIABLE Maps, etc.

This is false... There's a reason AAPL (~468 bln) is more than 2x the size of GOOG (~231 bln).
 
Comment

iRCL

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2011
284
0
Attention Macrumors

This is the kind of article people want to read. Nice
 
Comment

Yujenisis

macrumors 6502
May 30, 2002
277
1
Oh please... Without Google, Apple is nothing.

Please explain.

I agree that without Google the Internet would be a very different, and arguably less useful place. Google revolutionized search and forced every other player to adapt or die.

Anyone else remember the smattering of search engines one used to employ for different types of searches before Google came along and changed everything? I do.

Still, I can't really see how a Google-less world would have any significant effect on Apple. Well, except without Google Microsoft might still be relevant and Apple fanboys would still be fighting Microsoft fanboys...
 
Comment

nep61

macrumors 6502
May 17, 2007
318
1
Now if all business transactions were that simple, life would be so much better.

If Steve were alive, he'd be invited to sit with Obama to figure a way out of the Finacial mess this country is in..... He maybe couldn't fix it right away, but there would be some unique ideas thrown out there, I'd bet !:)
 
Comment

Squilly

macrumors 68020
Nov 17, 2012
2,260
3
PA
Please explain.

I agree that without Google the Internet would be a very different, and arguably less useful place. Google revolutionized search and forced every other player to adapt or die.

Anyone else remember the smattering of search engines one used to employ for different types of searches before Google came along and changed everything? I do.

Still, I can't really see how a Google-less world would have any significant effect on Apple. Well, except without Google Microsoft might still be relevant and Apple fanboys would still be fighting Microsoft fanboys...

I think you just answered your own question.
 
Comment

HishamAkhtar

macrumors 6502a
Oct 22, 2011
510
1
Tips on how Steve Jobs bought a company:

1) He made an offer
2) It was accepted

For bonus points, pass the offer on a piece of paper for added oomph.
 
Comment

12dylan34

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2009
877
3
I always thought that the whole "write a number on a piece of paper" thing was just in movies. I guess that it reduces the shock of saying a huge number out loud?
 
Comment

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
How is this unique to Steve Jobs? The Robber Barrons bought competition to shut them down back in the early 20th cent.
 
Comment

SockRolid

macrumors 68000
Jan 5, 2010
1,560
118
Almost Rock Solid
... Lala's biggest strength was that it was at or near the top for many Google searches of particular songs, thanks to a search placement deal with Google. As a result, the firm was siphoning sales away from iTunes. ...

What Google said: "Don't be evil."

What Google did: "Don't be evil. Unless we get paid."
 
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