People commonly think that great businesses come from immediately recognizable genius ideas. But successful leaders understand the next brilliant concept can come in as a passing thought. That's why consistently showing up always overpowers intense bursts, because you don't know which acorns will grow into a mighty oak. In a new interview, music veterans and partners Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine lay out why showing up matters.
"You can't start out thinking you have a billion-dollar deal," Iovine says. "That's the secret."
You don't know if it will work. Start anyway
Their billion-dollar Apple deal began when Dr. Dre ran into Iovine and complained about the poor quality of most headphones on the market at the time. Iovine immediately understood Dre's assessment, and the two began developing artisanal headphones. Within a few years, Apple acquired Beats by Dre for about $3 billion.
The key here is that the duo had already developed a relationship well before the Beats by Dre partnership. As shown in the excellent HBO doc The Defiant Ones, their open line of communication, and creating, began years earlier when Iovine lead the music label Interscope and Dre brought some of his most significant acts, like Eminem and 50 Cent, to the brand. They had been experimenting, creating, and building for ages. Some ideas surely failed. And some had unexpected results.
Continually finding more ways to serve is paramount
"People would tell us, 'No one is going to pay for headphones when they get them for free,'" Iovine says in the British GQ interview. "That's not the way culture moves. That's not the way things move."
No one knows where culture is going to move. We can talk post-pandemic, but this was true before, too -- it's just more evident now. You don't know what's going to work. Nor does anyone else. This is an advantage.
The other advantage you have is the depth of your particular niche, community, and customer. My focus is on guiding side hustlers, solopreneurs, and other nontraditional entrepreneurs. I have slightly more insight into what's next for us, just as much as Brené Brown looks into our emotional intelligence landscape or Tristan Walker sees into the future of grooming.
I didn't know Cuddlr would become one of the most popular apps of 2014, nor did I predict any of my books being bestsellers while I was writing them -- just as much as Dre and Iovine didn't see the Apple acquisition during their casual headphone conversation.
Expecting the bestseller, acquisition, or fame before you begin can totally break your work ethic, skew your timeline, and block you from enjoying the journey.
Embracing the joy of creating and the intention of serving are the secret ingredients to creating the very success we seek.