Apple’s Next Reality Distorter: Jimmy Iovine

Steve Jobs was once said to have a "reality distortion field." So does Jimmy Iovine, who just sold his company to Apple.

jimmy iovine
jimmy iovine
From L to R: Dr. Dre, Lady Gaga, Jimmy Iovine

In 1981, Bud Tribble, Apple’s VP of software technology, referred to Steve Jobs’ charisma and its affects on Macintosh developers as a “reality distortion field.”

Jobs’ reality distortion field was not lost on music mogul and new Apple employee, Jimmy Iovine, who spoke at the Code conference four hours after officially selling Beats Electronics to Apple for $3 billion.

From The New York Times’ Bits blog:

Mr. Iovine’s irrepressible spirit — and his willingness to simply declare something to be reality regardless of the complexity of the facts — bears a marked resemblance to the “reality distortion field” that Mr. Jobs so famously emanated.

Speaking to Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg of Recode, Iovine called Hollywood “desperately insecure” and Silicon Valley “overconfident.”

While Iovine stated that he “can’t say anything” now that he works for Apple, he was nevertheless outspoken at the conference alongside Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet software and services.

Of Beats’ business tactics with Hewlett Packard, Iovine said the deal was simply a marriage of convenience, designed to create jealousy and product improvements over at Dell.

“Algorithms can’t do the job alone,” he said, adding that human curation is a critical part of Beats’ streaming service.

Iovine must have lowered his reality distortion field when he dissed the iPhone’s earbuds: “You listen to Apocalypse Now and a helicopter sounds like a mosquito.”

Former Apple executive George Blankenship told Bloomberg TV that while he doesn’t think Iovine “is a Steve Jobs,” he will “add a lot to the culture of Apple” because he “gets how people think and he can make classic products.”

Apple’s $3 billion music deal with Beats is the largest acquisition in the company’s history.