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Little Find

Dre and Iovine: rebellious but inspirational

Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine… the former is rap royalty, the latter a record producer who has worked with some of the biggest names in music, from John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen to U2 and Eminem. Their collaboration is inspirational in terms of its innovation, marketing, cognitive diversity, risk taking and sheer audacity.

Two self-taught individuals who have become leaders in their field by giving the status quo a good shake-up: we’re clearly worlds away from the ivory-tower theories of Harvard. But their story, told in the documentary The Defiant Ones (Netflix), may well serve to inspire you.

They’re a deadly duo, Dre and Iovine, with a simple, but potent, mix of qualities: Dre is the innovator, an artist and a perfectionist, who’s always on the look-out for inspiration and always experimenting. Jimmy Iovine, on the other hand, is the driving force, the mad entrepreneur who turns Dre’s ideas into real business opportunities with his nerve and willingness to take risks and not conform. Their partnership might best be summed up in the way that the two men created the Beats brand of headphones. This simple object – which is nothing new in itself – combined the power of Dre’s name and his expertise in sound design with Iovine’s gift for marketing. The result: headphones that cost over $200 and which everyone was fighting over (and that was before the brand was later sold to Apple for $3 billion). What’s more, Dre and Iovine were also behind Apple Music!

Although I was already familiar with Dre’s career, as a musician and a businessman, I really liked the way the movie portrayed the two men and described their collaboration, one whose qualities and approach will inspire many. It’s well worth checking out this story of how the New York-born son of an Italian immigrant and the boy who grew up in the slums of LA became a pair of outstanding businessmen.


Find out more:

The Defiant Ones (Netflix, 2017)

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Emmanuelle Meylan
Published by Emmanuelle Meylan