When Apple introduced the new iPad Air last October, Jeff Boudier and François Lagunas from Stupeflix, developers of an iOS app named Replay, were invited on stage to give a 2-minute demo. To get there, they went through Apple’s sophisticated selection process, an experience which they have shared in a Monday Note article, revealing what it takes to get featured on Tim Cook’s keynote.
One month before the keynote event, Apple called Nicolas Steegmann, the founder of Stupeflix, at the company’s Paris office, asking them if two members of the company, a developer and a designer, could be in Cupertino the next day. ‘They will have to stay at least two weeks’, said Apple spokeswoman. 48 hours later, the team was on Apple’s campus.
“Now secluded in their room of the Apple campus, always escorted when they had to walk in and out, Stupeflix’s team is hard at work”, preparing the most mind-blowing demonstration of their app.
For two weeks, a quiet selection process took place, with a stream of people visiting the team, now allowed to test its work on the last version of a new iPad camouflaged in a thick neoprene enclosure to conceal its size and shape. Each successive visit was made by someone ranking higher and higher in the chain of command — as the team realized after Googling the reviewers. They knew they were on the short list when their demo was shown to Phil Schiller, Apple SVP for Worldwide Marketing.
The next day, the pair was taken to a conference room where their work was reviewed by Tim Cook in person. They knew it was a go. It was time for a series of full rehearsals. On D-day, the two-minute presentation was to be made by Jeff Boudier, assisted by François Lagunas controlling the iPad. It went well, except when a slip of a finger caused the auto-correct to transform the title “Utah Road Trip” into a weirder “It’s a road trip”.
After the show, Apple staff asked to re-record the demo for a spotless posterity. The re-edited version is now visible on Apple’s site, while the original can be viewed here (time code about 00:55:10 on the two keynotes). This alone says much about Apple’s attention to details.
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