John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Apple Hires Nike FuelBand Guru Jay Blahnik

Apple CEO Tim Cook shows off his Nike FuelBand at D11

Fitness industry consultant Jay Blahnik, who played a key role in the development of Nike’s FuelBand, has taken a job at Apple.

Sources familiar with Blahnik’s hiring said he signed on with Apple earlier this month, as first reported by 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman. His position at the company and its purpose couldn’t be immediately learned, though it seems likely he’ll be working with Apple’s wearables team — presumably on whatever watch or band it would like to see its customers all wearing on their wrists some day.

An interesting and important hire, though hardly a surprising one. On stage at D11 earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook specifically touted Nike’s FuelBand as a successful wearable and the wrist as the most “interesting” location for wearables in general.

You know I wear this, it’s the FuelBand. I think Nike did a great job with this. It’s for a specific area, it’s integrated well with iOS. There are lots of gadgets, wearables, in this space now. You’ve probably tried as many as I have, maybe even more. I would say that the ones that are doing more than one thing, that there’s nothing–this does primarily one thing, the ones that do more than one there’s nothing great out there that I’ve seen. There’s nothing that’s going to convince a kid who has never worn glasses or a band or a watch or whatever to wear one. Or at least I haven’t seen it. So I think there’s lots of things to solve in this space, but it’s an area where it’s ripe for exploration.

Ripe for exploration, indeed.

Apple declined comment on Blahnik’s hiring.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik