During the development of Apple’s first MP3 player in 2001, engineers had completed what they thought to be the final working prototype of it and showed it to Steve Jobs for approval. The prototype had undergone several rejections and iterations earlier and after months of hard work, engineers thought this final prototype was the most compact MP3 player they could ever build and had kept their fingers crossed when they showed it to Jobs.
Jobs took the device, played with it for a while, scrutinized even the most minute design aspects, weighed it in his hands and said it was “too big” and the “final design” was rejected. The engineers explained that had used revolutionary components and state of the art technologies were incorporated to create the smallest MP3 player and it was impossible to make it any smaller and lighter.
Jobs was quiet for a moment and walked towards an aquarium in the room. To the surprise of his engineers, he dropped the prototype into the aquarium!! As the device sunk into the water, bubbles started floating up from it.
Pointing to it, Jobs said: “Those are air bubbles and that means there is still some space in there. Make it smaller”.
The engineers were shocked because Jobs dropped it into the aquarium, but at the same time felt challenged & motivated and within weeks came up with a much lighter and smaller device which was finally launched in October 2001 as “iPod” and the rest is history..