Early iPod Engineer Says Running A Company Is A Lot Like Being A DJ

Stir founder jp labrosseMegan Rose Dickey/Business InsiderStir founder JP Labrosse DJing on a Stir kinetic desk

JP Labrosse, founder of Stir Kinetic Desk, has been a DJ and a percussionist for about 30 years.

“In a lot of ways, great DJs have some of the same great skills as leaders of companies,” Labrosse tells Business Insider. “DJs are experts in putting together the right pieces that get people moving together symphonically.”

As a musician, working as one of the first 35 employees on Apple’s iPod engineering team was the perfect fit.

“Having the opportunity to work with a team of people and reinventing how music gets to people and the ability to give people access to a soundtrack for any moment in their lives was a really attractive part of being able to work at Apple back then,” Labrosse says.

Labrosse eventually became the iPod engineering team leader, but had previously reported to Andy Hodge, who was employee number two at the iPod division.

“He interestingly had been an IDEO guy who had happened to have done work on height adjustable desks with steel way back then,” Labrosse says. “I think Andy was part of the group that was actively using height-adjustable desks at Apple at the time.”

Since leaving Apple in 2005, Labrosse says, he’s always tried to find a way to use a height-adjustable desk at his job. Enter the Stir Kinetic Desk, a $US4,000 smart desk that learns your sitting habits and encourages you to stand more throughout the day.

That’s because sitting all day is actually really bad for you, and can even be deadly.

“This was long before any of the data had started getting attention and showing that it’s not healthy to sit as much as people often do,” Labrosse says.

Stir, of course, is not the most affordable product out on the market. So given its high price point, it’s pretty impressive that Stir sold out of its first batch of desks that are shipping this month.

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