Whenever Steve Jobs wants Apple to get into something new, he follows the same tried-and-true modus operandi: He finds the leading expert in the field and puts that person on his company's payroll.
Before Apple opened its own chain of retail stores, the very first thing Jobs did was recruit Mickey Drexler, Gap's CEO, to sit on Apple's board as an adviser.
So when Apple announced this week that it had given a board seat to Andrea Jung, CEO of cosmetics giant Avon Products, it raised the question: What could Jobs be getting into? Could it be related to Avon's expertise in mobile commerce (think iPhone) or the cosmetics company's unique sales operation in China?
Valleywag speculated that Jung, who also sits on the board of General Electric, might be a peacemaker between Apple and NBC, which pulled out of Apple's online iTunes Store last summer. (GE owns 80 percent of NBC Universal.)
But there are other, more intriguing, possibilities.