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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:04 PM   #1
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Tim Cook on the Urgency of Solving Problems, Unpredictability of Apple, and Industry Disruption




Following yesterday's announcement that Apple CEO Tim Cook had been named to the shortlist for TIME's annual Person of the Year feature, the magazine has published a lengthy profile of Cook today covering his runner-up status.

Much of the information in the profile has been discussed in other settings, but it offers a good overview of Cook and his time at Apple. The piece also offers a few fresh quotes from Cook about his perspective and his role in leading Apple. The report touches on Cook's combination of calm demeanor and intense focus, noting that he can just as easily lighten the mood with his manner as light fires under others to spur them to action.
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Like Jobs, Cook suffers fools neither gladly nor in any other way (except when he has to, i.e., when talking to journalists). Behind the scenes, that measured calm can -- if the legends are true -- become a merciless coldness that roots out confusion and incompetence. "I've always felt that a part of leadership is conveying a sense of urgency in dealing with key issues," he says. "Apple operates at an extreme pace, and my experience has been that key issues rarely get smaller on their own."
Cook also addresses some of the uncertainty that has surrounded Apple in recent months, from a stock price weighed down by assorted factors to the Apple Maps situation to fears that Apple is losing ground to competitors in the mobile industry:
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None of this appears to ruffle Cook particularly. "I've worked at Apple for 15 years," he says, "so Apple's not foreign to me. I don't mean to sound like it's all a predictable ride. It's unpredictable. But it's always been unpredictable." He hasn't altered his personal style any. He remains, like all great Apple products, a paradoxical combination of open and closed, polished and user-friendly but also sealed up tight against anybody who's curious about what's inside. You know there are reams of code churning away down there, just below the surface, but you'll never know exactly what's going on.
TIME notes that Cook has yet to truly be tested in terms of bringing innovative products to the market, with much of Apple's massive slate of 2012 product releases having already been in the works before Cook took full control of Apple and the company yet to enter a new market under his watch. But Cook acknowledges that he intends to continue the Apple tradition of entering markets with the full intention of disrupting the status quo.
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[T]he test for Cook will be to seek out a new category that's vulnerable to disruption and disrupt the hell out of it.

I ask Cook if he would do that -- if that would continue to be Apple's modus operandi going forward. He smiles, seductively as always, and says, "Yes. Yes. Most definitely." When that happens, that's when Cook will show his hand, and we'll get a look below the surface.
Television has of course been rumored to be the next industry where Apple hopes to make a major impact, but progress has reportedly been slow as it seeks to reach content deals that will allow the company to offer the bundle of hardware and services it needs to make its desired impact. Apple has long dabbled in television through the iTunes Store and the Apple TV, with Apple executives repeatedly referring to the current set-top box as a "hobby" that the company would "keep pulling the string" on. In recent months, television appears to have been a bigger focus for Apple with Cook referring to it several times as an area of "intense interest" for Apple.

(Photo by Marco Grob for TIME)

Article Link: Tim Cook on the Urgency of Solving Problems, Unpredictability of Apple, and Industry Disruption
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:08 PM   #2
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Truly one of the most interesting people in the news this year. I could have seen Time naming him with the top honor.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:09 PM   #3
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Was that picture of him taken just after a house fire?
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:10 PM   #4
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Was that picture of him taken just after a house fire?
No, it was taken after a BBQ fire
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:11 PM   #5
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The fact is, Apple still has a lot more talented people working than all other tech companies combined together. They won't have much problem for many years to come.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:45 PM   #6
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No, it was taken after a BBQ fire
His name is Tim Cook. So, they cooked Tim.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:11 PM   #7
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The biggest thing Cook will oversee is the "real" Apple TV. If it's as revolutionary as the iPhone was, then he can be named a true innovator.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:58 PM   #8
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The biggest thing Cook will oversee is the "real" Apple TV. If it's as revolutionary as the iPhone was, then he can be named a true innovator.
But since Steve Jobs said he cracked it [TV] in his biography, that's not what will make people acknowledge Tim as an innovator... People will assume he just brought Steve's idea to market. I think he needs to disrupt an entirely different market or re-disrupt PC/mobile before he gets credited as an innovator.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 04:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by gmanist1000 View Post
The biggest thing Cook will oversee is the "real" Apple TV. If it's as revolutionary as the iPhone was, then he can be named a true innovator.
Since Jobs reportedly "cracked it" before dying, I don't think Cook can cleanly take credit.

There are plenty of industries that are still out there to disrupt, but I don't see Apple making the impact with TV that they did with music - VOD and other services are already there and the interfaces suck, but hopefully will improve.

Cars or appliances - maybe, but not terribly exciting either. They should just do a deal with Tesla to replace that screen with an iPad and relevant apps. Sticking an iPad on the fridge just isn't that big of a deal.

Shared interactive computing - maybe something like the Surface? That would be interesting, but Apple likes to disrupt existing markets rather than create new ones.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 05:09 PM   #10
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The biggest thing Cook will oversee is the "real" Apple TV. If it's as revolutionary as the iPhone was, then he can be named a true innovator.
+1 .. For one..

IF is the big question, as while they are doing prototypes, they are just that "only prototypes" this doesn't mean anything...

Apples a computer business.... Since when did they decide to be in the television industry ....... Plus, even if it does come to the table, Apple's only aiming at the "big bucks" with a 60" ...... Personally, Apple's making a bad decision, if thats all it is gonna be aimed at, since most people who want/or expected a smaller HD TV, would only need to reply on the "hockey puck", or take their business elsewhere.


Your lose.

As usual, this is just another reason for Apple to get more $$$.. Sharp, Samsung, & Panasonic all do well in this area. I can't wait for this (if it is gonna be out) to be a "dud" just like Apple Maps....

The crowd will go wild. Not to mention the price.......


....and for that .. Apple better get it right..
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:15 PM   #11
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Apple should make a thermostat....oh wait!


I too am keen on seeing if the Cook led Apple can deliver. Part of me thinks the company's standards have dropped a bit.

I isn't just CEO that don't suffer fools well. Consumers don't either but they just don't have Time magazine to lob them slow pitch easy questions.

As far as disruption. **** TV. It's a wasteland. As Jobs it's what you do to turn your brain off.

The next MAJOR market for disruption is security. If you can a way to build the better mousetrap here in a low friction manner the consumer market is YOURS.

Last edited by dejo; Dec 19, 2012 at 03:12 PM. Reason: Circumventing profanity filter.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 02:28 AM   #12
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I too am keen on seeing if the Cook led Apple can deliver. Part of me thinks the company's standards have dropped a bit.
So am I, and I think they may have slipped a bit as well, but i don't think that was due to Tim being in charge.

Lion being the big stinker (but only one example) for me that people have been unhappy with - was in progress under Steve.

I think more likely what happened is that Steve had a vision for a unified, simple computing environment synced across all your devices since the late 90s (there are interviews out there regarding his vision for this from way back, can't remember off the top of my head where exactly right now though), and he was getting close enough to taste it. I certainly remember finding a video interview about 12 months ago with him from the 90s where he was talking about concepts which seem to resemble the foundations of icloud.

Knowing he had little time left, corners may have been cut (by the team) a little to try and push ahead and get there towards the end.

So, I don't think this is Tim's fault. Apple have plenty of talented people, and there is still some way to go with regards to Steve's vision of "it just works" across multiple devices before they run out of ideas.

Now that Steve is GONE, I think it's likely that there will be less rushing software out the door in an unfinished state to try and "get there" before Steve passes away...


edit:
seriously, a lot of the whines about lack of ugpradability, appliance-type nature, lack of filesystem access and iCloud sync, etc are all Steve's philosphy. bitching about that sort of thing and blaming Tim for it is not really fair, Steve was always against slots, cables, user servicing, etc.
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Last edited by throAU; Dec 20, 2012 at 02:39 AM.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mr-Stabby View Post
Was that picture of him taken just after a house fire?
Was just going to say, that's one unflattering photo.

He looks like he's just finished a shift in the coal mines.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:20 PM   #14
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Lol!!

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Originally Posted by Mr-Stabby View Post
Was that picture of him taken just after a house fire?
Lol!! Logged in just to rate that up!
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 03:01 PM   #15
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Truly one of the most interesting people in the news this year. I could have seen Time naming him with the top honor.
really?
what has he done this year that is truly great? (to the level of the past winners)
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 03:05 PM   #16
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"Thanks to Google Maps, I was able to make it to the interview in time."

Tim
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 03:33 PM   #17
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Solving what problems? The industrial base problem?
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 03:41 PM   #18
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I've been waiting my entire life for someone to say that they suffer fools gladly. The wait continues.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 04:18 PM   #19
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Get the price right this time.

Many of my students are very keen to get iPad Minis but the price is simply killing them, so they are going for cheaper Samsung tabs instead. There is a real feel of recession and bout of belt tightening going on in the UK this Christmas and with future reductions in ICT spending due next year, Apple needs to consider price because value is a perceived metric tempered by the real ability to pay.

Apple needs to get the price point right...these kid's and their parents don't, and can't afford to, buy tablets every year and as MS discovered if you catch them early then they stick with what they know rather than change. No matter how good the alternative is, the other option has got to become onerous before they'll consider change. That's why MS office is so entrenched and Pages et al is still a very distant second in the real world. Don't blow it, Apple
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 05:36 PM   #20
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I've been waiting my entire life for someone to say that they suffer fools gladly. The wait continues.
You won't ever hear it. The people that do are usually fools themselves and have no clue what's going on.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 04:54 PM   #21
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Dear god fire the photographer.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 05:16 PM   #22
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Thumbs up for Tim.

NOw fire the Apple geniuses who have NO idea how to fix my laptop.

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Originally Posted by Banyan Bruce View Post
Many of my students are very keen to get iPad Minis but the price is simply killing them, so they are going for cheaper Samsung tabs instead. There is a real feel of recession and bout of belt tightening going on in the UK this Christmas and with future reductions in ICT spending due next year, Apple needs to consider price because value is a perceived metric tempered by the real ability to pay.

Apple needs to get the price point right...these kid's and their parents don't, and can't afford to, buy tablets every year and as MS discovered if you catch them early then they stick with what they know rather than change. No matter how good the alternative is, the other option has got to become onerous before they'll consider change. That's why MS office is so entrenched and Pages et al is still a very distant second in the real world. Don't blow it, Apple
What also sucks is that it looks like they dont offer education discount anymore.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 02:34 PM   #23
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Dear god fire the photographer.
What? That photo was taken with an iPhone 5!
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 09:56 PM   #24
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Dear god fire the photographer.
Bet it was taken with an iPhone.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 09:27 PM   #25
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"...the legends..." Wow, they are layering the BS on pretty deep, but I guess they need to manufacture the mythology for the Wall Street crowd more quickly than he can actually earn it.

Hopefully Steve's Ghola can get beyond the creepiness sooner rather later.
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