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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, 02:10 PM   #5
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Keep on Pulling That String, Tim!

This stuff never gets old.

Tim is much more of a mainstream PR hound than Steve was in his later years. He sounds like he has some excellent writers.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:11 PM   #6
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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, 02:11 PM   #7
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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, 02:14 PM   #8
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Tim vs Jobs

Well, time will tell...
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:15 PM   #9
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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 19, 2012, 02:16 PM   #10
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The award seems a little bit premature, IMO.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:18 PM   #11
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The award seems a little bit premature, IMO.
After the Maps debacle. Yes
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:18 PM   #12
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Man of the Year

It's not an award or honor. Hitler was named once; so it's not some sort of prize.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:19 PM   #13
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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, 02:19 PM   #14
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Reading this made me fairly excited for the next big thing.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:20 PM   #15
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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, 02:24 PM   #16
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Steve Jobs cared about Computers, Music, Internet, Communications. And he led a Company to care about those markets.

Tim Cook cared about Apple and personal Fitness. I don't know where that could lead to. Apple branded Bikes, a grocery store or just a boring Apple Inc.

I really think the whole management team has to think about how they actually will form a vision. Apple was not that good in the long run when it was only manufacturing and not developing. Last time the died under their own boredom. That might change, maybe we will see another, a reliably providing Apple. But right now I am missing a product strategy besides keeping selling stuff that originated sime years ago and I keep seeing lots of services getting less reliable, releases getting buggier, accessories being absent, and testing, well, done at my home.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:31 PM   #17
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I'd like to see Tim/Apple tackle home automation in some big way. That'd be an awesome test.

After seeing him on Rock Center and reading a bit more about him, I really like the guy. He isn't Jobs and that's ok - nobody else can ever be Steve.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:35 PM   #18
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Tim was Instagrammed.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:35 PM   #19
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I'd like to see Tim/Apple tackle home automation in some big way. That'd be an awesome test.
Wasn't there a front-page story on MacRumors some years ago about Apple's plans to jump into the home automation market? Obviously bogus at the time, but I'd like to see it happen.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:39 PM   #20
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Passion

It is hard to see what Tim is passionate about that will directly influence the company.

I love the saying "Where technology intersects art"

That's the Job version of Apple but where does this new Tim version of Apple go?

I think the over-arching goal should continue to be "a computing platform/ecosystem for the rest of us". Apple has always done well when they've worked diligently on making things simple yet powerful with a nod toward minimalism.

There are plenty of markets that need to be revamped.

Energy - People should start thinking about clean energy and energy efficiency. Apple could do some wonderful things where with automation and more.

Security - Facetime could evolve into a more comprehensive surveillance tool. Cameras are big right now and with smartphones keeping us in touch with what's going out outside of our sphere cameras are the key visual component.

Networking - I believe that central storage is vital for the next phase of digital media. I don't want to worry about iDevice storage and that means leveraging the cloud and local storage effectively

Education - iBooks Author is fantastic. I'd like to see Apple step up again and try to make a dent in the Education Universe.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:45 PM   #21
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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, 02:58 PM   #22
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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, 03:00 PM   #23
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since ipad and iphones are almost ubiquitous in most people's lives to a certain degree, it would be awesome to see some of the everyday life things mentioned by other posters to be tied into the apple ecosystem. Like controlling the entire home on the ipad or something along the lines of that

TV just doesn't seem interesting enough... Im doing fine without cable right now just through hulu/netflix/ipad apps offered by different stations. On top of that, the idea of buying a $2000 TV from apple just doesn't sound very appealing, and anything less of that wouldn't bring enough disruption to the industry IMO.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 03:01 PM   #24
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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   #25
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"Thanks to Google Maps, I was able to make it to the interview in time."

Tim
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