Former Apple engineer: Tim Cook made Apple a 'boring operations company'

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by tubeexperience, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

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    #1
    There's less internal conflict inside Apple — and that's not necessarily a good thing, according to one former employee.

    Bob Burrough, a former Apple engineer, told CNBC that the invention of the iPhone came, in part, out of the chaos of Apple under co-founder Steve Jobs.

    "At Apple in 2007, organizationally it was the wild west," Burrough said. "I was hired under a particular manager, but for the first two years worked on projects that had virtually nothing to do with that manager's core responsibility. That's because the organization wasn't the priority, the projects were the priority. It was the exact opposite of 'not my job.' It was 'I'm here to solve whatever problems I can, irrespective of my role, my title, or to whom I report.' It was wild. But it was also very rewarding, because everything you did had maximal impact on the product."


    But today, the "dynamic has clearly and distinctly changed," and Apple is much closer to his job at Palm, said Burrough, who most recently founded a 3D printing company called Bilt It.

    "Working at Palm, the teams were highly organizational, [hierarchical] and responsibilities were siloed," Burrough said. "There was a clear sense that each person had a clear responsibility, and rarely deviated from it. When you went to someone for help solving a problem 'not my job' was a common response."

    Tim Cook, who took over as Apple CEO in 2011, has made the company the richest in the world. Apple has nearly doubled its annual revenue under Cook, from $108.2 billion in 2011 to $215.7 billion in 2016. Cook has also replaced challenging leaders from the Steve Jobs era, such as Scott Forstall, who led the iOS platform used on the iPhone and iPad, but reportedly clashed with Cook and other Apple execs.

    But while Apple has pumped out money, it has also faced grumbles that it's been slow to innovate in areas like self-driving cars, TV and video, and the Internet of Things. Despite introducing new products like the Apple Watch, the iPhone still makes up the vast majority of Apple's sales each year.

    Entrepreneur Steve Blank has likened Cook's leadership to that of Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, who took over from Bill Gates and tripled Microsoft's sales. But under Ballmer, Microsoft missed major opportunities to retain its software dominance as companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon took the lead on mobile, search, social and cloud.

    Burrough said he endorses the comparison between Ballmer and Cook. He went on a tweet storm on Tuesday where he said apple was no longer a "dynamic change-maker."

    Source: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/17/tim-cook-made-apple-boring-operations-company--former-engineer.html
     
  2. TwoBytes macrumors 68020

    TwoBytes

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    #2
    " because everything you did had maximal impact on the product."

    Nice quote - I sense this has been lost with Apple's recent products.
     
  3. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #3
    While an interesting read, it is just one person's opinion of a company. For all we know, there could be many other engineers who agree with their direction.
     
  4. TheAppleFairy macrumors 68020

    TheAppleFairy

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    #4
    I heard Tim also took away Hawaiian shirt day, and brought back TPS reports.
     
  5. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    #5
    These reports are all in line with what many feel of today's Apple under Cook opposed to the Jobs' era.
     
  6. tubeexperience thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #6
    Steve Jobs is like Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

    Tim Cook is like a salesman who is trying to get kids to pay 50% more for same candy it has been selling.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    There was another thread here, about that comparison and I think there's many similarities. Sadly we see Apple squeezing profits out of existing products but not else is coming out of Apple - other then emojis.

    I'd agree with that assessment, but you need to take an ex-employee's tweet storms seriously. Many times they have an axe to grind, yet what I see from Apple is certainly less exciting.
     
  8. tubeexperience thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #8
    I have said this before: Tim Cook is Apple's very own Steve Ballmer.

    It's just one more thing that validates the general sentiment.
     
  9. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030

    Ulenspiegel

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    #10
    Unfortunately it is reflected in the products lately.
    It has nothing to do with "Think Different" at the moment.
     
  10. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #11
    Isn't it "thinking differently" to figure out that you can raise the average selling price of a laptop by $200 by changing to a completely new port config?

    Many people need $200 worth of dongles to connect the new laptop to the devices that they own. (This is from our internal purchases - new dongles, new power bricks, new Ethernet... It might be doubled since we buy dongles for both home and office for our Apple users - they don't have to disconnect their office dongles to take them home or vice versa.)
     
  11. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030

    Ulenspiegel

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    #12
    You have a point, it is one kind of "Thinking Differently".
     
  12. Apple 26.2 Contributor

    Apple 26.2

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    #13
    Cook is a business administration/management type... he is not the tinkerer that Jobs, Forstall and others are. I think he was good for Apple at the time, but if Apple wants to be at the cutting edge of innovation, it's not going to get there by having him at the helm.
     
  13. aristobrat macrumors G5

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    #14
    I swore I read article after article where Jobs passed the company on to Cook AND Ive. Ive specifically for products, as Jobs is quoted saying something like he felt an almost spiritual connection with him. Him being Ive, not Cook.

    Sounds like "cutting edge of innovation" would fall under Ive, not Cook.
     
  14. pat500000 macrumors 604

    pat500000

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    #15
    Maybe Steve should have handed the company to Microsoft at that time before he passed. It's possible Microsoft would have updated their macs efficiently and try something new.
     
  15. AidenShaw macrumors P6

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    #16
    And of course, for the majority of our people who chose Lenovo laptops we get two docking stations - one for home and one for work.

    I can't understand why Apple doesn't have a docking station solution. They had a half-assed one with the T-Bolt display, but that's joined Lisa and the Cube in the after-nonlife.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 21, 2017 ---
    Or at least Microsoft would have made Icloud actually work.
     
  16. Apple 26.2 Contributor

    Apple 26.2

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    #17
    I agree. We're not hearing a lot about Ive these days, so what does that say?!
     

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