Former Apple Intern: Tim Cook is a great CEO

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
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Interesting blog post from former Apple intern Ben Thompson. He says when he interned at Apple the interns got to spend an hour with Apple executives (including Steve Jobs) and he felt Cook was the most impressive of all of them - by a"significant margin". A lot of people question whether Cook is the right guy to lead Apple but I think Steve and the board knew what they were doing and in the long run they will be proven right.

http://stratechery.com/2013/tim-cook-is-a-great-ceo/
 

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
7,858
1,182
The Netherlands
I'm sure that Tim Cook is one of the most brilliant people on this planet. Extraordinary high IQ and works extremely hard. And, yes I am glad he is the CEO.

Question is how you measure people:
What is your yardstick? What do you find interesting in a person?

Most important to us:
How is Tim Cook as CEO of a very successful company?

Steve Jobs might be a a$$hole for many, many people, but could anyone besides Steve have revived Apple in the 2nd half of the nineties like he did?

Nope.
 

maxosx

macrumors 68020
Dec 13, 2012
2,385
1
Southern California
Steve Jobs might be a a$$hole for many, many people, but could anyone besides Steve have revived Apple in the 2nd half of the nineties like he did?

Nope.
I'm not here to argue with you, but rather simply share an observation from years as an Apple enthusiast and ongoing frequent buyer.

Steve was the type of guy that was very clever at "taking all the credit" for things.

Yes he had a hand in reviving Apple, but it's savior? That is nothing more than a great story the Apple worshipers and many others love to believe in. The type of story that sells the company with warm and fuzzy thoughts for the hero worshipers.

Could anyone but Steve save Apple... absolutely. Beyond a shadow of a doubt.
 

tech4all

macrumors 68040
Jun 13, 2004
3,399
489
NorCal
I'm not here to argue with you, but rather simply share an observation from years as an Apple enthusiast and ongoing frequent buyer.

Steve was the type of guy that was very clever at "taking all the credit" for things.

Yes he had a hand in reviving Apple, but it's savior? That is nothing more than a great story the Apple worshipers and many others love to believe in. The type of story that sells the company with warm and fuzzy thoughts for the hero worshipers.

Could anyone but Steve save Apple... absolutely. Beyond a shadow of a doubt.
"Beyond a shadow of a doubt" is pretty silly thing to say. Nobody knows for a fact if they could have done what Steve did. What happened has happened and we no way of knowing what could have happened with someone else.

It was "anyone" who almost led Apple into the ground and it was Steve that did in fact save Apple.

Could Tim have done what Steve did in the 90s? Maybe...I guess we'll see how well he handles Apple in the coming years.

Slightly off topic...Apple is heading to a wall garden in all it's products. With the announcement of the new Mac Pro, no Mac is upgradable. I realize that's how it's been more or less, but even with the MacBook Pros you upgrade the RAM. Now you're stuck. Don't like that idea Apple has. I like OS X, but not on Apple hardware. If this is Tim Cook's way of running things, then I don't like it and won't follow it if I don't have to.
 

maxosx

macrumors 68020
Dec 13, 2012
2,385
1
Southern California
"Beyond a shadow of a doubt" is pretty silly thing to say. Nobody knows for a fact if they could have done what Steve did. What happened has happened and we no way of knowing what could have happened with someone else.

It was "anyone" who almost led Apple into the ground and it was Steve that did in fact save Apple.

Could Tim have done what Steve did in the 90s? Maybe...I guess we'll see how well he handles Apple in the coming years.

Slightly off topic...Apple is heading to a wall garden in all it's products. With the announcement of the new Mac Pro, no Mac is upgradable. I realize that's how it's been more or less, but even with the MacBook Pros you upgrade the RAM. Now you're stuck. Don't like that idea Apple has. I like OS X, but not on Apple hardware. If this is Tim Cook's way of running things, then I don't like it and won't follow it if I don't have to.
Suffice to say we disagree on the topic of Apple being "saved" by Steve.

To the point regarding the current trend of non user upgradeable Macs, we agree on this. I find it particularly annoying because of the influence Apple currently has on the industry.
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
17,123
4,146
Slightly off topic...Apple is heading to a wall garden in all it's products. With the announcement of the new Mac Pro, no Mac is upgradable. I realize that's how it's been more or less, but even with the MacBook Pros you upgrade the RAM. Now you're stuck. Don't like that idea Apple has. I like OS X, but not on Apple hardware. If this is Tim Cook's way of running things, then I don't like it and won't follow it if I don't have to.
The new Mac Pro isn't upgradeable anyway - there is just nothing you could upgrade it with. You can buy it with maxed out CPU, maxed out RAM, maxed out video cards. But then six times 20 GBit Thunderbolt connections give you tons of extensibility.

In three years time, these Mac Pros will still be decent machines; you'll buy a new faster one if you need it, but still have plenty of use for the old one.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,951
33,961
Boston
He may be a great person to work for, a brilliant individual but he has some mighty big shoes to fill, to the point where it doesn't matter what he does, he'll never measure up to what Jobs did. This is a bit unfair but life is not fair. He needs to take apple where it is now, and grow its business, no easy task.

Rumors of new products continually to swirl (iWatch, apple tv, etc) but so far things are as they were 2 years ago for the most part. While I understand that they should resist the need to rush a product out, but they do need to get some new products out. If Apple doesn't produce more innovation under Cook's reign, people and shareholders will be calling for someone who can produce that innovation,
 

adildacoolset

macrumors 65816
Whoever judges Tim Cook's ability to run a company because he didn't release a "game changing" product makes me think that they don't know what they're talking about.

----------

He may be a great person to work for, a brilliant individual but he has some mighty big shoes to fill, to the point where it doesn't matter what he does, he'll never measure up to what Jobs did. This is a bit unfair but life is not fair. He needs to take apple where it is now, and grow its business, no easy task.

Rumors of new products continually to swirl (iWatch, apple tv, etc) but so far things are as they were 2 years ago for the most part. While I understand that they should resist the need to rush a product out, but they do need to get some new products out. If Apple doesn't produce more innovation under Cook's reign, people and shareholders will be calling for someone who can produce that innovation,
I'd rather have a good product that takes 6 years to develop and produce than a rushed out device that takes 2-3 years.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
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He may be a great person to work for, a brilliant individual but he has some mighty big shoes to fill, to the point where it doesn't matter what he does, he'll never measure up to what Jobs did. This is a bit unfair but life is not fair. He needs to take apple where it is now, and grow its business, no easy task.

Rumors of new products continually to swirl (iWatch, apple tv, etc) but so far things are as they were 2 years ago for the most part. While I understand that they should resist the need to rush a product out, but they do need to get some new products out. If Apple doesn't produce more innovation under Cook's reign, people and shareholders will be calling for someone who can produce that innovation,
Cook's reign isn't even been 2 years yet. And one could argue '13 is really the first year of Cook's Apple. The problem with the world innovation is how you define and measure it. A lot of Wall Street is obsessed with a cheap iPhone and a large screen iPhone or phablet. Are either of those really innovative as other companies already have cheaper phones and larger screen phones on the market.

I think this WWDC was Apple telling the world they're not getting caught up in people's ADD and constant need for new, new, new right now. Software and services is where Apple needs to improve most but Wall Street doesn't care about that, they care about the next gadget.
 

roadbloc

macrumors G3
Aug 24, 2009
8,784
213
UK
Cook's reign isn't even been 2 years yet.
People say that but I really question the idea of a very sick man with a terminal disease and in a lot of pain contributing much to a global tech company. Jobs may have provided opinions and direction, but I highly doubt he was able to work much in his last three years or so. I think Cook has been in charge for longer than we all think.

I could be wrong though and Jobs could have been strong enough to continue his role until his final leave. I'd very very very very impressed if he did. But from what I've heard and seen, cancer has this nasty habit of sucking all the life and energy out of people. Hell, most people find it challenging to work with a mere headache.

But as I said, I could be totally wrong. Just throwing the thought out there. :)
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
21,896
27,369
People say that but I really question the idea of a very sick man with a terminal disease and in a lot of pain contributing much to a global tech company. Jobs may have provided opinions and direction, but I highly doubt he was able to work much in his last three years or so. I think Cook has been in charge for longer than we all think.

I could be wrong though and Jobs could have been strong enough to continue his role until his final leave. I'd very very very very impressed if he did. But from what I've heard and seen, cancer has this nasty habit of sucking all the life and energy out of people. Hell, most people find it challenging to work with a mere headache.

But as I said, I could be totally wrong. Just throwing the thought out there. :)
Sure I think Cook was operationally running the show for a lot longer than 2 years but in terms of making the call on products I still think that was Steve. People way question whether Tim has the vision or is a product guy but in some ways I think he'll be more open to ideas than Steve was. Case in point some of the functionality we're finally seeing in iOS. Were it not for Steve (and Scott Forstall) perhaps we would have seen some of these features sooner?
 

pdjudd

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2007
4,037
65
Plymouth, MN
People say that but I really question the idea of a very sick man with a terminal disease and in a lot of pain contributing much to a global tech company.
Well, you may not. But analysts and the like probably don't see that and to the point that they can use one man's success to put down anything. Any successful think by Apple? Its 100% Steve Jobs. Anything negative? Tim Cook is a horrible CEO and should be fired AAPL is DOOOMED!!!

People will do that because it plays into the "Apple is a religion and Steve Jobs is the leader" trope where they deified Jobs to the point where he is seen as the sole person at Apple.
 

the8thark

macrumors 601
Apr 18, 2011
4,204
1,192
Steve was the type of guy that was very clever at "taking all the credit" for things.
I have to agree with this one. A lot of people behind the scenes helped make Apple a success in the 2000s. Ron Johnson, Johnny Ive and even Scott Forstall had their parts to play. As did many others. I think Jobs was the catalyst for the bringing Apple back to life. But without all the others it would not have happened.
 

maxosx

macrumors 68020
Dec 13, 2012
2,385
1
Southern California
I have to agree with this one. A lot of people behind the scenes helped make Apple a success in the 2000s. Ron Johnson, Johnny Ive and even Scott Forstall had their parts to play. As did many others. I think Jobs was the catalyst for the bringing Apple back to life. But without all the others it would not have happened.
Well said, there were many in Apples vast cadre of players that got the job done working together.
 

turtle777

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2004
682
16
"Beyond a shadow of a doubt" is pretty silly thing to say. Nobody knows for a fact if they could have done what Steve did. What happened has happened and we no way of knowing what could have happened with someone else.
While theoretically true, don't forget that Apple was in complete shambles when Steve came back. They were close to going bankrupt.

How many people where there lined up to save Apple and turning it around in a dime ? They have been trying to save Apple since the mid 1980ies.

-t
 

Liquorpuki

macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2009
2,286
8
City of Angels
Whoever judges Tim Cook's ability to run a company because he didn't release a "game changing" product makes me think that they don't know what they're talking about.


Apple's unique ability as a company was its ability to expand markets and totally take over them. They did this several times under Jobs. Everyone's waiting to see if Cook can do this. If all he's capable of doing is just maintaining marketshare in existing markets, then Apple will become ordinary

I'd rather have a good product that takes 6 years to develop and produce than a rushed out device that takes 2-3 years.
iPod was created in 1 year

If it takes them 6 years to make a watch, they got problems
 

adildacoolset

macrumors 65816
Apple's unique ability as a company was its ability to expand markets and totally take over them. They did this several times under Jobs. Everyone's waiting to see if Cook can do this. If all he's capable of doing is just maintaining marketshare in existing markets, then Apple will become ordinary



iPod was created in 1 year

If it takes them 6 years to make a watch, they got problems
And how long did it take them to engineer an iPhone? Plus, it took a LNG time before the iPod became popular. The iPhone became popular from the beginning. That shows that good products take time.

Forget that even. Google glass is expected to be in prototype stages for two whole years. But google get a free pass from your daily dose of google fanboys.
 

macs4nw

macrumors 601
.....Steve was the type of guy that was very clever at "taking all the credit" for things.....Could anyone but Steve save Apple... absolutely. Beyond a shadow of a doubt.
He obviously hasn't singlehandedly turned the company around, but he had a razor-sharp focus in addition to an impeccable ability to hire and keep the right people, without which, the magic could not have happened.

Could another CEO have saved APPLE from bankruptcy? Perhaps, but it took a "Steve Jobs" to make APPLE soar to its unprecedented heights, and there's no doubt about that!
 

Liquorpuki

macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2009
2,286
8
City of Angels
And how long did it take them to engineer an iPhone? Plus, it took a LNG time before the iPod became popular. The iPhone became popular from the beginning. That shows that good products take time.
It took them 3 years to do the iPhone

If it takes them 6 years to develop a watch, the processor will be outdated by the time it hits the market. The tech industry is quick
 

adildacoolset

macrumors 65816
It took them 3 years to do the iPhone

If it takes them 6 years to develop a watch, the processor will be outdated by the time it hits the market. The tech industry is quick
Why six years? I trust that you have development insights, and you know that they started developing it in 2007. Did you forget that they released a new product that was a huge hit? What was hat called? Oh, it was called the iPad. They worked on other stuff
 

Liquorpuki

macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2009
2,286
8
City of Angels
Why six years? I trust that you have development insights, and you know that they started developing it in 2007. Did you forget that they released a new product that was a huge hit? What was hat called? Oh, it was called the iPad. They worked on other stuff
You're the one that brought up 6 years and said 2-3 years is too rushed for an Apple product
 

carlgo

macrumors 68000
Dec 29, 2006
1,806
17
Monterey CA
One thing Jobs did well was to hire good people and he promoted them accordingly. What we don't know is if some brilliant people were driven off as well.
 

sdilley14

macrumors 65816
Feb 8, 2007
1,239
197
Mesa, AZ
It's an interesting argument with no "right" answer.

Without Steve Jobs, would we have gotten the colored iMacs, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, the iTunes store? Maybe. I know he is largely credited for "inventing" these things for the most part, though I'm sure for some of these he was the visionary, working with other great minds to bring these ideas to fruition.

If left to his own devices, does Tim Cook have the type of mind that could come up with these ideas/inventions? Highly unlikely. BUT, I think where Tim may be better than Steve is that he knows how to manage and create a collaborative environment where other more creative minds are allowed to flesh out their ideas both individually and with others. He knows how to leave the creation to the creative talent. He is more of a "management", numbers, facilitator type of personality as opposed to a creative and driving/ruling personality. And very importantly, he seems deeply devoted to sticking to Steve's vision of the company and the core values and mission. He seems fiercely dedicated to carrying on the tradition Apple has worked so hard to cultivate, media/Wall Street/message board talking heads be damned.

Which is better, who knows? There isn't one singular way to run a successful, innovative company, and I think we are about to find that out.
 

sdilley14

macrumors 65816
Feb 8, 2007
1,239
197
Mesa, AZ
Interesting blog post from former Apple intern Ben Thompson. He says when he interned at Apple the interns got to spend an hour with Apple executives (including Steve Jobs) and he felt Cook was the most impressive of all of them - by a"significant margin". A lot of people question whether Cook is the right guy to lead Apple but I think Steve and the board knew what they were doing and in the long run they will be proven right.

http://stratechery.com/2013/tim-cook-is-a-great-ceo/
Very interesting write up, thanks for sharing.
 
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