Tim Cook Says Apple is Always Focused on 'Products and People' Over Wall Street Expectations

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
7,402
8,478



Fast Company today published an interview with Tim Cook after naming Apple the world's most innovative company yesterday.

Image Credit: Fast Company/Ioulex Photography

Apple's CEO primarily reflected on the iPhone maker's culture and approach that has led to products such as the iPhone X, Apple Watch, AirPods, and HomePod, and as to be expected, he talked up the company he runs.

Cook said Apple's focus is always on "products and people," for example, rather than the company's earnings results or stock price.
Fast Company: What makes a good year for Apple? Is it the new hit products? The stock price?

Tim Cook: Stock price is a result, not an achievement by itself. For me, it's about products and people. Did we make the best product, and did we enrich people's lives? If you're doing both of those things-and obviously those things are incredibly connected because one leads to the other--then you have a good year.
Apple is "not in it for the money" with Apple Music, for instance, according to Cook, who says the streaming music service is more about ensuring that artists are funded in order to have a "great creative community."
Fast Company: Music has always been part of the Apple brand. Apple Music has had a lot of user growth, but streaming is not a major money­maker. Do you think about streaming as a potential stand-alone profit area, or is it important for other reasons?

Tim Cook: [...] Music is a service that we think our users want us to provide. It's a service that we worry about the humanity being drained out of. We worry about it becoming a bits-and-bytes kind of world, instead of the art and craft.

You're right, we're not in it for the money. I think it's important for artists. If we're going to continue to have a great creative community, [artists] have to be funded.
He added that Apple is an "outlier" in the sense that Wall Street has "little to no effect" on the company--which is the world's most valuable.
Fast Company: Do the investment markets make innovation harder? Or does Wall Street motivate change?

Tim Cook: The truth is, it has little to no effect on us. But we are an outlier. More generally, if you look at America, the 90-day clock [measuring results by each fiscal quarter] is a negative. Why would you ever measure a business on 90 days when its investments are long term?
Cook said what drives Apple is creating products that "change the world for the better" with innovative new features.
Tim Cook: Take iPhone X, the portrait-lighting feature. This is something that you had to be a professional photographer with a certain setup to do in the past. Now, iPhone X is not a cheap product, but a lighting rig-these things were tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars.
He added that one of Apple's unique qualities is patience in perfecting its products, rather than rushing to be first to the market.
Fast Company: Sometimes Apple takes the lead, introducing unique features-Face ID, for instance. Other times you're okay to follow, as long as you deliver what you feel is better, like HomePod, which is not the first home speaker. How do you decide when it's okay to follow?

Tim Cook: I wouldn't say "follow." I wouldn't use that word because that implies we waited for somebody to see what they were doing. That's actually not what's happening. What's happening if you look under the sheets, which we probably don't let people do, is that we start projects years before they come out. You could take every one of our products-iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch-they weren't the first, but they were the first modern one, right?

In each case, if you look at when we started, I would guess that we started much before other people did, but we took our time to get it right. Because we don't believe in using our customers as a laboratory. What we have that I think is unique is patience. We have patience to wait until something is great before we ship it.
Cook's comments are similar to ones he has shared in the past, and the interview portrays Apple in the best possible way, but the full article is still a worthwhile read for those who want more perspective about the company's beliefs.

Article Link: Tim Cook Says Apple is Always Focused on 'Products and People' Over Wall Street Expectations
 
  • Like
Reactions: MrUNIMOG

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
10,119
5,185
Home is everywhere and nowhere.
Didn't even read half and I can already say "Yeah right":rolleyes:

Fast Company: What makes a good year for Apple? Is it the new hit products? The stock price?

Tim Cook: Stock price is a result, not an achievement by itself. For me, it's about products and people. Did we make the best product, and did we enrich people's lives? If you're doing both of those things-and obviously those things are incredibly connected because one leads to the other--then you have a good year.
Examples:

  • No Aux on HomePod.
  • iPhone X price.
  • Always opening store in Appstore on Mac even when you click on a notification which announces new software can be downloaded, hell you have to click twice on Updates if you click on it right after opening Appstore.
  • Dongles
  • ....
 
Last edited:

brian3uk

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2016
324
1,117
Sure Tim. You release incomplete products full of bugs anyway because you need sales during a designated quarter. That doesn't benefit the people and makes your products look silly. We're on to your little game. (and we still buy your stuff anyway, just to be honest)
 

Dave245

macrumors 604
Sep 15, 2013
7,331
5,187
I'm sure there will be a lot of negative post on this article but i still think Apple make great products, the iPhone X is easily the best iPhone yet (and the best smartphone on the market in my opinion) the iPad Pro is a great device that has evolved to become a more computer like device for a lot of people, the Apple Watch is easily the best smart watch on the market, the AirPods are great and the HomePod is a great sounding speaker that is worth the cost alone.

Ok i've posted my positive thoughts and agree with Tim Cook, it's now time for the negative ones to start flowing :rolleyes::p
 

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
10,119
5,185
Home is everywhere and nowhere.
I'm sure there will be a lot of negative post on this article but i still think Apple make great products, the iPhone X is easily the best iPhone yet (and the best smartphone on the market in my opinion) the iPad Pro is a great device that has evolved to become a more computer like device for a lot of people, the Apple Watch is easily the best smart watch on the market, the AirPods are great and the HomePod is a great sounding speaker that is worth the cost alone.

Ok i've posted my positive thoughts and agree with Tim Cook, it's now time for the negative ones to start flowing :rolleyes::p

Too late.:p

Yes Apple makes good products but you can clearly see they do it for the stockholders as well as I already pointed out in my last post.
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 68040
Aug 19, 2017
3,455
3,847
Actions and words not exactly dovetailing beautifully there...

I mean, I can’t criticise too much, at the end of the day he has a duty to shareholders over just about everything else, but yeah some of the decisions of late have been naked profiteering, and I’m not talking about a $1,000 phone.
 

Chrissybear

macrumors newbie
May 6, 2015
29
11
Solihull UK
I'm sure there will be a lot of negative post on this article but i still think Apple make great products, the iPhone X is easily the best iPhone yet (and the best smartphone on the market in my opinion) the iPad Pro is a great device that has evolved to become a more computer like device for a lot of people, the Apple Watch is easily the best smart watch on the market, the AirPods are great and the HomePod is a great sounding speaker that is worth the cost alone.

Ok i've posted my positive thoughts and agree with Tim Cook, it's now time for the negative ones to start flowing :rolleyes::p
Dave you are not wrong and I agree with all you say.

However, it would be good if Apple were to be far less evasive when it comes to not paying their fair share of taxes.

Here in the EU, they are active in Ireland and Luxembourg and avoiding (legally I am sure!) their fair share of tax - that impacts everyone and stops us having money for our public services.

Ordinary folk over here cannot get away with what Apple gets away with and clearly that has an impact on their top and bottom lines.
 

cmwade77

macrumors 65816
Nov 18, 2008
1,051
1,103
Umm, as for Portrait mode, while it is decent for a home user, it doesn't match what can be done with the professional rigs, the sooner Apple and other phone manufacturers realize that a point and shoot camera, especially on a phone will never be able to compete with professional photography equipment, the better off we all will be.

Now I am not saying it isn't good for what it is, but don't pretend that it can replace thousands of dollars worth of equipment.
 

citysnaps

macrumors 603
Oct 10, 2011
5,113
7,678
San Francisco
I'm sure there will be a lot of negative post on this article but i still think Apple make great products, the iPhone X is easily the best iPhone yet (and the best smartphone on the market in my opinion) the iPad Pro is a great device that has evolved to become a more computer like device for a lot of people, the Apple Watch is easily the best smart watch on the market, the AirPods are great and the HomePod is a great sounding speaker that is worth the cost alone.

Ok i've posted my positive thoughts and agree with Tim Cook, it's now time for the negative ones to start flowing :rolleyes::p
I totally agree with your product assessment above. All outstanding products.

Still, you need to trash some Apple product or some Apple individual if you ever hope to elevate your forum cred.
 

Dave245

macrumors 604
Sep 15, 2013
7,331
5,187
Dave you are not wrong and I agree with all you say.

However, it would be good if Apple were to be far less evasive when it comes to not paying their fair share of taxes.

Here in the EU, they are active in Ireland and Luxembourg and avoiding (legally I am sure!) their fair share of tax - that impacts everyone and stops us having money for our public services.

Ordinary folk over here cannot get away with what Apple gets away with and clearly that has an impact on their top and bottom lines.
I'm from the UK and do agree that they should pay any taxes that they owe, my overall point here is that Tim Cook often gets a lot of negative comments from people on not only this forum but in general and i personally think he's doing a great job, it's easy to sit here and be a keyboard warrior but actually being the CEO and doing the daily work that Cook does isn't easy far from it, i do believe that Apple have the consumer in mind and that they love what they do, no one would work all those hours and put in that much effort if they didn't.

That's not to say tho that Apple don't make mistakes of course they do, software mistakes have been made lately but that doesn't mean "Apple is doomed" or "Tim Cook should be fired" Apple is on top of it's game and i only see it being so for a VERY long time especially under Tim Cook.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
3,915
5,116
Cook said Apple's focus is always on "products and people," for example, rather than the company's earnings results or stock price.

I would agree with Cook, at least if you look at Apple historically, but maybe not recently.

I am a very long time Apple fan. I have been using their products for decades, way before they were cool or fashionable.

I think at Apple's roots, they have been user experience driven company. A classic example would be the upside down Apple on the laptops.

But lately, it seems like their products, and especially the user experience has taken a backseat.
 

mtneer

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2012
2,756
1,780
"Tim Cook: Stock price is a result, not an achievement by itself. For me, it's about products and people. Did we make the best product, and did we enrich people's lives?"

What kind of "people" is he talking about? Customers? Himself? Management? Apple employees? Wall Street too is made up of people and they certainly would love to enrich their lives..
 

ugahairydawgs

macrumors 68030
Jun 10, 2010
2,666
1,279
Man....there are some seriously cynical/angry people here. I don't really understand why this site gets so much traffic from people who really don't seem to like the company that is the subject of the site. Seems like a better use of your time would be reading about/discussing things that you actually enjoy.

Is everything perfect? No. Could Apple as a whole be better? Sure. Do they deserve constructive criticism when they have issues with software or hardware they release? Absolutely.

But the over-the-top torch and pitchfork routine is just a sign that some here need a new hobby.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
6,920
12,430
In between a rock and a hard place
That interview reminds me of an old saying: A little bit goes a long way. If Tim had tempered his rhetoric a bit, his interview might have been a bit more effective in my opinion. Instead, at least in the excerpts, it's just tired rhetorical phrase after tired rhetorical phrase. The word overkill comes to mind.

I'm on record liking Cooks tenure at Apple... for the most part. But when he gets on that soapbox (hey Scott), the level of pretentiousness is pretty high. He should really take it down a notch.
 

Krayzkat

Suspended
Apr 22, 2011
757
1,284
Please don't insult us TC by saying you/Apple aren't in it for the money. Of course you are. Apple products wouldn't be amongst the most expensive if they were....

ps. I'm an Apple shareholder and of course i want the company to make as much money as possible. I just don't like ********ters.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Peperino

macrumors 6502a
Nov 2, 2016
698
1,227
As always, Cook says nothing.

If their priority would be products, they would not have had that many failed products (Mac Pro, latest Macbook Pro). You only started working on a new Mac PRo after many Pro users complained so much that Schiller had to come out and do an interview saying that Apple "still care" about their Pro users.

If their priority would be products, they would not have waited that long to upgrade the Mac mini, and the Mac Pro and the iMac.

If their priority would be people they would not have done what they did to the iPhone and cheated with the battery performance.

The only thing you care is not about innovation, products and users, but about making money with the iphones...

Sad...