Steve Jobs was a world class flip-flopper, says Apple CEO Tim Cook (with video)

“What did Steve Jobs teach Tim Cook? The Apple CEO has a list of lessons, and he shared some of them onstage at D10 tonight. But Cook seemed most impressed with the Apple co-founder’s ability to change his mind, very quickly,” Peter Kafka reports for AllThingsD.

Kafka reports, “‘He would flip on something so fast that you would forget that he was the one taking the 180 degree polar [opposite] position the day before,’ Cook told Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. ‘I saw it daily. This is a gift, because things do change, and it takes courage to change. It takes courage to say, ‘I was wrong.’ I think he had that.'”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Go f*** yourself Peter Kafka. You don’t know jack shit what you’re writing.

    Steve happened to change his mind when he was shown evidence that contradicted his position. That doesn’t mean he’s a flip flopper which implies that he couldn’t make up his mind at all and flipped back and forth between one solution and another.

    Once Steve made a decision that made sense, he was very resolute about implementing it. That is the very opposite of a flip flopper.

    1. From Wikipedia article on flip-flop:

      Outside of politics the use of the term is not as pejorative. A scientist or mathematician can often obtain some experimental results or logical proofs which causes one to flip flop on a previously held belief. Example: “I always assumed that there was an infinity, that all infinite numbers were equal, but I have flip flopped on that since I saw Georg Cantor’s proof.” Lewis Eigen, in his essay on the cultural difference between politics and scientists, observes, “To the scientist, failure to flip-flop in the face of contradictory evidence is irrational and dangerous behavior. And scientists will often flip-flop at almost light speed. Often it takes only a single observation to flip-flop thousands of scientifically learned people.”[11] In the scientific field a flip flop is generally positive as it indicates new learnings and breakthroughs.

      So, this is 100% consistent with your saying “Steve happened to change his mind when he was shown evidence that contradicted his position.” Your thinking the term is negative in all cases just means politics has infected too much of our everyday lives.

            1. Is that the white clam sauce from the Hubbard cult or the tomato marinara from the Sicilian clan? Or the more popular Ragu sect’s preservative-laden bottled versions?

      1. The Grover Norquistization of the GOP has made many in that party forget that they used to believe in things like evidence, problem solving, and compromise where they could achieve their agenda. Now it’s all just dogma, litmus tests, and sticking to things that are wrong seemingly in spite of themselves.

    2. I think maybe you mis-read the comment. It looks like Kafka was merely relating what Tim Cook told them. I didn’t watch the video but the brief MDN post above does look – to me – that the “flip-flopping” is being mentioned by Cook.
      Just sayin’ – I could be proven wrong. Won’t be the first time!

  2. Just for all those who say, “oh, Steve Jobs would never approve that!”, whenever a stylus or a 7.85″ iPad, or just about anything contrary to their established view of Apple products is put forward.
    (waves at BLN…)

    1. Only the American right wing thinks that getting more information and changing your position based on additional data is a bad thing. It’s too much like science for them.

  3. Did I miss something here, the All Things D article was titled:
    “Steve Jobs Was an Awesome Flip-Flopper, Says Tim Cook”

    Not ” Steve Jobs Was an World class Flip-Flopper, Says Tim Cook” as titled by MDN.

    Come on, I have been reading this site for as long as I can remember, did Kafka change the heading from the one reported or did MDN change it to ( “cover my eyes” ) get more readers, say it isn’t so.

    Confused, and somewhat annoyed by the title differences, they both are very different from each other.

    1. (Added)
      I guess its a matter of how you see it, after seeing the complete video in the full context that was presented to the audience instead of the poor snippet All Things D released, Cook Never did say either one of thoes titles, “World Class” or Kafkas “Awesome” Flip-Flopper.

      I guess whatever works …

  4. There’s a big difference between changing one’s mind from Position A to Position B based on new information or insights, to one who goes from Position A to Position B and back to Position A, and maybe back to Position B. At worse, one could say the first did a “flip”, but the latter did a flip-flop-flip. It’s the difference between Steve Jobs changing his position on third-party apps for his new iPhone to a certain very senior politician trying to have it all ways, pandering to each of his constituencies.

  5. Oh look! A sane statement about changing one’s mind:

    This is a gift, because things do change, and it takes courage to change. It takes courage to say, ‘I was wrong.’ I think he had that.

    But isn’t being a ‘flip-flopper’ a ‘bad thing’?! The poliTards told me so! They’re always right! Aren’t they?

    3D thinking:
    Beyond the comprehension of poliTards.

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