If Steve Jobs were alive, he would fire Tim Cook

“The level of delusion among Apple (AAPL) bulls reached unprecedented levels Friday morning,” TheStreet writes for Forbes. “Of course, Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized for MappleGate, just days after the company referred to the application as possibly ‘the most beautiful, powerful mapping service ever.'”

“If for whatever reason, he felt the need to release something inferior, all Cook needed to do was slap a ‘Beta’ tag on the product, just like Apple did with Siri. Beta simply lowers the customer’s expectations,” TheStreet writes. “Apple probably did not “’Beta’ Maps because, unlike Siri, many users expect a reliable and fully-functioning mapping application. So, you can’t say it’s not there yet, which, as Cook learned the hard way, only supports not releasing it in the first place.”

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote on Friday:

One thing we would like to know is: Who’s responsible for opening Apple up to this overblown shitstorm and why are they still working for Apple Inc., if they still are?

(Yes, we know we’ll likely never get those two answers.)

No matter what Apple does, no matter how much better they make Apple Maps, it will now always “suck” in the minds of a large segment of the population. This open letter from Cook only helps cement the idea that Maps is a “failure.” The fool(s) responsible for preparing Maps for release and then releasing it with obvious issues (overblown as they are) and therefore tainting Maps forever should face severe consequences. As in: Pink slip(s). If you don’t get fired over this debacle, what exactly does get you fired at Tim Cook’s Apple?

Apple seems to have learned nothing from the Newton: First impressions mean everything. Apple’s Maps have been Newtonized. All that’s missing is the Doonesbury strip.

We have our suspicions that Tim Cook cannot recognize good marketing from bad. Or the import of the customer’s Apple Retail experience to Apple Inc.’s bottom line. Now, after this Maps face-plant, we’re wondering if he has another blind spot for software. The multi-talented Steve Jobs was supposed to have been replaced, as best as possible, by a team of people. Some of these team members are obviously not performing up to anything near a Jobsian level.

It’s nice to say you strive to make “world-class products” for customers, Tim, it’s better to actually deliver them.

Here’s a little hint for the future: Everything that requires widespread customer use to develop a rich database before the product becomes fully usable should be clearly labeled “beta” upon release. Apple did it with Siri, but they forgot to do it with Maps. Had Apple been smart enough to simply place a “beta” tag on Maps, all of this rigamarole would never have occurred.

Steve’s attention to detail may very well be irreplaceable.

Here’s the thing: Attention to detail should be replaceable; by brute force if necessary. Apple has over $100 billion dollars. They are not a rinky dink turnaround operation anymore. Apple needs to get a Quality Control team staffed by a bunch of Type-A’ers and led by a perfectionist. Such people certainly do exist. Too much shit is slipping through the cracks. For a very recent example: Apple, the most valuable company on earth, can’t manage to notice that iOS carrier settings were sapping off cellular on Verizon and AT&T even when the devices are connected to Wi-Fi? Seriously? A proper Quality Control team would have caught that in the first five minutes of testing.

TheStreet writes, “I observe Apple fanboys and fangirls with pity as they defend Tim Cook. He is the kind of guy Jobs would have fired… Just think about how beside himself Jobs would be if he was around to see Cook offer Google and Nokia Maps as alternatives while Apple gets its act together. Tim Cook actually told people that they might be better off with what freaking Nokia produces than something Designed by Apple in California… If Jobs was alive and just slid into a Chairman or Director role, Cook would have been writing his resignation letter, not a sappy apology on Friday.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We want to type here that “it’ll all be just fine.”

That we can’t do so should speak volumes.

Browett. Aborted “Mac Genius” ad campaign. Maps fiasco…

We just don’t know. The jury is still out on Tim Cook.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Nicholas C.” for the heads up.]


      1. Exactly. Wouldn’t Apple’s competitors love it if Cook and others started getting fired? The only way that Apple can lose is to decimate the management team that helped get them there. SJ is gone and we have to do the best that we can without him.

        Any article starting with the phrase “Jobs would have…” is a crock of total BS. As if *anyone* knows what Jobs would do posthumously except in the most obvious of circumstances.

        I have made my position on this subject very clear. If we help to perpetuate this crap, then we are undermining ourselves to the delight of Google and Samsung and the like.

        1. Totally agree. I think Tim Cook is doing a fantastic job of keeping the ship afloat. Tim is still learning. Google was looking to pounce over the map app. I am sure they had paid people to stand in line, get a phone, test the heck out of maps and then blog about it. Shit storm defined. Anybody but Cook would really start changing things and screwing it up. These other thinks are minor. There is NO ONE out their with the same skin in the game that Steve Jobs had. Not even Wozniak.

        2. +! Is everyone expecting that suddenly all this stuff will just stop and Tim will become something he’s not? Let’s look at reality. It may be the hardest job in the world running this company from the tippy top. Tim’s caretaking is merely acceptable. Nothing extraordinary there. No signs of particular gifts for this work.

          I’ll bet you dollars to donuts there’s a mid-level guy or gal at Apple that have everything it takes. Look for “excalibur” moments in the company — people who have pulled swords from stones displaying gifts far beyond their paygrade. There’s the next CEO.

          Either way, Tim’s going to keep doing what he’s doing. My only comfort is that he seems to be a genius himself when it comes to learning systems and using them to their fullest. So hopefully he’s learning like crazy.

        3. Are you (and others) expecting that SJ’s clone will suddenly show up to run the company? Who would replace Cook, or Forstall, or anyone else who does not currently meet your exacting standards of perfection? SJ, himself, did not meet those standards. I want to know who is going to do the job better before I fire the person who is currently doing the job. Sounds like common sense to me…

          I am not saying that Apple (and Cook) could not or should not do a better job. I am simply refuting the asinine calls for heads to roll. As an Apple supporter, a fan of many of its hardware and software products, and a (very minor) shareholder, I am not in favor of knee-jerk reactions fomented by the media, pundits, and trollist forum participants. These are the same people who are dead-wrong on a regular basis. Why would anyone who is informed on the subject of Apple put any credence on their wild calls for vengeance?

        4. I didn’t mean to come across so harshly, NerdB. Your post is very reasonable and there may very well be someone within Apple, or even outside of it, who could do a better job as CEO than Cook. I just don’t believe that it would be wise to begin experimenting with the fate of Apple.

          SJ is not infallible. But he had years to come to grips with his cancer and chart the future course of the company that he loved. He made the best choice that he could at the time, and I do not advocate lightly overturning his recommendation. SJ even tested Cook with some interim CEO experience. It is entirely possible that Cook was a compromise choice of sorts, and that SJ simply had no better alternatives at the end. But I have no reason to believe that was the case.

          Once again, I apologize for being harsh in my response. I have been getting blasted by GM and others for this viewpoint for the last couple of weeks. I consider it to be fairly reasonable, but others seem to believe that drastic action is warranted, even though they do not have any idea what is going on inside Apple.

        5. I’ll repost this again from a previous hatchet job:

          This is really starting to look like Google is pulling the strings of many bloggers to create a story out of a non-story.

          Be ready for the mother of all FUD campaigns. This just might get bigger than anything Microsoft ever tried to pull off.

          Remember, Google looks to lose millions if not billions of dollars because of Apple. Think they are going to just stand aside and let it happen?

        6. Plus let me also add,
          These writers have how much experience running a multi-billion dollar company?
          They are nothing but armchair quarterbacks that are pissed off that Apple is kicking everyone’s ass in the tech field.

        7. Hey, I feel exactly the same way, 3rd!

          It is all good and well to be critical of Apple and hold the company to a higher standard. That is the path to excellence and insanely great products. Magic is a product of very hard work and excruciating attention to detail. But it is easy to take that to an extreme that will damage the company and produce gridlock and chaos within Apple. You have to take risks to innovate, and sometimes the result isn’t as immediately wonderful as everyone expects. You try to keep those products out of the public eye until they are fully baked. Sometimes, however, you have to take some chances. Apple could not continue to move forward with a semi-crippled (no turn-by-turn) Google Maps function embedded in the core of iOS. Google had to go with the release of iOS, and Apple Maps was the only option for the future.

          This will all work out just fine over time. Apple will prevail.

    1. +1

      “I observe Apple fanboys and fangirls with pity as they defend Tim Cook. He is the kind of guy Jobs would have fired…”

      Steve Jobs hired Mr Cook because of the kind of guy Mr Cook is; Steve Jobs would not fire Mr Cook.

      Mr Cook did not have to offer competitor’s solutions; this was an unnecessary extra burden than releasing Maps in the first place.

      1. it should also be pointed out that Steve Jobs was the kind of person Steve Jobs would have fired (for different reasons). He would never have put up with someone else at Apple behaving the way he did.

      2. “I observe Apple fanboys and fangirls with pity as they defend Tim Cook. He is the kind of guy Jobs would have fired…”

        Rocco Pendejo has never run anything approaching a large corporation, let alone the largest in the world. He’s a know nothing POS with a chip on his shoulder.

        MDN, you need to get a grip. Obviously, Cook is not doing things the way YOU envisioned, and that bothers you. I would point out that your experience running a large corporation isn’t much more than Pendejo’s, so chill!

    2. I agree… Puhleeease MDN, take a chill pill. You are sounding just like the rabid Apple fanboy that you decry.

      We do not have the inside info so we cannot know what is going on. Even if Apple thought the maps system was pretty good…….. Apple allows 30 testers 30 days at 8 hours a day to test the maps. 72,000 man hours of testing. NOW once iOS6 is released….. 100 million people spend 2 hours a day for 7 days using the maps program…. That is 1.4 BILLION man hours of testing. Which do you think is going to find a few small errors..?????????

      PS. that is 1.4 Billion manhours of testing EACH WEEK..

      So, please, take a chill pill and let time bring those errors into the system. Every error removed is gone. Just a thought.

      1. Some sanity for a change, if only we had it from the Press, Analysts and even the pathetically hysterical MDN. When you get into new areas and new technology it is inevitable that it is going to have initial problems, only Apple seems to get not only picked up but sadistically terrorised for it.

        Some of us can remember the pathetic criticism of OSX when it debued as a slow buggy OS with little software before it was ready. Some even said that was the end of Apple unless they dump it immediately and don’t even talk to me about the derided debut of the iMac, or the original Mac for that matter. The rest is history, there are errors in this Maps launch but in all honest if it had been the best thing since sliced bread it would have got ridiculous FUD and criticism. There is only so much you can do with software of this nature in the labs.

        1. Where is MDN hysterical?

          All I see are facts, plainly and calmly stated. Just because you don’t like the facts doesn’t make them “hysterical.”

          Apple QC team does in fact, suck. They need to do better.

          MDN is entirely correct: “The jury is still out on Tim Cook.”

      2. Not sure I agree. There are some things that demand being bulletproof, and that is WiFi / Cellular. This hits their customers in their pocketbook, where Apple makes a nice living from. Screwups that reach into that pocketbook have far reaching implications. Protection of my pocketbook is the exact reason I got back with Apple in 2002. I wanted to use the internet with some modicrum of confidence.

        And by the way MDN, based on the contract and compensation Apple bestowed upon Mr. Cook, it would be very very expensive indeed to have to replace him.

      1. Sound to me like MDN just wants to see Tim Cook demand a bit more quality control than currently seems to be the case.

        A little less laid back California and a little more New York aggressiveness, Apple.

    3. Taking a look at my brokerage account over the last year, I’m damn glad that Apple’s being run by Tim Cook and not some pig-ignorant business pundit.


      1. A friend found an error 2 days ago… Filed the error report and it has already been corrected… Just how long do you believe Maps will be “inferior” with that kind of adjustment system in place? Oh, by the way … He is in Mexico !!!!

        1. That’s great, but I live in North Carolina and filed several error reports a day or two after iOS 6 came out and none of them have been changed. I know that maps will only get better, but I do question how long it will take.

    1. Rocco Pendola should be fired!

      There, i did it. Now can we get a firing squad together to reall fire this ass clown?

      MDN: Why do you even give these ass clowns the hits? Please just ignore them!

  1. Stories like this are POS. Steve Jobs hired Tim Cook. Steve Jobs promoted TC to CEO. Steve Jobs knew what he was doing. Nobody bats a 1.000. Tim Cook is doing a really good Job steering Apple into the post SJ era. End of story.

  2. Allowing a half baked piece of software to be used is just Microsoft or google like actions.
    If Steve Jobs were alive he would not allow The Maps application to be released.
    They could have slapped a beta tag and allow consumers to device if they want other maps apps .

    If Tim Cook made a calculated decision and NOT put a beta tag, then Apple no longer values the Product above $$$.

      1. +100

        Steve Jacks seems to also need his brain smacked back up to his head. It seems to be residing in his ass now.

        Just shut down the site and call it DroidDailyNews already.

    1. For all those with very short memories, let’s review the perfection of Steve Jobs:

      – hockey puck mouse
      – Cube G4
      – the square iPod nano (the dumpy one)
      – initial pricing of the first iPhone
      – the dumb-down of iMovie
      – MobileMe
      – iPhone 4 antenna
      – FinalCut Pro X

      Steve Jobs was a genius, but he wasn’t infallible. It is time to cut Tim Cook some slack.

      1. Jobs was no genius, he did make mistakes,obviously. who on earth thinks he didn’t? Well ok, except for those posters. Cook is only human and of course he makes mistakes too. Don’t we all? But somebody’s head our heads should roll for this fiasco. It matters not that it is a big deal or a bigger deal, it was just plain fucking stupid. And Apple is not supposed to do stupid things. Admit your mistake. Fire whoever is responsible. Move on. And fire that piece of shit Browett while you’re at it. His ass really needs to go.

      2. Against all those less-than-stellar misfires MDN and SteveJack also need to go back and listen to Steve introduce the iPhone. With all the same humility that Tim Cook exhibits every day Steve himself said “We’d be happy to get 1%……. We have a lot to learn…. We’re new to this.” The execs at Apple that I used to work with were unanimous on this next point: They never paid attention to the stock price. I hope that in this era they’re not paying attention to these critics and stay focused on the vision for making great products that they are proud to recommend to their family members.

    2. It is not like it is the first time. Final Cut Pro X? Steve was still around for that, should he have been fired.

      The notion that a handful of blowhard media personalities (who create nothing but hype) have a say in hiring/firing at the highest levels of Apple is preposterous. Any of you lemmings (MDN!) that are following along with this bafoonery, well you need a nice slap upside your head to knock the stupor off. This has become an overblown echo chamber of stupid.

  3. Relax. “it’ll all be just fine.” Really.

    My personal experience of Apple Maps has been an unmitigated success.

    Apple had to make the move to a native map app sooner or later. This too shall pass, and with it comes the best maps app ever. Stay tuned.

  4. Rocco Pendola is an unmitigated ass. He’s constantly touting everything as the prelude to Apples demise. Anybody who takes this fool seriously is a fool themselves.

  5. Every company makes mistakes. Apple just needs to lock the doors and make the best maps program EVER. If they do then this is just a bump in the road. Time will tell.

  6. The reality is that the general public dont give a rats ass about ‘Mapplegate’. They love the iPhone and they will buy it and probably laugh if they get a maps issue, which, as we all know is not likely unless you look for issues.

    This is a technews issue, and thats all it is.

    Why dont we all get on with our lives? Its not a big deal, and the stock will be back up again soon enough.

    What a silly delusional world.

  7. Fuck the Street right in the fscking head, and fsck this whiny horseshit over maps. Get some fscking perspective you pathetic twats. Tim cook was hand picked by Jobs! Cook made Apple the global juggernaut it is! Giving these dripping shuts at TheStreet any credibility at all is beyond pathetic.

  8. One of the defining characteristics of Americans is that they parlay the constitutional right to free speech into a god-given right to spew nonsense on any and every subject. Here we have (mdn included) a host of “experts” who consider themselves well placed to second-guess the CEO of the world’s largest company (and contributed mightily to its success) despite not having access to any actual information on the issues or the decision-making process. Armchair experts make a lot of noise, but very little of it is of any value. Apple made a gutsy decision to switch to Maps more than a year ago. They didn’t get it perfect, but they most likely felt that the minor problems encountered by a few users would be easily resolved in short order. And they wanted to get rid of Google – as well they should. Nearly all the negative commentary has come from competitors or journalists – most of the iphone 5 ans iOS 6 users who have commented on here are having none, or only minor, issues. No-one can judge Mr Cook at this point. If the issues are resolved and the issue dies, his decision will have proven to be the right decision. The alternative was to wait 12 months, with a second-rate mapps app from google, and then, even then, likely encounter some issues when the new maps got into the hands of users. My money is on Cook – the armchair experts can go start a tech company of their own and acquire some expertise before their arrogant assessments have any value.

    1. I agree with almost everything you have said except for the gross generalization of an entire country of oh, 300 million or so people. That’s dumb (think spewing nonsense and pisses me off… you could say that the internet is a place where everyone spews nonsense and it would still be a gross generalization. The rest of your comments are spot on, so I guess wherever the hell you are from is filled with smart people who generalize in a gross sort of way 😉

      1. Pride getting in the way of your brain sir? Americans are pretty stupid, our test scores show it, our fascination with meaningless things says it, our overall actions toward one another says it. Look at our political state, pathetic at best.

        I realize you were raised with the notion of American exceptionalism and have been conditioned to reject any claims to the contrary (queue the commie comments in 3..2..) But the truth is we have evolved into a shallow, consumerist, society who lets the bauble makers call all the shots while we argue about the terms of our own slavery.

        America has a lot of growing up to do and some serious soul searching is in order, what we have become is not something to be admired.

    2. I’ve used iOS maps since day one and completely agree. The new maps seems far superior to google maps. There is no street view, but I wouldn’t be surprised if apple are working on a similar feature right now.

      For me the new maps app is such a bonus. I’m sure the maps competitors it is an even bigger negative.

      Also, for all those non-iOS smart phone users it was one of ‘the’ main reasons the iPhone is ‘no good’. Now all they have left is memories of the now dwindling list of iOS map issues.

      I really feel sorry for them. Those poor non-iOS users. Must be hard to be so deluded.

  9. Considering the kind of money Cook is being paid, then he either needs to give a truck load of it back, or maybe yes, even fire/demote him.
    At that pay grade you are expected to be NOT making elementary mistakes. And also not getting second, third and fourth chances…
    That is the whole deal when you are making the big bucks – the buck stops with you.

    1. And you are the big expert? You have yet to prove that to me. If you have nothing good to say, keep your trap shut. People like you just create hate. Go hate yourself.

  10. So iOS Maps 2.0 can’t find my house. Neither can Google Maps, Bing Maps, or Mapquest. I mean, my town only renumbered my street 2 1/2 years ago.

    It only took the junk mail folks a couple of months to get my new address.

    So what’s with all these map companies?

  11. Tim Cook is doing fine. MDN, chill. Apple is held to a standard that I don’t think any other company is held. Apple needs to do better than 100% otherwise they are heavily scrutinized. As everyone here know, that isn’t possible. So rather than harp on Maps, here is a list of amazing successes since Tim Cook:

    MacBook Pro Retina
    iPhone 5
    iOS 6
    Mountain Lion
    iPhone 4S
    Upgrades to nearly the entire Mac line
    Open communication from him
    iPad (3rd Gen)
    Upgrades to iCloud
    DOUBLING of Apple’s stock

    Hmmm… sounds like Maps is just a misstep.

  12. This is just stupid stuff . . . so then who did Steve fire for antennagate . . . oh wait he didn’t . . . he jumped in and defended their work and ideas. He said they were working their asses off to solve the problem and that no one is perfect.

    Tim Cook is who Steve picked SEVERAL TIMES to take over the company when he was ill. There is a team of talented people at Apple trying to do their best. They have an awesome track record and only once in a while do they produce a mouse shaped like a hockey puck that does not work or a cube computer that does not sell . . . and that was with Steve at the helm. I really don’t understand why people get mad over stuff like this, I can understand disappointment but not anger. Would you rather they build an environment at Apple where everyone is looking over their shoulders and afraid to try new ideas?
    This is just Forbes once again trying to get everyone all excited so they get lots of hits for their sensationalized FUD . . . They don’t like Apple . . . . Apple is the new Microsoft . . . Apple is doomed because . . . yawn.

      1. “who then who did Steve fire for antennagate

        Mark Papermaster.

        Get your facts right, son.”

        That’s SPECULATION….SON… it is a common believe but has never been confirmed by both Papermaster and Apple.

        Talk real confirmed facts if you want to sneer at somebody else about facts.

    1. Spot on. Apple takes the risks and sets the tone. They needed to take control of maps to loosen the Google grip and that was the right strategic decision that will play out over years when these teething problems are long forgotten.

      Next step is to take the fight to Google. Buy a promising search engine and build it out. Make it the default on IOS and then Google will start to feel the pips squeak.

  13. Exactly how hard is it going to be for Apple Inc. to find a replacement for SJ? Where do you find the heart, the soul the DNA that was the charisma of Apple Inc? Hell will freeze over first and in the meantime Tim Cook will have to do.

  14. So, Steve Jobs would have fired himself over the initial release of the MobileMe service? Its launch was perceived as being so bad that Apple extended everyone’s yearly subscription for an three extra months. Anyone (who’s not a Mac-head) even remember that…?

    Would he have fired himself over the well-designed but badly targeted Power Mac G4 Cube (a failure as a product), or the cool-looking but poor-usability “hockey-puck” mouse?

    What about the decision to NOT include CDRW drive in early G3 iMacs (only CDROM or DVDROM)?

    What about “Antennagate”? Yes, it was over-blown and really about perception not reality, but Steve Jobs failed to manage that perception, so it might was well have been about reality. The bad publicity from Antennagate was FAR worse that this “maps” thing. But six months later, it was all but forgotten.

    Apple does great things because Apple is willing to take risks. Apple needed to take control of its Maps app, to eliminate a key dependency on Google. Sometimes, taking those risks causes failures, but in the long run, no one remembers those failures because Apple’s successes are spectacular.

    Each of those Steve Jobs failures I mentioned were (at the time they occurred) more serious than anything negative that has happened since Tim Cook became CEO. Those failures occurred because Apple took risks. Most people now only remember Steve Jobs’s successes, because the failures were quickly forgotten, and the successes were so great in comparison.

    Here are a few things Apple has done since Tim Cook became CEO. iPhone 4S. iPad with Retina Display. MacBook Pro with Retina Display. iPhone 5. iOS 5. iCloud. Siri. Mac OS X Mountain Lion. iOS 6. Record-breaking quarters and AAPL at all time highs above $700. Is Tim Cook going to be remembered because the Maps app has a some glitches…?

    1. Me too…nicely said. This article is total FUD and a hatchet job. Steve would NOT have fired Tim Cook, nor even Scott Forstall. The Maps product is not a failure, it is a victim of jealousy and coporate FUD. You might notice that this type of media hype/hysteria is typical in politics… corporations/politicians are expert at this. Discerning minds can see this for what it is. Unfortunately, even Mac Daily News feeds the hysteria by bothering to reprint such fodder.

  15. This story is a joke. Why? Tim Cook has been working side by side with Steve Jobs for 20 years. Steve Jobs personally gave the CEO position to Tim Cook. He’s the last one he would have fired. I think it would have gone down a bit lower in the chain if firing was the answer that is. But Tim Cook would not have been Steve’s target if he was still around.

  16. I’m tired of fanboys reference. It seems that every IDIOT who writes something about Apple always has to reference something with fanboys. Most of them are just that, IDIOTS!
    They write a bunch of crap with no facts to back them up always referencing fanboys like it’s there excuse that makes them right and everyone else is wrong because if you defend Apple you are a fanboy? Maybe they just don’t like the facts is more likely the case.

  17. why didn’t Steve Jobs start a serious campaign to put out a maps app? why didn’t he start buying mapping companies in 2007 or earlier during iPhone development, start collecting data etc. Instead he trusted Schmidt and went all out google. Schmidt then besides stealing iPhone data also SCREWED apple on the maps by withholding vital services like turn by turn.

    Google Maps didn’t have proper coverage for China, Apple’s LARGEST growth area for sales and income. Apparently apple maps is way better for china.

    Forstall and Cook had to scramble to fix it.

    I’m not blaming steve , he trusted a ‘friend’ (schmidt the mole) and we shouldn’t put so much blame on Forstall or Cook either.

    The maps thing is overblown, many people find it OK.

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