How long can Tim Cook avoid taking any risks at Apple?

“If Apple CEO Tim Cook leads according a metaphor, it must be ‘slow and steady wins the race,'” Jason Hiner writes for ZDNet.

“Since taking the reigns from Steve Jobs in August 2011, Cook has guided Apple with a careful and conservative hand,” Hiner writes. “There’s been very little drama, very few bold moves, and lots of measured, incremental steps. Depending on how you look at, you could see Cook’s first two years at Apple as characterized by understated confidence or tentativeness. Most of all, Cook has avoided taking any big risks. ”

“While few would argue that Apple has been ‘standing still’ in the Cook era, so far it bears more similarities to the Sculley era than to the 15-year innovation streak of Jobs’ second tour in Cupertino,” Hiner writes. “Cook and Apple will need to get more aggressive in 2014, and there are signs that it could happen.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve been saying repeatedly since last May:

iPhone was released 5 years, 7 months, and 19 days after iPod.

iPad was released 2 years, 9 months, and 5 days after iPhone.

Tim Cook has been Apple CEO for 2 years, 2 months, and 4 days.

Related article:
The myth of Steve Jobs’ constant breakthroughs – September 25, 2013


    1. so far it bears more similarities to the Sculley era than to the 15-year innovation streak of Jobs’ second tour in Cupertino,” Hiner writes.

      And that’s as far as I got. This writer is completely clueless. Converting all Apple products, both hardware and software to 64 bit was not a risk? The only thing I can think of that is in the same ballpark is Jobs switching everything to Intel CPUs. What a clueless moron!

  1. What the rush? Good things come to those who wait. Beside what qualifies as a risk? Some people would say iOS 7 was a big risk on the software side. On the hardware side that garbage can looking Mac Pro with almost no upgradeability except through thunderbolt is bit of a risk. What do want from Tim Cook an Apple Car?

  2. When are theses clowns going to realize that SJ is long gone? I guess they think he should have been cloned so that things would never change? Get a life people!

  3. failure was not an option when Tim Cook took mobile computing 64bit – a big risk if it had failed.

    4K TV is not ready for primetime quite yet, apple is moving the infrastructure into place. From data centers to the new Mac Pro and thunderbolt, Apple is moving towards 4K TV. Oh, and by the way, 4K TV is going to be interactive and have the most crisp text you’ve seen on a screen.

  4. He got rid of the primary architect of iOS (which is the software that the devices that make up the majority of their sales run on) and sanctioned a drastic redesign of the whole thing. Yes, it needs work, but then so did the first version of iOS. Those changes were a big risk.

  5. iOS 7 was a big risk. Going to a 64-bit mobile processor and gaining at least a year advantage on competitors was a big risk. Going with Touch ID knowing full well the failed history of previous fingerprint recognition on mobile devices, was a big risk. Firing your Chief Software Engineer (Scott Forstall) was a big risk. Allowing Final Cut Pro to be completely redesigned and released without all the previous features was a big risk (the wisdom of which can still be debated, but it was a risk). Allowing several years to go by without a major Mac Pro update so that you could completely blow people’s minds with a computer light-years ahead of the competition was a HUGE risk.

    This guy is either hit-whoring, stupid, or some combination thereof.

  6. I don’t know how these “tech” writers don’t seem to have any understanding of technology. First, Apple has made some amazing advances in both hardware and software in the past two years, but it is all under the hood and improved existing devices. Second, and more important, is that a new device, application, or market in electronics is typically dependent upon new technology. Guess what, bozo, sometimes the technology is not ready yet to make for a good product. For the iPhone, touch screens and low power processors had to develop to a certain point before the end product would be acceptable to consumers. Sometimes you just have to wait.

    To see what happens when you don’t wait, just look to the craptastic Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch.

  7. Maps was a risk, and although it wasn’t perfect, it needed to be out there in order to get the bugs out, feedback, etc., and Mr. Cook did it, and apologized even though it was a beta version. It is gratifying that it is now available on OS X, along with iBooks. Risk has to be balanced against return, and the overall profit ratio is the determinant of success. From this shareholder’s perspective, things are going extremely well. Just getting product out with a minimum of hiccups is a massive accomplishment, particularly considering the number of countries involved, including China.

    1. Maps was a risk that has yet to deliver outside the US. UK mapping, satellite imagery etc. are all very poor.

      Ditto Youtube app that we lost when IOS 6 did away with it.
      But with $134Bn in the bank – who cares.

      1. I just had to drive from the south west corner of Alberta, Canada to the north east corner of the province. Maps would only give me the absolutely shortest route. This route was mostly 2 lane roads going through cities and towns and over about 35% gravel roads. It completely avoided 4 and 6 lane highways and city bypasses. It was the shortest route but it would have taken 3 to 4 hours longer to drive it.

  8. Thanks MDN for the timeline…this “analyst” needs to chill…

    Clearly the trajectory (depending on acceleration, which cannot be determined) … But assuming constant velocity

    will be an iWall in about 3 years.


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