At Apple, there’s no need for Tim Cook to be revolutionary

“When Tim Cook became Apple CEO, I, like so many other Apple fans, went through a period that stopped slightly shy of mourning. ,” Rocco Pendola writes for Seeking Alpha. “We didn’t know Jobs personally, but we love Apple. And the thought of somebody we perceived as the opposite of Jobs running the show scared us.”

“At times, I wasn’t sure Cook could weather the storm. But he held his own, and more than passed the test. Even though we have never communicated directly, Cook has taught me more about Apple than Steve Jobs ever did,” Pendola writes. “If the Apple Watch doesn’t parallel the success of the iPod, iPhone or iPad, it will be deemed a failure. The weight of the world will come down on Cook. At least from the perspective of tech know-it-alls and the stock market.”

“That doesn’t mean AAPL’s manipulated,” Pendola writes. “It just means the impossible standard critics have set for Apple impacts the stock’s performance. Even when AAPL performs strongly (as it has of late), it should, relative to its peers, be higher. But again, Apple’s peers get a free pass because, oddly, of their inferiority when held up alongside Apple. It’s a toxic cocktail.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. To put it in truck terms, a CEO needs to be the oil that keeps the whole damn complex system running smooth.

    Without a leader who knows how to keep people moving in the right direction in an effective manner toward identifiable goals, you get stagnation or worse.

  2. The opinion stated in the headline is the surest way to drive the company into a ditch.

    Thank goodness Tim doesn’t believe that. After years of empty promises and disappointing incremental updates, it appears Apple is now delivering something truly revolutionary: Apple Pay.

    Cook is also attempting to be revolutionary in the watch market, though we don’t have enough details to know if that’s how it will turn out. With any luck, a revolutionary Apple TV and some new Macs and enterprise-level hardware and software codeveloped with IBM will also be revolutionary.

    Apple MUST continue to use the revolutionary abilities it historically has in its DNA. If Apple doesn’t revolutionize, who will?

  3. Wow, there is actually some stuff about Tim Cook in that article but what an ego pumping pay attention to “me me me” article so typical of the state of jouranalism today. I think this will take a two swat approach, there is so much Rocco in the article that there is hardly any room for Tim Cook.

    Right at the start, Rocco’s huge ego is so massive that it has to be our ego as well. Surely there is a rationale to include “us” in the idea of mourning someone many of us appreciated and certainly there was the fear of having someone else, i.e. Tim Cook running the show. That did not really bother me, Steve Jobs was a visionary and I was confident that the vision and the spirit of Apple would continue as indeed I think it has. It is never easy to swallow statements that others make when they tell us how we think and feel, kind of removes the individuality of a person in my opinion.

    Not surprisingly the article is more about Rocco’s attitude about Tim Cook than Tim Cook. I counted 34 instances of the word “I” in the article, there are 12 of “Tim”, 1 of “he”, 7 of Tim Cook, and 13 of Cook (without the Tim) for a total of 33 instances of the topic. That’s roughly one for one, leading one to believe that the article could well be entitled “A Roccoland, There’s No Need for Tim Cook to be Revolutionary.”

    So it’s of no surprise that you have to go seeking for the gems amidst this article. The impossible overhang of replacing Steve Jobs is a yawn. He replaced Steve Jobs as CEO right away, he was picked by Jobs and Tim Cook has been part of the Apple culture long enough. Different style yes but that’s not a real replacement.

    Incremental change ultimately equals revolution, wow what a concept, but Chaos theory has been around for a while. Quantum change is equally effective at revolution, and so is insight along with many other drivers of revolution. Not bad but nothing revolutionary insofar as modern day jouranalism is concerned.

    Tim Cook doing a better job articulating what Apple’s all about than Steve Jobs ever did. Oh that takes a big shovel. Tim Cook recently said something about Apple working on stuff that wasn’t even rumored about yet. That’s Apple, secretive and wowly so. You don’t articulate the road map at Apple. Tim Cook is very articulate, and so was Steve Jobs. Steve was a more flamboyant stage performer in my opinion but hey, that’s just part of being a CEO.

    It’s hard to pick up any gems about Tim Cook here though, as it’s so imbibed with Rocco.

    -I have never considered myself a traditional journalist.
    – My work over these last four or so years at Seeking Alpha and TheStreet (a combined 2,102 articles or so) has opened doors to everything from television appearances to high-level sources.
    – I don’t feel as if I have ever crossed to the other side.

    Sorry to burst your massive ego bubble Rocco but that feeling that you’ve never crossed to the other side is probably because you’ve always been there. That article is a spewing of self importance.

    Finally it’s a follow the money wrap up.
    – I might go against my better judgment and buy a little AAPL

    Rocco, saying that you are coming around now to buying a little AAPL stock and against your better judgment makes me laugh and laugh and laugh at you, all the way to the bank.

    1. Hey, Road … since you keep up with me far more than I keep up with you (as in not at all) can you answer one question for me so I will be able to understand you better? Here it is: Have you ever said anything critical about Apple Inc., a single one of their products, or service, or their decision making, or of anyone in the management team, or anything at all that expressed any concern or disagreement with anything at all about any of the above? Short version: In your opinion, is Apple perfect?

      1. I’ll shake my head and hope springs eternal do you a tit for tat. You give me a decent reason for totally dismissing the watch as you did. That was really horrible Jay. I was looking forward to see some depth, insight, thought and all I got was something clunky on the wrist. That’s so preemptively biased and that’s vitriolic hate crap, same stuff you tossed out at me. Blinds your reason.

        Yup, stuff I never liked about Apple:

        – The price initially.
        – The catch up with the Hz functions.
        – The hockey puck mouse (you know that Steve Jobs thingie).
        – The small cracks in the Cube (mine has them come to love them but felt like a bit of a rip off).
        – Gil Amelio’s line of the lacka performa. Gil to his credit did one thing great, brought back Steve Jobs.
        – I’ve had my share of cursing at the some of the issues of Operating system.
        – Dog systems (System 7.0, and 8.0) but hey I was an early adopter.
        – Management team- More power to Steve Jobs but a tough guy to work with no doubt.
        – Sculley.
        – They never should have gotten rid of Guy Kawasaki (that’s a joke).
        – The perceived arrogance.
        – The way I had to defend myself against the Microsoft IT folks.

        Long story short, no Apple isn’t perfect, but I love the products, and especially the attitude, the combining of the software with the hardware. That was a core decision a long time ago and that’s sustained the unique value of Apple, what’s now known as the ecosystem, and now we are moving into an ecosystem of connected devices (TV, watches, ovens, thermostats, cars, phones, fridges, dryers, washers what we wear) and Apple will shine there if they continue with the attitude.

        That’s what I consider a decent effort on my part to answer your question. Now it would be greatly appreciated if you could explain, how after years of bashing Tim Cook as you have and seeing how he’s kept Apple afloat, the stock good and the incremental advancements of some of the devices you can simply dismiss the really innovative Apple products with chirping crickets or a singular poo poo sentence, especially about Swift, the Mac Pro, and the watch. Have you actually tried any of the products? Especially when a good number of people here, the MDN community have replied to your posts intelligently along with the troll callers of course (and frankly it is deserved, you should gauge that when you call a bunch of people lemmings).

        More insulting is that you don’t use reason, just hate. That whine about the cloud being hacked. Someone off the street might blame Apple for that but you should know better it’s a situation of people getting hacked, not the security of the iCloud. Regardless Tim Cook is responding to the issue and to many, he’s responding well.

        I mean really shit or get off the potty. Right now you are shitting a load full on Tim Cook, like diarrhea. If you want to do that, by all means go ahead, but don’t think you will fool this lemming on where the hate and vitriol originates.

        I like Tim Cook. You don’t have to, but at the end of the day, if you do it with ass, I’ll have no respect for you. If you do it with class, well that’s up to you, how you wish to interact with the community here.

        Have a good one.

        1. Thanks for your response, Road … my inquiry was sincere because I have the impression that MDN and its audience exists for the sole purpose of praising Apple. They whoop and holler, just as the audience at the highly staged “events” is trained to do even when the announcements from the stage are more about the entirely predictable, expected, and sometimes late upgrades and tweaks to the company’s hardware and software. I’ve never thought that adding a feature, that already exists on competitors products to the phone, pad, or pod was worth all the adulation.

          When Steve rolled out devices, operating systems, apps, and functions that changed our lives, I too jumped up and applauded. But when we are told over and over and over that the new something would do what we expect it to do, I began to wonder about the company’s leadership and ability to innovate – much less to do anything that would change the world or even my daily engagement with their devices.

          And that brings me to Tim Cook. My observation of rational (and that’s important) evaluation of him across the tech world is mostly an effort to try and find a reason to recognize him as the kind of leader capable of advancing the world’s most amazing company into the next era of WOW. He’s not. Take a look at the Charlie Rose interview and see how cautious, repetitive, and ordinary his responses to really good questions are. When he repeats over and over the mantra that Apple is only interesting in making a few great products that are as good as they should be, I wonder where the vision is these days.

          So do every manner and kind of objective tech analysts – MDN is no place to find any objectivity so I don’t expect it around here. So be it.

          But that’s not the worst of it. In our Capitalist system investors in the stock of corporations are the ones that ultimately define how well things are going. Market analysts galore say with the fundamentals of the company’s balance sheet and income statement, AAPL ought to be trading anywhere from three to five times higher than it is. $500/share would be real nice, right? And, they go on to say the reason it’s not is because investors have little confidence in the company’s CEO to ensure the future will be like it’s singular achievements of the past or, better still, better than the past.

          So, we whoop and holler. All the while, we wonder when we will see something like we used to see in product announcements and then wonder if what we are seeing is the “great” stuff in the pipeline Tim has been talking about for years. If it is, then we all ought to just realize this is what we get until someone points the way ahead that again gives us some real reason to stand and cheer.

          Finally, as to the watch. I call it clunky because it looks clunky on the wrists of those wearing it. Even Jony knows its clunky, otherwise why is there a smaller (and almost impossible to see much less touch click an icon) version? And, if the WOW functions don’t work without the phone in my pocket, why bother with it? Real reason for the watch – the competition. So, why does Tim insist the company doesn’t make something just because others do. That’s why we have the watch and why it’s not in the category of products past that were, in fact, amazing. There will be enough sold to keep Jony’s team working on it (obsession with thinness will eventually make it less clunky) but it won’t be long before it’s just what it is and nothing more. The world didn’t change because Tim finally rolled out a watch. I keep waiting for something that will.

          You will be pleased to know that I’m about done with saying what I say on this board – it’s clearly been therapy for me and I’m very close to not needing it any more – I’ve reached the realm of apathy.

  4. This is a reply to Jim Morrison’s post of Saturday, September 20, 2014 – 12:31 pm

    Thanks for your reply Jay, I’ll put forth some ideas that I hope you will contemplate and maybe turn things around because the tones of your posts are filled with malefic overtones.

    First, about your impression of the community here at MDN. They are people, and the audience does not exist for the sole purpose of praising Apple. MDN itself has offered some insightful criticism of Apple. More to the point people have replied to your attacks with well thought out ideas that you have ignored and failed to respond or address. You have said that you don’t keep up with me, and that’s fine, but Jay you should keep up with yourself. When you post something people will reply. Yes there will be fanbois, and people who call you troll as your mode of operation dictates, but there will be those who will reply and attempt intelligent dialogue. It’s helpful to note those people, it will keep your mind open and fresh. You’ve moved into an area where you negatively, erroneously and unreasonably criticize Apple/Tim Cook on everything and anything, it’s up to you as to whether or not you stay there. It your therapy gets you to reach the realm of apathy, then I’d suggest a new therapy.

    You talk about the (lack of) ability to innovate, I think Apple still has it but there is a perspective feature to consider and that is the history of computers that was are living through. I’ll use an analogy of exploration to support the idea. There was a time when the world maps were incomplete and there was a need for vehicles to take explorers to uncharted parts of the world. Foot, horses, boats and ships were some of the earliest modes of travel. Ships were very important, look at most of the older major cities of the planet, all along the sea or a major water source. Then much later came the industrial revolution, allowing for the combustible engine, steam trains and cars, then the airplane. Innovative modes of transportation indeed but by the time they came around there was little left to explore, most the world had been charted by then. No WOW for the explorer. These devices and their infrastructure (airports, roads and rail) introduced mass travel a WOW to the masses. Heck even a transporter system akin to Star Trek might WOW the masses of the world for the ease of being anywhere on the planet at any time but there will still be no WOW for the likes of the explorer looking for new lands to chart. That’s pretty well done for this planet. And so you can be the explorer that cries and wails about no new real innovation on travel because it’s not taking us off the planet. You could be doing that the rest of your life. Or not.

    There is a similar pattern for computers, one could not fail to impress at the start. Gosh the first digital commercial calculators. What a game changer that was. Oh the debates. Going from a monochrome to color monitor…WOW, same as a TV but just an image. Faster processing speeds..WOW but just faster. Bigger screens, WOW, but just bigger. Data capacity (floppy to CD, hard drive increase), WOW but just more capacity. Size decrease, from building size to desktop to portable to wrist top. WOW, but how small do you want to go, and when a computer comes around that is so small it fits on your wrist WOW… you call it clunky, WOW another pessimistic distractor, there sure are a lot of them.

    There are other perspectives one can choose. This isn’t the exploration phase of computers anymore Jay. If you are an explorer waiting for a new continent to be discovered there is no more WOW for you, no more than if you are waiting for a new device to WOW you. That time is past. We are now into the phase of infrastructure of computer history, the internet, mass mobile computing. The time of trains, planes and automobiles. Faster and more accessible to the masses but requiring railroad, airports and highways. Many people do not find infrastructure sexy and WOW like but it’s an important step for mass integration. The program language Swift, Apple Pay, HealthKit, the server farms are all infrastructure. The new iPhone, iPads, mac Pro, laptops and watch are still computers, computers of different sizes, speeds and digital functionality depending on the software. They will sell well, but to WOW you for what you are looking for, anticipating or craving, forget it, it just won’t happen. That time is gone. You can blame Tim Cook or whoever you want for it, but others will see that at the end the one person to blame is you, for it is your free will that puts that perspective on it.

    You are free to believe that the stock of corporations are the ones that ultimately define how well things are going but I won’t back that. Apple stock has been an amazing ride up, one of the best performing stocks over a decade, but now with simple economies of scale, it’s no longer a growth stock. During the early days of European exploration new lands were discovered and explored hand over fist, not so much anymore, but the land discovered is still there and is still beneficial. I’ll say this though, history has shown Apple to be fiscally responsible, the stock market, not so much.

    Swift, the new mac Pro, Apple Pay, HealthKit, the new watch can all be given real reasons to stand and cheer if you understand that they build upon the infrastructure, the ecosystem, but if you are looking for a WOW in the area of a creative brand new exploratory device as opposed to innovative infrastructure you will be disappointed, and again that’s up to you.

    That you is very pessimistic and cynical, and it shows. Your comment about the watch, is snide almost to the point of arrogance. You call it clunky on the wrist of those wearing it? Have you seen the watch on an actual wrist or just the photos? You claim that “Even Jony knows its clunky, otherwise why is there a smaller (and almost impossible to see much less touch click an icon) version?” Oh really Jay and how do you know that for sure? How do you stand up to someone who says “Even Jony knows that it’s finesse, otherwise why is there a larger one geared for men who like clunky?” That comment about Jony is vitriolic and hateful. You know, I know it and you know darn well it’s blinding and interfering with your reasoning. You’ve been making these sorts of comments for years. Do you have any idea how much that’s eating away inside you? I much prefer love, heck that’s part of why I’m spending all this time on this. I’d love you to get off the hate track, but hey that’s just a suggestion, you don’t have to listen to me.

    You keep waiting for something that will change the world. The world is constantly changing but it’s up to you to see it, and everyone is changing the world. If you are about done saying what you have said on this board then there is an option to change, to express love, joy, bliss, happiness. Go WOW others and WOW yourself, it will do you a lot better than apathy. Go watch a sunset or a woman giving birth or the stars or something. I suspect that this singular diatribe of yours over the past three years has not been healthy for you, and going on the way you do is not really a benefit to the overall health of the MDN community in my personal opinion. Apple will never deliver the WOW for you, and all you have to deliver for Apple, from what I’ve seen is hate. Certainly I’m not one to stop a person from expressing their thoughts and feelings but really is that what you want to be around here, the Apple hating troll? That’s fine, but remember that’s a service that Jay Morrison delivers, not Tim Cook.

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