Tim Cook on Apple Watch, how Steve Jobs informs Apple’s future, and how Apple lives ‘outside the box’

In an exclusive Q&A with Fast Company’s Rick Tetzeli and Brent Schlender, Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the Watch, how Steve Jobs informs Apple’s future, and how Apple lives “outside the box.”

A few snippets:

Tim Cook: Steve felt that most people live in a small box. They think they can’t influence or change things a lot. I think he would probably call that a limited life. And more than anybody I’ve ever met, Steve never accepted that. He got each of us [his top executives] to reject that philosophy. If you can do that, then you can change things. If you embrace that the things that you can do are limitless, you can put your ding in the universe. You can change the world.

Tim Cook:These are lots of insights that are years in the making, the result of careful, deliberate…try, try, try…improve, improve, improve. Don’t ship something before it’s ready. Have the patience to get it right. And that is exactly what’s happened to us with the watch. We are not the first. We weren’t first on the MP3 player; we weren’t first on the tablet; we weren’t first on the smartphone. But we were arguably the first modern smartphone, and we will be the first modern smartwatch—the first one that matters.

Much, much more in the full article – highly recommendedhere.


  1. “Don’t ship something before it’s ready.”
    wise words to live by Tim.

    Wait… you let Maps and iCloud base keynotes, pages and numbers all out before it was ready… all betas.

      1. …tries the hardest to do what? abandon the power and features in hardware and software that Steve’s kind of Change the World people want and need?

        Apple today is putting fashion ahead of capability and value, period. They apparently didn’t learn a damn thing from hockey puck mouses, overpriced wimpy cubes, and multiple generations of web services that don’t work.

        There’s nothing wrong with style but it cannot come at such a loss of substance. Dr. Pill only touched on the tip of the iceberg of Apple’s latest screw ups.

        1. Of all the people at Apple, I trust Tim is the best man to lead Apple as CEO. No doubt.

          I also agree with both commenters, Apple is not perfect. Nor do I expect it to be. Yes, Apple seems to be making many mistakes and bold moves as if to prove they are busy… yet in honest it beginning to sound like MS all over again. Giants fall harder… Apple, presently is very tall. I don’t wish it to be, otherwise Apple loses itself. It seems the good old days Apple was small. Americans love the runner up, the David and Goliath scenario. This was what kept Apple striving for greatness before. Once Apple becomes too confident its downhill from there. Technology is a fast paced industry. New advancements made everyday.

          Microsoft, ouch has killed its browser, but honestly is replacing it with newer technology. If Microsoft was smart, they would really look hard at the competition, study the landscape, as Apple does… then improve two folds over the competition. Who knows what Spartan will do, perhaps its a Siri voice controlled browser with all the bells and whistlers Firefox offers yet simpler cleaner more refined. Wait a minute, nah, that wouldn’t happen unless it was Apple.

          iWatch, I have no interest in. Well not much so far. Happy however to see Apple offer something new for developers to work on though. Wether iWatch is a hit or not – I honestly don’t care. I imagine it to be similar to Apple TV. A sort of hobbyist type product for awhile. And have more insight and abilities once it grows a few product changes – as has iPhone. Unchain iWatch from iPhone and hurray. Give the watch true FaceTime, cool, I am more interested.

          1. I don’t think Apple is putting fashion ahead of anything.I’m in the fashion business and there is nothing fashionable about that watch- but do I want one hell yes. do friends want it- hell yes.
            as for the apple TV- I’ll wait until theres a real TV, not that little box. That doesn’t interest me. But I am one to anything new in their pipeline. and I will probably buy more than not. I’m still waiting for the 12.9″ iPad

            1. Rob – your comment should fall under Macuser, i refer nothing to fashion.

              However, style and design is all apart of fashion too, and kid me not this is extremely important in all products. Apple capitalized on this hiring Ives.

              A product that has visual elegance is perceived of higher value. The more it looks better, the price tag seems worth it.
              And while, under-the-hood, many PC/Window folk though Apple sold mid-range quality components, the reality was the components were of high / consistant quality compared to slapped together basement bargain components that many pc assemblers where selling. This control on quality and consistency packaged in a beautiful appearance – made the product worth the money all the more. So fashion is apart of Apple… yet please think differently from clothing fashion and trendy appearances. Apple knows well how to use fashion.

            2. That tiny black box and air play is loads of fun, enter the room and share what you did with your iPhone. Its a little black box… an extension of your digital hub through your tv… wait all you wish, Apple may never enter the world of TV how you see it.

    1. Dr. Pill is an example of someone who didn’t read the whole story and then makes a comment. or he/she read it and didn’t really understand it – thats okay Dr. Pill – please get it next time.

      1. LOL.
        You are entitle to believe and comment whatever you think GB.

        However, for the record, I did read the article. Yet how can I prove that? Hmmm. I clicked and visited the fast company site. Enjoyed also, reading the full article. Even, liked what Tim had to say. Even saved the article as a PDF as I do on all articles that touch me.

        What resonated most was the part of Tim not going in to Steve’s office much, wishing to leave it as is.

        Then my mind came back to think, wait a minute, BETA!!!!

        A beta is a product Google typically puts out and Apple constantly shouts ahh beta this beta that… not ready. An yes, BETAs are products not quite ready.
        So do not hand me this sugar induced soda water, pretty statement Tim.
        Apple loves to produce the best it can. Maps was for me pretty darn good, specially a first showing when Google had years of development and time. IT goes to show everyone how fast and perhaps easy it is to catch up in this game. And Apple needs to be wise and careful.

        And that is why GB, I left it as that and didn’t touch other softwares like FinalCut 10… because I was not looking at Apple’s mistakes BUT Tims.

        As a leader who feels he has absorbed Steve’s Jobs philosophy, believes he is implementing it also; for him to say, this about products not shipping before they are ready… removing Scott Forstall…

        “Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.” — Tim Cook

        Then why did you release it as a BETA.
        I smell bacon!!!! Someones mind is being fried and its not mine.
        The CEO is responsible for all projects on the go… up-todate reports on progress were made, do not tell me Tim had no idea where the Maps project was at. Hence, I am unhappy to read, what Tim is quoted here today.

        Nothing to do with reading out of context or only skimming an article.

        Steve released Siri as Beta. I guess it was ok for Tim then too?

    2. Tim is talking about major “starring” roles. You are talking about “supporting” rolls.

      Also Tim is talking about things set in stone (i.e.. Hardware). You are talking about things that can be changed and REQUIRE to be changed on the fly (i.e. Software) as it develops into something great.

      Just a quick lesson:

      Hardware: Get it RIGHT from the getgo.
      Software: Get it to a good enough state so it can be released and work on going from beta to V1 to v1.xxxx…..

      Do you not understand this?

      1. Please define “good enough state”, because I have a recurring impression that some people here worship anything with an Apple logo no matter how the software operates.

      2. I above you understand this. Its part of my career.
        And believe me and you shall one day, no product, no hardware or software has ever – nor will it ever be perfect.

        We do are best. Everything can be improved.
        And its not just to sell more things.

        If you clearly think again, what the word ready truly means for Apple — it means it is gotten to the point where it really is ready to be marketed. That sadly to use the term – good enough – but by Apples standards. Which are extremely high… however a product is a product software or hardware… stop kidding yourself thinking you know better then the next guy what exactly Tim was referring to.

        iPad i guess that was perfect or ready and never a version 1. How shallow?

      3. hahaha Paul has drank too much Pepsi Cola.

        Are you made of stone Paul?
        Yeah, that’s right, skin and bones.
        A product of your mom and dad.

        Hardware set in stone?

        Hardware is improved on every year.
        Meaning iPhone had not needed to be revised to iPhone 6.
        Furthermore, it is good enough for this year to market.
        Maybe not for next year.

        Paul a product is, a product. Soft or hard.

  2. Apple has had some premature software releases. Even some hardware released with minor design issues that weren’t picked up before release, e.g., antennagate. Particularly with software, which runs on a huge number of computers all with different combinations of hardware and other installed or modified software, it’s impossible to make it perfect. I think Apple has learned from Maps. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote were released as betas.

    1. One can only hope, Apple has learned from the past.
      We shall see.

      iWatch really is Tim’s biggest product to date.
      Lets watch the watch carefully.

      Heath care monitoring seems to be a irrelevant topic for most, yet fitness (as do other products focus on their watches) I trust Apple has done its home work. Like the Apps being the virtual expandable buttons on a smartphone, iWatch does seem to suggest innovations on interface and fictionality not offered by its competitors. Though, the first iWatch may seem to be a let down.
      I can hope it will later be huge.

      Its a waiting game.

  3. “When Apple looks at what categories to enter, we ask these kinds of questions: What are the primary technologies behind this? What do we bring? Can we make a significant contribution to society with this? If we can’t, and if we can’t own the key technologies, we don’t do it.”

    And that is why they won’t do a car.

    1. Excellent quote and just what also needed to be pointed out.

      Contributing to society, not screwing it over for the quick and easy buck. That philosophy is beyond the comprehension of the dime-a-dozen parasite companies of the current era.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.