“Yes, I have heard all the good guys (long only crowd) make excuses for Apple’s terrible performance this year to date,” Jay Somaney writes for Forbes. “Yes, Tim Cook and Eddy Cue and Jony Ive said that this is Apple’s year like they said last year was and the year before (all the while selling tens of million in stock options, if not hundreds of millions). Yes, wait until next year for an Apple TV set (now forgotten). Yes, wait until a few years for the iCar.”
“So what do Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page & Sergey Brin have that Tim Cook does not?” Somaney writes. “All the guys are absolute tech geniuses, including Tim Cook, but with one exception: Tim Cook is not a Wall Street-friendly CEO and does not and can not impress Wall Street.”
“Look, Tim Cook might be an absolute Mahatma Gandhi of a human being but he does not seem to be the right person to lead the biggest and one of the most technological savvy companies in the world. Can you imagine where Apple would be were it not for the biggest share buyback in corporate history?” Somaney writes. “I shudder to think.
“So, until things change at Apple or Tim Cook changes or shows us something meaningful or maybe makes a meaningful Wall Street-savvy hire, share performance of the biggest and probably one of the top global brands in the world more than likely could/will continue to underperform. Meanwhile Tim Cook and company will continue cashing in their tens of millions and hundreds of million worth of options that get vested and we shareholders will continue to stand by and watch passively,” Somaney writes. “Well, yours truly has chosen not to stand by nor watch passively.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: So, Somaney’s article is all about Apple’s stock being stuck/mired, as it were, not about two real issues that Tim Cook should really consider:
1. A continuing string of obviously botched product launches (outlined here).
2. Looking like you’re more concerned about anything other than correcting a continuing string of botched product launches.
You can traipse about the globe, issue open letters, and show up on TV shows promoting what should be personal issues in the name of Apple Inc. if, an only if, Apple Inc. is performing optimally. When you have no iMacs for Christmas, no iPad 2 units for months after launch, no Apple Watches for even longer (that greatly diminishes pent-up enthusiasm from potential customer excited to buy the product), release Maps that immediately become comic strip fodder, serve up half-baked Apple TVs without even compatibility with your own Remote app, release iPad Pro without having its Apple Pencil or its uninspired, poorly-reviewed so-called “Smart” Keyboard available for over a month, etc. then every single time you climb atop what some might see as your sanctimonious soapbox flying the Apple flag, your commitment to your actual job will be questioned. Cook sets himself up for blowback.
My job is to say when something sucks rather than sugarcoat it. – Steve Jobs
Cook can promote his personal issues and likely even get away with doing it as “Apple Inc.,” but only when Apple can execute product launches properly with (1) products that are more fully realized, tested, and worthy of the Apple logo and (2) adequate supplies to satisfy at least some significant portion of demand. Beta-esque devices and a bunch of promises just don’t cut it.
Quality is much better than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles. — Steve Jobs
We believe that Steve Jobs spent an extraordinary amount of time with each product, actually using them, identifying problems in usability and having them addressed. We believe Jobs certainly would have, for one example, tried to open and set up an Apple TV from scratch himself, at home, and found the username/password input lacking and immediately turned to his iPhone or iPad to run the Remote app, so he could have access to a real keyboard. When he found Apple’s Remote app did not work with the new Apple TV, he’d ask the person responsible (likely at 2 am, intentionally), “why the fsck not?” Then the app would be coded and tested and ready to go along with the Apple TV release. Certainly the ability to pair a Bluetooth keyboard would be there at launch as well.
With Tim Cook, we get the feeling that he was too busy doing other things to bother really testing the Apple TV beyond what Apple employees had set up for him to quickly try out. Of course a pre-setup Apple TV would seem acceptable for launch to Cook. There’d be no text to input. Voila, “it just works!” And, of course Apple employees would set up the Apple TV to look/work as best as possible when showing the boss their work. Who wouldn’t? So, how would Cook know that Apple TV needed more polishing before it was worthy of release unless he took the time to do what we believe Jobs would have done?
Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. — Steve Jobs
As far as AAPL stock goes, Wall Street is unpredictable, however a CEO who is perceived as if he cares about anything more than correcting a continuing string of botched, half-assed product launches is simply not a recipe for a rising share price.
Bottom Line: Tim Cook is generally an excellent CEO. One of, if not the best, CEO in the world! His job is massive and thankless. He’s got an impossible act to follow. He just needs to make sure, himself, personally, that the products are working well and that they are ready to go for launch with even marginally adequate supply. If he does that, he’ll have the leeway, indeed the privilege, to use the Apple brand to promote pretty much any cause he desires.
If you keep your eye on the profit, you’re going to skimp on the product. But if you focus on making really great products, then the profits will follow. — Steve Jobs
At Apple, it seems as if no one’s minding the store – November 13, 2015
Publishers underwhelmed with Apple News app – November 13, 2015
Apple’s joyless iPad Pro launch: WTF are the Apple Pencils and Smart Keyboards? (4-5 weeks away) – November 12, 2015
Apple’s best days are behind it or something – November 7, 2015
Apple TV 4 is a beta product and, if you bought one, you’re an unpaid beta tester – November 5, 2015
Apple Watch has arrived for just 22 percent of preorder customers – April 28, 2015
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015
Tim Cook’s mea culpa: iMac launch should have been postponed – April 24, 2013
Tim Cook open letter: We fell short with new Maps app; we are extremely sorry – September 28, 2012
With obtuse iPad 2 launch, Apple fails to delight 49,000 customers per day – March 21, 2011
[Attribution: Drudge Report. Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]