What Steve Jobs gave Apple that Tim Cook cannot

“We can argue until the cows come home whether or not Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs would do some of what CEO Tim Cook has done, but it should be obvious that Jobs gave something Cook cannot,” Wil Gomez writes for Mac360.


“By all accounts, Jobs’ management style was much different than Cook’s. Think confrontation vs. collaboration and you’re probably close,” Gomez writes. “Since Jobs passed away, new products from Apple have gone into an interesting stage of evolution not seen often in the past. New products are announced, then launched, and then, over many months, brought up from the obvious beta stage to an acceptable version 1.0 product (but with a higher version number than 1.0).”

“Through the years, especially on hardware but software, too, Jobs pushed designers and engineers to deliver a usable, shippable, basic version of a product that would work great out of the box. Jobs acted as the company’s mental floss which issued a bit of pain to scrub away to build up of a substance with no value, but plenty of opportunity to cause damage,” Gomez writes. “If Cook does the same thing then it does not appear to be as visible because recent product launches– iOS and OS X, Watch, Apple TV, iPad Pro– all appeared publicly as more beta than finished products ready for prime time.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There is a pattern of botched/incomplete launches from Apple Inc. under Tim Cook that is rather glaring and worrisome.

Steve JobsApple’s management team should really stop whatever they’re doing right now and take a long, hard, cold look in the mirror.

This is one time where Tim Cook & Co. really should be asking themselves, “What would Steve do?”

Because what Steve would do is push harder, not settle for less than the best and not be carelessly frittering away the brand equity that he (along with Jony Ive, Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue et al.) worked so incredibly hard to build.

Rest assured that we’ll shut up about this when it’s fixed.

It’s official: Apple debuts $79 Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock – November 18, 2015
New Apple Pencil stock begins arriving at some U.S. Apple Retail Stores – November 17, 2015
Apple’s new iPad Pro debuts with forced reboots, missing Apple Pencils – November 16, 2015
Apple’s perplexingly incomplete launch of the iPad Pro – November 16, 2015
Apple’s major problem is Tim Cook – November 16, 2015
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


    1. Get over what? History books are full of people we should forget, but there are scores in the grave whose value serve as a structure, model and force to still direct in the present. If you are unable to acknowledge a concrete faltering in Apple’s MO, even though TC maybe good enough, you are forgetting SJ’s MO that it’s all about excellence…not being good enough. If “the best” in the operational business shows regular cracks, how can it be expected he show needed acumen in areas not his strength?

    2. I would. I would prefer to see someone with vision. An Elon Musk type. Tim’s easily impressed. He’s a nice guy. He’s not the kind of guy to tell designers and engineers, “This sucks.” He’s probably looks at everything that done and says “This is great!” I don’t see him sitting down with a new product and using the hell out of it. He gets his email on his iPad and figures all is great.

      Again, he’s a wonderful man, but too much of his concern is on things that are utterly irrelevant to Apple’s products like “diversity.”

      He’s not a tech visionary. The vision thing is important. I’m not sensing vision from Apple lately. (Last couple of years). One of Steve’s favorite catch phrases during product announcements was “So we asked ourselves…” Cook uses that phrase a lot. It’s time for Apple to sit down and ask themselves, where are we really headed with this shit?

      Like I said before, no one is afraid to ride up in the elevator with Tim. He’s laid back, when Apple needs a bit more of a mercurial asshole to ride their asses so they don’t believe all the crap in those Jony Ive videos.

      1. For me it boils down to this:
        Steve was first and foremost a product development guy. The product always came first.

        Tim is first and foremost a company guy. For Tim, Apple, the company, comes first.

        Steve believed that as long as the company developed wonderful, pleasing products, the Apple would be fine. Tim seems to want Apple to be the product. Tim is a super skilled guy, but there are definitely cracks to be found on the product side.

        1. Apple itself is Steve Jobs’s greatest creation.

          It’s a machine designed to create and produce the best in class, in any product category it chooses to enter. It does this through the system of values inculcated by a Steve Jobs obsessed with ridding the world of junk by example. There is a zen atmosphere. There is a goal of making things that makers themselves want, whilst disregarding popular opinion and conventional wisdom. But will success spoil Apple? Some say yes. I say never mind the missteps—those occur at every single stage of every actor’s life. Look at the bottom line. It’s fat and getting fatter, and despite the mystics insisting a crash has got to happen Real Soon Now, their reasoning is fabulist, paper-thin, and reveals them as incredulous gulls.

    3. It is ten times easier to fight and squash a bad or mushy decision up front than to wait until launch date when no one wants to fight.

      Who has the balls to fight when it is needed?

    4. The phrase “get over it” is insensitive, ignorant and only a truly clueless person would say something like this to anyone concerning the loss of someone they loved and respected. Get over yourself, moron!

    1. Cook’s priorities have clearly been in the wrong place for a while now. He’s obviously become too wrapped up in personal politics at the expense of performing his daily duties. The launches of the Apple Watch, Apple TV and iPad Pro (totally lacking first party accessories like the Pencil & Keyboard) being just three glaring examples recently. In the Spring at the next shareholder’s meeting, that message needs to be hammered home to him. I know I will vote my shares against his position on the Board as a means of sending a message.

    2. Nonsense. It’s great that Tim is interested in having impact on vital issues like the environment and human rights and equality. Companies need to take these stands. And Tim’s involvement has nothing to do with any perceived QA issues.

      Please don’t use this as an excuse to promote a backwards political agenda.

      1. WMarks: who said companies need to take such stand (or, divert attn from what they’re there for)? A fairly savvy businessman and CEO has been quoted: “activism makes sense when some management is incompetent, and the Board does not do something about it.” (W Buffett).
        I guess this opinion is good enough for you: “Apple CEO has set himself apart from Steve Jobs in his work for social justice and his push for philanthropy. But his talent for innovation remains to be seen” (The Guardian)?

      2. I know you think you know the direction of history, but here’s something you don’t see, even though it is obvious – your hubris. How many people thought that they knew the direction of history? How many failed inventors are there? How many defeated generals? How many ex-CEOs? It’s time for a little bit of humility.

        LOL @ companies need. Companies need to do what the people running them want them to do, nothing more and nothing less. I run a very small company myself. Who are you to tell me what to do with it? Buzz off!

        I’m glad that you know that TC’s divided attention is not responsible for QA fail. However, it is still a logical conclusion, although Theolonius’s point above is also a strong one.

      3. “Backwards political agenda”
        Interesting. The left wing nuts that scream for tolerance are incapable of tolerating views that differ from theirs.

        So as these left wing nuts have been infecting our country for the last 60 years it has been sliding down a path to the cesspool that Rome became just before it was conquered. Need proof? Just look at the trashy advertisements on this page!

        In the end times people will call wrong right.

    3. Steve made mistake and questionnable products too.

      The only difference now is that Apple is much bigger than when SJ was CEO…

      If Tim doesn’t stand for our privacy, who will? It does concern their main product line… What is wrong with TC standing for our rights through their products?

      BTW, Equality and awereness promote by TC flocked people to the Apple brand… So did privacy…

      And seriously, raise your hand if you have been annoyed by a BSOD….

      1. LOL @ Equality. Tim is not standing up for our rights through their products – he is involving Apple in the defense of homosexuality. It’s not equality you seek. It’s redefining terms. And if you were honest, you would admit that redefining marriage is just the first step in a long march towards totalitarianism and censorship. After all, who is involved in shutting up critics of homosexual behavior more than gay activists? Who is more censorial than they? Who fought battles through the courts to deny states (who held popular votes) to do things their own way?

        1. No, I am sorry, I disagree. You are wrong. No one — neither Tim nor Apple — is defending homosexuality.

          They are defending the basic inalienable human rights we all have been given, as described in the US Constitution, and which our politicians and law enforcement officers have taken an oath to uphold.

          What is so upsetting about that?

  1. It’s utterly impossible for him to do anything right.

    This guy has made so many mistakes as CEO of Apple that the Internet can’t even aggregate them all.

    People who spend their days apologizing for Tim Cook have a full time job at practicing insanity.

    They will keep apologizing while he keeps f*cking up… you know, same thing over and over, expecting…

    1. I agree. Fire Tim Cook! He is a bumbling idiot who can’t manage his way out of a paper bag. Someone with REAL vision needs to be at the top of Apple and once there he needs to appoint someone who truly, I mean TRULY understands quality. Apple is letting far too many products out the door with awful interfaces, missing features, and other muffed chances at excellence.

      FIRE Tim Cook!

  2. Most of my macs are still running 10.6, because it works.

    I bought a lesser Apple Watch because it is all that available and I decided to same money.

    We use pages and Numbers daily but the newer versions are stripped of many features.

    I went to the Apple store to purchase an iPad Pro on Friday since i decided on that instead of a small Cintiq. Surprise surprise, they could sell me the iPad Pro but no pencil. The Apple salesperson became indignant when i questioned why they would not have the item they are selling as making the iPad pro unique.

    Instead of replacing my 27″ iMac (7 years old), I’m throwing a SSD into it to avoid the 10.10 headaches from yet another botched release.

    Apple did not get my money.

    It’s one botched release after another.

  3. Also, Cook is aid and abetting terrorists by cowardly trying to excuse Apple from its responsibility to enable law enforcement to get at all information on an iPhone. This lib nut job thinks he can wash his hands of any encryption back doors, but it won’t work. Several companies are going to force Apple to either allow them to get at encrypted data or pack their asses up and get out of their markets, which I would approve.

    1. Go fsck yourself, you boot-licking pinhead. The NSA is a criminal organization, and Apple is one of the few companies doing the right thing as far as protecting their users’ privacy.


      1. You asswipe crybaby lib moron. The NSA saves your ass and like the do-nothing millennium airhead that you are you whine like a stuck pig about how they are taking your rights away. You are the crap generation that we are going to clean up in the next election.

        1. You. Are. An. Idiot.
          There are a dozen ways that terrorists can communicate without using an iPhone. You really think thats going to stop them. They will just move to something else and meanwhile you’ve compromised the privacy of a nation and 100 million iOS users.

    2. X: the west was warned of the likelihood of the Paris attack and it didn’t come from the NSA…unless the NSA has moved it’s operations to Iraq? It’s not just a matter of getting info but, to a greater degree, it’s moving quickly, convincingly and precisely when relevant info is known. You’d have to pinch me if the O-admin moved as quickly as Hollande, if we experienced same within our borders. We couldn’t/wouldn’t do it in support of our own in Libya.

  4. I can think of plenty of things that were not exactly stellar performers out of the box under Steve, hockey puck, 25th anniversary, glass tower, a couple of the early OSX’s and the shipping quantities today compared with then were minuscule. The sheer production volume we are talking about today is mind-blowing. Could it be better, yes, but sometimes, MDN, methinks thou doth protest too much!

    1. Apple just shipped an Apple Watch charging dock 209 days late. The Apple TV is referred to as “half-baked” in multiple high-profile reviews. There are no Apple Pencils or poorly-reviewed Apple Keyboards available at iPad Pro launch.

      Do you really believe that this string of botched launches would actually happen under Steve Jobs?

      1. And yet, I picked up an Apple Pencil at the Apple Store last night, and cancelled my online order.

        Yes, it would have been nice to have enough product availability on release date. New product quantities are always an issue. Coordinating the product side with the marketing side becomes more difficult as the volumes needed on release date increase. Apple may have simply guessed wrong on how much stock they needed on release date, or a last minute hardware glitch needed taking care of before release, but it wasn’t important enough to throw the whole rollout on hold. This doesn’t bother me at all. I got my Apple Watch, my iPad Pro is on the truck for delivery as I write this, accessories can be picked up as soon as they are available.

        I’m more concerned about product quality and software support.

  5. It is simple really. Jobs was cool. Cook is not.
    Jobs had flair, and spot on communication.
    Cook has apprehension and always talks like he is so scared there is a lump in his throat.

  6. I agree.

    Most new Apple releases are not fully ready. Major problems are not fixed in subsequent releases: mail in both iOS 9 and OSX 10.11.

    The worst at this point to Apple TV. This should be a crowning achievement but instead is a disaster. I don’t mean the product is a total disaster but the product is an Apple disaster.

    Apple TV user interface is terrible. It seems to have been designed for 20″ or 30” screens and looks awful on large 80”-90” ones. It doesn’t fit into a home theatre environment – for starters the main page is much too bright. Apple was a leader in ambient lighting technology. That’s gone now.

    The new remote is retarded. The new “keyboard” is a step backwards.

    But, to make it even worse, Apple appears to be unable to keep any of their “services” up and running. Apple TV lost all of the iTunes TV shows and purchases last night, for example.

    Apple used to evoke a reaction of expensive but attention to detail. Now, over the past 2-3 years, it’s just expensive!

  7. This is all a myth. Plenty of things went wrong under Steve. Remember Antennagate? How about the launch of MobileMe? The Cube failed. iTunes has always had its flaws in usability. The first iPhone had only 2g and no App Store. I remember early iPhone launches when no cases were available. I remember an iPad launch when no Apple cases were available at the Apple Store. The list goes on.

    No one ships a new product at the volume Apple does at launch with so few flaws.

    1. Apple just shipped an Apple Watch charging dock 209 days late. The Apple TV is referred to as “half-baked” in multiple high-profile reviews. There are no Apple Pencils or poorly-reviewed Apple Keyboards available at iPad Pro launch.

      You think this sort of thing would actually happen under Steve Jobs, myth-boy?

      1. Steve was far from perfect and shipped many things incomplete. The first iPhone had 2g, no App Store , no copy and paste.

        Those are far more glaring omissions than an accessory dock shipping later.

        1. You don’t get it. Those things are not crippling feature omissions. 2 GB at the time was decent. No App Store – LOL! And yet how many units did Apple ship? No copy and paste?! Please get some perspective.

  8. Steve Jobs was a great visionary, but you people must be extremely short-sided or still caught up in Steve’s RDF…

    Hockey Puck Mouse
    OS X 10.0
    Motorola ROKR
    No AppStore for the iPhone
    Disparate, disorganized development of their operating systems and applications.

    Apple is undertaking a massive restructuring due to growth, there’s going to be a few bumps along the way, regardless of who’s running it.

    Get a life, and let Steve rest in peace already.

    1. And if I remember rightly, Jobs believed that the likes of Adobe and Microsoft would port all their stuff to ObjectiveC when OSX was first announced. I think hero worship gets the better of people sometimes.

      And one thing that Tim Cook has given us: ad blocking. This site is actually bearable now.

    2. Hear, hear! Even some veteran MDN posters seems to have acquired collective amnesia about the foibles of Steve Jobs. He was amazing in many ways. But let’s not elevate him to sainthood as we all know he had his share of product failures. Recall that some of his product introductions were initially met with scorn only to later be seen as successes.

      Get a grip people. What cool aid gave you been drinking lately?

  9. I think that “Apple University” is one of Apple’s greatest differentiators. I also know that continuing education and refresher courses are a necessity for all professionals to stay at the top of their game. Nothing, not egos, not age, not experience, not rank, not time constraints, nothing, can replace going back to “school” to sharpen and maintain the quality of your work. Steve Jobs would certainly not hesitate to “school” those he worked with, and from many accounts spent time schooling himself to maintain his sharp focus. It would seem that the intensity of “schooling” at Apple has been lacking based on the less than polished product release performance of late.

  10. Wait a second..are you saying Steve was without fault? I love Steve, but man how far from reality are you to think Steve was all perfect in his decision making at Apple? Let me remind you that it is okay to make mistakes, so that you can learn from them, but don’t think for one second Steve was without his own problems at Apple.

    Let us take a trip down memory lane a little shall we?

    Apple nearly missed the boat on CD-R. They bypassed that in favor of DVD Discs. That was a complete flop and Apple a couple of years later reverted to CD-R and DVD-R.

    iMovie was not the hit Apple had hoped. No one really wanted to spend hours upon hours editing their stuff. Apple shifted their focus to iPhoto to greater appeal and success.

    Steve Jobs missed the opportunity to buy Dropbox for a song, but Steve saw it as just a feature and not a complete solution, meanwhile as Apple kept blundering over iTools, .mac and Mobile Me. They started the Cloud revolution but left it high and dry.

    Making it easy for people to create web pages Apple introduced iWeb hosted on their .mac iDisk solution, but soon lost support. They should have innovated further and really come up with a cloud solution such as SquareSpace, but no, they quickly abandon both products leaving a lot of people stuck and angry.

    MobileMe disaster. When incorporating the PCs into the mix, Apple didn’t make it easy for anyone, some lost their email during the migration, service was unstable and became a joke in the industry. They had to kill MobileMe quickly.

    Remember PING on iTunes? Disaster of a social network.

    How about the G4 Cube? That product lasted a year.

    What about Apple dropping the Xserve and Xserve RAID? Made a lot of Mac Business shops very frustrated for the lack of support.

    OS X Server? Yeah not good.

    Steve not allowing Apps on iOS in 2007. Thankfully he quickly realized it and the rest is history.

    To say under Steve Jobs that products were always on time is a Joke. Often you couldn’t get products on ship day and you had to wait weeks on end. This happened constantly.

    So don’t say this garbage about Cook’s leadership when you are so blind to look to past.

  11. “What Steve Jobs gave Apple that Tim Cook cannot.”

    Steve Jobs may have been replaced as CEO by Cook, but it has always been lazy and stupid to believe that, therefore, everything Jobs was had to be replaced by Cook. This has nothing to do with management style – it is about skill sets. It has been clear since before Jobs passed away that Jonathan Ive was going to be his successor as overlord of product design. Ive has that skill set and he should have the final say in that.

    “Do you really believe that this string of botched launches would actually happen under Steve Jobs?”

    Uh, were you paying attention to reviews of any Apple product released during Jobs’ tenure? I’m sure it would be pretty easy to find a minor and major products that critics were not happy with.

    1. Exactly cmfj. In fact there was only one time during Steve’s tenure where all of the critics were aligned and that was when Apps were available on iOS in 2008. It was the first time where I saw no opposing viewpoints. Even WallStreet was on board with Apple at that time. It was a rare occasion.

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