Fast Company has published an interview with Tim Cook in which the Apple CEO discusses Apple secrecy, company values, the future, and more.
A few snippets:
FC: At at time, when you’re covered so intensely by, you know, 750 websites or whatever, all of whom are trying to find this or that leak, do you think you’re still able to surprise people? Is the surprise part of keeping things secret as important as it once was?
Cook: I think it’s harder to keep secrets than it’s ever been, and that it has gotten increasingly more difficult with time. Every year is harder than the year before. That’s partly because there’s more sophisticated digging going on, partly because we’re larger and we’ve got more and more people that know about different things. All that makes it more difficult, but I think the reason to try is still there. And we have things today that no one has talked about, and that no one knows about.
FC: Your task seems radically different from Steve’s. Would you agree?
Cook: No, I wouldn’t say it’s radically different. There are clearly differences. Those, to me, are differences in things like the fact that we’re much more global today. We’re well over $200 billion in revenue… But if you sort of discount those and come back to what is the most important thing and what’s Apple’s reason for being, our reason for being is the same as it’s always been—to make the world’s best products that really enrich people’s lives. That hasn’t changed. And we do that through owning the primary technologies. So from my point of view, the most important thing is the same. These other things, it’s not that they’re not important, they are. They do make some things different, and provide some challenges and some opportunities that weren’t there before. But the core is the same. The value, the value system is the same… I’ve always thought that Apple’s primary role is to delight its customers, whether we had a few thousand of them, or a million of them, or now, when we have well over a billion active devices out there. Regardless of what the number is, we’ve always focused on taking care of them. That’s meant making great products, innovating, and surprising them, and having features embedded in our products that they don’t know are there when they buy, but that they find out some time later. These things are the same. They may come out in different forms.
FC: Do you think your public outreach on moral issues [like LGBTQ rights] helps attract 21-year-olds? Is that why you do it?
Cook: I don’t do it to recruit. I do it because I really believe it. Because I deeply believe. My belief is that companies should have values like people do. This company has values. Just like we have to pick and choose what to work on with products, we have to be very careful about what we pick. Because picking [one cause] means you’re not picking something else, and you can’t pick too many and do them with quality.
Tons more in the full interview – recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: A wide-ranging interview. “Apple’s primary role is to delight its customers.” Well, Apple’s longtime Mac customers aren’t so delighted with Mac hardware as of late, for one example (other FTD (“Failures To Delight”) would be Apple TV’s lack of 4K support and its awfully-designed Siri Remote, the obtuse Apple Music user interface, the bloated iTunes, etc.). Hopefully the inexcusable Mac hardware issue is about to begin changing soon – at the very least for the users of Apple’s MacBook Pro!