Tim Cook’s Apple: More socially responsible, less visionary

“Hours after Steve Jobs resigned as the CEO of Apple, his successor Tim Cook sent an email to reassure employees about the company’s future. ‘Apple,’ Cook wrote, ‘is not going to change,'” Seth Fiegerman writes for CNN. “This week marks five years since Cook replaced Apple’s founder as CEO. From a certain distance, Apple does look unchanged.”

“There is that same focus on standout hardware and design, and the same secrecy around those efforts. Customers still flock to Apple stores to buy up the latest shiny gadget with a screen. Apple remains the world’s most valuable company,” Fiegerman writes. “Behind the scenes, however, Apple’s culture has changed noticeably, both for the better and the worse, according to interviews with more than half a dozen former Apple employees, several of whom spoke on condition of anonymity, citing Apple’s famous emphasis on secrecy.”

“If Jobs put a dent in the universe through Apple’s coveted products, Cook is making his mark by highlighting the importance of social efforts: LGBT rights, philanthropy, corporate diversity, renewable energy and improving manufacturing conditions abroad,” Fiegerman writes. “‘Taste is one of those things that everyone on Earth thinks they have even when they don’t. Steve had that and he was a brutal enforcer of his taste,’ says Segall. ‘Tim delegates it. Some of his people have it and some don’t.’ It’s not just taste that’s lacking. It’s also a vision and push for the next big thing.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll see where things like “Project Titan” lead – it’s still to soon that state unequivocally that Cook lacks The Vision Thing™ or the ability to “push for the next big thing” – but the article does express some concerns we’ve written about for years:

We have our suspicions that Tim Cook cannot recognize good marketing from bad. Or the import of the customer’s Apple Retail experience to Apple Inc.’s bottom line. Now, after this Maps face-plant, we’re wondering if he has another blind spot for software. The multi-talented Steve Jobs was supposed to have been replaced, as best as possible, by a team of people. Some of these team members are obviously not performing up to anything near a Jobsian level… Steve’s attention to detail may very well be irreplaceable.MacDailyNews, September 28, 2012

Here’s the thing: Attention to detail should be replaceable; by brute force if necessary. Apple has over $100 billion dollars. They are not a rinky dink turnaround operation anymore. Apple needs to get a Quality Control team staffed by a bunch of Type-A’ers and led by a perfectionist. Such people certainly do exist. Too much shit is slipping through the cracks. — MacDailyNews, October 2, 2012

49 Comments

  1. He was hired to make great Apple products, and not to push social issues as his first priority.

    While he was pushing his issues, the competition zoomed past Apple.

    if he wants to push social issues, more power to him, but don’t do it at apple.

    1. Mac is no doubt closeted gay (as if orientation has anything to do with anything except to troll retards like MacDoofus here) and attacks Tim Cook in a foot stomping jealous hissy fit.

      Not to mention he’s a grammatical and spelling idiot – It’s delusional (your natural state) not dillusional (like the dill pickles you shove up your ass for pleasure and extra pucker power).

      The only thing indefensible is your very existence. Shame on your jackal parents.

          1. peterblood71–
            “dill pickles you shove up your ass for pleasure and extra pucker power”
            “The only thing indefensible is your very existence. Shame on your jackal parents.”

            No freaking wonder they say that liberalism is a mental illness, what a sicko.

            1. Obviously you dropped out of the blue and have no idea what’s going on here, but feel free to barge right on in and make comments about things you have no idea about, like my comments to a very troubled annoying troll.

              Oh and I’m not a liberal but for thinking that and trying to make a desperate connection I would suggest a sickness going on in your own head.

            2. Great, yet another leftist that thinks he’s not a leftist.
              Dude, I don’t give a flying F about your petty little squabble here. I just clicked on this Mac site (I’m a Mac user, so..) and read; “The only thing indefensible is your very existence. Shame on your jackal parents.”
              WTF??
              Nobody sane or rational types insane bilge like that, nobody. And my experience, leftists are the main culprits.

              You’re one nasty piece of work pal, and you seriously need to get help.

            3. Uh huh. Ask me if I care about what you think. Sanctimonious much? Your logic and deductive capabilities are humorous, made to serve a biased agenda like yours. Why would you feel the need to interject a political stance when o politics are present? Because “nasty” is how your mind actually works.

              Context of a situation also seems to be beyond your grasp, but that doesn’t stop you from sounding the fool. My friends would laugh at your ASSumption of my political leanings. But then you’ve been wrong about everything else you’ve posted about so why should this be different? (And btw that was hardly a typical post from me junior.)

        1. Nope, attacking the dimwit juvenile troll. The “message” has been more intelligently reasoned plenty on this site and hardly been lost It’s the idiot, infantile, insulting homophobe contingent like Mac that draw my ire. Mac is an annoying child bothering the adults. W.C. Fields would be a more apt expression as in “Go away Mac kid, yah bother me.” Mac is the Eddie Deezen of this site who needs to given the bum’s rush and drop kicked unceremoniously off of it. He offers up nothing worth listening to that hasn’t more cogently already been put elsewhere.

      1. There was a time when Apple led many industries. But the competition has indeed caught up or surpassed Apple all over the place. Few in the know would give Apple high marks in:

        Maps
        Video technologies & graphics processing, VR, gaming
        Professional software in any field
        Servers & cloud services
        Mac Workstations are now significantly slower than Wintel boxes
        Smart home technologies
        Artificial intelligence & speech recognition

        Feature-wise, some Apple products continue to be relatively limited. This was not a problem when performance of the Mac or the iPhone or iTunes was significantly ahead of the competition. But as Apple stagnates, obviously the competition catches up. Does the iOS app store have any advantage over Android? No, same developers selling same apps.

        Instead of improving iLife, Apple spends 5 years doing nothing, then regresses with inferior functionality and an incompatible replacement apps.

        Cook attempts to force people into renting music instead of improving iTunes. He thinks by overcharging for memory that people will rent space on the iCloud (which he rents in turn from Amazon, Google, and Microsoft).

        Seriously, if you can’t see how Apple is losing its lead across the board, then you need to get out more often.

    2. I keep saying this:

      Tim Cook is another John Sculley. And now all the signs are there:

      -Massive increase in R&D spending.
      -Very little in the way of new, successful commercialized products.
      -What has been demonstrated as a lack of vision.
      -Tim Cook, as Jobs worried, is not a product guy.

    1. I actively critique Cook’s decision making and accomplishments. But botty, it seems you can’t do anything but hurl meaningless insults.

      If you occupy the same globe as Cook, then you too are a globalist. Your choice to isolate yourself from the big bad world speaks more about the closed-minded grump your are than to the state of the planet and the many diverse opportunities we have on it.

        1. Specifics please. I think you give Cook too much credit. Cook doesn’t make decisions, he has his delegates tell them what is happening while he jets from social event to social event.

          As for sovereignty — that’s something that no corporation on the planet even recognizes. It’s hypocritical of you to bitch about how bad your government is in every possible way and then turn around and decry the real issue, that corporatocracy has undermined all nations around the world. Corporations get whatever they want, or they move to a puppet nation who will do so. That’s why your government is so ineffective, they are beholden to their corporate leaders, including limp dicks like Cook who line their pockets first, make products in communist China to save a buck, and stockpile the excess cash in Caribbean tax havens. Apple would be just as prosperous if it produced its products in several nations, close to the consumers who buy them. But that means globalism if Apple wants to sell on all continents. Done right, globalism rises the standard of living everywhere. Done wrong, you have a $100 million CEO and tens of thousands of near-slave laborers in Asia.

            1. Every democratic nation has a Constitution (and/or Bill of Rights). That doesn’t make the USA uniquely special. The USA wasn’t the first democracy to rise and then fall apart, and it probably won’t be the last.

              In 1787, Alexander Tyler, professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2000 years prior:
              “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”

              (Does this sound familiar??? What is the current debt of the USA?)

              “The average age of the worlds greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
              1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
              2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
              3. From courage to liberty;
              4. From liberty to abundance;
              5. From abundance to complacency;
              6. From complacency to apathy;
              7. From apathy to dependence;
              8. From dependence back into bondage ”

              I would argue that the USA is in stage 6, and is rapidly becoming dependent on corporate largesse to function. Moreover, Trump hasn’t even got a clue how to balance a budget. Nothing he has prosposed will reverse or even slow down the trajectory.

            1. Yes, but Cook and his executives currently pocket enough cash to hire thousands of engineers. Most employees at Apple are store clerks and greeters which MDN treats with disdain or indifference (perhaps with reason).

  2. Tim Cook was brought in for logics not necessarily “vision”. That is Jon Ive’s job. That and the ability and freedom to say no to most ideas and only yes to those that will move their agenda forward. Apple is not and never was a traditional business. What motivates them is not what motivates everyone else.

  3. Apple could start selling a self-flying car plane tomorrow or a personal rocket to Mars and back…and people would still be saying, “Not a visionary. He doesn’t get the vision thing.”

    People who keep demanding the “vision thing” need to work on their own vision.

    1. At the moment there is endless whining that there is no vision or innovation at Apple, just like the 5s year. We all know what happened the following year, it was the most successful ever.
      The fact that almost all of Apple’s entire product line has not seen major updates for some time means one thing to me. Major innovations are in the works. I could be wrong, but the acquisitions Apple is making and patents they filing, point to bigger things to come.
      Patentlyapple.com is a good place to see what Apple could be up to in the future.

    2. If they come up with the self-flying car plane thing I’ll buy two. Unfortunately, all we’ve gotten far is a dumb “smart watch”. I’m not impressed, haven’t bought one, and have no plans to. That sending your heartbeat thing is so worthless that I can’t believe it was anything but a joke in some committee that Cook took seriously. Probably thought it was “visionary”.

  4. People forget that time and time again people though Steve Jobs didn’t know what the people wanted and was slow to bring to market what everyone knew they wanted. Take the ipod that can play videos, “people don’t want to watch video on their little ipod screen”. Then we waited a long time and we got it. A lot of the time Jobs just followed the obviousness of what people wanted.

  5. 2 cents:

    1) Steve Jobs PLUS Tim Cook & Gang = 95% performance (dave’s scoring!)

    Tim Cook & Gang = 75%

    (it’s obvious when you list it like I did that with one important ingredient missing: S.J , with that their performance is going to lag.

    Jobs was a Product and Marketing genius.

    T.C has tried to make up Job’s absence by promoting Ive and hiring Ahrendts, the new Marketing guy Tor Myhren etc. But performance has been spotty.

    Also Ive leading the product design without Jobs is problematic as he seems to be inflicted with artistic PROCRASTINATION and DISTRACTION common to art geniuses like Leonardo Da Vinci (apparently Leo fiddled with the Mona Lisa for years and died with it unfinished, he would leave important projects to play with making toys for stage shows etc ).

    Geniuses like Michelangelo needed bosses like THE POPE (or Steve Jobs) to smack them on the head to make them finish.

    2) the sad thing is many of things Tim Cook is criticized for were EASY to SOLVE.

    like getting the Apple music interface properly done and having a user GUIDE at launch (the guide came months AFTER launch !)

    Remote App for Apple TV . (tech bloggist argued that Tim Cook obviously didn’t try setting up the Apple TV himself with passwords etc before launch… )

    bugs like the Wifi issue (which mostly ended with simple software fix after many many weeks )

    the Macs lack of updates (they should pop in new processors, more ram etc, no need for complete redesign, WHEN AVAILABLE and have major redesigns over longer period etc)

    Mac Pro . as i’ve shown before in tests six year old Cheese grater pros with upgraded video can be 2-3 Times faster in GPU than the current cylinder which has NOT DROPPED in PRICE. (this is ABSURD) . Hackintosh and PCs with newer subsystems are even faster. . Making a new Tower Mac Pro is NOT hard as hackintosh people can do it, it’s just a lack of will

    (some have argued that the Mac Pro is a MINORITY and should be ignored but this is bizarre as Tim Cook is very concerned about oppressed Minority. So when the Minorities are CUSTOMERS vs outsiders they are irrelevant? even if so not pro ducting a flagship i believe has dire consequences for design down the road — that’s why many car companies have sports and racing car divisions as the TECH TRICKLES DOWN. )

    3) things Tim Cook is BETTER than Jobs.
    One (there are several ) example : T.C seems to be able to handle difficult political situations better than Jobs. Although China is so important for Apple and now makes 30% of Apple’s revenues, Jobs I believe never visited China. that’s because he HAD TIM COOK.
    (see point 1 above)

    (remember Dell etc was crushing Apple in manufacturing and Jobs hired T.C from Compaq/IBM to fixed the supply chain)

    I’ve bashed T.C a lot but even I have to acknowledge that a significant part of Apple’s success for two decades is due to T.C.
    He just needs to hunker down harder on products , quality and smack harder on his senior staff.

      1. I was talking more about overseas like dealing with difficult political regimes.

        with THAT (overseas etc ) in mind you are right “The reason is that Jobs didn’t fück with “political situations,” like in China, India, EU as he like I said had Tim cook to deal with it.

        for political situations NOT RELATED to Apple products or business I think T.C should be more circumspect.

        I note that recently he has changed his tune somewhat by saying he’s doing stuff as a PRIVATE citizen vs in the past as ‘spokesperson for apple’.

        also note most all the political contributions ‘attributed to Apple’ in recent days is actually from Apple EMPLOYEES, as Apple itself does little direct political funding , it merely matches employee contributions.

          1. don’t really want to get into a fight as I’m not very political

            but I think you understand exactly what I mean.

            apple as a corporation is treated by USA law almost as an ‘individual’, Apple as a corp. led by TC hasn’t done as far as I know a lot of direct political contributions.

            how does Apple the corporation stop it’s own employees own free will (exercising a legal right) from contributing? a handful contributed to Trump by the way.

            the Apple will match Employee contributions rule was SET UP by JOBS as he wanted to do charity work but did not want to make decisions on WHAT to support as he was focused on products.

            (btw I don’t even know if Apple matched POLITICAL contributions , are they charities? I don’t even want to bother to Google search the issue is mostly a non issue with me as I’ve been disappointed to many times by them –in general I distrust ALL politicians. )

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