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Tim Cook's Freshman Year: The Apple CEO Speaks - Businessweek


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A+ for his freshman year; and I mean thats a relative grade to his predecessor.

A- for his "freshman" year; and I mean that as an absolute grade. Absolute grade would be an A+, but Maps is broken in cities for public transit, which is odd when 50% of the world lives in cities.

 Here's what I think is coming, and in this order: 

TV; Glasses; Cars/Transportation.

Apple perhaps, should just buy Elon Musk as an asset (e.g. his companies, and give him independent reign as Chair of "Apple X Labs") and groom him as the next CEO after Tim Cook (presumably) steps down in 10 years. 

Do Apple and Elon Musk get along?

I agree that Apple Televisions make the most sense as the next product extension.

Steve Jobs believed he would live for years as Apple's former CEO.

With himself as chairman and Tim Cook as CEO.

 Heartbreaking loss for him and Steve's family.

I also think it's fascinating that even a few months before he died, Steve Jobs didn't actually believe he was going to die.

At least, that's the story going around the Internet right now.

 I don't think anyone actually believes they are going to die, especially at 56. 

Also, that's not accurate. Here's what Tim Cook actually says: 

"So we started talking about what it meant. Again, this is when I am thinking, and I’m certain he’s thinking, that this is going to go on for a long, long period where he’s the chairman and I am CEO. So I’m trying to understand—how does he see this working? He had obviously thought very deeply about it." 

There are a lot of Nuggets. Apple is basically like Toyota and the Japanese car companies who practice Kaizen. Samsung (ironically), Google, Microsoft are like the American car companies. Studied this in the past; the former focuses on product, the latter focuses on price first. Apparently, it makes a big difference: 

"So we never went into that category. We never put any time into it. A great product doesn’t mean an expensive product. It means a fair price. The iPad mini is all the way down to $329. This isn’t an expensive product. So when we can do great products and achieve a great price, we feel great. But what we wouldn’t do is say, “We’ve got to have something for this price, and then let’s see what we can do for it.” That’s not how we think. We think about the product and making a great product that we want to use. When we can do that and achieve another price point, that’s great. But our customers have a high expectation, and we’re not going to try to pass off something—we would never do that. That’s not how we think." 

 I like their increased transparency on humans rights and educating their workers: 

"When you asked him to change some things, what specifically did you ask him to change and how receptive was he?

I found him to be very receptive. We had been in the auditing mode for some time and publishing annual reports and working very hard to correct things that we found, and so forth. We’re still doing tremendous auditing, but in addition to that we’ve enlisted the Fair Labor Association to provide additional audits. They bring expertise of looking at different industries. It’s total transparency. They publish their own results and so forth. We’re the only technology company that’s doing that. Terry agreed to open his facilities to our auditors and the FLA auditors. It was a requirement from us, but he agreed.

Cook visiting the iPhone production line at Foxconn's Zhengzhou technology park in March 2012Foxconn: ReutersCook visiting the iPhone production line at Foxconn's Zhengzhou technology park in March 2012

If you look at our website, we’re publishing working hours for almost a million people across our supply chain. Nobody else is doing this. We are very much managing this at a micro level. And you know, maybe as important as that, we are training workers on their rights. We have trained 2 million people, and we’ve brought college courses to the factories where people can begin to earn their degrees."

Also, and I'm sure this was hashed out by his PR executives, I'm glad they didn't include his questions about his personal life and lifestyle; that would be inappropriate and unnecessary, and I'm glad they didn't do that. 

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