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How Tim Cook Is Filling Steve Jobs's Shoes 209

Posted by timothy
from the think-I'd-prefer-a-road-trip-with-jobs dept.
The New York Times, in an article about Apple CEO Tim Cook, focuses in large part on the ways in which Cook is not Jobs. He's less volatile, for one thing, whether you think that means he's less passionate or just more circumspect. A small slice: Lower-level employees praise Mr. Cook’s approachability and intellect. But some say he is less hands-on in developing products than his predecessor. They point to the development of the so-called iWatch — the “smartwatch” that Apple observers are eagerly awaiting as the next world-beating gadget. Mr. Cook is less involved in the minutiae of product engineering for the watch, and has instead delegated those duties to members of his executive cabinet, including Mr. Ive, according to people involved in the project, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to press. Apple declined to comment on the watch project. ... Mr. Cook has also looked outside of Apple for experienced talent. He has hired executives from multiple industries, including Angela Ahrendts, the former head of Burberry, to oversee the physical and online stores, and Paul Deneve, the former Yves Saint Laurent chief executive, to take on special projects. He also hired Kevin Lynch, the former chief technology officer of Adobe, and Michael O’Reilly, former medical officer of the Masimo Corporation, which makes health monitoring devices. Not to mention the music men of Beats.
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How Tim Cook Is Filling Steve Jobs's Shoes

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  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @03:45PM (#47241713)

    Jobs was a right-brain leader. Creativity and creative genius cannot be emulated or duplicated. People should stop thinking that someone can just come in and do the same things he did, think the way he thought. It's impossible. Find another, equally brilliant right-brain thinker and maybe you have a shot at a new era of Apple that is reminiscent of building things around sacred geometry, art and magic - but new and different on its own merits.

    Lateralization of the brain is pseudoscience bullshit.
    http://www.plosone.org/article... [plosone.org]

    Steve Jobs was not creative. At all. Name one thing he ever invented.

  • Brand identity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ArhcAngel (247594) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @03:54PM (#47241753)
    According to this article [informationweek.com] Apple bought Beats because the Apple brand is fading. Tim Cook is buying what Steve Jobs created from within.
  • Less hands-on (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Sunday June 15, 2014 @04:00PM (#47241795) Homepage

    But some say he is less hands-on in developing products than his predecessor.

    The best leaders will see their own shortcomings and delegate to trusted experts to pick up their slack. Perhaps this is Cook's strategy.

  • Re: Brand identity (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Karlt1 (231423) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @04:07PM (#47241823)

    Or they could have bought a company that sells high margin products and has a streaming music service because they wanted to sell high margin products and streaming music service....Nahh to simple of an explanation. I think I like your explanation better.....

  • Re: poorly (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Karlt1 (231423) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @04:15PM (#47241857)

    That's how he's filling his shoes; poorly. The ipad 3 was heavier, shattered easier at a lower drop height, and got hotter. The ipad 3 mini was a lie. IOE 6, 7, and 8 were universally hated disasters. iTunes 11's new layout was a crime against software design. Also, as usual, everyone everywhere is suing them for everything they're doing. Apple is going down like the Titanic.

    Let's see where to start?

    1. If iOS 7 was so bad, why was the adoption rate so high so fast?
    2. The iPad 3 did suck. All indications are that the A6 and the lightening connector just weren't ready in time. They bought out a new iPad six months later.
    3. ITunes has been a disaster since it started trying to manage iOS devices.
    4. Everyone is suing Apple because that's where the money is. Who isn't getting sued left and right these days?
    5. IOS 8 is a "disaster"? You mean the OS that isn't even shipping yet?
    6. The iPad Mini 3 a lie? Huh?

  • The New York Times article Slashdot mentioned, Tim Cook, Making Apple His Own [nytimes.com], is an example of the collapse of the New York Times.

    The authors are WRITERS (Heavenly horn sounds). The first 4 paragraphs are examples of their intent to tell stories like novelists, avoiding writing boring stuff like news. And, of course, WRITERS don't care about messy things like technology, even if they write about technology companies.

    It's okay to put in some facts to give novels a feeling of realism: "And the [Apple] stock price fell nearly in half from its 2012 peak to the middle of 2013" Then: "To shore up shareholder faith, Mr. Cook split the stock, increased the dividend and engineered a $90 billion buyback -- steps that helped shares rebound almost entirely." The price of stock goes up when someone buys a lot of it.

    But novelists have problems. Sometimes facts are more weird than any novelist would invent: "rap star Dr. Dre ... will join Apple [wsj.com]." The Wall Street Journal's novelists say Apple is "Tapping Tastemakers to Regain Music Mojo". Apple will sell "high-end headphones", under the Beats name. What could go wrong?

    Mr. Cook is not much like Steve Jobs. He supports brand confusion: "Mr. Cook is trying to broaden Apple's brand, too, taking to Twitter and other public venues to express support for environmentalism and gay rights (and for Auburn University football)."

    There are big hopes for the Apple iWatch "... according to people involved in the project, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to press." Steve Jobs fired people who announced products early because announcing early creates brand confusion.

    The whole point of being a novelist is to avoid unpleasant realities. It's like being a drugee, but without the drugs. Don't get involved with messy issues. Quoting: "Jonathan Ive, the head of design at Apple ... says Mr. Cook has not neglected the company's central mission: innovation. 'Honestly, I don't think anything's changed,' he said."

    Mr. Cook wrote an opinion piece [wsj.com] in The Wall Street Journal in support of proposed federal legislation protecting gay, lesbian and transgender workers.

    Nothing has changed?

    Another quote: "Last July, a federal judge ruled that Apple had illegally conspired with publishers to try to raise prices in the e-books market; Apple is appealing."

    And this: "Apple has also started building apps for Android systems".

    Novelists like to live in their fantasy worlds. They don't want to think about messy news like the beginning of a gay, rap-singing, law-breaking, watch-making Apple that makes software for Google.

    The real story? Apple and the New York Times are both spiralling downwards, in my opinion.
  • by Polo (30659) * on Monday June 16, 2014 @12:02AM (#47243593) Homepage

    I used to think taste was kind of like fashion, but I've realized it's more.

    Specifically, a few years ago I listened to Ira Glass's short talk on storytelling [youtube.com] and there's this short bit about taste that is just SO wise and SO insightful... (view all four parts)

    “Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

    What I think Steve Jobs did was get an organization to do this, to make tasteful things. He was a great integrator. He pulled people together, he pushed through obstacles, he overcome a lot of mediocrity. Yeah, he was a jerk about a lot of things.

    It's like a law of nature, a law of aerodynamics, that anything that's written or anything that's created wants to be mediocre. The natural state of all writing is mediocrity. It's all tending toward mediocrity in the same way that all atoms are sort of dissipating out toward the expanse of the universe. Everything wants to be mediocre, so what it takes to make anything more than mediocre is such a fucking act of will.

  • Re:Creativity (Score:4, Interesting)

    by grouchomarxist (127479) on Monday June 16, 2014 @02:11AM (#47243961)

    Jobs was the one that turned what Woz made into a company. Woz wasn't interested in starting a company. Jobs had to struggle to convince Woz to leave HP and start Apple. If it wasn't for Jobs, Woz might have spent the rest of his life designing calculators at HP. (HP wasn't interested in the computer Woz created, nor does it seem to have recognized Woz's ability.)

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday June 16, 2014 @08:51AM (#47244975) Journal

    Firing employees on elevator rides, driving a plateless Benz and parking it in handicapped spots at every opportunity, organizing a massively anti-competitive no-poaching agreement across the entire tech industry, hypocritically accusing competitors of "theft" if they make a competing product, lulztastic attempts at fruit-based cancer treatment.

    He's doing a downright shitty job, really. But I'm glad that the cult of personality around Jobs is fading, possibly leading to a long-awaited collapse in the Reality Distortion Field.

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