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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 perpenso (1613749) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @03:11PM (#47241559)

    How Tim Cook Is Filling Steve Jobs's Shoes

    Cook is not filling Steve Jobs' shoes. Steve Jobs' shoes are in a display case at Apple's museum. Cook is wearing his own shoes.

    Cook is not Jobs nor is he trying to be Jobs nor should he try to be Jobs. Jobs made lots of product design and development mistakes. His genius was in exploiting those projects where time and circumstances made them successful, in pretty much maximizing the potential of the products that turned out to be successful. In 2001 Jobs brought us both the iPod and the Flower Power iMac.

    Cook has to use his own judgement, things Jobs said years ago don't necessarily apply any more. Time and circumstances have changed. The iPad mini is a good example. When Jobs frowned upon a smaller iPad a smaller device meant a lower resolution screen. Once pixel densities improved and a smaller device could have the same resolution as the original full sized device the circumstanced changed such that Jobs' original judgement no longer applied.

    Jobs' good decisions have a time and a context. They are not necessarily universal truths. His shoes don't need to be worn.

    • by Daniel Oom (2826737) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @04:59PM (#47242013)

      Maybe Apple could make a comeback under Scott McNealy, former head of SUN Microsystems.

    • by danomac (1032160)

      The iPad mini is a good example. When Jobs frowned upon a smaller iPad a smaller device meant a lower resolution screen. Once pixel densities improved and a smaller device could have the same resolution as the original full sized device the circumstanced changed such that Jobs' original judgement no longer applied.

      Really? I remember Jobs saying nobody wants a small tablet, period. I'd used a large one at work and decided it was too heavy to use, so when Google released their 7" tablet in July 2012, I bought

      • by Reverberant (303566) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @06:56PM (#47242593) Homepage

        so when Google released their 7" tablet in July 2012, I bought one.

        Then, in October 2012, Apple did a "me too!" and announced the iPad mini. I still think it was a reactionary move and I doubt the iPad mini would have surfaced at all if someone else hadn't released it first.

        Wait, you think the iPad mini was approved, designed, engineered, mass manufactured and released in four months?

        • Then, in October 2012, Apple did a "me too!" and announced the iPad mini

          Wait, you think the iPad mini was approved, designed, engineered, mass manufactured and released in four months?

          Emphasis added. Regardless of that, Apple could have started work on the iPad mini after Google announced (rather than released) their tablet, and it would have still been reactionary.

        • so when Google released their 7" tablet in July 2012, I bought one.

          Then, in October 2012, Apple did a "me too!" and announced the iPad mini. I still think it was a reactionary move and I doubt the iPad mini would have surfaced at all if someone else hadn't released it first.

          Wait, you think the iPad mini was approved, designed, engineered, mass manufactured and released in four months?

          Haven't you ever heard of rapid prototyping?
          This it's the Apple development cycle here! It's not like anyone expects a finished product out of anything first generation.

      • by perpenso (1613749)

        Really? I remember Jobs saying nobody wants a small tablet, period.

        Because of resolution, tap target size, etc ... all issues that were resolved by the time the mini came out. Again, circumstances changed.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Because of resolution, tap target size, etc ... all issues that were resolved by the time the mini came out. Again, circumstances changed.

          Not really, the tap target size IS smaller.

          It's just that Apple uses a LOT of touchscreen processing in order to get more accurate use of points.

          It's why I've found that the iOS keyboard is far more accurate at typing than the Android one, even though my Android device has a much larger screen (3.5" vs. 4.5"). In Android, hardware is responsible for reporting the touch po

      • by david_thornley (598059) on Monday June 16, 2014 @06:03PM (#47249543)

        If you noticed, Jobs was fond of saying that "nobody needs X" until Apple figured out how to do X right. He was not the most open and truthful of men.

  • 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.
    • 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.....

      • by ArhcAngel (247594)
        too
      • by puto (533470)
        Beats is a marginal product sold at an inflated price because it was lauded by Dr. Dre and people think it will make them seem cooler by wearing large gaudy headphones with Beats inscribed on them, when the same quality can be had for 20 bucks. As for as streaming, Beats is about 5 years late to the game.
        • As for as streaming, Beats is about 5 years late to the game.

          Subscription music services have tried and failed since 2000. For you to think that there are only 5 years old says something.

          If only Apple had started selling music a decade ago. They might have a profitable digital music business by now.....

        • by cdrudge (68377)

          Beats is a marginal product sold at an inflated price...

          Sounds like a perfect fit for Apple then...

          As for as streaming, Beats is about 5 years late to the game.

          And Beats streaming service is far older than Apple's non-existent streaming service. Apple acquiring them instantly gives them a functioning subscription service infrastructure, a paying subscriber base (albeit small), and existing streaming contracts that don't need to be negotiated with dozens of different labels before they can launch the service

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        Re-read what the GP wrote. Jobs would have created an Apple headphone brand and streaming music service from scratch. Apple already had iTunes to process payments and stream to, and sweet deals with the music industry that Jobs negotiated hard for.

        • Right because under Jobs they didn't buy lala to start iTunes Radio.

          Or for that matter over *20* other companies.

          http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Apple

    • Apple is still the most valuable brand in the world. Beats doesn't even make an appearance.

      http://www.forbes.com/powerful... [forbes.com]

      • Your information is out of date.

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/je... [forbes.com]

        Google has overtaken Apple to become the world’s most valuable global brand in the 2014 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand ranking, worth $159 billion, an increase of 40% year on year. After three years at the top, Apple slipped to No 2 on the back of a 20% decline in brand value, to $148 billion, according to annual research conducted by Millward Brown.

        • Although it's being reported on the Forbes site, that's not the Forbes list. That's the Brandz list. Apple is still number one on the Forbes list.

          But OK, Apple is number 2 and Beats still isn't on the list. The point is the same.

          • OK, Apple is number 2

            Something we can finally agree on, the fact that Apples brand is shrinking and Beats is growing in an Apple area dominates does not really matter. the whole point is Apple is relying on past glories...and those under Jobs.

            • the whole point is Apple is relying on past glories...and those under Jobs.

              If that's your point, you're misinformed. Apple just had it's most impressive WWDC since the launch of the iPhone. It's for developers, so it's understandable you don't know. But it presages some very exciting products when they do their hardware announcements in the fall.

              • Apple just had it's most impressive WWDC since the launch of the iPhone.

                Safari(With Bing?) Mail improvements, More Lock in/Cloud(At a price). Single platform...slight(after slight) at google, costly cloud applications, even with a few tweaks...like a clone of the awesomebar, and a nice payout from Microsoft.

                Spin is just that spin. I bought the first iPhone

            • OK, Apple is number 2

              Something we can finally agree on, the fact that Apples brand is shrinking and Beats is growing in an Apple area dominates does not really matter. the whole point is Apple is relying on past glories...and those under Jobs.

              Because in one out a dozen brand charts, Google beats Apple.Coincidently "The credibility of the Interbrand and BrandZ league tables have been cast into doubt by an article written in Marketing Week by Mark Ritson.[4] The lack of clear definitions and valuation dates in the both companies methodology raise questions about the subjectivity involved in brand valuations. Being part of multinational advertising groups, Interbrand and Millward Brown also suffer from the risk of objectivity. Transparency and obje

  • 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.

    • by joh (27088)

      If you just compare the nearly total standstill of iOS up until iOS 6 to what happened in iOS 7 and 8 he obviously made sure to get some people into the right places who were able to get something done. About time, I'd say.

  • Cook is a businessman.

    Jobs was a evangelist.

  • So far, the extent of innovation under Tim Cook is one extra row of icons on the iPhone.

    Not much compared to Steve Jobs.

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh AT gmail DOT 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.

  • "...like our old cat used to fill my grandfather's shoes each morning..."

    Um, sorry...

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