Tim Cook on Shaping the Future of Apple

published on 2023/04/04

He takes pride in tuning out skeptical assessments of his creative acumen. “With my background, I am used to people being critical in some ways. I’m used to the attack. I try very hard not to take things personal that I don’t think are meant to be personal. Talking heads critiquing—this kind of stuff kind of goes through me. It has to, or I wouldn’t be able to function.” Though, I will notice, he has a keen recollection for slights and doubt: He can recount precisely what people said about the Apple Watch or the iPhone upon release. “The [impact of] the watches has been profound, but you would never know that if you go back and read the press from the launch,” he says. (Apple now sells more than 50 million watches a year.) “By the same token, think about the iPhone. When the iPhone came out, people said, ‘This isn’t going to work. It doesn’t have a physical keyboard. Everybody wants a physical keyboard.’ ” Et cetera. Cook’s mildness of manner can sometimes conceal a person who is not particularly mild. “He is deceptive because he’s not what politicians tend to be,” says Lisa Jackson, the former head of the EPA who is now Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “He’s not loud. He’s not trying to suck up all the oxygen in the room. But there’s never a question as to his leadership.”


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