Tim Cook: “I’ve only had good years”
Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Fast Company’s Robert Safian. Cook is feeling pretty good about his tenure at Apple, saying up front that he has “only had good years.” Despite the excellent performance of Apple stock, Cook expresses misgivings about the stock market and discusses Apple’s patience in developing products (“Because we don’t believe in using our customers as a laboratory.”), how he reads customer feedback (“I tend to weight the ones that are most thoughtful.”), and how Apple wants to help its customers do the right thing (such as with Do Not Disturb While Driving).
That interview shows a surprising level of detachment from reality.
Using your users a guinea pigs is exactly the kind of thing a lot of Apple users have started to feel during the last years (the Cook tenure). Just like it has become a recent Apple theme (again the Cook tenure) to release products clearly before they're ready, as many suspect, in order to appeal to stock market expectations, user satisfaction be damned.
Tim's holier-than-thou stance is a rather transparent marketing gimmick. And while it might go over well with some "analysts", he has managed to piss off a substantial part of the power user community and the traditional Apple faithful. Listening more to his power users and less to business analysts or fashion/entertainment celebrities might help him find back to the quality standards Apple upheld during Steve's final years, before Apple spent most of its time pondering about its new circular shrine rather than the products they should have been developing.
Speaking of Tim's holier-than-though stance, this is a very interesting read:
And while your "good years" only refers to your personal bottomline, those same years are pretty much "I've been screwed" years to the majority of your most loyal customers, Tim.
But as he said, he values thoughtful feedback. So the thing to do is write that up and send it to him directly. :-)
Tim's got good reasons to to be proud -- Apple's had a spectacular wave of success since he became CEO. People might criticize what they see as an overemphasis on the bottom line, but I remember the days of scraping by on little profit and the discussion of how Dell should buy Apple and break it up. I'll take an industrial behemoth instead, thanks.