It’s time to find out what makes Tim Cook tick!
Apple Watches don’t tick so it can’t be that. Is it a bomb? The Macalope hopes for Cook’s sake it’s not deer ticks. He heard Bob Mansfield took all the deer tick dip with him when he retired.
Writing for GQ, Zach Baron has a lengthy interview with Cook that is an interesting read, even if he’s unable to squeeze much out of him about Apple’s rumored headset:
Tim Cook on Shaping the Future of Apple
Baron starts with some of the habits of highly effective Tims.
By now, nearing 9 a.m. at Apple Park, he’s long since gotten up and absorbed himself in the morning rituals of the modern CEO: email and exercise.
Well, the Macalope does one of those.
So, you’re saying that if the Macalope also exercised in the morning he could make some of that CEO money, too?
Eh, still seems like too much of a risk.
Despite being derided as just an operations guy, Cook is interested in the entirety of Apple’s process.
“I’m curious, and I’m curious about how things work,” he says.
“Soup, for instance. It’s fascinating. Not a liquid, not a solid. It defies science.”
Cook is, of course, unsurprisingly coy about the headset.
(Cook will not, to be clear, confirm or deny the existence of such a thing to a journalist, though he will happily talk about the…potential…of such a device.)
Wouldn’t it be wild if Apple’s not working on a headset at all? “I’m super interested in this technology. We’re not working on it but somebody should. It sounds cool!”
Turns out Cook is an enigma even to those around them.
“He’s very hard to read,” says Eddy Cue…
“Does he like my shirts? He never says. I go to a lot of trouble to pick out these shirts.”
But, he doesn’t strike fear in their hearts, like some previous Apple CEOs you might remember.
When he walks into a public space on the Apple campus and sits down, no one scatters.
Finally, we’ve found a verifiably accurate use of “Steve never would have…”: Steve never would have not caused Apple employees to scatter.
It is easier to forget now, but at the time Cook succeeded Jobs, much was made of their differences.
Really! Despite this suggestion, Baron himself notes at the end of the very same paragraph that someone literally released a book on that topic just last year. So it’s not that easy to forget, seeing as how people keep trying to make a big deal out of it for practically no reason all. Because, the Macalope doesn’t know if you’ve noticed this, Apple’s still doing pretty well under Cook.
As the Macalope said, it’s a very interesting read and you should check it out in its entirety, but it’s not without Cook offering some self-serving descriptions of Apple’s offerings.
“The App Store we developed was about creating a trusted place where developers and users could come together in a two-sided transaction,” Cook says.
Ah, yes, the infamous two-sided triangle! Just customers, developers aaaaand some unnamed company with its hand in both parties’ pockets.
Despite hearing it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, we don’t walk away from this interview any more enlightened about what the real hook for Apple’s headset might be.
“We might be able to collaborate on something much easier if we were sitting here brainstorming about it and all of a sudden we could pull up something digitally and both see it and begin to collaborate on it and create with it.”
“Let’s say we have an idea for electric pudding. That’s just an example. Could be smart spoons. Or multi-touch gum. Doesn’t matter. You pull up a digital image of pudding and I pull up a digital image of a car battery. Now we’re collaborating.”
How ya gonna keep them down on the farm when they’ve seen the bright lights of big-time digital collaboration? The Macalope is sure that Cook is being deliberately circumspect about what Apple’s headset really is, but “Freeform for your face” isn’t exactly the kind of marketing bonanza that’s going to drive millions of units.
As the article points out, Cook himself suggested AR glasses “were not a smart move” when asked years ago if Apple would develop something like Google Glass. Of course, that’s a bit like asking Steve Jobs in 2001 if Apple would ever ship something like Windows CE. Just as Cook wouldn’t give it the time of day back then, he’s not going to tell anyone what the long-term game plan for a headset is now.
Cook didn’t get where he is today by spilling the beans to reporters and his responses are the kind of measured fare you’d expect from a guy who jumps out of bed to email and exercise every day. But this is as close as you or this be-horned observer are likely to get to Cook.