In praise of Tim Cook

Philip Elmer-DeWitt

Apple’s CEO, as seen through the eyes of Microsoft’s former president.


From Steven Sinofsky’s review of Leander Kahney’s “Tim Cook” in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal ($):

Ultimately, Mr. Cook will be measured on Apple’s products, and Mr. Kahney endeavors to make a strong case for innovations in the post-Jobs era, detailing the success of the iPhone 6, upgraded iOS software, AirPods, Apple Pay and especially the Apple Watch, all of which happened entirely under Mr. Cook’s leadership.

Yet two aspects of innovation remind readers of the challenge facing the CEO. First, Steve Jobs’s own record of innovation was one of punctuated equilibriums, with many years between breakthroughs—years when people questioned whether he would achieve another hit. Second is the overwhelming success of the iPhone business. The highly regarded tech analyst Horace Deidu, whom Mr. Kahney interviewed, has said that the iPhone is the most successful product ever, for any company. Unlike previous breakthroughs, the next giant opportunity ahead might be building and operating services on the iPhone platform rather than replacing it with the next big thing. It might just be that Steve Jobs understood this future when choosing Mr. Cook to take Apple to new heights.

My take: Hey Leander, where’s my review copy?