Tim Cook's interview at the D10 Conference returned several times to Steve Jobs, his legacy at Apple, what he meant to Cook, and how Apple may or may not be changing since Jobs passed away.
Cook said the saddest day of his life was when Jobs died, and no matter how much he knew it was coming, he could never have prepared for it. Then he was shaken out of it and his sadness was replaced with a determination to continue Apple's journey.
Jobs taught Cook the "joy of the journey", which Cook said was a revelation. With life being fragile, and tomorrow never being guaranteed, Cook learned to give everything he had. To focus, and not just on Apple but on life. To do great things and cast aside the rest.
As expected (by everyone but people who write dumb Apple stuff, apparently), Cook revealed that some of the so-called "changes" attributed to his assuming the CEO job at Apple were actually known about and begun under Jobs, including the new charitable matching program.
Cook also said "what would Steve do" wasn't a question asked by Apple leadership, and something Jobs himself had told Cook to never do. Jobs wanted Cook to make the right choice, not what he assumed Jobs' choice would be.
Apple will keep growing and doing things like the stock dividend, like doubling down on security on their products beyond even Jobs' famous levels, and like being more socially responsible and transparent about China and the environment, because that's what they believe is right.
Cook admitted to not spending as much time on marketing and design as Jobs, because that's almost all that Jobs spent his time on, and Cook has a broader focus. Cook also claimed the role of "curator" or "editor" is passed around, and that that was true when Jobs still ran Apple as well. Cook pointed out no one at Apple was Superman. That no one person could do it all.
Like Jobs, Cook wants to build great products and he believes revenue will follow.
The most shocking thing about being CEO of Apple, Cook concluded, is the email he receives, and the connection he feels customers have with Apple, and now with him.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.