GQ: ‘Tim Cook Thinks Different’

Zach Baron’s cover story for GQ, a profile of Tim Cook, is a must-read:

And yet Cook is, in the wealth of biographies and hagiography that has grown up around Apple since its founding, an enigma still. “He’s very hard to read,” says Eddy Cue, who has been at Apple since 1989 and now leads its services division. “If you’re looking to make your decision or your beliefs based on reading his facial expressions, you’re probably not going to be good at that. I always joke around with him that he’d be a great poker player, because he’d have four aces and no one would know.”

Cook’s world-class poker face makes him difficult to profile, I think. Baron’s piece seems to get to Cook’s personality better than any I’ve read before. For example, noting that Cook laughed here:

Years ago, when asked about the possibility of Apple manufacturing glasses, in the mold of Google Glass, an early AR product, Cook told The New Yorker’s Ian Parker that he was skeptical of the enterprise: “We always thought that glasses were not a smart move, from a point of view that people would not really want to wear them. They were intrusive, instead of pushing technology to the background, as we’ve always believed.” He said then: “We always thought it would flop, and, you know, so far it has.”

When I raise this with Cook, he laughs. “My thinking always evolves. Steve taught me well: never to get married to your convictions of yesterday. To always, if presented with something new that says you were wrong, admit it and go forward instead of continuing to hunker down and say why you’re right.”

Monday, 3 April 2023