Sunday, March 02, 2014

It's Time

There is much to like about Tim Cook. As the WSJ essay points out, he has admirable personal characteristics. He's frugal, hard-working, smart, an excellent manager, and doesn't hesitate to dig deep:
Apple under Jobs was a roller coaster, but Cook's operations fief was orderly and disciplined. Cook knew every detail in every step of the operations processes. Weekly operations meetings could last five to six hours as he ground through every single item. [snip]

Cook's quarterly reviews were especially torturous because Cook would grind through the minutiae as he categorized what worked and what didn't, using yellow Post-its. His managers crossed their fingers in the hopes of emerging unscathed.
Though Apple is still the most valuable company in the world, it's no longer considered to be among the top innovators like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tesla, Netflix, and Yelp (and those are just the Bay Area companies on the list). Since Steve Job's death on October 5, 2011, Apple's stock has underperformed the NASDAQ and been soundly outpaced by Google, Apple's largest rival.

After Steve Jobs:  Apple +39%, NASDAQ +75%, Google +141%
Apple has remained a leader in its markets, and today's Macs, iPads, and iPhones are thinner, lighter, and faster than they were in Steve's time, but incremental improvements to existing products are not enough to keep Apple on top.

Tim Cook keeps promising that Apple is working on "amazing" and "incredible" products. After nearly three years, it's time to show his cards. © 2014 Stephen Yuen

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