Let's Leave Apple's Tim Cook Alone for Awhile

The poor guy. Everyone writes about him day and night. This and that. He's no Steve Jobs. Maybe, but he must be his own man. Lamentations: he's just an operations guy. Praise: He sat next to Steve Jobs for over a decade and had Jobs's trust. The reins of Apple were handed over to him, but (tearfully) he doesn't know anything. His hair is funny. He's saving Apple. He's destroying Apple. Can we have the madness stop?


By now it should be clear that most articles about Tim Cook are written as click bait. It doesn't matter if the author has ever interviewed or even met Mr. Cook, like Walt Mossberg or NBC's Brian Williams. It doesn't matter if the author has even worked for Apple, been on campus, attended WWDC, or even bought an Apple T-shirt in the company store. Nope.

Just put Mr. Cook's name in the headline and add some spice. The juicier and and more negative the better, of course, because that implies insider knowledge. Regrettably, the title often writes a check the author cannot cash.

When I think about people who have the street cred to get to know Mr. Cook and write about him authoritatively, I think about Leander Kahney (@lkahney), Steven Levy (@StevenLevy), Harry McCracken (@harrymccracken) anyone on the re/code team, and all of the notable, respected senior editors on the Mac Web. We all know who they are, so I won't try to make a huge list and get into even more trouble.

The fact is, Tim Cook is a lightning rod. He represents a company one either loves or hates, and for that reason we either praise him too much or vilify him for a paycheck.

As for me, I'm getting pretty tired of it. The proof is in the pudding, and next week at the WWDC keynote we'll get another glimpse of what Apple's been doing under the leadership of Tim Cook. What's real is the products Apple creates and how they serve us. That's the quantitative measure of the man's execution at Apple.

And with that, we can move on to the week's tech news debris where Rocco Pendola (TheStreet), Jason Snell (Macworld) (and yours truly) write something of substance about Mr. Cook and Apple.

Next: the tech news debris for the week of May 26

Tech News Debris for the Week of May 26


Previously, in this column, I pointed to David Katzmaier's first reaction to a Samsung, UHDTV with a curved screen. This week, he continued his analysis: "My life with a curved TV: Week 2." Hint: Samsung isn't going to be happy with his assessment.

Rocco Pendola is an expert on Pandora and music in general, and so I must point you to this analysis over at The Street: "Apple and Tim Cook Critics, It's Time to Shut Up."

Later in the week, I took a look at Apple how incremental innovation eventually accumulates to the Big Thing some observers are aching for, but don't know how it comes into being. "Tim Cook Is Doing Just Fine, One 'Incremental' Step at a Time."

One more along those lines. Jason Snell at Macworld has written a terrific article on how Tim Cook, inspired by Steve Jobs, has to nevertheless be his own man. "A tale of two Apples: How Apple follows Steve Jobs's lead by not following it." This is a valuable read.

These three articles paint a really good picture of what's going on with Apple these days.

Microsoft occasionally does some great things too, and I have to give them credit for the company's recent emphasis on customer privacy — in contrast to Google which focuses on security but not privacy. They are two very different things. I was very pleased, therefore, to hear that "Microsoft Beats Secret FBI Data Request." It warmed the cockles of my heart.

Finally, we tend to think of the Internet as a bunch of ISP's connected to POPs and on to a Internet backbone, but seldon do we get to see the hardware that's needed for an entire country's presence on the Internet. Take a look at these amazing photos, especially the first one. "6 Stunning Photos of the Internet’s Hidden Infrastructure."