Tim Cook Quotations

Timothy Donald Cook / b. 1960 / Alabama, USA / Business Executive, former COO and current CEO of Apple, Inc.


You can converge a toaster and refrigerator, but these things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user.

Reported by Nick Wingfield in “Apple Chief’s Offhand Comment Spawns Internet Quip,” nytimes.com, April 24, 2012.

Our base philosophy is to never fear cannibalization. If we do, somebody else will just cannibalize it. We never fear it.

Reported by Megan Geuss in “Tim Cook on the iMac: ‘cannibalization is a huge opportunity for us,’” arstechnica.com, January 23, 2013.

When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind, I don’t consider the bloody ROI.

Reported by Steve Denning in “Why Tim Cook Doesn’t Care About ‘The Bloody ROI,’” forbes.com, March 7, 2014.

The things we should be doing at Apple are things that others can’t.

Reported by Brad Stone and Adam Satariano in “The iPhone 6, the Apple Watch, and Remaking a Company’s Culture,” blomber.com, September 17, 2014.

If you want me to only do things for ROI reasons, then you should get out of this stock.

Reported by Siimon Reynolds in “Lessons You Can Learn From Apple’s CEO,” forbes.com, March 25, 2015.

It was like a total revelation for me that a company could run like this, because I was used to these layers and bureaucracies and studies—the sort of paralysis that companies could get into—and Apple was totally different.

Reported by Don Reisinger in “Apple CEO Tim Cook Says Working for Steve Jobs Was ‘Liberating,’” fortune.com, August 23, 2018.

Apple Music

There are very few content owners that believe that the existing model will last forever, I think the most forward-thinking ones are looking and saying, “I’d rather have the first-mover advantage.”

Reported by Julia Love in “Apple Music hits 6.5 million paid users: Tim Cook,” investing.com, October 20, 2015.

We worry about the humanity being drained out of music, about it becoming a bits-and-bytes kind of world instead of the art and craft.

Reported by Cal Jeffrey in “Tim Cook thinks Spotify is ‘draining the humanity out of music,’” techspot.com, August 8, 2018.

Apple Watch

If there were any doubts, I think that they should be put to bed.

Reported by Brad Stone and Adam Satariano in “The iPhone 6, the Apple Watch, and Remaking a Company’s Culture,” blomber.com, September 17, 2014.

Business Philosophy

Don’t just accept the world you inherit today. Don’t just accept the status quo. No big challenge has ever been solved, and no lasting improvement has ever been achieved, unless people dare to try something different. Dare to think different.

Reported by Nina Zipkin in “From Oprah Winfrey to Tim Cook, Leaders Offer Gems of Wisdom to the Class of 2018,” entrepreneur.com, May 24, 2018.

I don’t think business should only deal in commercial things. Business, to me, is nothing more than a collection of people. If people have values, then companies should.

Reported by Karen Gilchrist in “Apple’s Tim Cook shares a rule that leaders should live by,” cnbc.com, June 26 2018.

When I think of ethics, I think of leaving things better than you found them. And to me, that goes from everything from environmentally, to how you work with suppliers with labor questions, to the carbon footprint of your products, to the things you choose to support, to the way you treat your employees. . . . Your whole persona fits under that umbrella.

Leander Kahney, Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level (2019).

. . . the power of human creativity can solve even the biggest challenges—and that the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

Leander Kahney, Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level (2019).

Cook on Cook

I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others, . . . So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.

Reported by Daisuke Wakabayashi and Lisa Fleisher in “Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘I’m Proud to Be Gay,’” wsj.com, October 30, 2014.

Steve was a genius and a visionary, and I’ve never viewed that my role was to replace him. Steve was an original. I’ve never really felt the weight of trying to be Steve. It’s not my goal in life. I am who I am. I am focused on that. On being a great CEO of Apple.

Reported by Dan Farber in “Tim Cook: ‘I’ve never really felt the weight of trying to be Steve,’” cnet.com, May 29, 2012.

Re: Cook’s decision to leave Compaq to take the job at Apple:

I don’t think that you’re born with a gut, I think the gut matures and gets better and better over time, and the struggle that most people have, I think, is learning to listen to it and figuring out how to access it in some way. For me, what I found is that even though I’m an engineer and an analytical person at heart. the most important decisions I’ve made had nothing to do with any of that. They were always based on intuition. The Apple one is the prime example of that. I remember, actually, forming my list of pluses and minuses and I could not get the chart to work out the way I wanted it to. Because I wanted something to say this says I should go to Apple. But it would not. Nothing financially would do that, I talked to people I trusted, that knew me, and they said: “This is not what you should do.” It wasn’t so easy. People said, “you’re just crazy, you’re working for the top PC company in the world, how could you even think of doing it, you’ve lost your mind.” And, yet, that voice said, “Go West young man, Go West.” And sometimes you just have to go for it.

Interview at Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, “Apple CEO Tim Cook on Intuition,” youtube.com.

Impact of Technology

All of these things are great conveniences of life. They change your daily life in a great way. But if you’re getting bombarded by notifications all day long, that’s probably a use of the system that might not be so good anymore.

Interview with Laura Sydell and Steve Inskeep in “Apple Requested ‘Zero’ Personal Data In Deals With Facebook, CEO Tim Cook Says,” npr.org, June 4, 2018.

Coding gives people the ability to change the world and from my perspective, it’s the most important second language and the only language that is global.

Leander Kahney, Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level (2019).

International Trade

The countries that embrace openness do exceptional and the countries that don’t, don’t. It’s not a matter of carving things up between sides. I’m going to encourage that calm heads prevail.

Reported by Mark Gurman in “Apple’s Cook to Meet With Trump Amid China Trade Tensions,” bloomberg.com, April 24, 2018.


Re: The introduction of iPhone 6 and Apple Watch:

If there was a lot of emotion in my voice today, it’s because we’ve all been waiting for this day for a long time. It felt so great, . . . the people at this company are doing the best work of their lives, the best work that Apple has ever done.

Reported by Marco della Cava in “Tim Cook tells USA TODAY: ‘This is epic,’” usatoday.com, September 9, 2014.


We reject the excuse that getting the most out of technology means trading away your right to privacy. So we choose a different path, collecting as little of your data as possible, being thoughtful and respectful when it’s in our care because we know it belongs to you.

Reported by Jackie Wattles in “Apple’s Tim Cook urges Duke graduates to think hard about data privacy,” cnn.com, May 13, 2018.

The privacy thing has gotten totally out of control. I think most people are not aware of who is tracking them, how much they’re being tracked and sort of the large amounts of detailed data that are out there about them.

Reported by Seth Fiegerman in “Tim Cook reveals his tech habits: I use my phone too much,” cnn.com, June 4, 2018.