Apple: Kara Swisher puts Tripp (“After Steve”) Mickle on the spot

From “Tech’s Reckoning Is Upon Us” in Saturday’s New York Times:

Swisher: When Steve Jobs died in the fall of 2011, many thought Apple wouldn’t be able to thrive without him. Of course, the opposite has come true as Apple has become one of the most valuable companies on the planet. To what do you attribute that?

Mickle: Tim Cook and the rest of the Apple leadership team deserve a great deal of credit for proving the skeptics wrong. Early on, Cook did an admirable job of keeping together the team Jobs assembled and encouraging it to find a new way of working. He empowered Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief, to lead the development of the Apple Watch. The project gave birth to AirPods — and a nearly $40 billion annual business. It also alleviated, for a time, questions from customers and Wall Street about whether Apple could create another new product category.

Perhaps more important, Cook increased Apple’s financial discipline, controlled costs and found a way to squeeze more sales out of the iPhone through apps and subscription services. The profitability of that business increased Apple’s value in the eyes of Wall Street. Essentially, Cook recognized that the iPhone had made Apple more powerful than any cable or wireless company in history because its signature product, as Oprah said, was in one billion pockets.

My take: Good to see Mickle giving Cook his due. In the book, which reads like a love song to Jony (“The Artist”) Ive, Cook plays the automaton who cost Apple its “soul.”


  1. Horace Dediu said:
    Reading that book will make you dumber.

    May 14, 2022
  2. Jerry Doyle said:
    “After Steve, How Apple Became a Trillion — Dollar Company and Lost its Soul.”

    I have not read the book, but plan to do so. So, I am hesitant to write a comment in the absence of reading the book.

    My comment is limited to that part of the book’s title: “….Lost its Soul.” That part of the title, which seems the essence of the book, perplexes me. Tim Cook has done a truly outstanding execution of incarnation of Jobs’ legacy and embodiment of Jobs’ spirit into all Apple does in its daily existence. So, for Tripp Mickle to infer that Apple has lost its soul truly is puzzling to me. It is Tim Cook who denotes repeatedly how all Apple does today and tomorrow is examined to ensure that it is part of Apple’s DNA as envisioned by Steve Jobs. In fact, every CEO I hear or read now in the media goes around talking about what they do in their respective companies’ is a personification of “their” DNA existence. Tim Cook “coined” the phrase and now every CEO since has started to use the phrase.

    Cook has done such an excellent personification of Jobs legacy that Steve’s very soul remains intact and at the forefront in the animating principle of the company today continuing to inspire, to move emotionally, passionately, those unique and intrinsic essential elements within all of us who believed as we hold an Apple device that we are part of something special. How can Mickle then say Apple has lost its soul under Cook’s leadership???

    Tim Cook has sacrificed his own hubris so as not to overshadow Steve Jobs legacy. I can’t help believe that Steve discerned those esteemed personal humanistic traits within Cook along with his innate intrinsic skills to run the company over those of Scott Forstall who surely would have strayed from Apple’s DNA in leading the company if tapped as Jobs successor. Steve tapped Tim Cook as CEO knowing that Tim not only was the better individual to run the company, but also the better individual to retain the values inherent in the company.

    May 14, 2022
    • Steven Philips said:
      Jerry, I hope you BORROW the book, not buy it! 🙂

      May 14, 2022
    • Robert Stack said:
      Jerry: You eloquently express in your words above what many of us innately feel…

      May 14, 2022

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