Tim Cook Principles

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Timothy Donald Cook is an American business executive and industrial engineer. Cook is the Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc., and previously served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer under its founder Steve Jobs.

“The sidelines are not where you want to live your life. The world needs you in the arena.”

“History rarely yields to one person, but think and never forget what happens when it does. That can be you. That should be you. That must be you.”

“Some people see innovation as change, but we have never really seen it like that. It’s making things better.”

“We see that privacy is a fundamental human right that people have.”

“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.”

“It’s about finding your values, and committing to them. It’s about finding your North Star. It’s about making choices. Some are easy. Some are hard. And some will make you question everything.”

“There are times in all of our lives when a reliance on gut or intuition just seems more appropriate—when a particular course of action just feels right. And interestingly I’ve discovered it’s in facing life’s most important decisions that intuition seems the most indispensable to getting it right.”

“Part of social progress is understanding that a person is not defined only by one’s sexuality, race, or gender.”

“There’s this thing in technology, almost a disease, where the definition of success is making the most. How many clicks did you get, how many active users do you have, how many units did you sell? Everybody in technology seems to want big numbers. Steve never got carried away with that. He focused on making the best.”

“Let your joy be in your journey — not in some distant goal.”

“From the onset, I wanted to pour every ounce that I had in myself into the company. But in terms of being everything (Steve Jobs) was, I never had that objective. I’ve never had the objective of being like him. Because I knew, the only person I can be is the person I am, right? I’m not an actor.”

“Winning has never been about making the most.”

“Life is fragile. We’re not guaranteed a tomorrow so give it everything you got.”

“I personally admire Steve not most for what he did, or what he said, but for what he stood for. The largest lesson I learned from Steve was that the joy in life is in the journey, and I saw him live this every day.”

“People that are not political. People that are not bureaucrats. People that really don’t care who gets credit. People that can privately celebrate the achievement, but not care if their name is the one in the lights. There are greater reasons to do things.”

“You can only do so many things great, and you should cast aside everything else.”

““The philosophy has always been to be the best, not the first.”

“You look for wicked smart people. You look for people who appreciate different points of view. People who care enough that they have an idea at 11 at night and they want to call and talk to you about it. Because they’re so excited about it, they want to push the idea further. And that they believe that somebody can help them push the idea another step instead of them doing everything themselves.”

“I remember what it was like to grow up in the South in the 1960s and 1970s. Discrimination isn’t something that’s easy to oppose. It doesn’t always stare you in the face. It moves in the shadows. And sometimes it shrouds itself within the very laws meant to protect us.”

“Excellence has become a habit.”

“A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.”

“To whom much is given, much is expected. I do believe this. It’s embedded in me.”

“A great product isn’t just a collection of features. It’s how it all works together.”

“We believe in saying no to thousands of projects so that we can really focus on the few that are truly important and meaningful to us.”

“The worst thing in the world that can happen to you if you’re an engineer that has given his life to something is for someone to rip it off and put their name to it.”

“Intuition is critical in virtually everything you do. But, without relentless preparation and execution, it is meaningless.”

“I think two people with strong points of view can appreciate each other even more.”

“I learned that focus is key. Not just in your running a company, but in your personal life as well.”

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