Don’t trust investors asking how you’ll exit to Apple, says Apple company CEO

Don’t trust investors asking how you’ll exit to Apple, says Apple CEO

If you’re a budding entrepreneur as well as the VC you’re pitching switches equipment and asks you about your own exit strategy that’s your cue to get up and leave, states Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Cool was speaking to an market of students and would be business owners at the opening of the Foundry new venture hub in Oxford, UK the other day. During a Q& A session at the end of the hour long conversation an market member asked Cook how business owners should handle investors who appear to be trying to steer them towards a fast exit to a tech giant such as Apple or Google.

“If you have a VC asking you that you should get up and walk out of the room,” said Cook, qualifying himself somewhat by saying that at least is what he’d do if he were in this position.

“You should not be attracted to that kind of money,” he additional. “Because those people are not for growing you company and helping you — they’re for a quick buck and it’s not worth it.”

In a long and at occasions deeply personal conversation, Cook talked about his personal background, work viewpoint and sources of inspiration, including referring to his early years at Apple great relationship with co-founder Steve Work.

Another discussion point had been how the current culture at Apple company aims to encourage employees in order to challenge each othersâ€? ideas. “I think you have to allow for different opinions — and not only allow but foster them,” said Cook, although he furthermore said there’s a line to become drawn “if you don’t treat each other with dignity and respect — you need to leave”.

“If you’re in a position where you’re deciding people’s future and you’re deciding in a biased way, you need to leave,” this individual added. “But I think we have to allow for disagreement.”

He was also requested to share business advice on a range of subjects including starting out building a career, management and sustaining customer satisfaction at level.

“Most people if you set up a focus group will tell you small changes to the existing thing,” he said talking about his approach to balancing product style and customer satisfaction. “And so if you wish to go from the stagecoach to the vehicle somebody’s not likely to come up with the car. If you need to go from the Sony Walkman towards the iPod someone’s not likely to come up with the particular iPod.

“But the thing that you need to do is, your focus group is definitely yourself â€? you should make items that you want to use. And not just want to make use of but you love. And you can bet that when you love it there are many other people available that are going to love it too. And so that will fundamental thing drives Apple.

“In addition to that — because we do make mistakes on some things that we ship — and so you always want to stay close to your customers and listen to them and be very accessible to them,” he added. “One of the key reasons we have retail stores is to touch our customers and hear from them.”

Cook said he gets up earlier because he likes to spend his initial hour going through customer emails â€? “because I want to know what they’re saying, I want to know what they’re feeling”.

For people within the audience thinking of setting up a startup, Prepare also had this to say: “Recruit the friends of yours that are not like you. If you’re within engineering make sure you get someone within liberal arts. If you’re in the UK make sure you get someone in the Middle East or from Chinaâ€? or wherever.

“Find people that are different from you, where the common thread is they want to change the world and they want to change the world by creating the product or service that you also want. If you can find that collection of people… that is the kernel of a successful company.”

Responding to a question about how to figure out whenever you should stick at a product or even piece of work which appears to be failing so when to scrap everything and start once again, Cook pointed to Apple’s failed Cube desktop as an example of a time when, despite a lot of time and effort invested, the organization had made a quick decision in order to kill off a product.

“It was a very important product for us, we put a lot of love into it, we put enormous engineering into it… It was a spectacular failure commercially — from the first day, almost,” he said. “And within 3 months we withdrew it. We had to check out ourselves in the mirror and state we missed this one.

“I think it’s important to be able to accomplish that â€? something that you were so interested in â€? and this was another thing that will Steve taught me actuallyâ€? you’ve got to be willing to look your self in the mirror and say I used to be wrong, it’s not right.

“I see so many people when they commit themselves to something their pride would not allow them to say this just doesn’t work…  Failure is a common thing. It’s like the common cold.”

“Steve of everyone I’ve known in life could be the most avid proponent of some position and within minutes or days if new information came up you would think he’d never ever thought that,” he added. “He was a pro at this. And at initial I thought ‘oh he really flip flops!’ and then all of a sudden I could see the beauty in it.

“Because he wasn’t getting stuck — like so many other people do when they say I’ve got to keep going on, my pride. So be intellectually honest — and have the courage to change.”

I can see uses for it just about everywhere. I can see uses for it within education, in consumer, in enjoyment, in sports. I can see it in each and every business that I know anything regarding.

Cook was also asked for their thoughts on the most exciting emerging systems, with an audience member listing blockchain, AI, hyperloop and quantum processing as possible examples. Cook picked another one: Augmented reality.

“I’m incredibly excited about AR, one that you didn’t mention,” this individual said, naming the tech that will Apple is making a big wager on via a supportive framework in the latest mobile OS. “Because I could see uses for it everywhere. I could see uses for it in education and learning, in consumer, in entertainment, within sports. I can see it in every company that I know anything about. I realize it is wide, it’s horizontal within nature.

“I also like the fact that it doesn’t isolate. I don’t like our products being used a lot. I like our products amplifying us. And I think AR can help amplify the human connection. I’ve never been a fan of VR like that because I think it does the opposite. There are clearly some cool niche-y kinda of things for VR. But it’s not profound in my view. AR is profound.”

“We will look back on this moment, or the moment we announced ARKit earlier this year, and this will be one of those things in history, I think. It’ll take some time it doesn’t happen overnight but this is big and it’s good for humanity,” this individual added.

A final query raised monopolies and how dominant components in markets might be blocking business owners � and what could be done to assist.

“I’m not a big fan of regulation but when there’s any move at all towards that side I think that regulation is necessary,” said Cook.

“For us we have low marketshare, we’re about the best not the most. But I think it’s essential that competitive markets exist. And where it doesn’t I think that is a prime role for government to step in and not only protect the consumer but also protect society at large because sometimes it can be more than about the price somebody pays for something. Sometimes that can be the least issue.”

“You’re asking a huge question that’s obviously on a lot o people’s minds right now, me included,” he added. “The regulators have to decide where in that spectrum are different companies. Each company’s in a different position so each one has to be looked at individually, instead of as a group.”



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