Tim Cook exposes the lie that Steve Jobs ignored philanthropy

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Speaking to employees, Apple's chief executive outlined how the company has participated in corporate philanthropy for years, a subject the company didn't aggressively boast about in public under Steve Jobs.



A report by The Verge stated that after discussing Apple's new program for giving workers $500 credit on new Macs, Cook outlined how the company has participated in a variety of charitable programs.



Cook noted a $50 million donation to Stanford hospitals, half paying for a new main building and the rest being used to build a new children's hospital. Cook also described Apple's leading participation in Project RED, which he said Apple has contributed $50 million to throughout the span of the program.



The Verge call the statements a "marked contrast from the tenure of Steve Jobs" and said Apple's "change in tone began almost immediately with Cook."



In reality however, it was Jobs who announced Project RED back in 2006, helping to kickstart the initiative created by U2's Bono and Bobby Shriver to obtain contributions from sale of each PRODUCT RED product in order to donated to The Global Fund, where funds are used to help women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.



Jobs was also involved in the effort announced a year ago to join with eBay, HP, Intel, Intuit and Oracle in an "unprecedented" joint philanthropic effort to help Stanford Medical Center build its new $2 billion hospital.



Jobs said at the time that "all of us are very fortunate to have Stanford's world-class medical center right here in Silicon Valley. We are very excited about the development of their new hospital and really want to support their plans." Stanford University invited Jobs to speak at a commencement, treated Jobs during his battle with cancer, and served as the location for Jobs' memorial after he died.









The attack on Jobs' charity



Shortly before Jobs passed away last fall, New York Times writer Andrew Ross Sorkin attacked Jobs for not publicly boasting about his personal or corporate philanthropy, recounting how Jobs ended Apple's philanthropic programs in 1997 and noting the lack of any grandstanding made around donations in Jobs' name.



When actually questioned about his wealth and what he planned to do with it back in 1985, Jobs told Playboy in an interview that in regards to money, "the challenges are to figure out how to live with it and to reinvest it back into the world, which means either giving it away or using it to express your concerns or values."



Jobs added, "That’s a part of my life that I like to keep private. When I have some time, I’m going to start a public foundation. I do some things privately now." and concluded, when asked nearly 30 years ago "why is this one of the areas you choose not to discuss?" "Because I haven’t done anything much yet. In that area, actions should speak the loudest."



Jobs also noted that it was easier to make money than to spend it effectively, particularly when choosing how to donate money to worthy causes. Jobs' wife Laurene has long been active in serving on a number of philanthropic organizations, many devoted to teaching and education.



After Sorkin's questioning of Jobs' philanthropy, Bono made a public statement in a letter to the New York Times calling Jobs' participation in Project RED "invaluable," "serious and significant" and noting that "Apple's involvement has encouraged other companies to step up."



"Just because he's been extremely busy, that doesn't mean that he and his wife, Laurene, have not been thinking about these things," Bono wrote. "You don't have to be a friend of his to know what a private person he is or that he doesn't do things by halves."



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 70
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,745member
    I never had a single doubt. I admire the fact, unlike some I could mention, Steve kept his philanthropy private.
  • Reply 2 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I never had a single doubt. I admire the fact, unlike some I could mention, Steve kept his philanthropy private.



    It's hard to keep billions in philanthropy quiet. Gates Foundation.
  • Reply 3 of 70
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,745member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    It's hard to keep billions in philanthropy quiet. Gates Foundation.



    I never mentioned any names



    I live in a very wealthy town and see even the modestly rich basking in the glory of giving. The now in prison hedge fund manager (ponzi artist) was at the forefront of course.
  • Reply 4 of 70
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,399member
    Jobs was never one to boast about money. He helped people for the sake of helping, not help to make him look good like Gates does.
  • Reply 5 of 70
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,745member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Evilution View Post


    Jobs was never one to boast about money. He helped people for the sake of helping, not help to make him look good like Gates does.



    As Gates was brought up by 'realwarder' above then I guess it's a fair topic. The term buying redemption comes to mind ...
  • Reply 6 of 70
    We live in an upside-down world. Capitalists should be praised for creating jobs, products and services people need. Instead everyone wants everything for free and the bigger the company, the more people and politicians threaten them with boycotts and such unless THEY are given MORE, MORE, MORE. Insanity.
  • Reply 7 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    We live in an upside-down world. Capitalists should be praised for creating jobs, products and services people need. Instead everyone wants everything for free and the bigger the company, the more people and politicians threaten them with boycotts and such unless THEY are given MORE, MORE, MORE. Insanity.



    So OT. We are talking about personal philanthropy.
  • Reply 8 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    It's hard to keep billions in philanthropy quiet. Gates Foundation.



    This is ridiculous. It's not hard at all.



    The whole point of philanthropy is anonymity, or at least a humble stance of some kind.



    The way you do it is that you simply don't allow the people you give the money to, to name their building after you. You don't have your own foundation with your own name on the door to promote your own philanthropy. You don't blab away about it every day to every reporter who asks you about it. It's actually quite easy, and most folks who donate (the regular poor folks), don't get any kudos beyond a simple tax break.



    The minute you see "The <person or company name> Philanthropic Society" (or similar) you already know it's more about the promotion of the person or company than it is the philanthropy. Anyone who says otherwise is a fool or a liar.
  • Reply 9 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    We live in an upside-down world. Capitalists should be praised for creating jobs, products and services people need. Instead everyone wants everything for free and the bigger the company, the more people and politicians threaten them with boycotts and such unless THEY are given MORE, MORE, MORE. Insanity.



    Noblesse oblige. Why don't we just get it over with and establish a monarchy. Long live Queen Kim.
  • Reply 10 of 70
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 1,035member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    It's hard to keep billions in philanthropy quiet. Gates Foundation.



    Especially when you call it the "Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation." If he called it the MS Bob foundation, nobody would remember it.



    Jobs wasn't a Christian but it is a Christian teaching that you are supposed to keep quiet about your charitable activities, for if you've done them for praise then you've "already received your reward." That said, (and Gates isn't a Christian either), part of Gates' purpose in publicizing what he is doing is to encourage other wealthy folks to do the same. He has had quite a lot of success in that (Buffet is giving a lot of his money to the Gates foundation) and so it seems like a very worthy reason for being public about it.
  • Reply 11 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Speaking to employees, Apple's chief executive outlined how the company has participated in corporate philanthropy for years, a subject the company didn't aggressively boast about in public under Steve Jobs. ...



    I appreciate this article but just to be picky ... the title is very misleading.



    It should be something like "Tim Cook's Statements Expose the Lie ..."



    You are maintaining that Tim Cook got up on stage or something, to expose the lie that Jobs never donated when this isn't actually what happened at all. Instead, it's the reporter that is making an argument that Job's lack of philanthropy a lie and that this argument is being based on the public statements of Tim Cook.



    Tim Cook himself is not the active agent here. You're attributing a position and actions to him that you have no way of knowing is true.
  • Reply 12 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Evilution View Post


    Jobs was never one to boast about money. He helped people for the sake of helping, not help to make him look good like Gates does.



    Jesus Christ. Bill Gates's charity is public so it awareness of important issues, which it demonstrably has. It also promotes people similar in stature to donate similarly as well, which it also has (and was quite possibly an influence on Steven Jobs as well).



    Not everything has to an "us for them" battle.
    singularity
  • Reply 13 of 70
    technotechno Posts: 737member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by williamh View Post


    Especially when you call it the "Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation." If he called it the MS Bob foundation, nobody would remember it.



    Jobs wasn't a Christian but it is a Christian teaching that you are supposed to keep quiet about your charitable activities, for if you've done them for praise then you've "already received your reward." That said, (and Gates isn't a Christian either), part of Gates' purpose in publicizing what he is doing is to encourage other wealthy folks to do the same. He has had quite a lot of success in that (Buffet is giving a lot of his money to the Gates foundation) and so it seems like a very worthy reason for being public about it.



    I agree completely! THe super wealthy like Gates and Buffet, need to encourage other rich people, and making their contributions public is the obvious way.
  • Reply 14 of 70
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    I'm not a greedy person. I only want enough money to solve all the world's problems.
  • Reply 15 of 70
    conrailconrail Posts: 489member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    We live in an upside-down world. Capitalists should be praised for creating jobs, products and services people need. Instead everyone wants everything for free and the bigger the company, the more people and politicians threaten them with boycotts and such unless THEY are given MORE, MORE, MORE. Insanity.



    Social darwinism at it's finest.



    Jobs are created through demand and large numbers of people who can afford products, not from the gilded teats of our betters.
  • Reply 16 of 70
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 1,118member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Conrail View Post


    Social darwinism at its finest.



    Jobs are created through demand and large numbers of people who can afford products, not from the gilded teats of our betters.



    Right. And even to whatever degree they can be seen as "creating" the jobs, they should be praised for it like trees should be praised for creating carbon dioxide--it's not like they're doing it primarily because they want to make the world a better place, a "capitalist" does what a capitalist does typically for their own personal benefit. There are probably exceptions, but I don't think job creation was what Gates was primarily trying to achieve in the early days of Microsoft. And I'm sure some people on this thread would agree that his products and services weren't so radically novel and innovative that they were satisfying a great unfulfilled need that nobody else could satisfy.
  • Reply 17 of 70
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Conrail View Post


    Social darwinism at it's finest.



    How on earth was his post suggestive of "social darwinism"?!





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Conrail View Post


    Jobs are created through demand...



    Wrong actually.



    Jobs are created through production.



    While production seeks to fulfill an anticipated demand it is sometimes (even often) wrong. Ultimately though production is the the first actual, active, tangible step. Demand is a speculation until it is validated by consuming production. And production is fed by savings and investment (which is deferred consumption.)
  • Reply 18 of 70
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,654member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    The whole point of philanthropy is anonymity, or at least a humble stance of some kind.



    .



    I disagree. The benefit of making your philanthropy public, as Gates has done, is to encourage others to do the same. Some years ago, it was reported that Gates tried to get agreement from all the other "richest people on the planet" to each donate the same amount of money, so each would maintain their same position on the Fortune list, but most refused.



    While I do cringe a little when 42 different names are plastered throughout a museum, library, hospital or school, if that's what it takes to make that philanthropy happen, I'm all for it.



    Jobs set an example for a lot of people. If he had made his philanthropy public, I think he would have encouraged a lot of people at all income levels to donate as well.



    My respect for Bill Gates has risen immensely since he has devoted so much of his life to philanthropy. Personally, I think all of the moguls should make public their philanthropy. They don't have to talk about specific amounts or even the specific places they've donated to - just that they have and the kinds of organizations they're supporting.
  • Reply 19 of 70
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    So OT. We are talking about personal philanthropy.



    Are we? All the examples for the first half of the article were Apple funded, so it was the shareholders money being used, not SJ's money.
  • Reply 20 of 70
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Retrogusto View Post


    Right. And even to whatever degree they can be seen as "creating" the jobs, they should be praised for it like trees should be praised for creating carbon dioxide--it's not like they're doing it primarily because they want to make the world a better place, a "capitalist" does what a capitalist does typically for their own personal benefit. There are probably exceptions, but I don't think job creation was what Gates was primarily trying to achieve in the early days of Microsoft.



    Agree. The purpose of a business is not actually to create jobs and creating them is, like your analogy, like breathing.



    They should actually be praised for efficiently creating valuable products and services. That they also create jobs is a sort of happy side-effect.
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