Tim Cook sends letter to employees on third anniversary of Steve Jobs' death

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook on Friday sent an email to Apple employees to honor the third anniversary of the passing of co-founder Steve Jobs, saying the late tech guru's legacy lives on through their work.

Steve Jobs


In the note obtained by iClarified, Cook asked Apple team members to reflect on how the products created under Jobs' Apple have impacted not only the technology industry, but the world.

Team,

Sunday will mark the third anniversary of Steve's passing. I'm sure that many of you will be thinking of him on that day, as I know I will.

I hope you'll take a moment to appreciate the many ways Steve made our world better. Children learn in new ways thanks to the products he dreamed up. The most creative people on earth use them to compose symphonies and pop songs, and write everything from novels to poetry to text messages. Steve's life's work produced the canvas on which artists now create masterpieces.

Steve's vision extended far beyond the years he was alive, and the values on which he built Apple will always be with us. Many of the ideas and projects we're working on today got started after he died, but his influence on them -- and on all of us -- is unmistakeable.

Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for helping carry Steve's legacy into the future.

Tim
Jobs died in 2011 at the age of 56 after a long fight with pancreatic cancer.

Earlier this year, on what would be Jobs' birthday in February, Cook posted a pair of quotes to Twitter in remembrance of the late tech luminary, one being the "stay hungry, stay foolish" line taken from a 2005 Stanford University commencement speech.

Since his passing, Jobs has been honored by President Barack Obama, government bodies, schools, commercial airlines, Hollywood and more. An independent biopic starring Ashton Kutcher came out in 2013, but failed to garner critical acclaim. Another Sony-backed project based on Walter Isaacson's biography "Steve Jobs" has been adapted for the big screen by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and is slated to start production soon with director Danny Boyle at the helm.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    brlawyerbrlawyer Posts: 828member
    Yep, the guy was definitely irreplaceable.
  • Reply 2 of 57
    RIP Steve Jobs, we all can only ponder what could've been...
  • Reply 3 of 57
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by Bryant NorCal View Post

    RIP Steve Jobs, we all can only ponder what could've been...

  • Reply 4 of 57
    While I agree that Steve was one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable and the heart and soul of the company, does anyone else think that annual company-wide reminders of Apple's fallen leader on or about the anniversary of his death should be put to bed at some point?

    By all means, hold Steve's values in the forefront of your operating approach. In fact, please redouble your efforts to do so; the borking of user's bluetooth car connections with iOS8, followed by the borking of cellular connections with 8.01, the colossal failure of the live stream of the iPhone 6 / watch event, the missteps in the U2 album giveaway, all would have had Steve telling one or more parties at Apple that they should hate themselves and their teams for tarnishing Apple.

    I wish Tim would focus on managing the company to produce not only well designed but well executed products instead of writing warm and fuzzy missives about remembering Steve. Everybody remembers Steve. I'm sure those who worked closely with him are aware of the anniversary of his death. Time to shift the focus to the here and now.
  • Reply 5 of 57
    Apple has done very well, probably better than anyone expected, since Steve died. Thankfully he told Tim not to focus on what he would have done.

    Walt Disney didn't communicate that well enough, the Disney company spent fifteen years telling themselves "it's just the way it was when Walt was here", and nearly went bankrupt because of it. As Kurt Russell told a Disney executive at one point, "If Walt were still here, things [I]would[/I] have changed."
  • Reply 6 of 57
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Is Tim going to keep doing this every year now? Doesn't Apple need to move on at some point?
  • Reply 7 of 57
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Is Tim going to keep doing this every year now? Doesn't Apple need to move on at some point?

    I was just thinking that.

     

    But then I was thinking "why not celebrate steve once a year?".  I see no harm in it.  

     

    People still talk about ford, rockefeller, etc.  As long as its not "this (fill in the blank) would never happen if jobs was still around" or some other nonsense, I say once a year if you are into it, tip of the hat to steve.

  • Reply 8 of 57
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,834member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by codog24 View Post



    While I agree that Steve was one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable and the heart and soul of the company, does anyone else think that annual company-wide reminders of Apple's fallen leader on or about the anniversary of his death should be put to bed at some point?

    Perhaps, but three years isn't very long.  Tradition would generally hold for something like every year until five years, then every five year until thirty years, then every ten years until one hundred years.

     

    Point being, it's been three years.  For people who knew him, that isn't very long.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by codog24 View Post



    I wish Tim would focus on managing the company to produce not only well designed but well executed products instead of writing warm and fuzzy missives about remembering Steve. Everybody remembers Steve. I'm sure those who worked closely with him are aware of the anniversary of his death. Time to shift the focus to the here and now.

    I'm pretty sure this message took just a few minutes of reflection and had practically zero impact on any products or on any focus.  Indeed, a few moments of reflection on an individual who epitomised focus may help for teams to evaluate and prioritise the here and now.

     

    Seeing it through such binary eyes would be a real shame, and lack the humanity and artisanship that people praise Apple for.

  • Reply 9 of 57
    rogifan wrote: »
    Is Tim going to keep doing this every year now? Doesn't Apple need to move on at some point?

    Wow, what did Tim do that's so damned objectionable?
    Now I know why some graves are overgrown, unkempt, and unvisited.
  • Reply 10 of 57
    brlawyerbrlawyer Posts: 828member
    codog24 wrote: »
    While I agree that Steve was one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable and the heart and soul of the company, does anyone else think that annual company-wide reminders of Apple's fallen leader on or about the anniversary of his death should be put to bed at some point?

    By all means, hold Steve's values in the forefront of your operating approach. In fact, please redouble your efforts to do so; the borking of user's bluetooth car connections with iOS8, followed by the borking of cellular connections with 8.01, the colossal failure of the live stream of the iPhone 6 / watch event, the missteps in the U2 album giveaway, all would have had Steve telling one or more parties at Apple that they should hate themselves and their teams for tarnishing Apple.

    I wish Tim would focus on managing the company to produce not only well designed but well <b>executed </b> products instead of writing warm and fuzzy missives about remembering Steve. Everybody remembers Steve. I'm sure those who worked closely with him are aware of the anniversary of his death. Time to shift the focus to the here and now.

    Mr Cook has never been a full-on manager as such; he was just a good COO...so do not ask for the impossible.
  • Reply 11 of 57
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,834member

    "just"

  • Reply 12 of 57
    Let's not get into the Tim cook bashing. This is about remembering Steve and all he accomplished. Thank god he was here.
  • Reply 13 of 57
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Wow, what did Tim do that's so damned objectionable?
    Now I know why some graves are overgrown, unkempt, and unvisited.
    Good grief I just wondered aloud if maybe Apple needs to move on. It's not like employees need a memo from Tim Cook to remember Steve on the day he died.
  • Reply 14 of 57
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    brlawyer wrote: »
    Mr Cook has never been a full-on manager as such; he was just a good COO...so do not ask for the impossible.
    A COO is not a full on manager? In what universe? Just because Tim isn't obsessing over the look of an iOS icon doesn't mean he isn't hands-on in other ways. It's because of Tim Cook not Steve Jobs that Apple is able to ship 10 million iPhones in one weekend.
  • Reply 15 of 57
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by codog24 View Post



    While I agree that Steve was one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable and the heart and soul of the company, does anyone else think that annual company-wide reminders of Apple's fallen leader on or about the anniversary of his death should be put to bed at some point?



    By all means, hold Steve's values in the forefront of your operating approach. In fact, please redouble your efforts to do so; the borking of user's bluetooth car connections with iOS8, followed by the borking of cellular connections with 8.01, the colossal failure of the live stream of the iPhone 6 / watch event, the missteps in the U2 album giveaway, all would have had Steve telling one or more parties at Apple that they should hate themselves and their teams for tarnishing Apple.



    I wish Tim would focus on managing the company to produce not only well designed but well executed products instead of writing warm and fuzzy missives about remembering Steve. Everybody remembers Steve. I'm sure those who worked closely with him are aware of the anniversary of his death. Time to shift the focus to the here and now.

     

    You're right, Tim is spending all this time writing "warm and fuzzy missives" (ie, a paragraph about Steve once a year)- and he didn't do this, clearly it would free up all his time to actually manage the company, right? It's not like Cook organized a second mock funeral, or a vigil- he emailed a fucking paragraph to his company. 

     

    The fact that the bulk of your bitching entails

    1. A free Album

    2. A livestream

    3. An iOS bug that was fixed in a day

     

    After more than 3 years, these are the biggest faults you can find with Cook leadership- that says alot about that. Pretty much every product released under Cook has been the best of its class, and has improved that category further, eliciting both excellent reviews and sales. Cook knows full well how to run Apple and forge ahead. The fact that he has the humanity and tact to write a paragraph on the anniversary of the passing of Apple's founder, and one of the most famous CEOS (if not the most famous) of all time, doesn't change that. It's actually you who haven't moved on- as you (and others) have created a fantasy about Apple under Steve that never existed- ie, that Apple was better than it is now. Which it wasn't. Or that if Steve was alive, a stream wouldnt have fucked up (that Steve would have had nothing to do with), an Album wouldnt have been given away, or there wouldnt have been an iOS bug (again, its not like SJ personally checked the code). Maybe, just MAYBE if you compared Apple to everyone else in the marketplace today, instead of a fantasy, alternate reality where Steve was still running it and everything is perfect, than you would see how skewed your perspective is, and how little credit you're giving Cook for all the successes in the past few years. 

     

    If someone was thinking of a worst case scenario, and best case scenario at the time of Steve's death, 3 years in the future, I don't know how any sane, rational human being wouldn't acknowledge that we're much close to a "best case scenario". Apple is solidifying it's lead in all the areas that matter, they're producing excellent products, they're leveraging their strengths to make solutions noone else can make, and they're entering new markets and services. They're doing exactly what they should be doing on both a micro and  macro level- and your bitching about a livestream that 99.99999% of Apple's customers didnt watch, the execution of an album give-away, or a bug that was promptly fixed makes you look very, very small minded and tiny, as you're desperately magnifying small issues, and deciding to ignore all the massive victories. Also, Apple is selling so many more units than under Steve, even if the bugs are LESS and failure rate is LOWER, you're gonna get more people with issues, magnified by social media and click-whore anti-Apple publications that will do their best to magnify further. But I'm sure this didn't even occur to you.

  • Reply 16 of 57
    1. Paying respects
    2. Being CEO

    These two are not mutually exclusive. Grow up, people.
  • Reply 17 of 57
    All of you who are against this need to just let it go. The way people grieve and remember the departed varies widely. There's no harm done here. The employees that miss Steve can take a moment to remember him if they wish. The ones that don't can keep quiet and move on. And the same goes for this article. Those who miss Steve can take a moment to remember him if they wish. Those who don't should can it and keep scrolling.
  • Reply 18 of 57

    The letter on the third anniversary of the death of Eric Schmidt or Michael Dell or Donald Trump will be massively inspirational.

  • Reply 19 of 57
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Good grief I just wondered aloud if maybe Apple needs to move on. It's not like employees need a memo from Tim Cook to remember Steve on the day he died.

    Good grief, indeed. How does a simple memo remembering the founder and vision behind the company they all work for constitute not moving on?
  • Reply 20 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

     

     

    What a sanctimonious little troll you are. You're right, Tim is spending all this time writing "warm and fuzzy missives" (ie, a paragraph about Steve once a year)- and he didn't do this, clearly it would free up all his time to actually manage the company, right? It's not like Cook organized a second mock funeral, or a vigil- he emailed a fucking paragraph to his company. 

     

    The fact that the bulk of your bitching entails

    1. A free Album

    2. A livestream

    3. An iOS bug that was fixed in a day

     

    After more than 3 years, these are the biggest faults you can find with Cook leadership- that says alot about that. Pretty much every product released under Cook has been the best of its class, and has improved that category further, eliciting both excellent reviews and sales. Cook knows full well how to run Apple and forge ahead. The fact that he has the humanity and tact to write a paragraph on the anniversary of the passing of Apple's founder, and one of the most famous CEOS (if not the most famous) of all time, doesn't change that. It's actually you who haven't moved on- as you (and others) have created a fantasy about Apple under Steve that never existed- ie, that Apple was better than it is now. Which it wasn't. Or that if Steve was alive, a stream wouldnt have fucked up (that Steve would have had nothing to do with), an Album wouldnt have been given away, or there wouldnt have been an iOS bug (again, its not like SJ personally checked the code). Maybe, just MAYBE if you compared Apple to everyone else in the marketplace today, instead of a fantasy, alternate reality where Steve was still running it and everything is perfect, than you would see how skewed your perspective is, and how little credit you're giving Cook for all the successes in the past few years. 

     

    If someone was thinking of a worst case scenario, and best case scenario at the time of Steve's death, 3 years in the future, I don't know how any sane, rational human being wouldn't acknowledge that we're much close to a "best case scenario". Apple is solidifying it's lead in all the areas that matter, they're producing excellent products, they're leveraging their strengths to make solutions noone else can make, and they're entering new markets and services. They're doing exactly what they should be doing on both a micro and  macro level- and your bitching about a livestream that 99.99999% of Apple's customers didnt watch, the execution of an album give-away, or a bug that was promptly fixed makes you look very, very small minded and tiny, as you're desperately magnifying small issues, and deciding to ignore all the massive victories. Also, Apple is selling so many more units than under Steve, even if the bugs are LESS and failure rate is LOWER, you're gonna get more people with issues, magnified by social media and click-whore anti-Apple publications that will do their best to magnify further. But I'm sure this didn't even occur to you.


    Geez, did I touch a nerve? Sorry I posted an honest question about whether others thought that these annual letters were a little much, but I'm not sure why that would make me a "sanctimonious little troll". If you disagree with me, so be it, but to resort to name calling when all I did was pose a question? Grow the **** up. 

     

    I'm heavily invested in Apple - both literally and figuratively. I've been using their products since the Mac Plus was introduced, and have never wavered in my belief in the products or the company, even in the "dark days" of the mid 90's. I do have the right to express an opinion, and the fact of the matter is that the company's execution over the last few weeks has been far from exemplary. And note that I only mentioned the things that have happened since the 9th of September; these are certainly not the biggest missteps of the TC era (Apple Maps, the inability to ship meaningful quantities of newly announced iMacs during the holiday season a couple of years ago, John Browett's hiring all spring to mind as far more problematic, for example).

     

    People, and companies, make mistakes. That's normal, but it's also perfectly acceptable for others to second-guess the moves of public figures  or public companies (in fact, as a shareholder, Apple Developer and customer, I have a responsibility to myself and my family to do exactly that in this case). For you to refuse to recognize that shows me that you're living in some fantasyland where the company can do no wrong, which is your prerogative, but personally, I find the trend of the last few weeks troubling.

     

    I'm not generally a Tim basher, and I realize that his is an exceptionally difficult job, but my point was that during the term of the previous CEO, screw ups like the ones we've seen in the past few weeks were few and far between. Yes, they happened, but they happened infrequently, and they were generally addressed quickly and with a focus that appears to be lacking here. I was in the room at WWDC 2010 during the iPhone 4 announcement where Steve wasn't able to demo the phone the way he wanted because there were too many wifi devices in the hall. The way that the Apple employees on the ground reacted, and the cooperation that the keynote attendees gave by shutting wifi off on their devices, virtually in unison, was illustrative of the respect and desire to please that Steve engendered in those around him. To me, that drive and desire (and yes, maybe fear) appears to have waned a bit, and I say that not only as a customer, but as a developer with years of experience dealing directly with Apple employees in Cupertino.

     

    I bought an iPhone 6. It replaced an iPhone 5S, and while I'm likely to stick with it, to me, it's the first iPhone I've owned where the usability of the product is a step backward from that which preceded it. Both it and the 6+ (which feels cartoonish to me) feel like a reaction, not to what the customer needs, but what the customer thinks he wants. This is not skating to where the puck will be, this is skating to where the puck has been. In general, there's absolutely nothing wrong with chasing market trends, and less than stellar execution is unfortunately all too common in corporate America today. However, Apple used to be the exception to those rules, and recent events have me wondering if it no longer is the exception. 

     

    Bury your head in the sand if you want to, but it's childish to flame me for expressing an honest opinion.

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