Tim Cook Talks Apple Work Culture, Product Innovation, Self-Repair Service for iPhone and Mac, Steve Jobs, and More in New Interview


In a new wide-ranging interview with Popular Mechanics, Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses product innovation and how it drives Apple to make better products, allowing customers to repair their iPhones and Macs with the self-service repair program, Steve Jobs and his legacy, and more.

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During the interview published in a special edition of Popular Mechanics, Cook describes Apple’s philosophy of creating innovative new products and how Apple has fostered an environment of innovation.

They don’t take any singular route, they can come from everywhere in the company. We believe in putting groups of people together focused on solving some problem for a user. You pick diverse teams that look at the problem through different lenses.

We debate about things that we do and do not do, because we know we can only do a few things well. You have to debate and say no to a lot of great ideas so that you can spend your time on the ones that are truly unbelievable.

Answering whether there was ever a time Cook first heard an idea and said, “that’s cool,” he recalls talking to staff about the M1 and M2 Apple silicon chips and Apple’s rich history of creating chips for its products.

Oh, they happen all the time. I feel like that every day—like a kid in a candy store. We were just talking in the hallway about M2 and M1—the history there goes back well over a decade. It goes back to the genesis of the M chips, or the A chips, from iPhone and really getting in and figuring out, how do you put a powerful chip in something that small and not get it to heat up and burn up?

We found ourselves with a similar issue for laptops: How do you put something in there that is the most powerful computer chip in the world? Out of that was born M1, and now we’ve taken it further with M2. And Mac is now a totally different product than it was before.

Cook also described Apple as an environment where people don’t take no as an answer, saying that claiming something is impossible is a driving force of motivation for Apple engineers.

Well, usually the way that you get people around here to do something is to tell them you’re not sure it’s doable. That’s the red flag in front of the bull because a lot of people here don’t…

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