There wasn’t a whole lot new in this chunk of the Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs, which Yukari Kane mostly focuses on Apple CEO Tim Cook and his characteristics that are often the opposite of Steve Jobs. Cook is a character but not the same character that brought Apple to its current success.

From the WSJ excerpt:

As tough as Cook was reputed to be, he was also generous. He gave away the frequent-flier miles that he racked up as Christmas gifts, and he volunteered at a soup kitchen during the Thanksgiving holidays. He had also participated in an annual two-day cycling event across Georgia to raise money for multiple sclerosis; Cook had been a supporter since being misdiagnosed with the disease years before. “The doctor said, ‘Mr. Cook, you’ve either had a stroke, or you have MS,’ ” Cook told the Auburn alumni magazine. He didn’t have either. His symptoms had been produced from “lugging a lot of incredibly heavy luggage around.”

An earlier piece in the New Yorker online edition painted a dreary picture of Apple post Steve Jobs and the video above does delve into that viewpoint a bit.

Apple’s latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 7, looks pretty but is full of bugs and flaws. As for innovation, the last time Apple created something that was truly great was the original iPad, when Jobs was still alive. Although the company’s C.E.O., Tim Cook, insists otherwise, Apple seems more eager to talk about the past than about the future.

From the video:

[Has Apple lost its touch? Are they still King of the Hill?]

KANE: I think the answer is obvious to me. The answer has got to be yes. This is a company who had revolved around Steve Jobs for so long, I mean that was something that Jobs himself went out of his way to make sure of. And the people there are conditioned to operate, to play off of his strengths and weaknesses. And so now you’ve got this completely opposite guy in Tim Cook, who is I think brilliant in many ways, but in different ways. But so they’re going through some growing pains in that.

Meanwhile, Publishers Weekly has the following review of the book:

Jan 27, 2014 – The globe-bestriding computer-maker loses its soul in this lively business history. Former Wall Street Journal technology reporter Kane follows Apple after the 2011 death of founder Steve Jobs as the company’s knack for conjuring breakthrough i-gadgets lapsed into a series of ho-hum upgrades, misfires like the befuddled artificial intelligence app Siri, and interminable patent lawsuits, while market share, profits, and stock price eroded. Kane makes the story a study in CEO leadership styles, contrasting Jobs’s visionary bluster with his successor Tim Cook’s icy bean-counting and the histrionics of Samsung’s “wise emperor” Lee Kun-hee, whose quality crusade involved burning an entire factory’s inventory in front of its weeping employees. Kane unearths plenty of colorful material here, including lawyerly jousting, hilariously lame new-product unveilings, and conference-room psychodramas between bullying execs and groveling underlings. The author’s great-man theory of Jobs’s “unfiltered” leadership as the indispensable motor of Apple’s innovation doesn’t explain much; her unusually rich dissection of Apple’s ugly dealings with its FoxConn manufacturing partner suggests that Cook’s merciless wringing of profits out of exploited Chinese labor is as much the soul of Apple as Jobs’s oft-hyped intuition for design. Still, this well-paced, vividly detailed narrative reveals the machine surrounding the Jobsian ghost at Apple and brings the company’s high-flying mythology down to earth.© Publishers Weekly

We’re getting an advanced copy this week which we don’t expect to be as pessimistic and the publicity-generating excerpts above.  Interesting bits will be posted here.

Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs is available March 18th from Harper Collins ($12.74 Amazon/$14.99 iBookstore)

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20 Responses to “Tim Cook profiled in “Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs” [Video]”

  1. The interviewer did not ask if Apple was over the hill. He asked if they are still *King* of the hill. There’s a huge difference in context when she answers yes. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like another writer who attempts to describe the future of Apple by studying one person from that company and concluding that she did not learn much about Cook at the same time. In that case is she credible at all …?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Comparing Tim to Steve is yet another false premise cooked up by self-appointed expert who prognosticate about Apple.

    What if Apple did not have Tim Cook for the last 15 years? Without Tim, would Apple have ramped up the volume of iOS products nearly flawlessly? I doubt it. And without that volume would iOS remain the pre-eminent SmartPhone/Tablet ecosystem?

    No one can answer such a hypothetical.

    In the 6 years since the 2007 iPhone launch, Apple (not just Steve and Tim) built a $125B iOS business. It’s not realistic to ask for anything like this again. Tim wisely is NOT trying crazy ideas to make a name for himself. Years from now, people will fully comprehend his contributions.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. tothemoonsb says:

    I’m far more impressed with Tim Cook than I am the author. I think she found a way to make a nickel here. She couldn’t find out where the guy was born? Not convinced she’s the right one to write this book but she did and for that, I commend her. She’s going to make a fortune. I wish she would’ve included this in her book:


  5. tool022611 says:

    I think people need to stop comparing Cook to Jobs. There’s a reason Jobs picked Cook to head Apple, and the only people who know the true reason is Jobs. I think Cook has done an incredible job. They’ve continued to make more money and sell more products than any other tech company. People need to give him a break, Jobs had his whole life to create Apple and Cook has had a few years. I think 2014/2015 Apple will blow the socks off of the tech industry. With the privately acquired companies, the new sapphire plants, and god only knows what else is going on behind the scenes. The iPhone 5 was a great phone, the 5s doesn’t get the credit it deserves. The new iPads, the new Mac Pro, the retina MacBook Pro, all of these are fantastic devices and no one else is making as high quality of products. Bottom line, people need to let go of the Steve Jobs Apple and look forward to whats to come. Steve Jobs wasn’t the only person to make these breakthrough devices, a lot of the people that helped are still there.


  6. va1an says:

    What we have seen from Tim shows he was exactly the right choice.

    People forget that he had control of Apple for years before Steve passed.

    We are seeing greatness in a different area of product creation. After the recent news about Tim he every bit the product guy Steve was but from a factory and materials angle. He seems to share and excel the desire for Apple products totally fulfill user experience.


  7. I’ve noticed since Tim’s taking over, across Apple’s App store and iTunes store, only top content can be seen. No longer can a user browse the most recent and see new content added by date, title etc. This means that other content can only be found via manual search. I’m not sure if anyone at Apple noticed this or why they changed it since iOS7, but if they’re making money from each sale, I think the obvious thing to do is to allow all content to be viewed without having to do manual searches.

    As an artist and a buyer of music, apps and games for my kids’ iPads including myself. Our devices have become some what boring since the inability to browse the stores for content that may seem interesting to us. Obviously, each of us seeks different things based upon our likes and what Apple has done is forcing us to only see what they want us to see, the truth is, I don’t open the Appstore unless I’m searching for an app for my Mac that is needed (this is where the search function comes handy) and ignore what Apple places on their top 200. Other content must be searched and this can only be done if the names are known, or possibly tags.

    I am hoping, the developers at Apple restores the functionality to browse the Stores the way we used to. What sense is there to add content to the App store, or even seek to purchase content if one cannot browse categories by date, name etc? I already know what is at the top, but this doesnt mean I care to purchase the content at the top. Some of the best apps, games and music are hidden in Apple’s stores and they’re missing out on sales, and at the same time, the owners are not getting results, which in turn will cause many of us to remove our content.

    Once upon a time I used to redeem about $75 USD in iTunes gift cards every month.

    Apple needs to think again.


    • tool022611 says:

      I agree, they need to do something about this. I’m sick of the same old boring apps that are always at the top. I search google for good apps, and read reviews then search the app store for them, if no links are present.


  8. These negative articles are just click-bait. Either that or these authors just don’t get it, but that is no unusual – many journalists and analysts just don’t get Apple, never have, and never will.


  9. rogifan says:

    She claims suppliers are moving to Android because iOS sales growth is declining. I’m curious if she has names of any suppliers that are no longer working with Apple.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Apple’s sales will decline if their app and itunes stores remain the way they are. Apple must return the stores back to how they once were. If you only see the same content over and over, you wont buy as often, then the device becomes boring, then you move onto something else different. Not just the suppliers will move, so will the consumers.


  10. OMG we demand to see his birth certificate!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Obviously haven’t read the book, and won’t – Apple scrutiny from wanna-be’s overload! In her interview she misses a rather larger part of Tim Cook’s accomplishments – the fact the he doubled the value (and stock price) of Apple during his post-Jobs tenure to make it the most admired and valuable company in history! But there is the admission that, having been with Apple for over 15 years, he was instrumental in their success, easily as much as Jobs, before he became CEO.

    Liked by 1 person