Tim Cook on Collaboration and Innovation

A colleague sent me the Business Week interview of Tim Cook yesterday. I also just finished reading Isaacson’s bio of Job, which was a fascinating history of silicon valley, and insight into the creativity and rigor at Apple.

The Cook interview was a nice follow-on to the bio, and interesting to see how Apple has defined its culture and mission. This also follows closely some of my recent posts about team collaboration.

A few quotations that stood out to me…

The key in the change that you’re referencing is my deep belief that collaboration is essential for innovation—and I didn’t just start believing that. I’ve always believed that. It’s always been a core belief at Apple.

“Oh my God. How could one company do all of this?” And it’s not like we have that many people. As a matter of fact, that’s a secret. You know, small teams do amazing things together.

Customers want iOS and Mac OS X to work together seamlessly, not to be the same, but to work together seamlessly.

The most important things in life, whether they’re personal or professional, are decided on intuition. I think you can have a lot of information and data feeding that intuition. You can do a lot of analysis. You can do lots of things that are quantitative in nature. But at the end of it, the things that are most important are always gut calls.

Creativity is not a process, right? It’s people who care enough to keep thinking about something until they find the simplest way to do it. They keep thinking about something until they find the best way to do it. It’s caring enough to call the person who works over in this other area, because you think the two of you can do something fantastic that hasn’t been thought of before. It’s providing an environment where that feeds off each other and grows.

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