In a candid interview with He Shijie, a 22-year old Chinese student and creator, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook deemed 2020 the best year for innovation ever for his company. Talking about a range of personal and professional topics, Cook explained what keeps him motivated, driven to continue work and to deliver products which “everyone” can use easily.
China is an important market for Apple in more than one way; from manufacturing its products to having a strong consumer base. This interview connects the company to its consumer base in the country. Coo wrote,
There’s no challenge young people can’t solve and no limit to the creativity a fresh perspective can bring. It was a pleasure talking to @老师好我叫何同学about the opportunities we all have to learn, grow and help others in the Year of the Ox.
Cook accredits Apple’s innovation to creativity and collaboration
In the 20 minutes virtual interview posted on Weibo, Cook speaking from Apple Park explained innovation is an outcome of creative collaboration among a diverse range of people who bring their perspectives and experiences in creating something unique.
Creating new things every year must be a very stressful process for you guys. how do you guys do it? How Apple prepare for all those new things every year?
There is no one formula for innovation. but what we do is we have a culture of creativity and a culture of collaboration. And these two things together, when they intersect, create enormous innovation. You put people together that have different skills that look at the world differently. Maybe they’re from different places, they have different backgrounds. Some are software experts. Some are hardware. some are services. some may be musicians and artists. But you put them all together for a common purpose, to design an incredible product. And it is amazing what can come out of it.
I really believe that 2020 was out top year of innovation ever, between the phones, and the watch, and the iPad and M1.
Moving forward, when asked, “Is there any feature that is developed based on Chinese consumers’ feedback?” Cook listed the products which were inspired by the Chinese consumers like specific keyboards, QR code mode, Night Mode, Junction View in Apple Maps, and most importantly, the 5G cellular support, “was energized in China because China is so far ahead in the coverage model for 5G.”
When speaking on how to educate people to use Apple products, especially by the elderly. Cook said that Apple Classes/ training sessions at its physical retail store and customer support on the telephone are good ways to easily and quickly learn to use Apple technology. Having said that, he explained that his company focuses on making products that do not require instructions to use and the usage comes naturally.
We try very hard to design the product like the mind works, so you don’t have to have an instruction manual. You can pick it up and it works the way that you would think it would work. Classes at Apple retail store, where we’d love to train your grandmother, telephone support. But the products are or should be designed in such a way so that no instruction is needed.
Cook shared that his most memorable time in China was talking to customers in stores, exploring the country’s history and arts, and meeting people, developers, and incredible entrepreneurs. The interview ended with Steve Jobs’ useful advice on finding the right job for young people that you will feel it when it’s the right job for you and keep searching until you find it.