Waze’s annual Tim Cook Day is totally not a compliment

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Apple Maps reservation OpenTable
The first version of Apple Maps was terrible. Driving-directions-that-can-get-you-killed terrible. And that was the making of Waze.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Waze CEO Norm Bardin will never forget the day his company started on the path from small startup to becoming practically a household name. He says the beginning of this rise is all due to Apple and its CEO.

But that wasn’t really Tim Cook’s plan. Waze’s success is due to a bad, bad time for Apple.

Apple Maps failure…

Back in 2012, the most talked about new iOS feature was Apple Maps. And most what people talked about was how bad it was. Maps was buggy and undeveloped compared to rivals, and is probably Apple’s worst software failure ever. It even resulted in the firing of a senior VP that many had thought might go on to lead the company some day.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook very publicly apologized, and even suggested people use other navigation software while Maps was fixed. His open letter said, “You can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze.”

…brings success for Waze

The other navigation options Cook mentioned were well known, but not Waze. It was the first time most people had ever heard of this small company.

“That was our coming out moment,” Waze’s CEO told Business Insider. “From there, things started to pick up pace, eventually ending in the acquisition in 2013.” Bardin is referring to Google buying his company for a reported price of $1 billion.

Waze hasn’t forgotten the day Tim Cook’s open letter started them on the path to success. “It’s a day that’s still celebrated today at the company every year. It’s called Tim Cook day,” according to Bardin.

If you don’t want to remember the reasons behind Tim Cook Day, you can always celebrate Steve Jobs Day.