The meaning of life, according to Tim Cook


Tim Cook's driving force won't surprise you at all.
Photo: Salesforce

Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff for his company’s Dreamforce conference this afternoon but instead of diving into Apple’s boring enterprise efforts, Cook was ready to discuss heavier topics.

Sitting in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts where Apple revealed some of its biggest product updates before Apple Park was built, Cook shared his thoughts on privacy, environmental conservation, innovation, memories of Steve Jobs and what motivates him.

Privacy was one of the major topics during the 30-minute fireside chat. Per usual, Cook touted Apple’s dedication for privacy saying Apple views it as a fundamental right and that the company wants to do more than just what it’s legally required today. Cook told Benioff that innovating isn’t good enough if the company doesn’t stay true to its values.

Tim Cook’s North Star

The most uplifting segment of the exchange came when Cook was asked about what his personal purpose was. Cook revealed that it took him until his late 30s to realize that life is all about servicing people and once you get that it’s not all about you, everything changes.

“At some point, you recognize the reason we are all here is to help someone else,” said Cook. “That is the sole reason we are here. Once you get that in your head, life gets so much simpler. It gets so much simpler.”

Cook also received some of the biggest applause when talking about upholding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that gives legal status to children of illegal immigrants. President Trump has ordered for DACA to be shut down while Cook and other tech companies have remained in favor of it. Cook revealed that about 450 Dreamers work at Apple and that he’s talked to many of them about their situation firsthand.

Steve Jobs was brought up as well. The Apple co-founder made some huge Apple announcements at Yerba Buena. Cook said that he could still feel Steve’s energy in that building and shared some small details of their friendship.

“Every day, he left the office before I did, but he would always stop by my office before he left and exchange notes on the day. It’s the simple things like that – the friendship – that I hold,” said Cook. “I remember him more than once rehearsing on the stage and sort of going way off-script in a way that only he could do and making people laugh along the way.”

Of course, there was plenty of time for Tim to promote Apple products and get some digs in on the competition too. When Benioff asked the audience who had an iPhone, Tim remarked that “if you own an Android we do recycle those at the Apple store.”


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