Tim Cook loves saying ‘no’ to ideas, just like Steve Jobs did

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Tim Cook
Like Jobs, Tim Cook is as proud of the ideas he says no to.
Photo: Apple

In a new interview, Tim Cook says that one of the priorities of his job is learning to say “no to a bunch of great ideas” in order to keep Apple focused.

“There is more noise in the world than change,” he said. “One of my roles is to try to block the noise from the people who are really doing the work. That’s tougher and tougher in this environment … We can do more things than we used to do because we’re a bit bigger. But in the scheme of things versus our revenue, we’re doing very few things. I mean, you could put every product we’re making on [a] table, to put it in perspective. I doubt anybody that is anywhere near our revenue could say that.”

If the importance of saying “no” sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a lesson straight out of the Steve Jobs playbook.

Today in Apple history: Apple and Cisco settle over ‘iPhone’ name

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The InfoGear iPhone was definitely a bit ... different from current models.
The first iPhone was definitely a bit ... different from current models.
Photo: Bob Ackerman/Wikipedia CC

February 21: Today in Apple history: Apple and Cisco settle over 'iPhone' name February 21, 2007: Apple comes to an agreement with Cisco over the iPhone trademark, which Cisco legally owns but Apple wants to use.

Under the agreement, both companies get to use the iPhone trademark on products throughout the world. The two businesses also dismiss outstanding lawsuits against one another, and agree to “explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, and consumer and enterprise communications.”

It’s a classic bit of Steve Jobs steamrolling the opposition.

Stylish Apple Glasses concept imagines the AR future

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Apple glasses
Would you wear these Apple shades?
Photo: Martin Hajek

Apple’s probably not coming out with AR glasses anytime this decade, but that’s not stopping concept designers from flooding the web with dreams of what Apple’s spectacles will look like.

This latest concept comes from Martin Hajek and they’re definitely the most stylish Apple Glasses vaporware we’ve seen yet. The Apple Glasses in Hajek’s mockups actually look like real glasses, only they’re also big enough to provide some useful information to the wearer.

Take a closer look:

Signed Steve Jobs check will go to auction for $20,000 and counting

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Steve check
A rare opportunity to own a rare Steve Jobs autograph.
Photo: Nate D. Sanders

If you want to own an original check signed by Steve Jobs (unfortunately cashed!), you’ll have an opportunity this week when a 1988 check for $2,000 goes up for auction.

The Bank of America check was given to Jobs’ girlfriend Tina Redse on March 11, 1988. It is signed “steven jobs” on the signature line. Bidding starts at a mere $20,000.

Today in Apple history: Mac creator complains about Steve Jobs

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Jobs
Young Steve Jobs wasn't exactly easy to work with!
Photo: Esther Dyson/Flickr CC

February 19 Today in Apple historyFebruary 19, 1981: Jef Raskin, creator of the Macintosh project, sends a memo to Apple CEO Mike Scott, listing his many complaints about working with Steve Jobs.

He claims that Jobs, who joined the Mac team the previous month, is tardy, shows bad judgment, interrupts people, doesn’t listen and is a bad manager.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs says Apple is finally debt-free

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money
This was a significant moment in Apple's turnaround.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Feb 18 TIAHFebruary 18, 2004: Steve Jobs sends an internal memo to Apple employees revealing that the company is, for the first time in years, totally debt-free.

“Today is a historic day of sorts for our company,” he writes. It’s a big turnaround from the bad old days of the 1990s, when Apple had more than $1 billion in debt and was within danger of bankruptcy.

Today in Apple history: Pismo PowerBook is a multimedia powerhouse

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Apple Pismo PowerBook raised the bar for laptops.
The Pismo PowerBook raised the bar for laptops.
Photo: CG Hughes/Flickr CC

February 16: Today in Apple history: Pismo PowerBook is a multimedia powerhouse February 16, 2000: Apple introduces the “Pismo” PowerBook, the best of its G3 laptops. In the view of many, it’s of Apple’s best laptops ever.

The Pismo PowerBook is the first not to include the SCSI or Apple Desktop Bus connector. Instead, it utilizes USB and Apple’s Emmy award-winning FireWire. Optional AirPort wireless support, tremendous battery life and a gorgeous curvy design just make it better.

Today in Apple history: Young Steve Jobs appears on Time cover

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With Steve Jobs first Time magazine cover, he becomes the face of the 1980s tech boom.
Steve Jobs becomes the face of the 1980s tech boom.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

February 15: Today in Apple history: Young Steve Jobs appears on Time magazine cover February 15, 1982: Steve Jobs appears on the front cover of Time magazine for the first time, becoming the public face of successful tech entrepreneurship.

The first of many Time covers for Jobs, the article — titled “Striking It Rich: America’s Risk Takers” — casts him as the prototypical young upstart benefiting from the still-new personal computing revolution. It also identifies him as part of a surge of freshly minted millionaires running their own businesses.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs wins posthumous Grammy

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Cue
Steve Jobs' death caused an outpouring of support.
Photo: Grammys

February 12 Today in Apple historyFebruary 12, 2012: Months after his untimely death, Steve Jobs is honored with a Special Merit Grammy Award in recognition of his contributions to the field of music with the iPod and iTunes Music Store.

The award is collected by Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, on behalf of Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs, his kids, and “everyone at Apple.”

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs’ NeXT quits making computers

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NEXT_Cube-IMG_7154
The NeXT Computer was great. It also didn't sell.
Photo: Rama & Musée Bolo/Wikipedia CC

February 9: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs' NeXT quits making computers February 9, 1993: NeXT Computers, the company Steve Jobs founded after being pushed out of Apple, quits making computers. The company changes its name to NeXT Software and focuses its efforts entirely on producing code for other platforms.

In a mass layoff, 330 of NeXT’s 500 employees are made redundant in an event known internally as “Black Tuesday.” Cruelly, many people hear of their fate only after it is reported on the radio.