What the critics are saying about the first Tim Cook biography

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Have you read the new Tim Cook book yet?
Photo: Kristal Chan/Cult of Mac

The first-ever biography of Apple CEO Tim Cook hits bookstores today, and it’s written by none other than Cult of Mac founder, Leander Kahney.

I haven’t heard from Leander in god knows how long while he’s been writing this book. But based on the early reviews, it appears like it was all worth it. No one has written a full book about Cook until now. Leander’s book, Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level, details how Cook took on Steve Jobs’ mantle. While nearly any other human would have crumbled under that pressure, Cook thrived.

Early reviews for the book have been coming in all week, and so far they’re pretty positive. Here are some of the highlights.

Spotted: Tim Cook parties at Coachella

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Tim Cook was photographed at Coachella this weekend!
Photo: Diplo/Instagram

This weekend was Coachella — and one person who apparently needed no reminding of this fact was Tim Cook.

Apple’s CEO was snapped at the event, posing for a picture with DJ and music producer Diplo. “Some random guy came up to me and asked for a picture but I look good so here it is,” Diplo humorously captioned the photo.

Apple and Foxconn, a history [Cook book outtakes]

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Foxconn workers spell company's name
Workers spell out the company's name at one of Foxconn's giant plants.
Photo: Foxconn

Tim Cook book outtakes: How Apple's Operations department works This post was going to be part of my new book, Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level, but was cut for length or continuity. Over the next week or so, we will be publishing several more sections that were cut, focusing mostly on geeky details of Apple’s manufacturing operations.

Foxconn was founded around the same time as Apple, although 6,000 miles away on the other side of the world. In 1974, when 19-year-old Steve Jobs was working at Atari, 24-year-old Terry Gou borrowed $7,500 ($37,000 in today’s money) from his mother to start up a business.

How Ops operates back at Apple HQ [Cook book outtakes]

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Blind survey
Operations accounts for a big part of the staff headcount at Apple Park.
Photo: Duncan Sinfield

Tim Cook book outtakes: How Apple's Operations department works This post was going to be part of my new book, Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level, but was cut for length or continuity. Over the next week or so, we will be publishing several more sections that were cut, focusing mostly on geeky details of Apple’s manufacturing operations.

As iPhone growth exploded, Apple struggled to keep up with demand. Every year, the number of iPhones sold would double, which meant that Apple kept adding new suppliers and assembly operations to keep up. It was a monumental struggle.

Inside Apple’s factories [Cook book outtakes]

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Apple factory workers in China
Workers examine a camera module in one of Apple's factories in China.
Photo: Apple

Tim Cook book outtakes: How Apple's Operations department works This post was going to be part of my new book, Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level, but was cut for length or continuity. Over the next week or so, we will be publishing several more sections that were cut, focusing mostly on geeky details of Apple’s manufacturing operations.

A good measure of the size of Apple’s manufacturing operations is its capital expenditure, the amount of money spends on things like buildings and equipment.

Apple’s capital expenditure, or CapEx, is mindboggling. To get an idea of how big it is, take Apple’s new spaceship campus in Cupertino – which is the fourth most expensive building in the world. It cost the company an estimated $5 billion to construct.

Apple spends a similar amount every six months on manufacturing equipment.

How Apple’s Operations department works [Cook book outtakes]

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Two Apple operations workers in a factory
Apple's operations, which Tim Cook headed up, is one of the company's secret weapons.
Photo: Apple

Tim Cook book outtakes: How Apple's Operations department works This post was going to be part of my new book, Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level, but was cut for length or continuity. Over the next week or so, we will be publishing several more sections that were cut, focusing mostly on geeky details of Apple’s manufacturing operations.

Apple is famous for design and marketing, but a large part of the company’s success is due to the incredibly complex and efficient manufacturing organization Tim Cook masterminded with Steve Jobs.

No matter how beautiful its products are, the company would go nowhere without a world-class manufacturing and distribution operation that can make millions of devices in the utmost secrecy, to the highest possible standards, and deliver them efficiently all over the globe.

It’s an operation unprecedented in the history of industry. When Jobs and Cook started in 1998, Apple was doing $6 billion in business annually. It now does that every 10 days.

A brief history of Apple’s misadventures in manufacturing: Part 1 [Cook book outtakes]

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Apple Macintosh Factory of the future in Fremont
Steve Jobs built a highly automated Macintosh plant grandly called the "factory of the future."
Photo: Apple Maps

Tim Cook book outtakes This post was going to be part of my new book, Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level, but was cut for length. Over the next week or so, we will be publishing several more sections that were cut, focusing mostly on Apple’s manufacturing operations.

Steve Jobs always had a deep fascination with automated factories. He was first exposed to them during a trip to Japan in 1983. At the time, Apple had just created a new floppy disk drive called Twiggy. During a visit to Apple’s factory in San Jose, however, Jobs became irate when he discovered the high failure rate of Twiggy drives Apple was producing. More than half of them were rejected. Jobs threatened to fire everyone who worked at the factory

Tim Cook calls into ESPN to talk sports

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Tim Cook’s Charisma
Cook is a big-time Auburn sports fan.
Photo: Apple

Tim Cook has made no secret of the fact that he’s a sport fan — with a particular love of the teams at his alma mater, Auburn University.

With the Auburn Tigers basketball team entering the Final Four against Virginia this weekend, Cook called the Paul Finebaum Show on ESPN to geek out about sport.

Tim Cook is ready to testify in Qualcomm trial

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Tim Cook and Ivanka Trump
We doubt that Tim Cook will look quite so happy on the day.
Safari: Apple

Tim Cook will offer testimony as part of Apple’s legal battle with Qualcomm. Cook will discuss Apple’s business practices, strategy, agreements with cellular network carriers, and more.

He’s not the only senior Apple executive ready to talk, either. Former hardware boss Bob Mansfield, current COO Jeff Williams, SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller and others will chime in as part of the case.

Warren Buffett is skeptical of Apple’s entertainment play

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Buffett
Warren Buffet is Apple's biggest investor.
Photo: CNBC

Mega-investor Warren Buffett doesn’t sound too confident in Apple’s ability to dominate the entertainment industry.

The Oracle of Omaha said in a recent interview that there are so many big players trying to grab eyeballs in the streaming industry that he wouldn’t want to play that game himself. Even though he’s not gung ho on Apple’s TV service, he also doesn’t sound worried if Apple doesn’t knock it out of the park.