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Why I Love Apple - An Email from Tim Cook

Anyone who knows me even a little bit is well aware of the fact that I’m an Apple fan through and through. I try and steer clear of the term ‘fanboi’ because that suggests an unwillingness to fairly evaluate and critique where necessary. My Dad had some of the early Macs back in the 80’s and ever since I’ve been surrounded by all sorts of Apple gear. It’s served me really really well for the most part and I’ve built a genuine affection for the goods and services of the partially nibbled pomaceous fruit company.

When Steve Jobs died last year I was genuinely gutted. Like lots of people I felt this really unusual grief for someone that I’d never personally met and wasn’t related to in any way. Nonetheless the feeling was profound. I came to the personal conclusion that in a way I did know Steve Jobs. He’d been ‘broadcast’ into my home over many years of keynotes, the products that he envisioned have sat on my assorted desks and his demeanour and personality was familiar in a way that few CEO’s ever are. I’m still planning to have a Steve Jobs party one day in celebration of his life. I need to find some more geeky friends to attend. Anyway, he’s been succeeded by Tim Cook a less well known guy, but someone who I have a lot of faith in.

Yesterday I saw the news that Apple were replacing Ron Johnson as Senior VP of Retail with former Dixons Retail CEO John Browett. As a UK consumer this appointment surprised me as Dixons have far from a healthy reputation in the UK. Having read a glut of equally concerned responses over at MacRumors, largely from UK forum members who have a familiarity with Dixons, I thought it might be worth writing an email to new Apple CEO Tim Cook to ask for reassurance! Steve Jobs used to be famous for writing brief, terse replies to personal communications and his email address was far from a secret. I’d never tried when Steve was CEO, but I figured the same approach might work with Tim. I duly fired off an email and was excited to receive a short, polite and reassuring reply some hours later. Impressed? You bet.

It’s hard to be sure as to whether the writer of the email was Tim Cook himself or simply someone writing on his behalf but the sense of communication between consumer and upper level management was striking. I felt like I’d voiced a reasonable concern and received a fair answer. I’m not convinced yet, but that’s not the point, the CEO, or at least someone in his office (I highly doubt that Tim Cook has outsourced this stuff to Siri) took the time to reply. It’s impossible to know, but I’m willing to bet it was the man himself. There’s little point the email claiming to come from Tim Cook if it presents the possibility of him being caught on the hop without direct knowledge of the communication if a chance face to face was to occur. What if I’d been a journalist with a national paper? All this things combine for me to suggest that the actual CEO took an actual few minutes from his actual day to email actual me.

That, my friends, is any impressive commitment to client communication. It all goes into why I love Apple. In a world fascinated with doing the bare minimum, where pride in your work is a decreasingly common thing Apple is a firm that stands out for its determination to go the extra mile. Be it in custom milling laptop chassis from blocks of aluminium, having world-class retail stores or simply taking two minutes to reply directly to your customers. I don’t think everything Apple have done in the past 10 years has been spot on, but I do applaud the passion and commitment behind it.

Cheers for your email Tim!


P.S. Slightly confused by the time stamps here. I definitely wrote this email yesterday mid morning rather than at 4am! Time to look at my system clock!

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