Tim Cook Should Go

I’ve complained about the general malaise in Big Tech previously. We’re currently seeing these bloated behemoths at their pinnacle - companies with massive profits, massive spending, and massive bureaucracies that aren’t agile enough anymore to create great tech. There’s no better company that represents this new state than Apple under Tim Cook’s leadership. Each new generation of iPhone or iPad is more expensive with slightly better stats than the last gen but with absolutely nothing that makes it unique or exciting. You get a slightly upgraded camera. A few more gigabytes for storage. A larger screen with more pixels… and well, that’s about it.

(editor's note: While Cocaine Bear is calling him Tim Cook he will always be Tim Apple to us)

I remember when the iPod first came out and I was excited about it. This was something new and innovative. No more CD player with a few songs burned on it that was awkwardly stuffed in a back pack or carried in my hand. There was storage for a couple hundred songs. It was a major breakthrough. The iPhone came next and I was truly impressed at the design. Touchscreen interface? Check. Apps that I could download and swap out? Check. A virtual keyboard rather than physical keys and a rotor wheel to type or scroll? Check.

What we’ve seen released since then has been… unimpressive. Look at the chart above. The only new products Apple has released since Tim Cook took over in 2011 has been the Apple Watch and the HomePod that doubles as a smart home device and supposedly a speaker with high fidelity audio. Are these new devices any good? I don’t know because I don’t care about Apple products anymore. I’m forced to use them to build apps for the App Store but even the operating system has become a clunky mess with forced upgrades and features that genuinely degrade the user experience.

The chart above is how many billions of dollars Apple spends in research and development. They spent almost a staggering 20 billion dollars last year. For what? So my $1000 iPhone can take great pictures? Ohhhh, I get four extra gigabytes of storage? Apple commercials for the iPhone now are simply of people making movies and taking pictures. I guess that’s great for some people as Apple has always been geared towards artists even from it’s early days when audio studios and video editing were pretty much Mac only. When will we ever get something new that actually excites people that just need a phone?

The chart above is year over year quarterly growth at Apple. Look at how massively it has changed since Cook’s arrival in 2011! They’ve plateaued. They’ve reached their peak. This is why they are so desperate to do business with China while they compromise their moral principles and ignore what’s essentially an evil, authoritarian regime that imprisons and stamps down its people. Rather than growing profits by creating truly innovative products that excite people they simply look to expand their user base while creating products with slightly better statistics then the previous generation. It’s not sustainable. It will eventually collapse on itself as people become fatigued from boring products. Or even more likely – someone new does create something that’s genuinely interesting and inspiring.

"BOOOOO! Wait, who are we booing? Me? Oh shi....

How long before we get a phone that can generate some sort of hologram that can track your physical movements so that you can interact with? When will we get something that has a eyeglass like device to view movies or even better – a phone that can track the world around you and display information based on location and what you’re looking at. “Hey Siri – what’s the menu of this restaurant?”

How about something more simple like creating a phone that has a projector in it so you could beam videos on a wall? The ideas are endless. I suppose there’s the possibility that maybe that’s what Apple’s R&D budget is working on… but I don’t think so. After 10 years under Cook’s leadership I think we know exactly what we’re going to keep getting – slightly iterated products that are more expensive. It’s time for new leadership at Apple.