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The Wartime CEO

January 20th, 2013

With apologies to Mario Puzo.

Steve Jobs rarely made future looking statements. “These are the products we have today, we think customers will like them”, is as far as he usually got.

Tim Cook, even when under Steve, is known to boast how the current state of Apple, or future products, are going to play out well in the future. Not that Steve didn’t believe that, but he rarely made a point about it publicly.

Steve kept the world in the dark about Apple’s capabilities. He made us think Apple were still the underdog — the odd-job that focussed on design, when nobody else did, the one with the non-standard retail strategy, really, the one going against most conventional business wisdom — when they clearly and obviously were not an underdog anymore.

As obviously as Steve and Tim knew that to be a strategic advantage, as obvious it is that, if they are correct that Apple is in fact the greatest company of the world, these days are going to be over eventually.

Tim is leading an Apple that everybody knows to be the elephant in the room.

Steve Jobs was a peacetime CEO.

Tim Cook is a wartime CEO.