How Apple Keeps Its Laser-Sharp Focus

One of the things that has made Apple so successful since Steve Jobs returned to the company in the 1990s is its laser-sharp focus. Apple releases fewer new products in a year than some of its competitors launch in a month, and it pays excruciatingly close attention to details.

Apple COO Tim Cook spoke to the company’s focus yesterday in an interview at the Goldman Sachs technology conference. A few smart folks have been linking to our paraphrased transcript of Tim’s remarks, so it makes sense to highlight it here, too:

We are the most focused company that I know of or have read of or have any knowledge of. We say no to good ideas every day. We say no to great ideas in order to keep the amount of things we focus on very small in number, so that we can put enormous energy behind the ones we do choose. The table each of you are sitting at today, you could probably put every product on it that Apple makes, yet Apple’s revenue last year was $40 billion. I think any other company that could say that is an oil company. That’s not just saying yes to the right products, it’s saying no to many products that are good ideas, but just not nearly as good as the other ones. I think this is so ingrained in our company that this hubris you talk about that happens to companies that are successful and sole role in life is to get bigger, I can tell you the management team at Apple would never let that happen. That’s not what we’re about.

Read more in our transcript of Tim’s session from the Goldman tech conference →

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