By our count, Tim Cook has made eight big public speaking appearances to talk about Apple’s business* since he became CEO:
- The All Things D’s conference
- Rock centre with Brian Williams
- A Bloomberg BusinessWeek interview
- A Goldman Sachs conference
- Four earnings calls
We’ve covered each one, and we’ve noticed that Cook tends to repeat himself.
For example, he likes to say that Apple is focused on making the world’s best products.
He likes to say it a lot.
Sometimes he is “maniacally” focused. Sometimes “laser-like.” Once: “relentlessly.”
In six of the eight appearances, either on earnings or speaking to media he’s used the phrase:
- December 6, 2012: “But the DNA of the company, the thing that makes our heart beat, is a maniacal focus on making the best products in the world. Not good products, or a lot of products, but the absolute best products in the world.”
- July 24, 2102: “And so the most important thing for Apple by far is to continue making the best products in the world and we are very deeply committed to doing this and we’re maniacally focused on it.”
- December 6, 2012: “We have to make sure at Apple that we stay true, to focus, to laser focus. We can only do great things a few times. Only on a few products.”
- February 14, 2012: “So what we’re focusing on is the same thing we’ve always focused on, which is making the world’s best products. And we think if we stay laser-focused on that, and continue to develop to the ecosystem around the iPhone then we have a pretty good opportunity to take advantage of this enormous market.”
- May 29, 2012: “In the business that we’re in, owning the key technology of a product is very important. Steve was always laser focused on that, and that’s very much ingrained in all of us.”
- October 18, 2011: “Only Apple brings together software, hardware and services into such a powerful and integrated experience for our customers. As we move forward, we will continue doing that with relentless focus.”
And in those two other appearances, how has he approached the subject of focus?
- October 25, 2012: “We’ve seen low-cost challenges before and iPad continues to beat every other tablet on the market, it can be any price and so we think customers are very smart, we think they have very high expectations, we think that they want a device that can do more and we are confident that our focus on making the best product is what will win at the end of the day and so we will stay true to that.”
- April 24, 2012: “Well, Bill, our focus is on making the very best smartphone in the world. And a phone that delivers a — just an off-the-charts user experience that customers want to use every day of their lives.”
*We’re not counting product launches because they’re not really about Apple’s business in general, and he doesn’t answer questions. We also don’t count the dividend announcement because it was only about the dividend.