At Apple’s memorial service for Steve Jobs, Peter Burrows of Bloomberg reports, Tim Cook shared some advice that Steve had given him before he died:”Never ask what I would do. Just do what’s right.”
“Among his last advice he had for me, and for all of you, was to never ask what he would do. ‘Just do what’s right,'” Cook said. Jobs wanted Apple to avoid the trap that Walt Disney Co. (DIS) fell into after the death of its iconic founder, Cook said, where “everyone spent all their time thinking and talking about what Walt would do.”
The logic? To avoid crippling the company.
The challenge for Cook and his executive team will be to maintain Jobs’s legacy without being hobbled by it, said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean at the Yale University School of Management.
“You’ve got to be careful you don’t create rituals, which are antithetical to Jobs’s own approach,” Sonnenfeld said. “He was constantly breaking glass and moving forward. Walt Disney was surrounded by a cadre of creative people who were every bit the equal of Jobs’s lieutenants, but they became haunted by the question, ‘What would Walt do?'”
Burrows also recounts some anecdotes from Isaacson’s bio, including Apple’s lead designer Jonathan Ives feeling hurt that so many observers thought that Apple’s product magic would die if Jobs left. And how Ives and Jobs almost came to blows over the design of some screws in Apple’s G4.