TIM COOK: This is the 'disease' that ruins technology companies

Tim Cook in ChinaChinaFotoPress/Getty ImagesApple CEO Tim Cook visits a China Mobile shop to celebrate the launch of the iPhone 5S in 2014.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has explained in a new interview with Fast Company what he sees as a major problem with modern technology companies.

Cook says during the interview that tech companies are fixated with “making the most.” He says it’s “almost a disease.”

What Cook has an issue with is the focus that many tech companies have on numbers, such as “how many clicks did you get” and “how many units did you sell?” Instead, Cook advocates for an approach similar to his predecessor, Steve Jobs:

Everybody in technology seems to want big numbers. Steve never got carried away with that. He focused on making the best.

Apple doesn’t think about numbers, Cook says. Instead it asks “What are the primary technologies behind this? What do we bring? Can we make a significant contribution to society with this?” Cook says that if it can’t make a big difference, then it doesn’t do it.

Cook spoke to Fast Company as part of a wave of press for a new book about Steve Jobs’ life set to be released later this month. Apple co-operated with the writers of “Becoming Steve Jobs,” and the company is presenting it as the “best portrayal” of its cofounder. 

Apple is keen to promote the new book about Jobs, particularly as it’s angry over a documentary about his life set to debut on CNN next year. “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine,” was directed by Alex Gibney, the filmmaker who recently released a documentary about Scientology. It was reported that Apple employees walked out of a screening of the movie, and Apple executive Eddy Cue sent some angry tweets about the documentary too:

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