Apple's Tim Cook on quality versus revenue

Summary: This article shares a quote from Apple’s Tim Cook about products, quality, and revenue, and how it might help your business to think the same way.

I don’t remember exactly where I read the following quote from Tim Cook of Apple (it may have been at AppleInsider), but I made a note of it, and just ran across it again:

“We’ve always been about making the best product, not having the highest market share or the highest revenue,” he said. “And so acquiring a company so our revenue gets larger isn’t something that drives us.”

Most companies, he said, simply aim to get bigger as they become more successful, but Apple has intentionally avoided that approach. “The management team at Apple would never let that happen,” Cook said. “That’s not what we’re about.”

Personally I totally buy into Tim Cook’s idea of “making the best product,” and as I work more on this website (and my One Man’s Alaska website), I keep this in mind as I keep pushing myself to improve these sites. (Yes, those pesky ads keep getting in the way, but at least I got rid of the popup ads.)

(FWIW, I wrote about this philosophy earlier in an article titled “Tim Cook on Apple’s Mission Statement,” which features another long quote from Mr. Cook.)

One caveat to the “great product” philosophy

While this is a great product philosophy, you also have to keep your eye on the bigger picture. For instance, you can have the greatest “ice delivery service” in the world, but the invention of the refrigerator and freezer will still wipe your business out like you weren't even there. Ice delivery businesses, horse and buggy carriages, and MS-DOS have all been wiped out by technological advances.

So “Step 1” has to be something like, “Does our business model make sense?” (or perhaps, “Is there a much better way of solving this need with current technology?”), and Step 2 is then, “Let’s build something great.”