According to a Los Angeles Times book review, Elon Musk and Tim Cook once discussed whether Apple should purchase the electric vehicle maker. The conversation apparently happened at one of Tesla’s low points, the launch of the Model 3, which Musk says almost bankrupted the company.
It’s worth noting that Musk has previously said that he was very much interested in having such a conversation, but Cook wouldn’t take the call. This is in contrast to the Times report that says Musk discussed the idea with Cook and said he would like to become CEO of Apple. According to the report, Cook hung up after Musk expressed his views with words that I cannot use here.
Apple has denied the story.
This book is based on the secondhand account of an employee who overheard the conversation. There’s plenty of scope for dramatic interpretation here, even though all the parties have denied that such a conversation took place.
Elon Musk, the man responsible for designing iPhones and Macs is not someone anyone should consider buying Tesla. He’s also not the right person to run Apple. This would be awful for Apple.
Musk may not be the greatest entrepreneur of his generation, but I am suggesting otherwise. Apple isn’t a startup. Apple is the most valued company in the world, with almost the same profit it made during the first quarter of this year than Tesla’s total annual revenue.
Musk is clearly gifted at championing big ideas, even if they never actually come to fruition (self-driving cars, for example). He’s also a much better product person than Cook, which is to his credit.
Apple’s current CEO reportedly doesn’t spend a lot of time designing products, especially in comparison to his predecessor, Steve Jobs, who was famously involved in the smallest details of everything Apple made. There are certainly some that would see Musk as more of a visionary leader more in the mold of Jobs.
You could argue that Apple needs more Jobs. This is especially true if your opinion is that Apple’s products have become dated, at least in design. The iPhone is the most successful product Apple has ever introduced.
This is more an assessment of how revolutionary the iPhone was than an accusation of all that Apple has done. The Apple Watch is the world’s most popular watch, outselling not only all other smartwatches but the entire Swiss watch industry.
AirPods are Apple’s most successful product launch and generate over $12 billion annually on their own. These products have been extremely successful. However, Apple’s innovation pace is a lot slower than 15 years ago.
Cook oversees an extremely well-tuned machine which produces new products and, more important, large profits. Neither is especially true of Musk, who is far more known for making big promises and stirring up controversy on social media.
Musk is known for his exaggerations and promises. Musk makes exaggerated claims, and people factor it in to what they get at the top.
This is definitely not what you would want to be at the top in a company such as Apple. Are Apple’s iPhones as thrilling today as they were in 2007, when the iPhone was introduced? We can all probably agree that the answer to this question is “no”. The solution to this problem is not to light the whole thing on fire for a bit of excitement.
Publiated at Tue, 3 Aug 2021 8:05:05 PM +0000