June 14, 2021

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Apple CEO Tim Cook Goes Viral In China, Gives Advice About Life, Work, Purpose

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Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared on a 22 year old Chinese engineering student’s Bilibili video, generating almost six million views on that video-sharing platform, and over 220 million mentions on the more popular Weibo social platform.

“I really believe that 2020 was our top year of innovation ever, between the phones and the Watch and the iPads, and M1,” Tim Cook told He Tongxue. “There’s no one formula for innovation, but what we do is we have a culture of creativity and a culture of collaboration. And these two things together, when they intersect, create enormous innovation.”

Cook said that many of Apple’s iPhone features were inspired by China, including the QR mode in the camera, Night Mode, specific keyboard that work better in China, and Junction View in Apple Maps, due to China’s sometimes-complicated intersections.

“5G, in a lot of ways, was energized in China, because China is so far ahead in the coverage model for 5G,” Cook.

Another topic Tongxue asked Cook about was making phones easier for elderly people, saying that his grandmother finds it hard to use an iPhone.

(That’s a topic near and dear to my heart. I recently spent 20 minutes on the phone with my 85-year-old mother and 86-year-old aunt, trying with increasing desperation to explain where the home button was on their iPhone 6 phones. They called me in triumph two hours later, having found it below the screen, where their attention had been focused.)

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“We try really hard to design our products for everyone,” Cook said. “And we try very hard to design the product like the mind works, so you don’t have to have an instruction manual: you can pick it up and it works the way that you would think it would work.”

Cook also mentioned that Apple Store have courses, and suggested Tongxue take his grandmother there.

Tongxue is an influencer on the Bilibili platform, first going viral in an episode on experiencing 5G in daily use.

He also asked Cook how young people can find jobs they actually like. The advice Cook gave Tongxue was straight from Steve Jobs, about finding meaning and purpose and a vocation:

“My old boss Steve, said something very profound. He said, ‘”You’ll know it when you find it. And if you haven’t found it yet, you should keep looking. Because you want the passion. You want to feel this passion that you’re working for a good reason, that what you’re doing matters in the world … that is, you’re making a difference in the world. And if you find that, it makes all the difference in the world. And you will know it when you find it because you will feel it. You’ll be able to get up every morning and feel refreshed and charged up, ready to go again. And if you don’t, you won’t.’”

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