It is amazing Tim Cook hasn’t frozen to death. Because he’s standing in the largest shadow in America.
Cook, the Apple CEO, is trying to move the company forward now that Steve Jobs has passed. But the fact of the matter is he hasn’t, at least not yet. Since Jobs died, there has been no major innovation by Apple, no amazing new product that everyone suddenly needs to buy.
Cook needs the next iPhone. The next iPad. Something.
This week was Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, where Apple unveils all of its new, cool products for the year. Jobs used to introduce products like the iPod and the iPad here, products that would almost assuredly be the most-desired gift under the Christmas tree that following December.
At this year’s event, Cook unveiled some fancy technical upgrades to email and some attempts into automatized housing and all that. Some people applauded, some people yawned.
But here’s the real problem – most people had no opinion on it because most people didn’t even know about it. There was no buzz, no water cooler conversations except among tech and business types. With no new great product or mind-blowing innovation, it quickly became just another news story.
The only way for Cook to step out of Jobs’ gigantic shadow and see the sun again is to develop a great product. A product that creates a buzz. A product that, when unveiled, my 63-year-old mother would have an opinion about, or would have at least heard of.
So how does he do that? It all begins with hiring innovative people. Hiring some great, creative engineers who can really make it happen or some marketers who can drum up that buzz. And that all begins and ends with investing in talent acquisition software, or in normal people’s terms, a product that will help them hire better.
Take VoiceGlance, a product that reveals talent in a unique and innovative way. If Cook uses it, and it allows him to hire people who are, say, 2 percent more creative, that’s a big difference. That’s the difference between the next iPad, the next Pixar and some conference where you brag about some upgrades to email.
So Apple’s next big purchase should be about improving its workforce, on a better way to find innovative people. Because, ultimately, for Cook and the rest of the Apple team to ever get out of that shadow, they are going to need some innovative people.
Either that, or they really are going to freeze to death.