Peter Kafka

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Steve Jobs Was an Awesome Flip-Flopper, Says Tim Cook (Video)

What did Steve Jobs teach Tim Cook? The Apple CEO has a list of lessons, and he shared some of them onstage at D10 tonight. But Cook seemed most impressed with the Apple co-founder’s ability to change his mind, very quickly.

“He would flip on something so fast that you would forget that he was the one taking the 180 degree polar [opposite] position the day before,” Cook told Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. “I saw it daily. This is a gift, because things do change, and it takes courage to change. It takes courage to say, ‘I was wrong.’ I think he had that.”

Other things Cook learned from Jobs:

  • “Focus is key. Not just in running a company, but your personal life, as well. That you can only do so many things great, and cast aside everything else.”
  • “Own key technology.”
  • “Steve taught us all not to focus on the past — to be future-focused. If you’ve done something great or done something terrible in the past, don’t focus on it.”

Cook praised Jobs for creating a “culture of excellence,” and insisted that he was “not going to witness or permit the change of it.” That said, Cook also insisted that the company wouldn’t stay unchanged. “I love museums. But I don’t want to live in one,” he said.

Full D10 Conference Coverage