We’ve already passed peak Tim Cook

The U.S. Supreme Court this week declined Apple’s appeal of its price fixing conviction. This leaves the iPhone maker on the losing end of a $450 million ruling that found them guilty of conspiring with other large companies to jack up the prices on e-books.

Here’s a question: Why would a company sitting on more than $200 billion in cash drag out for years a case that had them repeatedly described all over the Internet as yet another heartless greedy corporation?

Because Tim Cook is Steve Ballmer.

When a charasmatic founder leaves the company he started – Gates retiring from Microsoft, Jobs dying – management attempts to keep things rolling by moving the company’s strong number two into the leadership slot. So Ballmer follows Gates, and Cook follows Jobs. And they do will for awhile. Ballmer had Windows XP and the xBox; Cook had the iPhone 6.

But then the very skills that made these guys top number twos – the laser focus, the ability to grind without ever looking up – cripple them as leaders. So Cook grinds on with a case that damages Apple’s brand because there’s no one there to tell him no.

Coming soon to an Apple Store near you: The Apple version of Windows Vista.


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