Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared at Oxford University to discuss the opening of The Oxford Foundry, a new “innovation space” open to students at the school. During his speech, he discussed the importance of finding work you love, and even going with your gut at times, while talking with students who might work in upcoming startups based around the Foundry. Adding an important lesson with startups, he also discussed the importance of failing.
In Conversation with Apple CEO Tim Cook: You Can Watch
Date: Wednesday October 11, 2017
Start Time: 12:22 pm PDT
Location: Oxford University
What is the Oxford Foundry?
Hoping to create an environment with a sense of diversity and creativity, the Foundry aims to offers workshops on themes like self-awareness and team-building. A collection of startups are to be expected throughout the year, and the Foundry will serve as a needed co-working area. The space had been developed by prominent tech leaders, such as Brent Hoberman, Phil Libin, and Biz Stone.
In a statement describing the event, according to MacRumors, “We’re opening our doors! Join us for drinks and canapés, and take part in a panel Q&A with special guest Apple CEO Tim Cook, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Prof Louise Richardson, Dean Peter Tufano of Saïd Business School and Ana Bakshi, Director of the Oxford Foundry.”
“We invite you to take a look around our brand new space in the company of other entrepreneurially-minded people from across the University and beyond.”
Early on in the event, Cook described the importance of finding a line of work that you love and enjoy, saying, “I realized the purpose of life wasn’t to love your job, it was to serve humanity in a broad way. And the outcome of doing that would mean you love your job. I realized I wasn’t in a place to do that, so sometime thereafter, I switched companies.”
“It was only after joining Apple where my values and my work aligned, and that has made all the difference for me.”
While for him, it wasn’t actually a simple decision to join Apple, as a lot had told him to stay where he was, but he ended up going with his gut. And now, he’s making an appearance at Oxford because of his work…you could say that following your heart and using your mind are not mutually exclusive. In fact, as Cook added, knowing what you want get be pragmatic in your work, as, “You can bet if you love it, there are many other people out there that are going to love it too. That fundamental saying drives Apple.” After all, people design products based on what they want and need.
Ripping off the bandage, Cook also reminded the audience that they will fail, failing is a natural part of life and that failing is a good thing. As he spoke, “There will be times that you fail on a spectacular basis. I certainly have. You have to have the faith that it will pass. Look in the mirror and watch the person breathe. It didn’t kill you. You’re not dead. It’s not the biggest thing in the world. It will pass.”
“And I do that many times a day sometimes. Do that for a while and you won’t have to remind yourself anymore. You’ll be able to take these failures… and in fact, you’ll view them not as failures but as things learned, and it won’t be so detrimental.”