Adam Lashinsky interviewed Tim Cook on February 12th (prior to the FBI court case news). The interesting notes comes in how Tim approaches Research and Development (R&D) with Lashinsky pushing Tim around automobile R&D:
[Adam:] Indeed. Youve talked generally about autos, but you havent commented on Apples widely reported car project. Wikipedia has a long list of prominent auto industry people who have joined Apple. Why not take this opportunity to say, You know what? Its basically all there, and this is why were doing it?
[Tim:] Yeah, Im probably not going to do that. The great thing about being here is were curious people. We explore technologies, and we explore products. And were always thinking about ways that Apple can make great products that people love, that help them in some way. And we dont go into very many categories, as you know. We edit very much. We talk about a lot of things and do fewer. We debate many things and do a lot fewer.
[Adam:] Can you afford to spend relatively large amounts of money on things you dont end up commercializing?
[Tim:]Well, could we? Yes. But would we? We dont have to spend large amounts to explore. So I cant talk about this certain area that youre talking about. But when we start spending large amounts of money, were committed at that point. But we explore things with teams of people. And thats a part of being curious. Part of exploring technologies and picking the right one is becoming so familiar with it you can see ways that it can be used. And for us, weve never been about being first. Weve been about being best. So we explore many different things, many different technologies. And at first we might not know what product it might wind up in. And then later well see that that really cool technology enables maybe things that were doing today to take on something bigger, maybe something new. But once we start spending gobs of moneylike when we start spending on tooling and things like thatwere committed.