Apple CEO Tim Cook's appearance at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference has lead to a number of great moments from supplier working conditions to Apple TV and hobbies. What made the final question — on what Cook will change and on what he's determined to maintain — interesting was both his numerous long pauses (at least six, by our count) and the strong wording. Cook said Apple had a unique culture that you can't replicate. In his words, "I'm not going to witness or permit the slow undoing of it because I believe in it so deeply." Audio and transcript below.
I think the most important part is that second part. ["What are you determined to maintain."] Apple is this unique company, [this] unique culture that you can't replicate. And I'm not going to witness or permit the slow undoing of it because I believe in it so deeply. Steve [Jobs] grilled in all of us over many years that the company should revolve around great products and that we should stay extremely focused on a few things rather than try to do so many that we did nothing well. We should only go into markets where we can make a significant contribution to society — not just sell a lot of products. And so these things along with keeping excellence as an expectation of everything in Apple. These are the things that I focus on because I think that those are the things that make Apple this magical place that really smart people want to work in and sort of do not just their life's work but their life's best work.
There's no better thrill than to look out at audience - I can't see anything because of these lights - look at the audience and see people using iPhones" [And people at the gym using iPods, people at Starbucks using iPads] "These are the things that bring a smile to my face. There's no replacement or substitute for that. And so we're always focused on the future. We don't sit and think about how great things were yesterday. I love that trait because i think it's the thing that drives us all forward. Those are the things I'm holding onto. it's a privelege to be a part of it.