D10: Tim Cook Recalls How Steve Jobs Lured Him From Compaq in 1998

Tonight Apple CEO Tim Cook was the headline interview to kick off the D10 conference, hosted by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher in California. Cook answered questions on everything from the iPhone, iPad, Siri, Apple TV, lawsuits and more. Here are some short notes summarizing a touch of what Cook ‘revealed’:

  • Apple TV continues to be an “intense” area of interest
  • Cook says to stay tuned with Facebook/iOS integration
  • Apple will “double down” on the secrecy of products
  • Exciting features in the pipe for Siri; the ‘S’ in iPhone 4S stands for…Siri
  • On “Made in America”, Cook says some parts of iPad/iPhone are US made (Corning Gorilla Glass in Kentucky, A5 chips in Texas)
  • Cook unofficial indicates that Ping sucks
  • Apple continues to look at the acquisitions of companies but secretly
  • Cook hints at iPhones maintaining a resolution that all developers can benefit from
  • Android OEM’s are looking to reduce number of devices and focus…..how very Apple-like
  • iPod introduced Apple to many people. The iPad is doing this globally now for Apple
  • Cook says there are some “incredible things” coming
  • Cook says Apple will never make the most computers, but they will make the best ones

He even took questions from journalists at the end of the interview session. One notable question Tim answered was a question from Mashable, in regards to what Steve Jobs said to Cook to convince him to come work at Apple in 1998:

Lance from Mashable asked:

“Back in 1998, when you joined Apple, what did Steve Jobs tell you at that time when it wasn’t in great shape? Could you have envisioned this, now, back then in that moment?”

Tim Cook’s response: (via Engadget’s Live Blog):

It was a very interesting meeting. Steve had hired an executive search firm to find someone to run operations. They kept calling, and eventually I said ‘Okay, I’ll talk.’ I flew out Friday on a redeye for a Saturday morning meeting with Steve. The honest-to-God truth, five minutes into the conversation I wanted to join Apple. I was shocked. Why did I want to do it? He painted a story and a strategy that he was taking Apple deep into consumer when I knew others were doing the exact opposite. I never thought following the herd was brilliant. He told me a bit about what would late be named the iMac, and I saw brilliance in that. I saw someone unaffected with money, and that has always impressed me when people do indeed have it.

Those three things to me to throw caution to the wind and do it. I went back, and resigned immediately. Did I see the iPad and iPhone? No. What I saw was this: Apple was the only technology company that I knew of, including the one I was currently at, that when a customer got mad at a company, they’d continue to buy. If people got mad at Compaq, they’d buy Dell. If you were mad at Dell, you’d buy IBM. But an Apple customer was a unique breed; there’s this emotion that you just don’t see in technology in general. You could see it and feel it at Apple. When I looked at the balance sheet of the company, I thought I could do something in turning around a great American company.”

Missed the interview? Check out the live coverage over at Engadget, AppleInsider and The Verge. Expect AllThingsD to post the video interview with Tim Cook online later this evening or tomorrow.