Friday, August 26, 2011 at 1:20 am.

Is Tim Cook mean enough?

Good point by the WSJ: Steve Jobs has gotten a lot done by being Steve Jobs. He can tell people they’re stupid, and they’ll agree and probably even give him what he wants, because he’s Steve Jobs.

Tim Cook can’t do that yet. As Yukari Iwatani Kane and Jessica Vascellaro write:

One of the biggest advantages that Apple will lose without Mr. Jobs at the helm, said an Apple business partner, is the “fear that Steve instilled.” [...]

“Steve can be pretty unvarnished, he’s never understated about his beliefs,” said Time Warner Inc. CEO Jeff Bewkes, whose company had to negotiate with Apple over iTunes. “If he thinks that you’re not doing something right, he will tell you why in pretty colorful terms, which I have always appreciated.”

On the other hand, Tim Cook is still the CEO of Apple. He can still write the biggest checks, and he’s apparently a damn good haggler. And anyway, Steve’s personality probably lost him a bunch of deals, too.

Yes, things will be different. But there’s no way around that. Cook is still the man, by far.

Update: Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry digs up a few old quotes suggesting that yes, Tim Cook is mean enough.