蒂姆·库克的传记是他的生活故事——而不是他的人生故事

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概要:库克在他的人生和事业中冒了两次大的风险。一个是他在1998年离开了在康柏公司稳定的工作加入苹果,苹果当时仍然处于低迷状态,乔布斯刚从流亡中回归。另一个是在他成为苹果公司首席执行官三年后透露,他是同性恋。

A Tim Cook Bio Is the Story of His Life — Not His Life Story

蒂姆·库克的传记是他的生活故事——而不是他的人生故事

 

Reading Leander Kahney’s insightful if not terribly illuminating biography Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level is like attending a dinner where the guest of honor never arrives. Cook’s persona is omnipresent in the nearly 300-page tome, but the man himself never takes a seat at the table.

读利安德·卡尼(Leander Kahney)即将出版的新书《蒂姆·库克:将苹果带入新高度的天才》(Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to The Next Level)就像是去参加一个晚宴,但最重要的贵宾却迟迟没有出现。库克的人格在全书长达300页的叙述中无处不在,但却没有一处他本人的现身说法。 

Apple granted Kahney, who has written several Apple-inspired books, including Jony Ive and Inside Steve’s Brain, unprecedented access to key Apple executives who’ve worked alongside Cook at Apple for decades. As a result, we do finally gain some insight into those early, tumultuous months after Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs died and Cook grabbed the wheel.

这本书的作者安德·卡尼,曾经还受苹果委托创作过其它几部以苹果为灵感的作品,包括人物传记Jony Ive《乔纳森·埃维》,英国籍的设计师和苹果公司的首席设计官,主管产品设计和人机界面设计;Inside Steve’s Brain《撬开苹果》。卡尼被授权可以接触到苹果公司跟库克一起干了几十年的高官。所以从他这本新书里,我们还是可以看到之前,在苹果的创始人兼史蒂夫乔布斯去世后,苹果动荡的那几个月里,库克是如何力挽狂澜的。

Yet there were countless times while reading the book that I wondered how the 58-year-old Cook was feeling — and instead got a one-step-removed observation from someone close to him. Even those comments failed to peel back the layers and only reiterated what most observers already knew. For instance, in describing what it was like for Cook, then Apple’s chief operating officer, to take over for Jobs in 2011, Greg Jozwiak, the company’s vice president of global marketing, said it was “ a daunting challenge” and “it was a significant challenge.” No one would argue the point, but that early quote made it clear that no one at Apple would be serving up any eye-openers.

在阅读这本书的过程中,有无数次我都想知道58岁的库克他自己的感受到底是什么,但没办法,只能从周围靠近他的人那里得到一些观察和启示。但即使这些周围人的评论,也未能解开真相,只是重申了大多数观察者已经知道的内容。例如苹果全球营销副总裁在描述2011年库克接任首席运营官的时候,只是说那是“一个艰巨的挑战”,“一项重大的挑战”。这点大家都清楚。但苹果公司再没有人能提供任何让人觉得新鲜大开眼界的东西了。

Kahney traveled to Apple Park in March 2018 and talked to key company executives, including Jozwiak; Deirdre O’Brien, head of human resources; Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives; and former Apple counsel Bruce Sewell. But Cook refused to sit for even one interview with the author. As a result, Apple’s CEO remains a somewhat inscrutable figure.

卡尼于2018年3月前往Apple Park,与公司的主要高管们进行了交谈。 包括负责全球产品市场的副总裁Jozwiak,人力资源主管Deirdre O'Brien, 环境、政策和社会倡议副总裁Lisa Jackson,;和前苹果的律师布鲁斯塞维尔。但库克本人拒绝参加与作者的任何一次采访。因此,苹果首席执行官仍然是一个有点不可理喻的人物。

Through his publisher, Kahney told me, “Although Tim Cook declined to be interviewed, Apple made several executives available for interview who shared their experience and insights on working with Cook. I’m very grateful to the people at Apple who participated in and helped make these interviews possible.”

通过他的出版商,卡尼告诉我,“尽管蒂姆库克拒绝接受采访,但苹果公司让几位高管可以接受采访,他们分享了他们与库克合作的经验和见解。我非常感谢参与并帮助使这些采访成为可能的Apple员工。“

To fill the Cook gap, Kahney dove into hundreds of articles and multiple interviews spanning his tenure as the CEO of Apple and beyond. Most of it only confirms what we now know about Cook: Where Jobs was an enigma, Cook is a smart, polite, gracious, occasionally funny, and unassuming Southern gentleman with a gift for process and manufacturing.

为了填补库克的空白,卡尼一头扎进数百篇文章和众多库克的采访,这些资料涵盖了库克担任苹果公司及其他公司的首席执行官的过往经历。其中大部分只证实了我们现在对库克的了解:乔布斯是一个谜,库克是一个聪明,有礼貌,优雅,偶尔有趣,谦逊的南方绅士,有工艺和制造方面的天分。

If you’re looking for revelations, there are none. High drama? Cook is not a high drama sort of guy, a fact the book makes abundantly clear.

但如果你再往深里走寻找什么启示,那就没有了。劲爆的剧情?库克可不是一个高超的演员,这本书里说得非常清楚。

Kahney paints an adroit portrait of Cook as a young man in the Deep South and includes his brushes with racism—or at least what he witnessed in his hometown of Robertsdale, Alabama—including the time he came upon a group of hooded Klu Klux Klanners burning a cross on the lawn of an African American family in his neighborhood. It was an image that Cook once said “was permanently imprinted in my brain and it would change my life forever.” It’s worth noting that this section of the book offers up the closest thing I could find to controversy. Kahney discovered via a local Facebook group that not all residents believe Cook’s account and have even accused him of lying about it.

卡尼给大家描绘了一个生长在美国南方深处年轻人的画像,而且还增添了一些在种族主义方面的笔触。年少的库克在他的故乡阿拉巴马州罗伯茨代尔,亲眼目睹一群三K党在他家附近的一家非裔美国人的家庭的草坪上烧了十字架。库克曾经说“那一幕刻在了我的脑海里,并永远改变了我的人生。” 本书的这一部分提供了我能找到的最接近争议的点。 卡尼通过当地Facebook小组发现,并非所有居民都相信库克的所说的,甚至指责他撒谎。

The goal of this section, though, is not to stir up a war of collective memories. Instead, Kahney seeks to help the reader (and himself) understand Cook and his current worldview through the prism of his past. It’s often a stretch; even as Cook has spoken about his childhood and the racism he witnessed, he has stopped short of explaining exactly how his motivations and, more important, his personality changed — or didn’t change — over time.

书的这部分不是为了引发大家集体回忆,卡尼是为了帮助读者(和他自己)从过去的棱镜里,去理解库克和他当前的世界观。但这种描述只能勾勒个框架。即便库克谈到了他的童年和他见证的种族主义事件,大家对他这么多年以来的处事动机、最重要的是他的人格变化,还是毫无所知。

Cook comes across as a man of insight, will, some grit, and ambition, reacting to and acting upon incidents and opportunities. He seems preternaturally formed — I get the feeling that those who knew Cook in his teens would have no trouble recognizing the man he is today. Unlike Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, which painted a portrait of a shambolic, dirty, somewhat wild genius who wore multiple personas and costumes throughout his lifetime, Kahney’s Cook is always Tim Cook.

库克是一个拥有洞见、意志,勇气和野心,能对事件和机遇做出迅速反应并采取行动的人。这些年来估计他都没啥变化,他十几岁时候认识的人还会毫不费力得认出今天的他。与沃尔特·艾萨克森写的史蒂夫·乔布斯的传不同,乔布斯在书中被描绘成了一生中扮演着多重人物角色的混乱,肮脏,有点狂野的天才,而卡尼的库克则一直都是那个蒂姆库克。

Most of the book reads as a straightforward recitation of Cook’s growth as a businessman, manufacturing genius, and leader. It traces his time at Auburn University as he studied industrial engineering, his early work at Reynolds Aluminum, and his first big job at IBM. Cook remained at IBM for more than a dozen years, and if there’s anyplace that could be credited with helping him develop the Cook Way of manufacturing, it’s IBM and its just-in-time product delivery strategy.

本书的大部分内容都是对库克作为商人,制造天才和领导者的成长的简单描述。它追溯了他在奥本大学学习工业工程,在雷诺兹铝业公司的工作以及他在IBM的第一份重要工作经历。库克在IBM呆了十几年,如果哪个地方培养了库克式制造工艺,那就是IBM及其即时产品交付策略。

In another example of Kahney failing to get beneath the surface, Cook’s decision to leave IBM after a dozen years for the tiny Intelligent Electronics is left opaque.

Cook took two major risks during his life and career. One was leaving the stability of Compaq for Apple in 1998, when the company was still emerging from the doldrums and Jobs was just returning from exile. The other was revealing, three years after he became CEO of Apple, that he is gay.

另一个卡尼未能深入揭示的地方,是库克决定在IBM工作十几年后决定离开,进入微型智​​能电子产品行业。 库克在他的人生和事业中冒了两次大的风险。一个是他在1998年离开了在康柏公司稳定的工作加入苹果,苹果当时仍然处于低迷状态,乔布斯刚从流亡中回归。另一个是在他成为苹果公司首席执行官三年后透露,他是同性恋。

Cook’s early days, weeks, and months as CEO after the death of Steve Jobs are among the book’s most compelling sections.

库克在史蒂夫·乔布斯去世后担任首席执行官的那些早期时光,数周和数月是本书最引人注目的部分。

As the CEO of one of the world’s most important and watched companies, Cook’s decision to reveal his sexual orientation might be considered brave and fraught with risk. In reality, most people in the industry knew, and when Cook announced it in a 2014 Bloomberg post, the reaction was positive, muted, and even lighthearted.

作为世界上最重要和最受关注的公司之一的首席执行官,库克决定揭露他的性取向可能被认为是勇敢和充满风险的。实际上,业内大多数人都知道,库克在2014年Bloomberg媒体上宣布时,大家的反应是积极的,静默的,甚至是轻松愉快的。

Cook insisted he did not write the essay to garner attention, but rather to help others who are struggling with revealing their sexual orientation, because, as he put it, “people need to hear that being gay is not a limitation.”

库克当时认为他在媒体上写那篇散文不是为了博得注意力,而是帮助那些也想披露他们自己的性取向,但却感觉异常艰难的人。因为库克觉得“人们需要听到同性恋不是一种局限。”

While Cook didn’t try to hide being gay at Apple, the book doesn’t offer any insight into how Cook navigated his homosexuality as a young man in a Southern town. In fact, no one Cook went to school with seemed to know about his sexual orientation, and without insight from the man himself, it’s hard to understand exactly how being a young gay man in the South helped shape Cook’s worldview. Kahney also fails to learn if Cook is in a committed relationship or if he has ever considered having children.

虽然揭示了库克并没有试图在苹果隐瞒他是同性恋的事实,但这本书并没有提供任何见解,以便让大家了解库克如何在的故乡,美国南部小镇中驾驭他同性恋的身份。事实上,似乎没有一个当年跟库克一同上学的人知道他的性取向,即便是从男人自己的洞察力角度。你很难理解来自南方的,年轻的同性恋者,这种经历是如何帮助塑造库克的世界观的。 卡尼也未能了解库克是否正处于一段恋爱关系中,或者他是否考虑过要孩子。

Cook’s second major risk—leaving Compaq for Apple—is cobbled together from a variety of recollections Cook shared, including one to me in 2013 at the AllThingsD Conference. Yet the book never manages to put you in the room with Jobs and Cook for that first momentous conversation—the one where, as Cook told me, “The honest-to-god truth is, five minutes into the conversation, I’m wanting to join Apple. And I was shocked at this, because it wasn’t how I went into the conversation at all.”

库克人生中冒的第一个主要风险 - 离开康柏去苹果-是由库克共享的各种回忆拼凑而成的,其中包括2013年AllThingsD会议上他的发言。然而,这本书却没有办法让你得知,库克和乔布斯一起进行的那次,也是第一次重要的对话 - 正如库克告诉我的那样,“对上帝发誓,谈了五分钟,我就想要加入Apple了。我对此也感到震惊,因为这根本不是我跟人谈事的方式。“

Much of the book is a play-by-play of Cook’s Apple career. It dispels the notion that Cook emerged on the scene in 2009, the first time he stepped in as interim CEO for an ailing Jobs. The reality is that Cook had an impact almost from day one. It was his idea to radically reduce inventories and outsource manufacturing. Even the success of the iMac could be partially credited to Cook, who, in 1998, according to Kahney, booked $100 million worth of air freight in advance, ensuring the on-time holiday delivery of iMacs, while leaving competitors scrambling to find shipping options for their holiday products.

这本书的大部分内容都是关于库克在苹果公司的职业生涯。但没有指明2009年库克临危受命首次担任临时首席执行官时候的情景,实际上,库克几乎从第一天就产生了影响。苹果那时要从根本上减少库存并外包制造业的想法就是他提出来的。甚至iMac的成功也要部分归功于库克。根据卡尼的说法,他在1998年提前预订了价值1亿美元的空运,确保了iMac准时交付,让同样需要在节假日送货,寻找运输方案的竞争们措手不及。

Cook once said that he was impressed with Jobs because the Apple founder was someone who had money, but clearly didn’t care about it. What might someone say about Cook?

库克曾经说他对乔布斯印象深刻,因为苹果创始人是那种有钱,但却显然不在乎钱的人。那其他人是怎么说库克的呢?

Cook’s early days, weeks, and months as CEO after the death of Steve Jobs are among the book’s most compelling sections. It is filled with successes, failures, retrenchments, departures, and, yes, even firings — though Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s HR head, manages to avoid using the F-word. She says some people opted out, while others “Tim felt were not the right fit for the team he ended up assembling.”

库克在乔布斯死后的日日夜夜是本书最吸引人的部分。充满了成功、失败、裁员、紧缩开支、离别,甚至裁员,Deirdre O’Brien,苹果人力资源的头希望避免提到这个词。她只是说,有些人选择离开,而其他人,“Tim觉得他们不适合团队了需要被重组掉。”

Kahney doesn’t shy away from the various controversies Cook and Apple have dealt with in the past five years, including Cook’s protracted battle with the FBI over the San Bernardino shooter’s locked iPhone. Apple even allowed Bruce Sewell to reveal that Cook “was a little disappointed that we didn’t get a resolution” and that Cook wanted the theories of the case tested in court.

卡尼在本书中并没有回避库克和苹果在过去五年中所处理的各种争议,包括在圣贝纳迪诺(San Bernardino)恐怖袭击事件中,FBI要求苹果研发解锁iPhone加密和其他安全功能软件,但库克和苹果不从,与FBI的长期抗争的事情。苹果公司甚至允许布鲁斯·塞维尔(苹果公司总法律顾问)向外界透露库克“对我们没有得到解决方案感到有些失望”,而且库克希望该案件的法理,能够在法庭上得到验证。

Everything from Foxconn suicides to Apple’s disastrous Maps app is covered. The resolution of the latter is used to illustrate the stark difference between Jobs and Cook. Cook sent out a public apology letter for Apple Maps, noting that Apple’s goal is to make “the best products in the world,” and he promised to “keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.” While Jobs also apologized, it was rarely as quick or fulsome.

从富士康员工自杀事件到Apple的烂菜的地图应用程序都在这本书里提到了。就如何处理地图应用程序这个事儿,乔布斯和库克之间的作风有明显区别。库克为Apple Maps发出公开道歉信,指出Apple的目标是制作“世界上最好的产品”,并承诺“继续不间断地去改进,直到地图达到同样令人难以置信的高标准。”虽然乔布斯也会去道歉,但很少会这么快,还有点虚情假意。

Cook once said that he was impressed with Jobs because the Apple founder was someone who had money but clearly didn’t care about it. What might someone say about Cook? Kahney’s book paints a portrait of someone with tremendous market power who seems uninterested in using that power to amass more power. Instead, Cook is increasingly focused on Apple being a force for good. He has pressed hard for diversity, carbon neutrality, and privacy that benefits Apple’s customers more than it does Apple.

库克曾经说过他对乔布斯印象深刻,因为苹果公司的创始人是那种有钱,但显然不在乎钱的人。那么大家又是怎么说库克的呢?卡尼的书中给库克描绘了一个具有巨大市场号召力的人物肖像,但他似乎对利用这种力量积累更多力量完全不感兴趣。相反,库克越来越关注把苹果做为一种善的力量。他努力追求多元化,减少碳的排放量和隐私保护,始终把用户的利益置于公司的利益之上。

Overall, the book, like its subject, is a product of control. By letting Cook stand just offstage, nodding in approval but never speaking for himself, the book feels incomplete. It delivers a rich tale of executive development and maverick ideas without ever delivering the man himself.

总体而言,这本书如它的主题,写的很克制。但让库克始终隐藏在背后,总让人觉得有点不完整。它提供了丰富的战略发展和特立独行的想法,即便没有库克本人的现身说法,仍然值得一读。

Lance Ulanoff
Apr 10

 


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