Tim Cook – Stay Focused

Tim Cook delivers a powerful speech about the double edge sword of technology and how we need to instil the good values of humanity into technology.


Nothing worked, and it was really tearing me apart. I might even have experimented with a Windows PC. Obviously, that didn’t work.

Last year I had the chance to meet with Pope Francis. It was the most incredible meeting of my life. This is a man who had spent more time comforting the afflicted in slums than he has with heads of state. This may surprise you, but he knew an unbelievable amount about technology. It was obvious to me that he had thought deeply about it; its opportunities, its risk, its morality. What he said to me at that meeting, what he preached really, was on a topic we care a lot about at Apple. He expressed a shared concern in a powerful new way. Never has humanity had such power over itself, yet nothing ensures that it will be used wisely, he has said.

Sometimes the very technology that is meant to connect us, divides us. Technology is capable of doing great things, but it doesn’t want to do great things. It doesn’t want anything. That part takes all of us. I’m not worried about artificial intelligence giving computers the ability to think like humans. I’m more concerned about people thinking like computers, without values or compassion, without concern for consequences.

The internet has enabled so much and empowered so many, but it can also be a place where basic rules of decency are suspended, and pettiness and negativity thrive. Don’t let that noise knock you off course. Don’t get caught up in the trivial aspects of life. Don’t listen to trolls, and for God’s sake, don’t become one. Measure your impact on humanity not in likes, but in the lives you touch. Not in popularity, but in the people you serve. I found that my life got bigger when I stopped caring what other people thought about me. You will find yours will too. Stay focused on what really matters.