When you are running a firm the size of Apple and you have to deal with public scrutiny every day of your life, keeping secrets is part of your daily job.
These were Tim Cook’s sentiments to investors during this week’s annual meeting. He described exactly how hard it has become to keep matters confidential. That explains why, with the exception of the Cupertino-based firm’s visitor centre, your chances of a tour of Apple Park are remote to say the least.
Replying to a question about when members of the public might be allowed to tour Apple Park, Cook responded: “The reason we created the visitor’s centre [and] the problem with opening up the main facility for tours is we have so much confidential stuff around and keeping stuff confidential is the bane of my existence now.”
Compared to Steve Jobs, Apple’s previous CEO, Cook has not been quite as obsessed with keeping secrets. But then, Jobs had to take a business that was leaking money as well as confidential information and turn it into a tight ship. No wonder in his attempts to gain a competitive edge he obsessed about keeping things secret.
Apple, under Tim Cook, has now become an international technology giant – with massive advantages over its competitors in terms of what it can or cannot do. On the other hand, there are more people than ever who would like to discover the company’s secrets. It nowadays has a large number of firms in its supply chain and those companies employ thousands of workers.
It is not difficult, therefore, to imagine the headaches Cook must face keeping Apple’s affairs a secret.
For the foreseeable future readers will just have to be satisfied with the visitor centre across the street from Apple Park. It’s a shrine of everything Apple, complete with a café and an Apple Store.