Last week Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke up on the subject of being gay by saying:
Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.
I had not thought much about this at all until now, it’s 3:29 am. But I think the issue here is not if you agree with homosexuality or not but rather seeing that by stepping up he’s providing a level of transparent leadership that devoid in American corporate culture.
Apple’s initial appeal was always to those who viewed themselves as we “think different”. Think back to the ads of the pictures of the Dalai Lama, Dr. King, etc. No pictures of computers just people, thought leaders, weirdos, and freaks. Apple had not even been thought of during the lifetime of most of these people. Appealing to small groups of people who viewed themselves as not part of the main stream was part of Apple’s core strength. I think Tim Cooks announcement, all though it was not his intention, puts Apple once again back in that position of saying…Hey we think different, and if you think different also, perhaps you’d consider purchasing one of these awesome computers or mobile devices we make. That’s brilliant marketing.
Something to make you go hmm! At the time of this photograph of Muhammad Ali he was not very popular. In fact his thinking on the war in Vietnam, his decision to change his name, and refusal to be drafted, had isolated in the minds many Americans both white and black.
If you missed Tim Cooks announcement you can read about it, and watch a short video commentary on Bloomberg here.