Tim Cook Talks About Health, the Apple Watch, and More at Startup Fest Europe

Apple’s chief executive officer Tim Cook sat down this morning with retired European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, Nellie Kroes, to discuss a range of topics at Startup Fest Europe, a conference aimed at boosting the European Union’s startup scene.

Apple’s CEO took some time to speak at Startup Fest Europe, a festival that’s designed to help startups get some footing and grow. While Cook wasn’t completely forthcoming about any major plans the company has in store, he did open up on a variety of different topics, including health, the Apple Watch, Apple TV, and how he believes Apple plays a key role in those markets.

Don’t be afraid to cannibalize yourself
Apple’s late co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs used to proudly underscore at his legendary media presentations how his company would rather cannibalize its own products with a new gadget than have a competitor eat into its business.

Cook’s advice to young startups is along those lines.

“Don’t get full of yourself. Don’t smoke your own exhaust. Don’t worry about cannibalizing yourself,” said Cook. “I think being hungry—not being driven by money, but being driven by some higher purpose and building great products—is really key”.

“Never do something strictly for money,” he advised. “Do it for love, do it for passion.”

When discussing health specifically, Cook says there’s “something that’s magical” in the idea that the health industry is a place where hardware, software, and services can truly come together. He went on to add that there’s plenty of growth to be had in the health market.
“The things that interest us the most are things where we can bring our ability to integrate hardware, software, and services into something that’s magical and enriches people in some way. If you look at some of the things we’re doing that do not drive revenue but they have massive interest in them from our teams – health is very much one of those. […]
The net of that is we believe that health is something that is a huge problem in the world, a huge issue, and we think it is ripe for simplicity and sort of a new view and we’d like to contribute to that. So that’s an area where we’re very focused.”
The holy grail of Apple Watch
As for the holy grail of the Apple Watch and wearables in general, it’s measuring more of what’s going on in your body.

“If you could have a device that knew so much about you, it would be pretty incredible and would extend life and extend quality,” he said. “I’m not saying one device will do all of that, but when you solve such a big problem it takes several contributions.”

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