Tim Cook’s essay in Businessweek, in which he acknowledges a sexual orientation that was nobody’s business and not much of a secret, is a thing everybody should read.
If you haven’t yet, do it now.
This is the paragraph that resonated for me:
I’m not gay. But I know what Tim Cook is talking about.
I have what you might call a hidden disability — a gimpy right arm and hand, the result of a bad fall when I was a toddler. Most people never notice, but for me it’s huge. It’s a central fact of what it’s like to be me — to occupy this body — that I’m reminded of a dozen times a day every day of my life.
I’m not saying being dealt this particular bad hand is comparable to being poor or black or poor and black, but like Tim Cook’s homosexuality, it’s made me more empathetic. It’s drawn me to the causes of all sorts of underdogs. Which included, for most of my 35-years in journalism, Apple.
It’s somehow perfect that the company, back on top after all that time in the wilderness, now has an openly gay CEO. It’s almost as if Steve Jobs had stage managed it.
I love the story Stratechery‘s Ben Thompson tells in his daily newsletter (subscribe!) about the difficulty he had securing an internship in business school. “Employers would look at my resume — political campaign, English teacher, curriculum writer — and not even invite me to an interview.”
But when a job opened up at Apple University Thompson nailed it in the first interview.
In some ways — maybe most ways — Apple is just another business. But “Think Different” wasn’t just an advertising slogan. Apple is different, and I think Thompson put his finger on what makes it so:
A final thought about the ripple effect of all this, borrowed from James Stewart’s essay in Thursday’s New York Times: