Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi Discuss Maps and 'Learning From Apple's Failures' In New Interview

3062090-inline-i-1-apple-to-believe-inContinuing from an interview with Tim Cook and Eddy Cue earlier in the week, Fast Company today posted a lengthy new interview session with Cue and Craig Federighi, in which the two discussed Apple Maps, the legacy of Apple devices, and "learning from Apple's failures."

Both Cue and Federighi admitted that everyone who works at the company has "to be honest with ourselves" whenever mistakes are brought up by the public, usually following new product or software launches. While some may see this as an exponentially increasing problem with Apple, Cue points out that the quality issue appears bigger since the company's reach has expanded. There's "a higher bar" Apple has to achieve now, and Cue is "okay with that."

When we were the Mac company, if we impacted 1% of our customers, it was measured in thousands. Now if we impact 1% of our customers, it’s measured in tens of millions. That’s a problem, right—things are going to be perceived differently. Our products are way better than they used to be, but there’s a higher bar, and I’m okay with that. I think that is why we’re here. That’s why I get up every day. I like that people have high expectations of us, and that they care about little things that bother them, which, in a lot of products, they wouldn’t bother about. With other companies, you think, that’s about as good as it’s going to be. With us, you want perfection; you want it to be the best. And we want that.

Both of the Apple executives commented that sometimes the company's high quality standards aren't fully met, particularly when Fast Company questioned them about the "universal scorn" that welcomed Apple Maps in 2012. Despite Apple's decision to treat Maps as "an integral part of the whole platform," Cue admitted it was a harsh truth to face the public reaction to its initial launch and points out that a small, isolated team might have "underestimated the complexity of the product."

So you’re trying to replace one thing with another thing, and we kind of let the team we put in charge of it go off on their own. Now that you understand the complexity of Maps, you realize that it was a relatively small team, and we kind of isolated them in their own little world. We completely underestimated the complexity of the product. If you think of Maps, it seems like it’s not that hard. All the roads are known, come on! All the restaurants are known. There’s Yelp and Open Table; they have all the addresses. Mail gets delivered; UPS has all the addresses. The mail arrives. FedEx arrives. You know, how hard is this? That was underestimating.

When asked about Apple's opinion regarding the belief that companies -- including Facebook and Amazon -- are attempting to gain "ownership of the customer throughout the day," both Cue and Federighi said that Apple doesn't think of their services and products in that way. The company is encouraging of the third-party apps that flourish on iOS, like Uber, and doesn't see a need to spread itself so thin as to try and become and create these experiences itself.

Cue: So we don’t want to be Amazon and be Facebook and be Instagram and so on. Why? Or Uber. Why? I think it’s awesome that Travis and his team have done Uber on our platform. It would not exist without our platform, let’s be clear. But great for them for thinking of that problem, and solving it. We would never have ever solved that problem. We weren’t looking that way. We would have never seen it.

Federighi: It is an interesting, ongoing press narrative, however. To the extent that anyone anywhere does anything interesting, the question is: Why isn’t Apple doing that; why is Apple behind in that? We aren’t the Everything Company. We take on a very small number of things that we do very well, and we find that pretty rewarding.

Towards the end of the interview, Cue and Federighi mentioned the largely similar work relationship seen with both Tim Cook and former CEO Steve Jobs. Although the approach each took in tackling the job has been "completely different," Cue said there's one common factor he's had with both: "I never wanted to disappoint Steve. I never want to disappoint Tim."

The thing I love about Tim, and the key to his success, is that he’s stayed true to himself, and never tried to be Steve. There are some qualities that he has that are better than Steve’s, and Steve had some qualities that are better than Tim’s. But he stayed true to what he is, and it's the best thing . He's made a lot of areas better and the areas where he’s not sure, he’s surrounded himself with people who do.

In the full interview, the Apple executives go deeper into the complexities of running and growing Apple Maps, the yearly expectations of improved quality for each product (namely the iPhone), and more. You can read the full Fast Company interview here.

Top Rated Comments

Xavier Avatar
68 months ago
[doublepost=1470839596][/doublepost]How difficult it is to add speed meter to maps when you are driving?
Isn't there a speedometer in your car already?
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gasu E. Avatar
68 months ago
Isn't there already a speedometer in your car already?
Yeah, but that leads to dangerous distraction. He doesn't want to take his eyes off the iPhone while he's texting.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LordQ Avatar
68 months ago
Oh, Craig <3

Seriously though, this bit
The thing I love about Tim, and the key to his success, is that he's stayed true to himself, and never tried to be Steve. There are some qualities that he has that are better than Steve's, and Steve had some qualities that are better than Tim's. But he stayed true to what he is, and it's the best thing . He's made a lot of areas better and the areas where he's not sure, he's surrounded himself with people who do.
made me smile. Tim is not Steve and people here need to realize that and get over it.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rizzo41999 Avatar
68 months ago
That photo though...
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bladerunner2000 Avatar
68 months ago
Howcome they haven't learned that people don't care about how thin a device is anymore when features are gimped?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
i5pro Avatar
68 months ago
i wish these guys could stop interviews for a while and get back to doing/making what their customers want....like updated macs that can compete on their own, and something that actually wows you and makes you say I need to have it, not just a new color, not something thinner. Something that actually is impressive and works.

I'm afraid that they've lost their "magic" and are allowing competitors the opportunity to convince me that Apple is not what it used be..no more...Sigh
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
gradiente iphone white

Brazilian Electronics Company Revives Long-Running iPhone Trademark Dispute

Tuesday May 19, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Apple has been involved in a long-running iPhone trademark dispute in Brazil, which was revived today by IGB Electronica, a Brazilian consumer electronics company that originally registered the "iPhone" name in 2000. IGB Electronica fought a multi-year battle with Apple in an attempt to get exclusive rights to the "iPhone" trademark, but ultimately lost, and now the case has been brought to...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Premium Subscribers Can Now Use iOS Picture-in-Picture: Here's How

Wednesday August 25, 2021 3:55 am PDT by
Google has rolled out picture-in-picture support as an "experimental" feature for YouTube premium subscribers, allowing them to watch video in a small window when the app is closed. If you're a premium YouTube subscriber looking to try out picture-in-picture, follow these steps: Launch a web browser and sign into your YouTube account at YouTube.com. Navigate to www.youtube.com/new. Scroll...
2012macpro

Apple Outlines Metal-Capable Cards Compatible With macOS Mojave on 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro Models

Monday September 24, 2018 3:26 pm PDT by
Apple's new macOS Mojave update is not compatible with mid-2010 and mid-2012 Mac Pros with stock GPUs, but it is supported on 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models that have been upgraded with graphics cards that support Metal. Apple today shared a new support document that provides a list of graphics cards that are Metal-capable, which will be useful for 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro owners who want to...
apple privacy

Apple Publishes FAQ to Address Concerns About CSAM Detection and Messages Scanning

Monday August 9, 2021 1:50 am PDT by
Apple has published a FAQ titled "Expanded Protections for Children" which aims to allay users' privacy concerns about the new CSAM detection in iCloud Photos and communication safety for Messages features that the company announced last week. "Since we announced these features, many stakeholders including privacy organizations and child safety organizations have expressed their support of...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Expecting iPhone and iPad Supply Constraints in September Quarter

Tuesday July 27, 2021 2:34 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CFO Luca Maesteri said that Apple is expecting supply constraints to affect the iPhone and the iPad in the coming quarter. "The supply constraints that we've seen in the June quarter will be higher in the September quarter," said Maestri. The constraints will impact iPhone and iPad sales...
anker lightning cable mfi

Unwrap a New Apple Device? Stock Up on Extra Certified Lightning Cables for as Little as $6

Monday December 25, 2017 5:45 am PST by
If you unwrapped an Apple product today it likely came with one of the company's first-party Lightning cables, but having an extra on hand is always a good idea, so you can place it in other rooms in your house, in your car, or in a bag when you travel. For that reason, now's a good time to shop for third-party Lightning cables that are cheaper than Apple's own accessory, but still Made For...
apple screen time screen icons

Persistent Kids Finding Loopholes in Apple's Screen Time Limits

Tuesday October 15, 2019 9:44 am PDT by
Apple is currently engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with persistent kids looking to circumvent Screen Time restrictions, but the company has been receiving some criticism for not moving quickly enough to lock down some of the loopholes, reports The Washington Post. A few of the loopholes and ways for parents to shut them down are documented on the site Protect Young Eyes, while these and...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...