Tim Cook Challenges Graduates to 'Think Different' in Duke University Commencement Address

Apple CEO Tim Cook today delivered the 2018 commencement address at his alma mater Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

tim cook duke
Cook challenged students to "think different" rather than accept the status quo, and to leave the world better than they found it, by following in the footsteps of leaders like Steve Jobs, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr.

He also reflected on Apple's commitment to the environment, privacy, immigration, and gun control, supporting the Me Too movement against sexual harassment and students involved in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.


An excerpt from his speech:

The pace at which progress is possible has accelerated dramatically. Aided by technology, every individual has the tools, potential, and reach to build a better world. That makes this the best time in history to be alive. Whatever you choose to do with your life, wherever your passion takes you, I urge you to take the power you have been given and use it for good. Aspire to leave this world better than you found it.

I didn't always see life as clearly as I do today. But I've learned that the greatest challenge of life is knowing when to break with conventional wisdom. Don't just accept the world you inherit today. Don't just accept the status quo. No big challenge has ever been solved, and no lasting improvement has ever been achieved, unless people dare to try something different. Dare to think different.

I was lucky to learn from someone who believed this deeply—someone who knew that changing the world starts with following a vision, not a path. He was my friend and mentor, Steve Jobs.

Steve's vision was that great ideas come from a restless refusal to accept things as they are, and those principles still guide us at Apple today. We reject the notion that global warming is inevitable—that's why we run Apple on 100 percent renewable energy. We reject the excuse that getting the most out of technology means trading away your right to privacy. So we choose a different path: collecting as little of your data as possible, and being thoughtful and respectful when it's in our care.

Cook's commencement address was similar to those he has delivered at a number of other universities in recent years, including at his undergraduate alma mater Auburn University in 2010, at George Washington University in 2015, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last year.

Cook is a 1988 graduate of Duke's Fuqua School of Business and a member of the university's Board of Trustees.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Popular Stories

ios 18 button bulge

iOS 18 Adds Pop-Out Bezel Animation When Pressing iPhone Buttons

Tuesday June 11, 2024 10:40 am PDT by
iOS 18 includes a small but interesting change for the buttons on the iPhone, adding more of a visual element when changing volume, activating the Action button, or locking the screen. When you press an iPhone button in iOS 18, the display bezel bulges outward slightly. This feature is available for the volume buttons, Action button and the power button, and it will also likely be used for...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

Revealed: iOS 18 Works With These iPhone Models

Monday June 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and hence also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, but older iPhone models will miss out. Here is the full...
Next Gen CarPlay WWDC24 1

Apple Provides Updated Look at Next-Generation CarPlay at WWDC 2024

Monday June 10, 2024 7:11 pm PDT by
Apple today shared a few WWDC 2024 coding sessions related to its upcoming next-generation CarPlay system ahead of its launch later this year. The sessions include lots of updated next-generation CarPlay images, with one revealing new Vehicle, Media, and Climate apps in action for the first time. MacRumors previously discovered evidence of these apps in the iOS 17.4 beta. Next-generation...
ios 18 tile summary

Apple Announces iOS 18 With New Customization Features, Redesigned Photos App, and More

Monday June 10, 2024 10:17 am PDT by
Apple today previewed iOS 18, the next major update to the operating system for the iPhone, with new customization features, a redesigned Photos app, and more. iOS 18 features new customization tools for the Home Screen. App icons now feature Dark Mode and users can tint them with a color to create a unique look. Apps can also now be placed anywhere on the Home Screen freely. The Control...
sequoia

macOS Sequoia and iPadOS 18 Drop Support for These Macs and iPads

Monday June 10, 2024 4:13 pm PDT by
macOS Sequoia is still compatible with several Intel-based Macs, but it does drop support for 2018 and 2019 models of the MacBook Air. macOS Sequoia is compatible with the following Macs, according to Apple: MacBook Pro: 2018 and later MacBook Air: 2020 and later Mac mini: 2018 and later iMac: 2019 and later iMac Pro: 2017 Mac Studio: 2022 and later Mac Pro: 2019 and later The...
maxresdefault

Everything Apple Announced at WWDC 2024 in Nine Minutes

Monday June 10, 2024 7:59 pm PDT by
Apple crammed an overwhelming number of new features into its WWDC 2024 keynote event, introducing Apple Intelligence, iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS Sequoia, visionOS 2, watchOS 11, and tvOS 18. It was hard to keep up with everything that Apple highlighted, so we did a video of all of the new additions you won't want to miss. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've also...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Massive iPhone Upgrade Coming This Week But These Devices Will Miss Out

Sunday June 9, 2024 1:25 pm PDT by
Apple is planning a major AI overhaul in iOS 18, with a feature set it is referring to as "Apple Intelligence." However, these new features will not work on older iPhones, even if they do appear on the new operating system's device compatibility list. Apple's initial AI roadmap for iOS 18 is said to come in two parts: Basic AI features that will be processed on-device, and more advanced...

Top Rated Comments

snowboarder Avatar
80 months ago
it would be great if Tim started to think different...
Score: 88 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Moshu Avatar
80 months ago
If thinking different means maximising profit margin by shutting down side-business like Airport routers, Mac Mini and bringing gimmicky Touch Bar to the Pro line while stripping it of the industry standard USB ports, SD card slot and the life-saving MagSafe adapter... then DON'T THINK DIFFERENT !!!
Score: 68 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thadoggfather Avatar
80 months ago
Think differently, as long as you follow his political indoctrination in lockstep

Sage Timmy
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Menopause Avatar
80 months ago
Is this guy *ever* at the Apple campus? Judging from his tweets it’d seems he is everywhere else but. The kind of lavatorial quality control of products and services Apple is suffering under him is shameful and disgusting. He only seems to be interested in nothing more than cash in his fat pockets and biased, liberal, lopsided agenda-driven politics.

Just leave Apple and run for a Dem post already FFS, at least give Apple a bloody chance to get back to great products again!
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
apolloa Avatar
80 months ago
Tim Cook Challenges Graduates to 'Think Different' in Duke University Commencement Address....

Because someone has to when Apple doesn’t anymore...
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DakotaGuy Avatar
80 months ago
Tim Cook is a visionary. What a speech. Challenge the status-quo. Be the last to accept the world cannot be improved. Build a better way forward.
Tim Cook is not a visionary. Tim Cook is a conventional bean counting CEO who inherited a very popular and trendy brand from a true visionary. The brand is still popular enough they can paste the logo on most anything and it’ll sell like hot cakes, but poorly conceived and incomplete products like HomePod might not be saved by the brand name.

I actually wish Apple would encounter a financial set-back in the future so the board will realize it’s time to put a real visionary back in charge of this corporation. Apple isn’t doomed, but the wash-rinse-repeat formula won’t work forever.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)