In November 2013, Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences bestowed the IQLA Lifetime Achievement Award on Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple Computer. His acceptance speech is stunning.
“Never allow the majority to limit the rights of the minority. Never allow people who fear anyone different from themselves to limit others’ human rights or deny others’ human dignity.”
He talks about gay rights, discrimination, human dignity and human rights in a beautiful and passionate way.
Not only does he use an example, close to our heart at Square Pegs, of an autistic boy finding his voice through technology, but he makes this important point about the purpose of great products:
“We design our products so they surprise and delight everyone who uses them. And we never, never ever analyze the return on investment. We do it because it is just and right, and that is what respect for human dignity requires, and it is a part of Apple that I am especially proud of.”
This is the kind of leadership technology companies need. This is why many of us got into technology in the first place — to change lives.
Bravo, Mr. Cook.