Tim Cook: “Be Fearless” | Duke University Commencement 2018 Speech


Please join me in welcoming Tim Cook, our 2018 Commencement speaker>>Hello, Blue Devils. It is great to be back at Duke. It is an honor to stand before you as your commencement speaker and a graduate. I earned by agree from the Fuqua School in 1988. In preparing for this speech I reached out to one of my favorite professors from back then. Bob Reinheimer taught this great course in management communications, which including shaprening your public speaking skills. We hadn’t spoke for decades. I was thrilled when he told me he remembered a particularly gifted public speaker who took his class in the 1980’s. With a bright mind and a charming personality. He said he knew we back then this person would December destined for greatness. You can imagine how this made me feel. He had an eye for talent. If I do say so myself, I think his instincts were right. Melinda Gates has really made her mark in the world! I’m grateful to Bob and Dean and all of my Duke professors. Their teachings have stayed with me throughout my career. I want to thank President Price and the Duke faculty, and the Board of Trustees for the honor of speaking with you today. I would like to add my congratulations to the honorary degree recipients. Most of us, congratulations to the Class of 2018! (applause). Mr. Cook: Now no graduate gets to this moment alone. I want to acknowledge your parents and grandparents and friends that are here cheering you on, just as they have every step of the way. Let’s give them our thanks. Today especially I remember my mother. Who watched me graduate from Duke, I wouldn’t have been there that day or made it here today without her support. Let’s give our special thanks to all of the mother’s here today on Mother’s Day. (applause). Mr. Cook: I have wonderful memories here. Cheering for the victory, cheering even louder when the victory is over Carolina. Look back over your shoulder fondly and say good-bye to Act I of your life. Then quickly look forward. Act II begins today. It is your turn to reach out and take the baton. You entered the world at a time of great challenge. Our country is deeply divided, and that many Americans refuse to hear any opinion that differs from their own. Our planet is warming with devastating consequences. And there’s some that even deny it is happening. Our schools and communities suffer from deep inequality. We fail to guarantee every student the right to a good education. And yet we are not powerless in the face of these problems. You are not powerless to fix them. No generation has ever had more power than yours. And no generation has a chance to change things faster than yours can. 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 the greatest challenge of life can knowing when to break with conventional wisdom. Don’t just except the world you inherit today. Don’t just accept the status quo. Know the 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. (applause). Mr. Cook: Steve’s vision was that great ideas comes from a restless refusal to accept things as they are. 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% renewable energy. (applause). Mr. Cook: Thank you. 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 poll, being thoughtful and respectful when it is in our care. Because we know it belongs to you. In every way at every turn, the question we ask ourselves is not what can we do, but what should we do? Because Steve taught us that’s how change happens. And from him, I learned to never be content with the way that things are. I believe in mindset comes naturally to young people. And you should never let go of this restlessness. So today’s ceremony isn’t just about presenting you with a degree. It is about presenting you with a question. How will you challenge the status quo? How will you push the world forward? 50 years ago today, May 13th, 1968, Robert Kennedy was campaigning in Nebraska and spoke to a group of students who were wrestling with the same question. Those were troubled times too. The U.S. was at war in Vietnam. There was violent unrest in America’s cities. And the country was still reeling from the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King a month earlier. Kennedy gave the students a call to action. When you look across this country and when you see people’s lives held back by discrimination and poverty, when you see injustice and inequality, he said you should be the last people to accept things as they are. Let Kennedy’s words echo here today. You should be the last people to accept it. Whatever path you’ve chosen, be it medicine or business, engineering or the humanities, whatever drives your passion, be the last to accept the notion that the world you inherit cannot be improved. Be the last to accept the excuse that says that’s just how things are done here. Duke graduates, you should be the last people to accept it. And you should be the first to change it. (applause). Mr. Cook: The education you perceive gives you few opportunities that you have. You are uniquely qualified and therefore uniquely responsible to build a better way forward. That won’t be easy. It will require great courage. But that courage will not only help you live your life to the fullest, it will empower you to transform the lives of others. Last month I was in Birmingham to mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination. I had the incredible privilege with spending time with women and men who marched and worked alongside him. Many of them are younger at the time than you are now. They told me when they defied their parents and joined the sit-ins and the boycotts, when they faced the police dogs and the fire hoses, they were risking everything they had becoming foot soldiers for justice without a second thought. Because they knew that change had to come. They believe so deeply in the cause of justice, because they knew even all of the adversity they had faced, they had the chance to build something better for the next generation. We can all learn from your example. If you hope to change the world, you must find your fearlessness. Now if you are anything like I was on graduation day, maybe you are not feeling so fearless. Maybe you are thinking about the job that you hope to get. Or wondering where you are going to live or how to repay that student loan. These I know are real concerns. I had that too. Don’t let the worries stop you from making a difference. Fearlessness means taking the first step, even if you don’t know where it will take you. It means being driven by a higher purpose rather than by applause. It means knowing that you reveal your character when you stand apart more than when you stand with the crowd. If you step up without fear of failure, if you talk and listen to each other without fear of rejection, if you act with decency and kindness even when no one is looking, even if it seems small or inconsequential, trust me, the rest will fall into place. More importantly, you’ll be able to tackle the big things when they come your way. It is in the truly trying moments that the fearless inspire us. Fearless like the students of Parkland, Florida who refused to be silent about the epidemic of gun violence. They have rallied millions to their cause. (applause). Mr. Cook: Fearless like the women that say me too and time’s up. Women who cast light into dark places and move us to a more just and equal future. Fearless like those who fight for the rights of imgrants who understand that our only hopeful future is one that embraces all who want to contribute. Duke graduates, be. Fearless. Be the last people to accept things as they are. And the first people to stand up and change them for the better. In 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech at Page Auditorium to an overflow crowd. Students who couldn’t get a seat, listened from outside in the lawn. Dr. King warned them that some day we would all have to atone not only for the words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who stood around and say wait on time. Martin Luther King stood right here at Duke and said the time is always right to do right. For you graduates, that time is now. It will always be now. It is time to add the brick to the path of progress. It is time for all of us to move forward. And it is time for you to lead the way. Thank you, and congratulations, Class of 2018! (applause).

65 thoughts on “Tim Cook: “Be Fearless” | Duke University Commencement 2018 Speech

  • May 13, 2018 at 5:48 pm
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    Did Tim cook go to Duke?

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  • May 13, 2018 at 7:10 pm
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    I was in the audience for this! Great honor

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  • May 13, 2018 at 7:46 pm
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    👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

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  • May 13, 2018 at 8:47 pm
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    It is super hot down there todayQ_Q

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  • May 14, 2018 at 12:23 am
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    I am glad to see that apple still remember Steven Jobs

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  • May 14, 2018 at 1:04 am
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    Wow,!! Tim must be a really fearless guy to have hosted a fundraiser for Paul Ryan.

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  • May 14, 2018 at 1:19 am
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    Great Speech by Apple's Tim Cook to the graduating class of 2018. Inspiring and encouraging them to "Be Fearless". Its always good to see those that have been successful in their journeys come back and encourage you on your's very inspiring.

    https://www.theweeklydeals.com/newsfeed/

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  • May 14, 2018 at 5:20 pm
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    Tim Cook for president

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  • May 14, 2018 at 5:50 pm
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    Man, you don't sell things everywhere.

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  • May 14, 2018 at 6:32 pm
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    Happiness beautiful heart working gives samile new beautiful peoples

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  • May 14, 2018 at 8:31 pm
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    very emotional

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  • May 14, 2018 at 8:34 pm
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    Pay some tax you tosser.

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  • May 14, 2018 at 11:15 pm
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    He lost me when he went at facebook, and tried to sell Apple. Man, Steve Jobs is missed.

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  • May 15, 2018 at 1:12 am
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    Sick man. Politicized this speech unlike Steve Jobs at Stanford and comparing the civil rights movement to modern day “oppression” is way off base. Duke, where 5 lacrosse players were falsely accused of rape and smeared.

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  • May 15, 2018 at 4:18 am
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    Here’s the problem with history that goes unanswered: What was MLK doing on the second floor of a hotel known to have prostitution on the day he was assassinated?

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  • May 15, 2018 at 7:28 am
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    BE FEARLESS!!! Unless Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the entire education establishment disagree with you. Then? FEAR THEM. FIGHT THEM. And CRUSH THEM. M.A.G.A.!!!!!!!

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  • May 15, 2018 at 8:47 am
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    I can never associate Tim Cook with fearlessness.

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  • May 15, 2018 at 5:11 pm
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    Great speech
    2018-5-15

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  • May 15, 2018 at 7:03 pm
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    class act.

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  • May 16, 2018 at 6:24 am
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    I must say I agreed to what Cook said, but I think he is visionless, or has less vision, when contrasted with Jobs or Obama.

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  • May 16, 2018 at 7:44 am
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    Those teleprompters though…spoken from the heart…

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  • May 16, 2018 at 11:07 am
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    Good speech. Vision is very important.

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  • May 16, 2018 at 1:36 pm
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    lost me in a few mins sorry Tim

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  • May 16, 2018 at 6:14 pm
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    It's very important

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  • May 16, 2018 at 11:36 pm
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    Who else in the magnet at portola

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  • May 17, 2018 at 1:31 am
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    I suffered through this speech in person. It was truly the lamest graduation speech ever. As several students and parents said, Cook must've Googled "graduation speech cliches" and then strung them together to create his speech. He did not inspire anyone.

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  • May 17, 2018 at 9:24 am
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    没有中文翻译

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  • May 17, 2018 at 9:19 pm
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    Our generation has power! I truly believe this. You are an inspiration and a leader I love to listen to.

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  • May 18, 2018 at 2:40 am
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    America what happens to you when choosing your leaders? You guys have tons of good people but somehow you put bigots at the highest level.

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  • May 18, 2018 at 4:17 am
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    Tim’s Strength in Courage and Humility inspire me deeply. I am so grateful for his leadership. Aho.

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  • May 18, 2018 at 4:56 am
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    you should never let go these restlessness

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  • May 18, 2018 at 6:20 am
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    Tim cook, your MacBook is too expensive.

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  • May 18, 2018 at 3:54 pm
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    Wow! What I wouldn't give to graduate from there. Dream school!

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  • May 19, 2018 at 1:14 am
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    Amazing speech. 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

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  • May 19, 2018 at 12:04 pm
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    Was expecting a more personal story from the man who has big shoes to fill. Still, well said.

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  • May 20, 2018 at 12:34 pm
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    Amazing speech. It’s really true. Thank you so much 😊

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  • May 21, 2018 at 12:14 pm
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    How inspired!!

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  • May 23, 2018 at 7:07 am
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    congratulations on all of Duck's graduation students hope all of yours will be the best talented.

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  • May 23, 2018 at 5:26 pm
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    Tim Cook is such an inspirational speech. I will vote for you anytime sir…

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  • May 23, 2018 at 5:32 pm
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    "The greatest challenge of life is knowing when to break with conventional wisdom. Don't just accept the status quo dont accept the world we inherited today. No big challenge has ever been solved unless people try something different, dare to think differently" Tim Cook

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  • May 23, 2018 at 5:40 pm
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    Wow I am speechless. Tim Cook this speech will change lives.

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  • May 23, 2018 at 6:12 pm
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    Great speech

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  • May 25, 2018 at 4:01 am
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    Worst tech CEO

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  • May 25, 2018 at 8:40 am
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    Is this Steve Jobs kid

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  • May 26, 2018 at 7:03 pm
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    LULA está preso por ser IMBATÍVEL . O PT e Lula A firmão: A nossa batalha é para substituir o estabelecimento politico situado em Brasilia, fraca sado e corrupto e devolver o poder e o controle da nação ao povo Brasileiro , hoje as grandes empresas midiáticas no Brasil financiada por banqueiros só servem para proteger e enriquecer a eles mesmos. A elite brasileira, com a eleição de LULA, tem trilhões a perder e para os que controla o poder em Brasilia. Os políticos no Brasil se alia a pessoas que não pensão no bem esta de suas famílias. A campanha de Lula representa uma ameaça assistencial, como eles jamais presenciarão . Essa não é apenas uma eleição, e um cruzamento que ira decidir se o povo brasileiro ira ou não recuperar o controle da nação. Os mesmos políticos que tem tão parar a candidatura do Lula a presidência, são os responsáveis por acordos econômicos que estão falindo a nação, eles sangra o Brasil até secar, trazendo assim a ruína de nossas fabricas e empregos, é uma estrutura de poder nacional responsável por decisões econômicas que roubarão a classe trabalhadora, e colocarão este dinheiro na mão de meia duzia de banqueiros e empresas internacionais.

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  • May 27, 2018 at 4:26 pm
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    Simply amazing speech by Tim!

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  • May 31, 2018 at 2:29 am
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    Always be fearless! What an inspirational speech~

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  • May 31, 2018 at 8:40 pm
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    In the subtitles – 0:44 – "shaprening" instead of "sharpening".

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  • June 3, 2018 at 8:59 pm
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    he speaks of vision, but he is no visionary

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  • June 7, 2018 at 7:53 pm
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    WHY DOES THE LADY WITH THE CELL PHONE KEEP NODDING

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  • June 8, 2018 at 3:56 pm
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    Steve jobs gave a speech and got 30 million views and he…….

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  • June 14, 2018 at 3:36 pm
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    👍🎓🎓

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  • June 18, 2018 at 8:27 pm
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    Political Correctness Sucks !!!

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  • June 26, 2018 at 10:50 am
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    👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

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  • July 12, 2018 at 6:31 am
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    It's amazing!

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  • July 12, 2018 at 11:30 am
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    Truly inspiring ; Tim Cook !

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  • August 11, 2018 at 7:43 am
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    chicom ceo tim cook.

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  • September 8, 2018 at 6:59 pm
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    Plz put English subtitles 😔😔😔🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

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  • September 20, 2018 at 1:48 am
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    🇪🇬🇪🇬🇪🇬😎😎😎👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

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  • September 25, 2018 at 5:04 pm
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    That jab at Melinda was excellently executed.

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  • January 12, 2019 at 12:05 pm
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    Great Speech!!! 😍😘 #TimCook

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  • February 21, 2019 at 9:57 pm
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    Steve Jobs aka "Tim Cook" really needs to stuff it. Narcissistic pieces of garbage praising themselves.

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  • March 15, 2019 at 2:10 pm
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    Steve jobs left apple in his hand , did great

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  • May 15, 2019 at 2:37 pm
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    Be fearless
    Whatever it takes

    By removing the headphone jack

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