Success starts with saying “no” to almost everything

AppleEddy Cue’s senior vice president of services attributes much of the market’s biggest company’s success to saying “no” more often than “yes.”

“We say ‘no’ to almost everything,” Cue said in a conversation with CNBC’s Jim Cramer at CNBC’s inaugural CEO Council Summit in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Tuesday. “When you get as big as us, it’s easy to think you can do anything or everything, and that’s just not true.”

According to Cue, an idea only comes off Apple’s drawing board if it’s something the company knows it can execute well and if it’s something consumers really care about.

Cue joined Apple in 1989 as head of software engineering. Since then, he’s played a key role in many of Apple’s innovations, including the launch of the iTunes Store and the company’s foray into sports streaming.

Apple signed a 10-year deal with Major League Soccer in 2022 and the service became available to fans for the first time at the start of this year’s season. Cue referenced ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky’s famous ability to see ahead when discussing Apple’s foray into sports streaming.

“We wanted to go where the puck was going, not where the puck was,” Cue said. “That’s what [Gretzky] do. He skates where the puck was going, not where the puck is. And that’s the same thing we wanted to do with the sport.”


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