The speech was amply seasoned with salt sprinkled by Cook onto various companies that he says operate like a “chaos factory.” While he didn’t name an companies outright, Gizmodo suggests Facebook, YouTube, and Theranos — a failed blood testing startup — were among the primary targets.
“Lately it seems this industry is becoming better known for a less noble innovation — the belief you can claim credit without accepting responsibility,” Cook said. “We see it every day now with every data breach, every privacy violation, every blind eye turned to hate speech, fake news poisoning our national conversation, the false miracles in exchange for a single drop of your blood.
“Too many seem to think that good intentions excuse away harmful outcomes. But whether you like it or not, what you build and what you create define who you are. It feels a bit crazy that anyone should have to say this, but if you built a chaos factory, you can’t dodge responsibility for the chaos.”
Cook went on to say that treating every opportunity as hackable and commercial is indicative of a bleak future for human freedom and that Stanford graduates should learn from the ghosts of start-up past. Listen to his speech below.