4 Key Takeaways From Tim Cook at the Goldman Sachs Tech Conference

By Evan Niu, CFAFool.com

Goldman Sachs has been hosting a technology conference the past week, and AppleCEO Tim Cook personally spoke at the event to give insight into his strategic thinking on a wide range of topics. Here are four key takeaways from the conference.

Tim Cook does not believe in the law of large numbersThe moderator points out that Apple appears to be "fairly undeterred by the law of large numbers." As it turns out, Tim Cook simply does not believe in such a thing.

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As it pertains to finance, the law of large numbers suggests that companies should struggle to maintain growth rates as their revenue bases expand. After all, growing 20% off a $10 billion revenue base is relatively easier than doing so off a $200 billion revenue base.

With Apple now at $200 billion in trailing 12-month revenue, growth rates should be harder to maintain, particularly when you consider the scale at which Apple must execute operationally. Yet, the Mac maker continues to astound investors with its performance, like the 30% top-line growth it enjoyed last quarter.

So long as Apple continues to launch great products, Cook believes the numbers will take care of themselves. So far, they have.

Retailers are clamoring to get in on Apple PayApple Pay has surpassed even his own expectations for the new mobile payment service. The chief executive had even expected the holidays to be slow for Apple Pay, because retailers tend to be averse to changing their point-of-sale systems at such a critical time. Apple Pay already accounts for two-thirds of contactless payments processed through the three dominant networks (American Express, Visa, and MasterCard).

Most importantly, retailers cannot wait to get their hands on Apple Pay.

Cook mentions some notable examples, such as JetBlue, which plans on allowing flyers to use Apple Pay to purchase in-flight food and entertainment. This is an important distinction between Apple Pay and its incumbent rivals. For the most part, retailers were not this proactive in integrating other contactless payment solutions such as Google Wallet or theeBayPayPal app.

Privacy will only become more importantCook took a hard stance on privacy last year, directly taking jabs at Google while inadvertently poking at Facebook at the same time. Privacy remains an important issue, and it could have some important implications going forward for companies whose businesses rely on users compromising on their own privacy.

Apple Pay emphasizes user privacy regarding transaction data, but Apple takes its respect for privacy even further.

With the upcoming onslaught of wearable devices, including Apple Watch, that will collect and aggregate health data, privacy considerations become even more potent.

He blocks out the noiseYou do not become the CEO of the largest publicly traded company on Earth without attracting some attention -- and unsolicited advice. There is no shortage of opinion on things Apple should do, should not do, or could have done better, including right here on the Motley Fool. Responding to criticism about how Apple has addressed emerging markets due to its premium pricing strategy, Cook ignores the skeptics.

These days, everyone is a critic. Considering how well Apple has done since Cook became CEO nearly four years ago, both in terms of share price performance and business fundamentals, investors should trust Cook by now.

The article 4 Key Takeaways From Tim Cook at the Goldman Sachs Tech Conference originally appeared on Fool.com.

Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Apple and Facebook. The Motley Fool recommends American Express, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Google (A shares), Google (C shares), and MasterCard. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google (A shares), Google (C shares), and MasterCard. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believeconsidering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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