So, today I gave Tim Cook a Tim Cook t-shirt. And he hugged me. Here’s the story of how this went down.
First of all: this really wasn’t planned. At least not well. It just happened by very many lucky happenstances unfolding in a row.
Second of all: truly the credit to this being at all possible goes to John Moltz who created the t-shirt that this story is about.
Travel and the t-shirt options
But let’s start from the beginning.
The plan was to fly to New York from Stockholm, Sweden (where I live) with the sole purpose to buy the Apple Vision Pro. Yes, I should have planned along longer trip and seen New York and all that but life circumstances meant I had to be back as soon as possible. Anyways.
I knew I wanted to wear SOME fun Apple-related t-shirt to the launch. Not because I thought any executive would see it, but because it felt right and if there was some other geek in the crowd that recognised it: fun! Or if I was in the background of some photo: also fun!
I couldn’t decide which to wear though so I packed the below five shirts to decide later.
I’ve owned and worn all these t-shirts for a long time - the one in question was bought in 2021 and I most often wear it for when we do viewing events for Apple keynotes with friends.
I had the thought that it would be hilarious to wear the “GOOOD MORNING!!!” one IF Tim Cook was going to be there. But last minute, I decided against and went with the Apple Park one, but for some reason I put the “Good morning” one in my jacket pocket. Did I think I would get to hand it to Tim? Very much no. I just decided as I headed out the hotel room to grab it, thinking “Maybe I just put this on top of the other t-shirt if Tim is actually there, and if he seems me it could be really fun”.
New York arrival
So, I get into New York last Thursday evening, I went at midnight to check out the store and it looked awesome.
I had an 8:15am appointment at Apple Fifth Avenue to pick up my (cough, two, cough) Apple Vision Pro. I got there around 7:30 because I figured there’d be some amount of cool stuff/vibe happening. I only hoped Tim would be there, as he was for iPhone 15 launch, but I had no way of knowing for sure. Then at maybe 7:40 the crowd reacts and suddenly he’s walking past fist bumping those in queue, Joz closely behind him. I’m not even in queue yet, I was just walking around. I thought this would be it, cool to see him from a near distance. Grabbed a few shots.
Time to line up
Then I was put in the queue by the Apple folks, with maybe 30-50 people in front of me that had earlier appointments. I was far enough back to not see the store front so I was thinking “too bad I won’t get to see Tim come out and open the store now”.
But as the countdown happens to 8am and the queue starts moving (all the Apple folks where shouting “AVP! AVP! AVP!” during the countdown, so pretty sure that’s the official term now!), I am realising quickly that everybody gets to shake hands with Tim Cook as they go in! And some even grab a selfie! I take out the t-shirt of my pocket and show it to my Apple escort (everybody in the queue has one Apple Retail person assigned to them) and ask, “Hey, should I give this to Tim!?” He laughs out loud and say for sure.
That gave me the confidence I needed. So, it’s my turn and I didn’t even have time to get nervous. I just went for it. He honestly seemed to love it. And honestly I don’t care if he faked it, it doesn’t make this any less awesome.
I went for a handshake after he accepted the t-shirt, but he went for a hug instead (no news here, but, he’s jacked, btw). It was awesome. I didn’t get a word out of my mouth after that, and headed inside instead.
To again reinforce how lucky this was, here’s the crowd that was constantly surrounding Tim once we are all inside the store. There is zero chance I would have gone anywhere near that to try anything, way outside my comfort zone.
It was already one of the best days of my life! And I hadn’t even tried out the Apple Vision Pro yet. Or seen the reaction this would spark in the Apple community on Mastodon later today - and most especially John Moltz reaction which just made me smile even more, creator of the t-shirt itself.
Here I am unboxing my purchase a few hours later at my hotel room, barely being able to focus because I was still wired up from earlier, plus my phone blowing up (I had like 20 followers on Mastodon when the day started, and I’m not an active poster anyway but a very active reader) so getting boosted by John Moltz - the creator and seller of the t-shirt in question, meant a lot of awesome activity on my Mastodon.
Impressions of Apple Vision Pro will however have to wait to a different day and different post. But in real short: I had high expectations and a very high degree of understanding what I would experience from reading every review and watching every YouTube video I could get my hands on in the last months, but nevertheless I was blown away. It has to be experienced to be believed, I cannot think of any product where that is as true for as it is for this device.
I obviously have had very little time with it so far, it is now six hours since I left the store, so I intend to be back with more!
So my initial Mastodon post sits at almost 500 likes and 100 boosts at this point, and I realise in most context that is nothing but for somebody that had maybe 5 likes as his max before? Pretty cool. And it’s not the likes and boosts themselves but the fun new people I get to follow and the interactions it’s generating :) Also: wild and surreal to see my own name when opening my RSS reader as Pixel Envy linked to this story.
CNBC caught the actual t-shirt moment on camera during their on-air segment about the launch, and it’s available on their YouTube channel - the t-shirt handover happens at 00:35 seconds.
Not related to the t-shirt handover, but CNET also featured me briefly in their reporting from the launch (starting at 3 mins 10 seconds).
Tim Cook email
To put an absolute perfect ending to all this, Tim Cook actually responded to my email to him. On my way back on the same day, I just sent a very brief note containing what I would have said if I had my brain not scattered everywhere from the reality of it all when meeting him.