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Tim Cook’s wide-ranging interview at Startup Fest

Apple CEO Tim Cook has finished his tour of India, and has moved on to the Netherlands, sitting down for a nice chat with Neelie Kroes at Startup Fest Europe.

Cook discussed Apple’s role in helping entrepreneurs and young companies get their products to market, stressing the importance of allowing developers to focus on their product while Apple handles distribution – a potentially complex matter – through its App Store.

Following on from the announcement that Apple is opening a design and development center in Bengaluru, he confirmed that a similar dev center would be coming to Naples to encourage and improve the app development scene in Italy.

Speaking on the future of education, Cook made clear that he believes coding should become a mainstay of the compulsory school curriculum. Programming has become an increasingly important skill, relevant to many more types of work than ever before, and he hopes that teaching coding from an early age will help to improve diversity in the field.

Healthcare was another subject on the agenda, with Cook explaining that there is huge room for growth in a burgeoning sector of the App Store. With ResearchKit and HealthKit still relatively new technologies, he believes that technology can eventually help solve a “huge problem in the world.” Products like the Apple Watch will be key to improving personal healthcare.

Speaking of the Apple Watch, Cook thinks we’ll look back in years to come and wonder how we managed without smartwatches. The device has sold relatively well but is far from a must-have device – time will tell if Tim is right on this one. He also noted that there’s the Apple TV is just the start of Apple’s desire to “be a catalyst in changing the world of entertainment.” Maybe a reference to upcoming original programming from Apple, or a TV streaming service?

He ended the chat by reiterating that startups should focus on building great products as their number one concern. “Never do something for money. Do it for love, do it for passion.”

You can watch the interview in full here, though bear in mind it may be blocked in some regions.