He's no Steve Jobs -- so goes the conventional wisdom -- but Apple
) CEO Tim Cook is ostensibly still very highly thought of, according to the record bids a charity coffee date with him is fetching.
The online charity auction site CharityBuzz is auctioning off a 30-minute to one-hour meeting with Cook at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. As of Monday, a day before the auction closes, the highest bid stood at $605,000. That is a mere $5,000 away from the top-earning item ever in CharityBuzz's history: a Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster that went for $610,000 in a March auction.
Would you pay $610,000 to meet Tim Cook? Clearly, CharityBuzz did not think Cook's appeal would be so strong -- the meeting with Cook carried an estimated value of only $50,000, compared to the Lamborghini's $500,000 estimated value.
So far, Cook has attracted some 85 bids, and they are mostly from app developers and entrepreneurs who presumably want either publicity to attract investors or face time with Cook to pitch their products.
"It would give us a chance to showcase the whole concept of what we're doing to [Cook]," explained Rakesh Kumar, found of the startup Drbluetooth.com, to the Guardian. Kumar said. "What we can show on our website is very limited in comparison." Drbluetooth.com, which sells Bluetooth headsets, had put in a $580,000 bid last week.
"I'm sure he would give us some frank opinions," Kumar added.
Clearcrate, which makes case protestors for iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks, also put in an offer at $560,000. But perhaps the most intriguing bids, at $590,000 and $600,000, came from Povely.com, a company that offers a free Bible app on Apple's store. Only God will know what the company would have discussed with Cook, since according to the auction rules, "the winner cannot blog, social network, talk to press, write about, take pictures or record during the experience in any way due to security regulations."
Unlike the firms that put in bids earlier, the current leading bid appears to be publicity-averse, leaving a name of "J********n" on the bid for time with Cook.
If you're a aspiring app developer who can't quite gather up $610,000 to get a one-on-one meeting with Cook, perhaps you can consider two other high-flying tech CEOs: Elon Musk and Square's Jack Dorsey.
A chance to tour SpaceX's rocket and spacecraft factory and meet Musk, the entrepreneur behind PayPal
), and Space X, is going for $19,000 on CharityBuzz with one day left to bid.
Meanwhile,Twitter co-founder Dorsey is auctioning on eBay a lunch meeting with him at Square's office in San Francisco for charity, and with three days before the auction closes, the highest bid is at a much more affordable $15,600.
Proceeds from the Cook and Musk auctions will benefit The RFK Center for Justice & Human Rights while the money from Dorsey's auction will go to BUILD.org, which aims "to use entrepreneurship to excite and propel disadvantaged and disengaged students through high school to college and career success."
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