Apple CEO Tim Cook responded to the question 'When is it okay to break the rules?' with an advice that people should 'rarely follow the rules.

Cook went to visit his alma mater and gave a leadership speech to the MBA students of Duke's Fuqua School of Business last May 29. One student threw in the question and received that advice. He also added that it is best if they learn to write their own rules and to break away from the existing rules as doing things on a standard way is a 'rotten strategy' and will hinder someone from beating everyone in the competition.

Videos of the speech are now available in YouTube but here is an excerpt.

"I think you should rarely follow the rules. I think you should write the rules. If you follow things in a formulaic manner, you will wind up at best being the same as everybody else. ... If you want to excel you can't do that. I watched a lot of companies do that, and I think that's a rotten strategy. I think you need to write your own rules."

Cook has been doing well in driving Apple and maintaining its position as the most profitable business in the world after the death of his co-founder Steve Jobs. Despite the competition that Apple has with Samsung, the company's arch rival, the chief executive wasn't bothered.

So how does he break the rules? CNET posted on its website the numbers of the production of the top five smartphones shipments and market share. Apple's iOS is runner-up to Samsung due to low shipment.

Cook was not worried and told in an interview at the AllThingsD that Apple is not into producing quantity because they aim for quality and satisfaction of the users. The business rule says produce more to earn more but this is definitely not Apple's rule.