It is food for thought. When I was around 18 or so, before getting drafted in 69, and from Long Island suburb, and going to a community college in Nassau at night, I worked for Merrill Lynch as a 'buy-in clerk' in bond operations. Basically a detective in house to work on failed trades. In those days it took 5 days to consummate a trade ( deliver or receive). I had access and security clearance for vault and all departments ( legal transfer, accounting, coupons (unregistered coupon bonds), etc. There were 4 of us in the company (on Pine Street, which was owned by Merrill, for the whole world). I was lucky and had a vice president (head of bond operations) as a friend via wives working together at some airline ( Pan Am).
This was so many years ago that you would not recognize the financial instruments and indexes and short selling, credit default swaps and Collateralized debt obligations, or half the stuff going on nowadays when I was working there. They didn't exist.
Back then people actually rode bicycles around the streets to deliver stocks and bonds ( the real physical documents) to and from brokers. It was very busy. This is before the NYSE went public and merged with other places around world.
One thing that became extremely ( and I do mean Extremely) obvious is that what happens on paper is often very divorced from the real world of providing product and service and generating good things for the "people" of the world. For example, a person who plants a seed, grows a corn plant, and picks the corn and puts it on the 'market' ( sells the corn made), is the REAL world. Someone who short sells on a 'bet' that some company stock will go down within 5 days ( back then the trade failed after 5 days) was just on paper and like being at the horse track. Nothing to do with real products, people working, people getting benefit of EATING corn that is affordable, etc.
In today's world of "global economy" it is pretty obvious that what is good for some is NOT GOOD for others. There are zillions of reasons for this. Too complicated to get into. But the economy is man made. It is NOT nature. It is not written in stone like the 10 commandments.
It is a fiction made up to facilitate financial investment to accommodate risk vs. hope.
To say that Apple is doing great due to current stock value ( times x number of shares) is like saying TULIPS ARE WORTH $100.00 EACH.
Who cares ? It has no real value unless you own shares and you have the shares X whatever dividend it pays per quarter.
In my opinion it (the company in general ) is just a fad that spread out across the world via iPhone sales, where people (especially poor countries with no twisted pair ( telephone), no cable (internet, tv, telephone), and no NOTHIN but cell towers or maybe satellites. I could not care less about their growth selling stupid iphones.
So you get an iPhone in some blighted place in India, and somehow you get a signal, and you play 'angry birds' or you sign onto facebook. Who cares ??
It's just a stupid fad.
Yes, I agree with everything you say.
But there is a reality behind it. Apple operates at profit margins around 40%. At least they did a couple of years ago; if anything it's probably higher now. That's completely unheard of anywhere else. Normally 10-15% is considered good business. 40% is printing money.
That's real people, paying real money, for a real product. Nothing abstract about that number.
Thanks for reply. You have a good head on your shoulders and I share your amazement or POV re: making the point about value of company. Some people would probably get into 'regulation issues' and 'buyback options' ( apple is buying back a billion now ? which artificially inflates value but is very normal now..is drop in bucket and probably only effects those with stock options like CEO etc... Adobe does same thing )
I'm happy not to get into that marshland of regulations and so on between international companies.
It is definitely food for thought and thanks for mentioning it.
I wonder if the superstructure mergers ( the delivery and upload of data ) for the devices, the media changing from broadcast to cable and satellite, etc. will have a big effect on future investments to deal with the technology. God forbid there should be some crazy 'trade' or currency manipulation, or dictator with atomic bombs ready to launch on some bank's head... like the Federal Reserve.. and upset all the nice fun profits everyone is making.
I hope you live nearby and are growing corn so I can maybe come to your house and not starve to death if things get ugly.
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There was an interesting article on the BBC site yesterday about bullying in the workplace, and it cited Steve Jobs, as well as Elon Musk, and Amazon's Jeff Bezos as being 'not renowned for their friendly or warm leadership styles'. It also says of Jobs that:
Numerous talented people, including his co-founders, reportedly left Apple because of Steve Jobs’ management style.
We have a saying here — or rather the Maori do:
He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people
In organisations like Apple, their human resource is often their biggest cost, and they need to get the best return on that cost. I was so touched by the article that I wrote to its author Jeff Pfeffer, with my own experience at Ford Research/Product development. When I started there nepotism and Freemasonry were key to advancement. Middle management were a nightmare. Usually stupid, with animal cunning, and it was not a nice working environment. Then along came the Japanese motor industry who could get a new vehicle from concept to showroom floor in six months to a year, where we took three years — we had to change or go under. From this point the old wood was cut away, and some very clever people were promoted. They were quietly spoken, and utterly focused. Everyone's input was valued, and we evolved to producing much more output, with far less people.
Did Steve Jobs make Apple the most valuable company in the world, or is it Tim Cook's leadership? I don't know much about Tim, but the few links I found all seemed to suggest a very different style of management, and it seems to have been effective.
Instead of simply continuing the legacy of Jobs' autocratic leadership style, Cook has played to his strengths and placed emphasis on advancing cooperation among Apple's arsenal of talent. This is extremely indicative of the democratic style of management, which encourages consensus building, particularly among high-level employees prior to mutually consented decision making.
It's worth noting that Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen worked for Apple before moving to Adobe in 1998, and has apparently bought much of his leadership style from Apple to Adobe. My favourite quote from this interview is:
I like to say that if you can connect all the dots between what you see today and where you want to go, then it’s probably not ambitious enough or aspirational enough.
That is a theme that has persisted throughout the 'Something For The Weekend' threads. People are producing images when they initially didn't know how they could be done. They had to work it out, and learn new skills, which is both a pleasure, as well as expanding your Content Creation tool box (people are not just using Photoshop. Various 3D apps, and After Effects, are two of the other tools I know are being used, and I plan to start using Animator for my GIFs).
When looking at such numbers it is hard to imagine what 1,000,000,000,000 means when you think in currency.
However we all know what a second feels like.
1,000,000 seconds is just over 11.5 days
1,000,000,000 seconds is approx 31.7 years
1,000,000,000,000 seconds is approx 31,700 years!
It makes you think doesn't it.
In short, it's a number only astronomers will be entirely comfortable with...
Trevor, maybe Tim Cook is harvesting what Steve Jobs planted. I'm going to be kind and call it brand loyalty. Whatever you think about that, Steve Jobs made it, it woudn't have happened without him.
I'm not real impressed personally. There are very odd things going on re: global and "country-centric" economies.
Too complicated. Here's a simple example, though. I have a defined retirement benefit 'pension' via MPIPHP. Those type of plans ( whether a single company or a multi-employer plan ) have been pushed out in favor of 401K plans. What happens ? Every payday an employee puts money directly into 401K. That plan is NOT protected by federal insurance via Dept. of Labor standards ( restrictions on only being able to invest in AAA stocks, bonds, etc. ( no sense getting into the credit default swap thing that made this a debacle in past)).
In essence, you CAN usually tell your 401K manager to invest is less risky things as you get older but it is what it is … If the market plummets you ( along with everyone else in U.S.) are out of luck.
So, I got this defined plan, which is basically Hollywood and the U.S. and Canada type stuff, and the retired people are living longer and getting all sorts of knee replacements and heart valves and all that stuff ( health care is separate theoretically from the pension but they are related too re: administration costs etc. ). Anyway, here's the funny part. Let's say a company is not doing well and they decide to lay off about 10,000 workers to save money. Close a plant or two. Maybe outsource the manufacturing ( like Apple - make the phones in China with little slave workers who sometimes throw themselves out windows to kill themselves, they are so happy ).
What saves the company money and raises stock price, hurts the workers. The very morons who are putting their money into the 401K are necessarily hurting their own prospects as workers, because they 'compete' ( wages, benefits) with the little slaves in China and elsewhere. The people in the U.S. have been brain washed into thinking the 401K ( as opposed to those horrible defined benefit plans ( sometimes associated with those horrible things called 'unions' )) helps them and drives the market up and makes their future bright and fun. Meantime, everyone is seeing the disparity between little middle class worker bees and those who are flying high in the ionosphere above it all, as global movers and players.
The number for Apple is to me a wake up call and a danger sign, and the exact opposite of something that should be worshipped.
Here's an even more simple thing to wrap your head around. Every single payday, every week, millions and millions of dollars are getting pumped into the stock market via 401k. That never happened before in the history of mankind. If you owned a race course and every week millions and millions of dollars came into your coffers, for YOU to do what you want , to make bets, with the full FAITH of the idiots who are sending you the money, wouldn't you be happy as a pig in your know what ??
Unlike the richest & most powerful men who built America -- Cornelius Vanderbilt, JD Rockerfeller Sr., Andrew Carnegie, JP Morgan and others, Steve Jobs never got the importance of philanthropy. At the time, he was sharply criticized for it and he had plenty of lame excuses too.
I'm not taking anything away from Jobs' genius at Apple but as a lover of human beings, he really sucked. Money was how Steve Jobs measured his successes and failures. By all appearances, he had no interest in parting with it. Maybe if Jobs had lived longer, the philanthropy bell would have resonated more for him. But since he didn't, he never redeemed himself in my book.
Money was how Steve Jobs measured his successes and failures.
Well, you know, once you get a lot of it, you tend to think you deserve it. Remember the TED talk thing about the rigged monopoly game?
Tax evasion is becoming a big thing over here in Europe now. These tech companies just shift the profits around from country to country, and pay about as many zeros in taxes, except this time with a dot up front. IOW nothing.
But what fascinated me was this: How did Apple grow to become godzilla, the ultimate monster corporation, and we didn't even notice it? I know a lot of people who still think of Apple as the "hippie" company.
Even irrespective of the time being compared here, the figure TRILLION is actually a big deal, but still a good comparison
A local horse named Charlie, recently started working as an UBER AMISH horsey in his neighborhood. The town is very small and the economy is local (not capitalism as seen through the eyes of International Global Companies like APPLE).
Some animal rights people right away started to chastise the owner of Charlie, and Charlie himself, saying, " This is just another example of using animals in a demeaning and cruel way to make money." But, Charlie LIKES to work and do horsey things, like trot around pulling a small carriage of people to where they want to go. He LIKES IT !
Charlie was interviewed by this reporter and in answer to my question about being mistreated he said, "This is just another example of people not understanding what we horses like to do. Just like the crazy people who want to abolish us from having fun pulling people around in Central Park. Nobody ever asks us how WE feel about it, how we like being productive and active."
Stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it, APPLE !
Moral of story: you can't outsource to little Asian slaves what your local horsey likes to do in your home town !
All right. I'll just have to come right out and say it, subtle nudging only causes misunderstandings.
The point here isn't an incredibly rich tech corporation. The point is that it's Apple. Apple, with the loyal following sometimes bordering on religious cult. Others have achieved brand loyalty, but never as strong, and never before on such as massive scale as to dominate the entire world economy. That's why the figure with all the zeros is significant.
It's a unique phenomenon in history. And that's Steve Jobs, nobody else. Tim Cook is just riding the wave, and it's still strong. How did Steve do it? Where did he find the holy grail that everybody's been out looking for?
The subject is certainly interesting and many faceted. Let's say the 'subject' is SPECIFICALLY the number (current value) and the mystique of STEVE JOBS who ( as you infer ) created this.
I share your interest in this subject.
To think about it must require some degree of personal experience ( one's own life and education re: various deductions ) to respond in any meaningful way. That means that demographics comes into it, because people of different ages, sex (what's the word for male / female? ), economic "class" ( tinker, tailor, soldier, spy ) and character (pathos and so on ). Everyone will have some degree of 'interpretation' of the proposed SUBJECT.
Those with a more humanitarian upbringing ( like someone who actually READ the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, or who studied the classics ( learning Latin and Greek along the way), as opposed to someone who focused entirely on economics, business ( MBA), science, math, etc. will probably have different viewpoints about
1) what the importance of this subject is
2) how to interpret the effect on overall subdivisions of world population of humans in their respective positions.
One such area of already mentioned potential interest is the 'marketing, branding, customer loyalty, and charisma of Steve Jobs'.
In a strictly rational reflection, taking into account the nature of a dichotomy, ( in this case it can be described as it "takes 2 to Tango" ) the customers and Steve Jobs actually have equal value. That means, basically, that without the customers giving credence to Steve, and willingly DESIRING his affiliation, there would not have been a dynamic Steve.
If, considering this, the actual products, value added to consumers life via product(s), was entirely dependent on Steve, the company would have died along with Steve.
So I don't personally get the infatuation with Steve and never did, for that matter.
What is fascinating about this thread to me is the various reactions people have to the NUMBER and how the phenomenon fits in with all the nice people who react to it by adding something to the thread.
Otherwise, there's basically nothin to talk about. Nothin to add, nothin to dwell on and excite thought.
Where did he find the holy grail that everybody's been out looking for?
Are you by any chance thinking there is some metaphysical intervention regarding Steve and what the current value of the company is ?
I'm just curious and don't place any negative or positive value to that interest
How cool is that ?? And last I saw it pays about 7 bucks per quarter or something ? Cool beans.