Back on the cusp of the new century, I was one of the ThinkPad people, rarely encountering Mac machines unless you counted those used by Forbes.com’s design staff. In August 2000, when I joined Red Herring (the Jason Pontin edition), I got a Pismo Powerbook running the Mac OS 9.
As a technology journalist chronicling the world of Internet and broadband, I could see that our world was going to change. All media was going to go digital and would be distributed over this new broadband network. It was a matter of when and how.
In January 2001, when Steve Jobs spoke about his digital hub strategy, a lightbulb went off in my head. Apple was going to be the company that would lead us through the transition.
Fast-forward to today, Apple has done what Jobs wanted it to do. Apple and its products have done insanely amazing things: disrupted an entire industry (music), invented new product categories, and now the iPhone is reinventing not only the mobile phone business, but the very idea of computing itself.
It has survived (so far) near-death experiences of its leader, Jobs. Most importantly, the company was smart to recognize early on that commodity hardware was merely a springboard for premium user experiences. It was also smart in remembering that mass brings morass.
No one can deny Google’s achievements, but for many reasons Apple is the company of the decade. Google’s stock performance inspires shock and awe, but pales in comparison to Apple. Look at it yourself!
Since Google went public, the search engine giant is up nearly 500 percent. During the same time frame, Apple’s stock has climbed 1,200 percent. From 2000 to 2009, Apple’s stock was up nearly 10 times — climbing from a mere $24 a share to $211 a share at the end of 2009.
As the next decade of the 21st century rolls around, it’s becoming obvious that the battle between Google and Apple is going to dominate the headlines for years to come.
- Fortune magazine: “Steve Jobs: CEO of the Decade”
- Harvard Business Review: “Steve Jobs, Best-Performing CEO in the World”
- Wall Street Journal: “Steve Jobs: Person of the Decade”
- Adweek: “Apple: Brand of the Decade”