The first personal computer I ever saw was something I did not understand – a fellow by the name of John Hayes, wherever he may be right now, was trying to explain it to me. I asked the name.
“Apple II,” he said.
Thirty three years later I am typing on a Mac, I own an iPad as does my wife, all four us in the family use Macs and iPhones.
Thank you Steve Jobs.
Mr. Jobs was, not arguably, was, the greatest businessman of the second half of the twentieth century and easily the best one in this new century. The testament to his success is the way people describe his former and vanquished rival Bill Gates – “Gates is the richest man in the world.” Not the best businessman or visionary or technologist or leader. Gates and Jobs stole the idea of a windows based computing environment at the same time from Xerox. Gates browbeat the world into using Windows; Jobs wooed the world and eventually he got it right, people came to the Mac and Apple and superior design and ease of use. They were not forced into it by upgrade policies and explicit threats of obsolescence that became the norm of the Microsoft (MSFT) sales force.
This journey had ups and downs and his genius as a businessman is best seen in his ability to re-invent and to create – the first generation Apples, then the Lisa, then the operating system of the NEXT, then Pixar, then the iPod, iTunes, the iPhone, the iPad, the cloud. You can see him introduce the Mac here.
I never met him but I believe he would appreciate being remembered by the elegance, utility and power of his creations not his market share or personal wealth.
Think about it – touch screens and Woody and a near bulletproof operating system and a computer that, when you first register it the system recognizes your email address, knows you are already an iTunes customer and completes the registration for you. From one man, one vision. Oh, and he was the force behind the greatest television commercial ever made – “1984.”
I will not say what a waste – all death is tragic in its own way but he led the most “un-wasteful” of lives. He will be missed.
And since you are probably an investor or trader, you must be aware that Apple (AAPL) is the best company on the planet, should be trading at $800-$1100 a share based on historical valuations and is only about one third through its conquest of the marketplace. It doubled in size during the intensity of the Great Recession, it will do so again in the next three years without any sacrifice of profit margins. It has but a tiny fraction of the cell phone market – perhaps less than 4% worldwide. It has less than 3% of the worldwide computer market. And if you count netbooks, tablets and low cost laptops as one market, it has less than 10% of that market. Incredible room to run. it is the one great stock on any thinking person's list of stocks to own.
I own it, I am not selling it, I write covered calls against it and generate my own 15%-18% dividend, I don’t care if it slides with the market, and if I ever sell it, I will keep one share, get the actual share, and frame it.