“One of the greatest examples in business history of a large organization’s maneuverability took place right before our eyes: Apple Inc.,” Rich Karlgaard and Michael S. Malone write for Salon. “In September 2002, Apple’s future was thought to be so bleak you could buy shares in Apple Computer at a price that valued its operating enterprise at less than zero. What you were buying, if you had been so bold, was Apple’s cash reserves of $5 billion. Beyond that, you were buying a prayer that Apple could do something with that cash.”
“Remember, this was five years after the return of Steve Jobs,” Karlgaard and Malone write. “Contrary to myth, Jobs did not immediately turn around Apple’s dismal fortunes. Yet just one decade later, Apple would drop the “Computer” from its name but win the world. It would become the richest company on earth in September 2012, valued at $656 billion.”
Karlgaard and Malone write, “Did Steve Jobs see himself as a lone hero? Perhaps, but it’s hard to ignore what he told 60 Minutes: ‘My model for business is the Beatles: They were four guys that kept each other’s negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are never done by one person; they are done by a team of people.'”
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MacDailyNews Take: If Apple were The Beatles, Steve Jobs was John, Paul, George, and Ringo combined. The supporting cast, which changed depending on the product or service, were a collective George Martin supplying a stream of ideas, the best of which were nurtured, molded, and perfected by the visionary genius.