Apple co-founder Woz reacts to landmark $1 trillion valuation

“Apple Inc. became the first publicly-traded U.S. company with a $1 trillion market cap, as its stock ticked up over $207.05 on Thursday, 42 years after its founding in Steve Jobs’s garage in Los Altos, Calif,” Ethan Wolff-Mann reports for Yahoo Finance.

“But its co-founder and initial computer science genius, Steve Wozniak, reached in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, took the news in stride,” Wolff-Mann reports. “‘Of course I’m proud of Apple, but I don’t measure the world by human simplifications like round numbers,’ Wozniak told Yahoo Finance in an email. ‘A company is great because it is great.'”

“Wozniak, known as Woz, stepped away from his day-to-day role at Apple in 1985, but is technically still an employee who gets a check,” Wolff-Mann reports. “‘So many, even small and unnoticed steps meant a lot to me personally. But most would probably agree that Steve Jobs’s return was the key element, even though our valuation didn’t go up until the iPod,’ he said. When Apple first traded as a public company in 1980, a share cost $0.47 and the company’s market cap was $1.8 billion. In 1997, just before Jobs returned as CEO, Apple’s stock had been fluctuating, falling under $1.7 billion.”

The garage where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple in Silicon Valley at 2066 Crist Dr. in Los Altos, California
The garage where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple in Silicon Valley at 2066 Crist Dr. in Los Altos, California (photo:

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  1. Woz is usually quite a bit salty when he’s been quoted in the press these days. But in this instance he is absolutely correct in placing the concepts of money and valuations in context. I got my first Apple II when I was a kid and it was a catalyst that made me excited about computers and the possibilities of what could be done with them. Little did I know then that I would go on to be a lifelong Apple customer. As a creative professional I know that many of the best things I have made in my life have been with the tools provided by Apple. Just as it was dismaying to see Apple outmaneuvered in business in the 80’s, conversely it has been a thrill to see their stunning recovery over the past 20 years, capped by this trillion dollar valuation today. Apple’s founders set out to create great products that would change the world and they absolutely succeeded.

  2. Woz is wealthy already so why should he care whether Apple reaches $1T or not? Even as a regular shareholder, the market cap doesn’t matter to me as long as the share price climbs higher. When I first bought Apple back in 2004, I never thought it would reach these heights even in my wildest dreams.

    What really blows me away is how all these analysts are claiming a half-dozen companies are going to have $1T market caps as though it’s so easy to do. Apple did it, so it must be easy for any tech company to do it.

    1. I don’t believe that Woz owns much AAPL. But I agree with the sentiment of your statement about already being wealthy and not really caring much about getting more money. That actually applies to Woz. Unfortunately, it does not apply to many wealthy people who want more, more, more, even if it means that other people get less, less, less.

      It is not necessary to impoverish the majority of people to provide an excess of wealth to a small minority of people. But wealth breeds wealth, just as poverty breeds poverty. It is certainly possible for a young person to begin life in poverty and work their way up through a good education to a middle class lifestyle or higher. But the people who start out wealthy certainly have an advantage. Once you are wealthy, you can afford to hire people to make you even wealthier. You can borrow money at advantageous interest rates, gain access to more timely investment information, utilize more sophisticated investment strategies such as hedging to maximize your return versus the investment risk. Once you get the first few million dollar, the next few million or more comes a lot easier. And that continues up the chain.

      I don’t hate wealthy people. I would like to be one. But I would not want to get there on the backs of the poor and working class. Businesses can flourish while still providing a reasonable standard of living to their employees. Any person working full time should not have to seek government assistance to get by. Yet, we have Walmart employees on food stamps. You and I are subsidizing Walmart’s low wages, even if we don’t shop there.

      A living wage. It just makes sense – for everyone.

  3. 4-minute mile. The first is always the toughest. Others will follow. The barrier has been broken. (That Chinese petrochem IPO doesn’t count; it was a blip of crazy valuation that often happens with IPOs).

  4. I’ll always respect Woz after going through his elegant Apple II programming, no matter what he did or said afterwards. There are only a few people on Earth that did seminal, groundbreaking things. We should all respect them for that, and ignore their other failings. The rest of us toil in obscurity, and for that we should be just as glad.

  5. Accounting for inflation, though still impressive, that number isn’t actually all that surprising. In fact, if anything, it’s indicative of how very out of control inflation has gotten in America. Still, Michael Dell must be pooping his pants.

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