Apple? Oh pleeease!

Jim Whitehead (
Wed, 26 Feb 1997 11:21:48 -0800

>> Jobs may be the only solipsist who was ever right. In
>> computers at least, the world is his creation. And it is
>> hard to escape that gnawing feeling that Apple's story
>> is just one gigantic epic novel, a bildungsroman being
>> written by Steve Jobs, in which all of us--employees,
>> competitors, customers and observers--are merely
>> characters, creations of his arbitrary imagination. And
>> if you doubt that, look at Jobs' ironic smile.

Oh pleeeease! This is getting ridiculous. Can we have some *real*
analysis in further posts about Apple? Solipsism is right -- the media is
just feeding off of themselves anymore. I'm eagerly awaiting the piece in
the Economist which lays down the facts:

1a) Apple is still losing money (and appears poised to continue losing money)
1b) NeXT was still losing money when it was purchased
2) At a time when they need to be focusing on basics (like, how do we
consistently manufacture laptops which work, how do we get new computer
purchasers to buy Macintosh, and how do we reduce our inventory), they are
involved in a soap-opera in which 90% of all institutional knowledge among
the upper management team has been dissipated. This does not bode well.
3) People forget that there were good reasons to oust Jobs the first time
4) The Mac OS is still not compatible, and is not projected to become
compatible with the vast majority of existing software (i.e., WinTel
5) What is the compelling reason for the average corporate or home user to
want Rhapsody? They can already do word processing, spreadsheets, email,
and Web access just fine on their WinTel platform. I'm sure Rhapsody is
great for some niche markets, but how will it convince the average user to
switch? Again, I'm not talking engineers who appreciate a fine OS design,
I'm talking about the average user.

End result: Apple, and NeXT, are going down. My prediction: by the year
2000 Apple will be bought at fire sale prices for its brand name (e.g.
Wang), which will be slapped on WinTel machines, and Apple will become a
footnote in the history of computers, just like Dodge, and a slew of other
auto brands which used to be separate companies.

Also, why do we only hear about Apple on this list? Again, I sense we,
like many others, are falling prey to the Apple media machine which
consistently gets Apple more media converage per dollar of sales than any
other company. For example, how about Compaq? In 1995 they had ~$14
billion in sales, made a hefty profit off of this, and presumably had a
good, but not stellar year in 1996 as well. Can any of you name the
President and CEO of Compaq? (It's Eckhard Pfeiffer -- he was got the
position in 1991 after serving as an Executive Vice President and COO for
eight years. What a concept, hire someone with a good track record and
knowledge about how the company and industry works!) Why not, dollar-wise
they're a peer of Apple (and more importantly, they're still in the black).

- Jim