How Apple Revolutionized Technology
The world is full of tech moguls: Larry Elison, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg. And of course, probably the greatest entrepreneur of the 20th and 21st centuries, Elon Musk. While Musk will surely go down in the history books, I believe that there is another name who should also sit right besides him. That name is Steven Jobs.
Jobs was a lot of things in his relatively short life. He was a father. He was an entrepreneur. And he was the greatest product guy of his generation. Simply put, Jobs did more than any single entrepreneur to further product management as a field. It now sits alongside marketing and engineering as one of the core disciplines of any successful Silicon Valley tech company.
How Mac Started
The first Macintosh Computer was born in a basement in Jobs’ garage in Silicon Valley in 1983, but the story of Apple goes back to way before that, when Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs met at college. By 1975, Jobs had dropped out of Reed College and Wozniak had dropped out of UC Berkeley. It was around this time that they started attending meetings of the Homebrew Club and also started tinkering on products in Jobs’ garage.
At the time, computers were used primarily for business, and even the very beginnings of a consumer-friendly computer were starting to develop. While Apple is known today for its user friendly product design, this is a phenomenon that is literally years on the making. The very first Apple, the Apple 1, was essentially sold as an assembled circuit board and didn’t even have a keyboard or a monitor! When compared to the high res displays of the modern Mac, this computer looks primitive indeed, but at the time it was absolutely revolutionary.
The first store to buy an Apple computer was called The Byte Shop. Jobs had to do a bit of creative wrangling in order to get the money to assemble The Byte Shop’s first order of 50 computers, but he was able to deliver them on time and in working order. Job then reinvested the rest of the profits in a new shipment of computers, and in this way was able to bootstrap the company to a profitable beginning without any outside investment.
How Apple Internationalized
A large part of Apple’s growth lies in its ability to internationalize efficiently. For example, after launching iTunes US in 2003, they were able to launch iTunes Europe in 2004 and iTunes Australia in 2005. This might not seem like that fast of a timeline, but when you consider that each country has its unique set of laws and regulations regarding intellectual property, it is certainly impressive. While Apple didn’t internationalize at the blazing pace of Uber, it was able to grow globally faster than most of its competitors.
As an example of how Apple has adapted to local markets, we can look at the city of Perth, Western Australia. This city is home to a number of fast-growing startups that specialize in Apple Repair, and of course is home to an Apple store as well. A quick search of “Macbook repair options in Perth” should give you an understanding of just how saturated the after sales market is for Apple products. Indeed, Apple has given birth to budding secondary ecosystems all over the world. A multi-billion dollar company itself, and quite possibly the world’ first trillion dollar company, Apple has birthed many many millionaires outside of its company walls as well as within.
iPhone sales in Australia grew nearly 10% in 2015, which should give you an understanding of the type of growth they are experiencing in international markets.
Where is Apple Today?
Today, Apple stands as one of the most successful companies in the world. It’s market cap is an astounding $624 billion USD and it’s stock, now over $100 dollars a share, is showing no signs of slowing down. While recent product launches have been yet to capture the excitement of earlier launches for products like the iPad, iPod, and iPhone, investors are bullish on Apple and so are consumers. As evidence of this optimism, we need look no further than the recent launch of the iPhone 6s, which sold out in a matter of days in shops worldwide. Even without Jobs at the helm, the future looks bright for Apple.
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