Last Thursday, Apple made it official: The first trillion-dollar organization in history as measured by market capitalization.
Let’s take a step back in time to see what Apple did and what they are doing today to position themselves as a technology leader. More importantly, what lessons you can learn from their journey.
Apple’s Historical Landmarks
1976: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak become co-founders of Apple Computers.
1977: Apple II is announced, primarily aimed at the education niche.
1985: Steve Jobs leaves Apple to start NeXT, Inc.
1997: Apple almost goes bankrupt.
1997: Steve Jobs returns to Apple to rebuild the company he founded.
2001: The iPod is introduced. The capability to have “1,000 songs in your pocket” virtually destroys the CD marketplace. They still make iPods today, but not in mass quantities.
2007: Apple changes its name from Apple Computer to Apple, Inc., recognizing it’s going to be much more than computers.
2007: iPhone comes to the marketplace in June. It was a seismic occurrence, revolutionizing the way smartphones are used today.
2009: Stock price is $11.50 per share.
2010: iPad launches, revolutionizing the tablet industry.
2010: Apple reaches market capitalization of $200 billion, surpassing Wal-Mart.
2012: The company obtains a $600 billion market cap.
What Apple is Doing Today and What You Can Learn from It
- In March, they opened up Apple Park, their $5 billion headquarters located on a 175-acre campus, focused on a welcoming atmosphere for visitors, healthy employee options and renewable energy.
Is your visitor area engaging? Do you encourage healthy eating by stocking your company’s kitchen with healthy food and beverages? What about fitness alternatives – gym or hiking trails?
- In April, they declared 100% renewable energy at all locations and are encouraging their partners to do the same.
Are you following a green program? Are there ways your organization can reduce, reuse and recycle? And cut down on energy consumption?
- In the second quarter of this year, they spent $3.7 billion on research and development, a 42% increase over the same period in 2016.
Are you investing in product R&D? In your employees’ development? In streamlining your workforce process?
- Apple has over $250 billion in cash reserves and is in the process of buying back its own stocks and dividends.
Do you have large cash reserves in place? Are you investing in your own building, infrastructure and technology?
- They have committed to invest $30 billion in the U.S. over the next five years.
Are you investing in other U.S. businesses? Are you buying local?
- Apple’s operating margin is 26 percent, which is one of the highest in the industry.
Can you drive higher margins through product innovation, brand loyalty and reduction of costs?
- The company is taking the issue of technology addiction seriously. In their next version of iOS, it can show a weekly summary of application usage and let you set time limits for each one.
Does your company have “no mobile technology” zones or times? Do you have an electronic communications policy in place? If so, does it have clear directions about email, social media and texting?
Hats Off to Apple’s Accomplishment
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