'The world isn't fair', is one of those lessons drilled through our ears and hammered into our brains as kids, and as teens and right through life. It's cynical and pessimistic, but maybe that's just how it is.
Despite this, I’ve always had conflicting thoughts. Though I’m not enormously religious, I sometimes catch myself believing in a god because it would be great, he’d better than the police, a moderator of the world - taking care of the logistics of fortune and making sure it gets distributed in the right proportion to the right people. A god could give us karma, providing people with what they deserve as opposed to the police, who simply protect us from what we don’t deserve.
I’ve always wished, and believed that the world worked like this, I just never had the evidence to back it up. Apple’s last quarter performance finally gives me the closure I’ve been looking for.
Apple’s products don’t hold any sentimental value to me, but Apple as a company has always represented the pinnacle of greatness and Steve Jobs, as a visionary has always represented where the world takes you if you have the audacity to take your passion far enough.
$46 billion in revenue is a great achievement, sure, but that’s not what makes Apple great, it’s merely a result of Apple’s greatness. Making money should never be a goal, it’s an achievement, whereas greatness is only truly achieved in the way in which people, or corporations conduct themselves. How someone does something is always more important than what they get out of it.
Samsung makes money too, so does RIM, so does Foxconn. But what sets Apple apart is that business, selling, market research and all those trivial things were always in the periphery for Apple. Making beautiful products and perfecting the little things was always the focus of Apple’s sights.
The greedy corporate guy would scoff at that while crunching the numbers, analysing with scrutiny the market research and throwing in the dollars to create a brand image.
And really, there’s nothing wrong with that, Apple does it too, but once these ideals overtake the product-oriented ideals that created the company in the first place, you’re no longer great. You no longer create products because you have a great idea, you do it because someone else did. You no longer have faith in your own conviction, but try to supplement a lackluster idea with the deceitful play of business.
The greatest innovators know that you can’t buy consumer perception, you can only earn it through the products that you make. The greatest ones know that passion can’t be redeemed for cash, it’s priceless. And the greatest know that only products delivered from the heart, can speak to the heart.
I respect Apple because Apple has always been like this and has always known this. The company never looks at how they could level with the competition, but are always in pursuit of their own vision, creating better products for the end consumer. Apple never let go of what they believed in even if it was hurting them financially. Mac OS wasn’t always a success, but the fight that the Apple team exhibited in persevering with Mac OS was, and it paid off. Love it or hate it, but Mac OS is objectively a fine operating system.
I’m definitely not one that likes to engage in delicate sentiments when discussing technology, but this is bigger than that. Siegler, Gruber, Federico Vittici and Stephen Hackett have all expressed immense pride in Apple’s blockbuster achievement, and it’s so much more than the money. It’s confirmation for me at least, that the world is indeed fair, and if there isn’t a god then the economics of life is indeed an impartial system.
The world is rife with winners and losers, most of the time it’s unclear why some are winning and some are losing, but over time things tend to unravel and the ones most deserving rise to the top whilst the others fall from the heights of their short term grace. I guess what Apple’s success proves to me is that it’s good to fight a losing battle if it’s one worth fighting for - because often times when we pursue our convictions and it’s just not working, it’s just life asking us whether we have the guts to fight for it or not. And that makes me happy.