January 16, 2006

Gloat-free growth

Apple Computer experienced a minor triumph last Friday – the total value of all its outstanding stock exceeded that of rival Dell Computer. Apple’s Steve Jobs recalled Michael Dell’s advice to him when he returned to Apple in 1997: shut Apple down and give the money back to the shareholders.

Jobs, of course, took a different tack. Which allowed him to send an e-mail to all Apple employees last week:

…it turned out that Michael Dell wasn't perfect at predicting the future. Based on today's stock market close, Apple is worth more than Dell. Stocks go up and down, and things may be different tomorrow, but I thought it was worth a moment of reflection today. Steve.

Jobs noted, but didn’t gloat over, the event. He showed how he has a good grower’s appreciation of impermanence (see Jan 11 post on the iPod Mini). And a smart CEO’s wariness of the stock market.

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