Apple — Most Valuable but Also Most Vulnerable

Not a single day can go nowadays without the media elating about the skyrocketing trajectory of Apple’s stock price. The Cupertino, CA-based company seems to be breaking record over record. TV anchors get giddy when they report how the tech giant’s market cap has surpassed the GDPs of most developed countries on Earth. Many people realize that this rise has become a bubble. Some even dare to predict “doom’s day” when Apple’s stock will crash. However, not too many pundits have really tried to explain what drives Apple’s dominance, why it may be nearing its end (and why this is something completely normal to observe as part of any company’s business cycle). In this post, I’ll borrow from business theory to offer my slightly non-conventional perspective on Apple’s future.

Please note that this post is part 2 in my September 2012 trilogy, which also includes the following:

  • Apple’s Innovator Myth
  • Nokia — The Unsung Hero of Modern-Day Technology
  • I hope you’ll read the other two posts, as well. But since you’re already here, why don’t you first learn how the “most valuable” company may also be very, very vulnerable.

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    Posted in Business, Opinion, Technology | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

    Apple’s Innovator Myth

    Many pundits have competed to offer superlatives regarding Apple. The innovation, the snazziness, the incredible success story…

    As Apple grew in its dominance both on the consumer electronics market and the financial stock exchange, reasonable analysts started asking themselves when the hype would evaporate and the Apple bubble would finally burst. I’ve seen too many flame wars online between die-hard Apple fanboys and their equally relentless opponents from the Fandroid camp. Instead of adding fuel to the fire by going for the countless time through the same arguments that you can find on other sites, I thought I’d contribute by offering a slightly different perspective.

    This post is part 1 in a trilogy that I have been meaning to write for a long time. In the ensuing paragraphs below, I use financial analysis — something that has been blatantly missing from most tech blogs’ posts and mainstream media articles about Apple lately — to dispel the myth that Apple is the great innovator in the smart phone space.

    The other two posts in my trilogy focus on related topics:

  • Apple — Most Valuable but Also Most Vulnerable
  • Nokia — The Unsung Hero of Modern-Day Technology
  • I hope you’ll read the other two posts, as well. Meanwhile, if you want to find out why Apple is a marketing machine, not the incubator of innovation that it would like you to believe it is, first read my insights below.

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    Posted in Business, Opinion, Technology | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

    Rotten Apple

    My Apple Infringment

    What a “fruitilicious” weekend did we just have! A company that once shot an iconic Orwellian-themed TV ad fighting for the people against “Big Brother” corporations has succumbed to its own success and become the ultimate “Evil Empire.” A company whose founder believed that “good artists copy, great artists steal,” has hired the highest-paid IP lawyers to turn into the greatest patent troll of history. Yes, you guessed it, this post is about Apple! Continue reading

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    Is Soccer Econometrics a Myth?

    Is Soccer Econometrics a Myth?

    A month ago I made a few joking comments in front of my friends about the best way to predict the teams that advance the furthest in major soccer tournaments, such as the Euro Cup or the World Cup. The two most controversial and attention-grabbing truisms that I mentioned at the time were the state of the economy of each country and the brand on the football shirts of each team. Looking at the four teams who have reached the semi-finals stage at the Euro 2012 shows that these two truisms stand strong. Continue reading

    Posted in Opinion, Sports | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

    When is ESPN Going to Understand the World?

    Mismatched Flags

    The Euro Cup 2012 is finally on and now most soccer fans like me can really kick back and enjoy high quality soccer (plus plenty of sports drama) while watching some of the best players in the world compete against each other on the stadiums of Poland and Ukraine. The first game (between Greece and Poland) was definitely a story of constant twists and turns, with the final outcome not certain until the very end. This is all very promising. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a great tournament overall.

    However, my post is not focused on the tournament itself. I just noticed a glaring mistake on ESPN’s information center dedicated to the Euro Cup, which begs highlighting. I mean, in the current digital and connected world, how could a self-respecting and mainstream sports outlet not have the flags of the participating countries properly sorted out? I can’t find an excuse for affixing England’s flag to Greece and — even more ridiculously — using Greece’s flag for Poland. The result, as captured by the screenshot in the beginning of this post is hilarious…

    Great job, ESPN, bravo! :)

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    Not Your Typical View of Paris

    Looking at Eiffel Tower from the Luxury of Beautiful Nature

    It took me exactly 438 days (a little over 14 months) to get the chance to take photos of a view that had enchanted me from the moment I first saw it. A week ago, I was passing through Paris on my way to my Five-Year MBA Reunion. Although I had less than 24 hours to spend in that beautiful city, I also had a special mission to accomplish.

    In March 2011, I was passing through Paris on a business trip. I had seen most of Paris on previous trips and was looking for something new and unusual. My aunt — who is one of the best connoisseurs of Paris that I have ever encountered in my life — suggested that I check out a little known place in the 20th Arrondissement, called Parc de Belleville. I went there with very low expectations, and immediately fell in love with the magnificent and unusual view of Paris I could see from there. Unfortunately, I only had my work Blackberry on me at the time and the photo I took with it looked miserable at best. Ever since then, I had been thinking about going back to that place — armed with a good camera. Now, finally the opportunity to accomplish that had arisen. Continue reading

    Posted in Experience, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

    A B-School Reunion to Remember for a Lifetime

    Looking Good in That Tux, Eh? :)

    Last week, I traveled more than 7,000 miles (round trip) to attend my b-school’s five-year reunion in France. Apart from the apparent excitement of traveling to Europe, the trip had a huge emotional significance for me because that was an opportunity to see most of my alumni friends for the first time since we had graduated in 2007. However, at least some of my emotions were also bordering fear, because I was dreading the inevitable comparison of everyone’s success in their careers. Thus, while on the flight across the Atlantic, I kept asking myself how I’d feel if I found out that most of my fellow students were way ahead of me in their development.

    Time rolled by quickly in the days leading to the Reunion Weekend, but as I finally arrived on campus, I discovered that all my fears had been in vain. I quickly realized that everyone else had pretty much felt the same trepidation on their way to campus. It took us only a minute to break the ice as we met for the first time as a group in five years. After a moment or two of hesitation, we all burst into hugs, kisses, and joyful conversations. The gossip, the drama, the emotions quickly overwhelmed all of us — even the most cold-blooded ones. It was a great weekend and I would like to share the highlights (and main lessons learned) with you in this post. If you want to experience — albeit indirectly — a few moments of the best weekend of my 2012 so far, keep reading.

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