Sunday, May 25, 2008

Apple Profit

For a long, long time, my mental model of "Bill Gates vs. Steve Jobs" was that they were playing different games. For Gates, it was all about winning, as measured by profit, and as Cringely has observed, "a graceless win is still a win". Everything else--style, innovation, originality--was completely secondary to winning.

Apple, on the other hand, was all about style, elegance, Steve Jobs' vision. What made Jobs happy was having the coolest products, good profit margins, if not the biggest total profits, and getting to boss people around. It was like Wal-Mart and Nordstrom's--same industry, but totally different approaches.

Now, however, Cringely observes that Apple has become a "lean and mean profit machine". So it seems that, finally, Jobs even matching Gates at his own game--winning in volume.

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