To hell with Zuckerberg, says the Financial Times, its Jobs:

“Buoyed by the iPad, Apple’s shares finally surpassed Microsoft in May to make it the world’s most valuable technology concern. Others now have Apple in their sights, forcing Mr Jobs into the competitive moves that would once have seemed out of character. Apple has acknowledged its rivalry with Facebook, for instance, by releasing Ping, a me-too social network for iTunes users that a prouder Steve Jobs would not have let out the door.”

Query: Which firm is more likely to have greater revenues and/or profits in 5 years — Apple or Facebook? 10 years? 20 ?

(Note: FT is a business publication, and does not meet our Cover indicator criteria)


The Single Company Magazine Cover Indicator (March 20th, 2006)

Silicon Valley visionary who put Apple on top
Richard Waters and Joseph Menn
NYT, December 22 2010

Category: Financial Press, Technology, Web/Tech

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

19 Responses to “Steve Jobs: FT Person of the Year”

  1. Sarge says:

    Some interesting comments in that Magazine Cover Indicator post from 2006. I especially liked the one from a guy named “B” who said:

    “Hmmm…..The trend is your friend and Apple’s trend is DOWN. That said, it would be a likely probability we’ll see a bounce from the low $60s.”

    He was not bullish on Apple.


  2. Livermore Shimervore says:

    I think both are overblown. Google is setting up Apple for a replay of “PC vs Mac” as Android does it thing (eating Steve’s lunch). Apple makes nice looking products that benefit from a very low bar setting from decades of Windows. Google is spreading like a plague to takeover an entire realm of technology. Hardware is as yesterday as the Ipod.
    Facebook really doesn’t show me to posses anything that would prevent a new player to make them the next MySpace which had a meteoric rise and a spectacular crash. Google could launch a networking app on those 300K a day Droid phones that would make Facebook redundant in a blink. What is ‘propietary’ about Facebook that wasn’t about MySpace? Nothing.

  3. ashpelham2 says:

    I wonder what the next big thing is in social networking. So far, most of these things have had relatively short lifespans, from unknown, fringe app, to mainstream, everybodys-doing-it, to forgotten about yesterday thing. Tech changes very fast. And now, smart phones drive the usability of these social tools.

    Trying to guess the next big thing is the billion dollar question, isn’t it?

  4. jucojames says:

    I agree with Livermore – history is littered with “used to be” tech dominators. Gambling on tech is different than craps, so in this case the odds favor the “Field”. We are in a more evolved environment than when Microsoft closed the doors and Apple appears to be trying to follow a similar playbook of creating a closed system. I buy all my music via mp3 so that I don’t get sentenced to a life of grabbing my ankles for whoever replaces Jobs when he inevitably departs this earth.

  5. huxrules says:

    Query: Which firm is more likely to have greater revenues and/or profits in 5 years — Apple or Facebook? 10 years? 20 ?

    Thats funny. Apple actually sells things – you know computers – steel and plastic things. Facebook sells (for free) ways to hook up with your skanky girlfriend from highschool. I think the geolocation stuff in facebook might be worth something – but they don’t seem to be implementing it very well. Possibly they can figure out if you are over at your skanky girlfriend’s trailer and give you a coupon for rubbers. That might be a new way to sell ads. Otherwise I don’t see what the fuss is.

  6. I think Facebook is headed for that “no one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded”. The fun goes away when your mother in law sends you a friend request. Sure it’s ok and I’ll put up a post of a photo of some tacos when I’m on some beach in Mexico but really. As for Apple I was up in Seattle late last century when a Microsoft consultant told me that “Apple just needs to realize that it’s a software company”. I mention that because what power users, myself included, get wrong is that the world is filled with people who wait for the Beatles to hit the iTunes store rather than ripping the CDs in the livingroom. The fact is that people like the simplicity, they like that it all just works. Apple has it all in place to dominate what we carry around and it won’t be long before all those CEOs want a Mac on their desk at the office too. People like easy and to the extent that Facebook is the next easy then they will be around too.

  7. shree says:

    @Livermore Shimervore – you just prove that words are cheap neigh free and idiots run amock on the internet.
    To belittle the achievements of Steve Jobs is to ridicule the entire industry and to spit on an individual who clearly is miles above the Google boys or the fools that bought myspace (those who sold it were geniuses though).
    Check this space in a few years – Google will have shut down more projects and products than anyone can imagine and no Steve never set out to conquer PC Land – he just built a better looking product and still does today or as Roark told the court in the Fountainhead – “I just don’t think of you”- he never thought of Windows or Search..he’s doing what he knows best – to say that “Apple makes nice looking products that benefit from a very low bar setting from decades of Windows” is to ridicule amazing products that no one company has ever made nor will ever make – after all no one stopped the Google boys from creating “nice looking products”, neither did Michael Dell nor HP have any dearth of product designers or money to create competition in the last 10 years that could rival an Apple product.

  8. cognos says:

    There were lots of search engines… Then there was Google.

    There were lots of “colas” back in the 1800s… Then there was Coca-Cola.

    Once something is “done right” it can often have an epic 100 yr or more run with hyper-valuable profits.

    Facebook seems to have the “social networking” brand done just right – pictures, gossip, witty banter, roasting friends. These things are timeless and universal. It will be above $5b in annual rev in 1 or 2 yrs, likely worth $50-100B.

    Apple is THE epic story of this “mobile devices” era. It has little competition. It is not even half over. Then comparuosns with “PC vs mac” are silly and wrong. PC was a better product on almost every level. IPhone is the better product by far. Even more, Microsoft was absurdly profitable. Who is absurdly profitable today? All those device are just fracturing the market, no competitor has the scale the make beautiful devices or invest in proper r&d, etc. Apple owns the entire value chain – kids on iPod touch, music and media on iPods and tv, iPhones, and ipads. They have 250 and growing primo retail locations worldwide to sell and service these high-end mobile media and computer devices. Who exactly is this competition?

    Stock looks great here into Jan earnings, and new product catalysts.

  9. jaymaster says:


    5 years: Apple
    10 years: Apple
    20 Years: Apple

    Revenues: ???

    I don’t see how facebook can be effectively monetized without killing its own golden goose.

  10. Mike in Nola says:

    Which will be worth more depends a lot on whether Jobs survives that long, or at least is functional and retains his knack or whatever you call it. Apple is really based on the Fuherprinzip, which is not necessarily bad, as long as the leader is right and in control. Apple without Jobs would be like Nazi Germany without Hitler; it just wouldn’t work anymore.

  11. Uchicagoman says:

    Jobs is a Jedi Master.

    The iPad was a disruptive product/technology that basically knocked it out of the park.

    It’s called vision and leadership.

    What the hell did Zuckerburg do?

  12. dss says:

    Zuckerberg did it better, just like Jobs. And like many before him, he was in the right place at the right time…

    I walk by the Apple store in the mall and everyone in the store has this big goofy grin on their faces and it is standing room only.

  13. msherwood1 says:

    I think that Groupon has a far more compelling profit narrative than facebook does.

  14. MotownMichael says:

    I had an epiphany moment back in the winter of 2008, in the height of the recession at the one of the epicenters in Detroit. The Apple Store at the mall there was absolutely packed, and money flowing out of the place on a scale I hadn’t quite seen in a retail operation, in a town that did not have the wages at the time, and was staring into the economic abyss. I moved a chuck of my portfolio into Apple shortly thereafter, and am glad I did. In short, Apple isn’t the story of a computer company, rather a vertically integrated business machine quite unlike any other.

  15. jad714 says:

    Ping is awful. It’s sad to see desperate moves like that.


  16. Thomaspin says:

    Does it make sense to compare a dating service with a hardware maker?

    The former is ‘flavor of the day’ and tough to monetize; the latter may lose momentum when Jobs departs (you can breed management, but not genius) but will likely be around for a long time given its sheer size.

  17. Bob A says:

    i only hope i live long enough to see the day when Facebook is as relevant as B&W TV

  18. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Ritholtz asks: “Query: Which firm is more likely to have greater revenues and/or profits in 5 years — Apple or Facebook? 10 years? 20 ?”

    Yeah, I can see why an econ blog would ask the question.
    Can I download apps to Facebook? Nope.
    Does Facebook have a Genius Bar where I can go to get help? Nope.
    Does Facebook have its own developer code? Not so much.
    Can I download books, video, music, etc, etc, etc to a Facebook device? Nope.

    Facebook might make money.
    Apple will change the world, and the way that people think about the world.