April 30

Apple — 45 Years and Still Kickin’

Earlier this week, Apple announced its second-quarter earnings. I guess you could say things went OK for them. By “OK” — I mean that they handily beat expectations on both earnings and overall revenue. In fact, their revenue increased by 54% over the past 12 months — which is really good

Actually, it’s better than really good — especially when you consider the fact that Apple has been in business for 45 years. For perspective, if you started a company today and your revenue was just one dollar this year… but you grew it at 54%, you’d have revenue of $1.54 in Year 2. Another year of 54% growth would bring you revenues of $2.37 in Year 3. But by year 45 — you’d have revenues of $117 Million dollars. The fact that Apple is seeing this kind of growth in year 45 at the scale that they already are is incredible.

If you’re a product person out there at a company that’s been at it for a couple of decades and is starting to see growth slow, I think there are a couple of ways that you could look at this kind of news.

  1. “Okay, but this is Apple — they’re always an outlier.” Sure, Apple is Apple. No company can expect to just simply “be like Apple.” But I think there’s a more constructive (and hopefully inspiring) way to look at it.
  2. “If another large behemoth of a corporation can find a way to find itself back at the growth stage — why can’t we?” There was a time, after all, that Apple was stagnating. Even when Steve Jobs returned to lead Apple in his 2nd stint at the company, it took years before things really started growing again.

Tim Cook has now been the CEO at Apple for nearly 10 years, and the growth in the Tim Cook era has been incredible for Apple, overall — with, of course, the boost from Steve Jobs’s original vision.

But what if your company needs your vision? Maybe you can be that product person to start to breathe life back into product lines that, while once great, have recently lost their way. It may not be fair to compare your company to Apple. But what would it mean if you could find that inspiration and find a way for your products to experience half of the growth that Apple did? 

You don’t have to be Steve Jobs to do this. You can be the best version of yourself.

Mike Belsito

About the author

Mike Belsito is a startup product and business developer who loves creating something from nothing. Mike is the Co-Founder of Product Collective which organizes INDUSTRY, one of the largest product management summits anywhere in the world. For his leadership at Product Collective, Mike was named one of the Top 40 influencers in the field of Product Management. Mike also serves as a Faculty member of Case Western Reserve University in the department of Design and Innovation, and is Co-Host of one of the top startup podcasts online, Rocketship.FM. Prior to Product Collective, Mike spent the past 12 years in startup companies as an early employee, Co-Founder, and Executive. Mike's businesses and products have been featured in national media outlets such as the New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, NPR, and elsewhere. Mike is also the Author of Startup Seed Funding for the Rest of us, one of the top startup books on Amazon.


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