Apple Quarter Results vs. the Human Condition

Recently I was asked at a conference why there were no more IPOs in the VC industry. I, having been a stock broker, reminded everyone of how finiky, how susceptible to emotional rumours traders on the floor of the exchange are, and how sometimes, as a CEO of a startup turned IPO story, you would sleep better if the shares of the company were not trading in a diabolical spinning wheel such as the public markets. I would rather deal with a bunch of shareholders that give me stick at every board meeting than going through what Apple is this week.

Here is a company continuously breaking the norm, uplifting the paradigm and shaking sectors, first the PC, then the software on the PC, then digital music and now mobile. That seems like a very good track record to me. And the figures, reported in my previous post, are above expectations. Still, Steve Jobs, the man at the helm, is sick and rumour has it, this could be the big C hitting back again. So the shares went down earlier this week about 6.3% to US$155.87

I get upset when these things happen. If the financial markets were the business of gossip, celebrity and personal speculation, I accept this behaviour. But to just throw away good, solid financial results out of the window, in a market begging for good results, simply because everyone is concerned about uncle Steve, is infantile, emotional and proves that men are also the victims of PMS: Panic Mood over Steve.

Grow up people. Fund managers are sweating on a daily basis to keep it together. Let the emotional paranoia to us females, will you?

2 Responses to “Apple Quarter Results vs. the Human Condition”
  1. Joel Dreyfuss says:

    It’s all about Steve. The perception of Apple in the markets, which is not wholly inaccurate, is that Steve Jobs drives Apple. He may have more influence on the product than any other tech CEO. Ever since he fired an engineer for suggesting that the first Mac’s mouse should have two buttons, he has been obsessive about design. And it shows: why are the iPod and iPhone so far ahead in concept and design? why are the Mac notebooks so beautiful? Wall Street’s fear is that without Steve, Apple will be just another tech company, without the high aesthetic standard that has made Apple what it is.
    As for the IPOs, you can go back to fear again. When markets are down, no one wants to take chances. Exits let investors cash out. Why take a chance that your perfectly good startup will have its share price dragged down days or weeks after its launch for no good reason than general market panic. Plus, sellers have found trade sales and M&A much more predictable than IPOs.

  2. inmamartinez says:

    So when does a company become Mr Smith’s Private Kingdom and when does it function as a beehive? I do believe in companies led by a charismatic leader that inspires with a challenging vision and ensures that everyone delivers on it. We know Virgin would have never been the same without Sir Richard Branson, and Martha Stewart’s Inc and Oprah’s Harpo are the same.

    In a world where some of the best performing companies are clearly the result of “brand CEO”, why is it so hard to groom the Dauphins that will inherit the Kingdom? Bill Gates has enjoyed a relatively undramatic exit, mostly because from the beginning Balmer’s Brand was also an unavoidable cologne in the air.

    Should markets anticipate such unbalance and start flagging the issue way ahead of unwanted situations that dramatically devalue the stock of the company, namely, Steve’s potential cancer, Martha’s indiscretions and Branson getting lost over Manchuria on his next balloon trip?

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