Some Perspective on the Recent Onslaught of Apple Pessimism

Micheal Moritz of Sequoia Capital, writing about Apple in the context of all the recent pessimism:

Everyone knows the business will face stronger competition in the future. This is because almost every company in the world suffers from acute Apple envy. Apple has thrown several mainline industries, including music, movies, television, publishing, cameras and 35mm film, into convulsions. The entire Japanese consumer electronics sector, bereft of the software that helps distinguish Apple’s products, has been hopelessly outpaced, as have Finland’s Nokia and Canada’s RIM.

Others – chip suppliers, wireless carriers, specialised glassmakers, outsourced manufacturers and hundreds of thousands of app developers – watch every twitch with hopeless admiration and silent apprehension. Anyone with their wits about them has been galvanised into action by Apple’s success.

More importantly, Apple has set a lasting example for entrepreneurs and professionals worldwide. Millions of young engineers and programmers scrutinise every moment of a product announcement. Hip students in art and design schools are imbued with Apple’s sensibility. Marketers and advertisers try to mimic its creative approach. Manufacturing hands seek to unravel the mysteries of its supply chain. Old-time retailers wonder how it can possibly attract more than 120m visitors in a 12-week period, garnering sales per square foot twice those of Tiffany and four times those of Michael Kors, the luxury retailer of the moment.

It is difficult to think of a company of the past 50 years whose influence and ingenuity have been as profound or widespread as the one formerly known as Apple Computer, Inc.