Apple is bigger (in market capitalisation) than IBM, Intel and even Walmart. In fact at $213.98 billion, it is bigger than ALL other companies in the US, except for Exxon Mobile at $319.21 billion and Microsoft at around $260 billion (if Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer's share are taken into account).
The S&P Index actually put Apple Inc. ahead of Microsoft Corp. because Gates and Ballmer don't trade their stock. (About 87.7% of Microsoft shares are publicly floated, vs. 99.2% of Apple shares, according to FactSet Research.)
This is a long way to come for a company that had to be theatrically rescued in 1997 by a competitor, Bill Gates (live satellite feed captured on the Time magazine cover, above)!
I wonder how much longer Apple can live up to its 'Think Different' image - because, like it or not, a huge proportion of the current generation of Apple's fans still believe it. Apple has always been the 'creative' underdog - taking on IBM (then called 'Big Blue') and later Microsoft (via the PC).
Yes, their products are better than most. Yes, they have corralled users into a iBookstore, iTunes and App Store - and deviced the clever concept of iAd. Yes, they have Steve Jobs. But...
Apple is now just another ubiquitous, Made-in-China product... assembled by about 200,000 workers - largely, women - toiling 15 hours a day.
It's often called the world's second oldest profession.
But while the scope of the oldest one has changed little over time, the evolution in the way we communicate has had profound impact on Advertising.
In the ancient and medieval world, Advertising meant word-of-mouth. In the 1500s with the development of printing it became a 'paid public notice', disseminating the message to many. And it had Copy & Art.
Then came radio, TV, computer, cable TV, Internet, mobile phones, Internet on mobile, and it's still not done... Even what we perceive as 'change' is changing. Continuously.
So what is Advertising today?
Honestly, I don't know.
But I do know from a dozen years evolving with the business, that Advertising is most valued when it can make a tangible difference for the advertiser.
That has not changed. And probably won't.
UPDATE: Nothing's changed. But in a way, everything has. As you see, my focus has shifted - evolved in a way - to a larger canvas. The shift or evolution was gradual, and may be have been discernable to the more observant reader.
While I was delving into the influence of media in society to better understand how perceptions are created, evolved and disseminated, I chanced upon a thread of knowledge that I frankly never knew existed.
My conclusion is that a deep pool of awareness and consciouness exists beyond the shallow narcissistic boundaries created by the convention view of social media and the Internet.
My aim is to send my readers down any path that can lead to this quenching pool.