Apple's Money

All of us were reminded over and over and over during the last few days that Apple has more cash on hand than does the U.S. government. This coincidence means precisely nothing to either outfit.  We won’t see President Obama asking Steve Jobs for a loan, nor will we see Steve Jobs offering one. Yes, the government is broke and yes, Apple has a lot of cash. But GE has almost $50 billion more than Apple, so where are all the GE stories?

There’s a mystery about Apple’s cash and that mystery has to do with Steve’s strategy for holding all that money.  What’s it for? The predominant theory seems to be that Apple intends to make a huge acquisition and […]

The Future of Hulu and U.S. TV

Who will buy Hulu, the IPTV streaming service and why should we care? I’m not sure I do care, now that Lie to Me has been canceled, but in case you are an American who feels the future of series television is important, here’s what I think is going on.

The Wall $treet Journal says Apple is thinking of making a bid for Hulu and Seattlepi.com says Microsoft’s is no longer interested, which leaves Amazon, Apple, Google, Yahoo, and any unnamed parties. I can’t think of any unnamed parties, by the way, so I’m guessing one of these will walk with Hulu, which went into play a couple weeks ago following an […]

Fear of flying — Why the iPad 2 isn't even better

A good friend of mine pointed out the money phrase from Steve Jobs at this week’s iPad 2 introduction: “This is worth repeating. It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology is not enough. It’s tech married with the liberal arts and the humanities. Nowhere is that more true than in the post-PC products. Our competitors are looking at this like it’s the next PC market. That is not the right approach to this. These are post-PC devices that need to be easier to use than a PC, more intuitive.”

It’s an insightful even brilliant statement that’s 100 percent true. Then why doesn’t Steve Jobs practice what he preaches?

Jobs and Apple definitely have a better handle on the […]

Let them eat veggies: Obama has dinner with Steve

President Obama last night had dinner at John Doerr’s house in Silicon Valley and for some reason I wasn’t invited. I wish I had been. Can you imagine Obama making small talk with Steve Jobs? This is an instance where Steve’s lack of an internal censor probably served the event well, or at least I hope it did, because when it comes to the dinner’s goal of stimulating innovation in America every Administration from any political party needs all the help it can get. I should know, because I’ve been working a bit with those White House would-be innovators, trying to get them in the right groove.

Remember Startup America is the name of the TV […]

By |February 17th, 2011|2011|78 Comments

Burning the ships at Nokia

When John Sculley forced Steve Jobs out of Apple back in 1985, the former PepsiCo marketing executive very quickly produced dramatic improvements in Apple’s profitability.  Apple wasn’t losing money before, but Sculley improved the bottom line by about $200 million (a lot in those days) simply by cutting all of Steve Jobs’s pet projects that appeared to have poor prospects. Sculley raised profits by cutting expenses not by increasing sales. Expect the same thing at Nokia where, ignoring for the moment the “enormous payments” Microsoft will be making according to Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, the company can probably cut its software development budget to near-zero, saving $1 billion or more and increasing profits by that […]

By |February 14th, 2011|2011|86 Comments