With 1 Sentence Apple Reminded Everyone Why It’s the Most Valuable Company on Earth

With 1 Sentence Apple Reminded Everyone Why It's the Most Valuable Company on Earth

Thursday, Apple announced its latest quarterly results. Compared to the rest of the tech industry, the numbers were pretty good. Apple’s profits were down 11% from the same period last year, but the company exceeded estimates and still managed to set a revenue record in the third quarter.

Given the challenges facing the economy as a whole, these numbers are quite remarkable. The tech industry has been particularly hard hit in recent months due to factors such as shortages of computer processors, inflation and weakening demand.

Apple is not immune to any of these issues, but it has managed to overcome them much better than its peers. The reason is actually quite simple, but it’s not what you might think.

You might think it has to do with the success of its products. Apple is known for making cool products that are part of pop culture. The iPhone is a prime example. The Mac has also made a comeback with new designs for the company’s most popular laptops and desktops, powered by Apple Silicon.

But it’s not the cool products that have made Apple the most valuable company in the world. In reality, it’s something much more boring.

“Our June quarter results continued to demonstrate our ability to effectively manage our business despite a challenging operating environment,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s chief financial officer, of the company. third quarter earnings call.

First of all, in CFO terms, it’s about as brutal a teardown of every other tech company you’re ever going to hear. Basically, Maestri says “we face the same challenges as everyone else, we’re just better at running our business.”

To be fair, he’s right, and that one sentence sums it up perfectly. Apple’s strongest asset – what makes it so valuable – isn’t just its products. It’s Apple’s ability to manage its operations.

Makes sense. Apple can design the best products in the world, but if it can’t get the right parts, turn them into iPhones, sell them in stores, and ship them to customers, none of that really matters.

But, it turns out that Apple is really good at these things. Even in a quarter where many of these parts were difficult, like getting enough components to meet customer demand, Apple outperformed its competitors.

According to CEO Tim Cook, the Mac and iPad were “so constrained by supply that we didn’t have enough products to test demand.” There were more people who wanted to buy these products than Apple could make. If you’ve been trying to order a new MacBook Air or iPad in the past few months, you may still be waiting.

And yet, Apple still posted its best third quarter in its history. It turns out Apple doesn’t just design some of the world’s most iconic products, it’s also better at running its business than almost any other company.

It’s not surprising. Tim Cook has long been considered an operations guru, not a product. That doesn’t mean that Apple doesn’t have a lot of really talented people designing really great products, but it does mean that the guy at the top spends his time making sure he can actually build and deliver those products from the most cost-effective way possible.

The bottom line is that, even as the economic outlook gets tougher, Apple continues to focus on its strength – running the business – and it’s working. To put it into perspective, Apple is worth more today than Microsoft and Meta (Facebook) combined. With a market capitalization of over $2.6 trillionit’s also more valuable than Amazon and Tesla combined.

Having good products makes a business worthwhile. Being able to manufacture and deliver them is what makes Apple the most valuable company in the world.

This isn’t just true for the biggest company in the world, by the way. This is true for all businesses, even the smallest ones. It’s not just about having good ideas. Success is about running your business in a way that you can bring those ideas to life.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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