5 years ago, I made a bet. Two bets, actually.
The first was with myself. I bet myself that if I devoted serious time to it, I could become a great technology blogger. It wasn’t an easy bet to make. I knew it would require upending my life at the time. And it did.
The second bet was related to the first. I knew that to become a key tech blogger, I would need a focus. As a relatively new Mac user myself, I decided that focus would be Apple. Yes, I was coming later to the party than some, but Apple was still a company at the time that was scoffed at by many. But drawing from my own experience, I truly felt that the company was on the cusp of changing the world. Again.
Apple’s spectacular earnings yesterday were a culmination of these bets in a way. The numbers were so good — I mean, the company made more money in one quarter than any company ever that isn’t an oil empire — that for the first time, it was impossible for anyone to deny that the company is at the top of the world.
Maybe that changes. Maybe it doesn’t. But for yesterday at least, the bets I made 5 years ago proved correct in a very tangible way.
I came to this realization when I started reading some of what I was writing and tweeting. I was gloating. That’s ridiculous. Why? This is why. Unsavory to some perhaps. But that’s why.
There’s a common theme: all of us placed bets on Apple at a time when it wasn’t particularly sexy to do so. Some of these bets may have been with money in terms of stock purchases (for the record, I don’t own any Apple stock). Some of these bets may have been with money in terms of Apple purchases (guilty). But the biggest bet we all made was with our most precious commodity: time.
I’ve devoted so much time to learning about, thinking about, and writing about this one company, that I’ll be honest: it’s gratifying to see the company achieve the level of success that it has. I’m not (quite) arrogant enough to think that I’ve had a meaningful impact on that success, but it still matters to me. It’s a bit like the sports team you root for — long a prohibitive underdog — win it all.
But wait. Doesn’t that mean I’m biased?!!!
Newsflash: everyone is biased. The people who try to hide that bias are the ones you really have to worry about. I’ve never shied away my Apple bias.
The important part is that it’s justified. I’m biased towards the company for the right reasons. It’s because I’m biased towards great products. I’m biased against shitty ones. If Apple started making shitty products, I wouldn’t like the company. In fact, I didn’t like the company in the 1990s.
But now I’m off on a tangent. My point was simply to dissect some of the gloating from today and yesterday. Sure, it looks a bit like riding on coattails, but I think for all of us it goes much deeper. This is about an investment — a bet — that has finally paid off in a way that’s impossible to ignore.
So today we bask in the glory of the win. Tomorrow it’s back to the fight.