Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 | Last Update : 03:53 PM IST
It makes premium lifestyle products that made an impact as a brand, and is a pointer to how the world has changed forever.
Apple becoming the world’s first trillion-dollar public company is a landmark event highlighting the success of the new economy founded on revolutionary technology amid the world’s changing profile. The tech company started by Steve Jobs and others in 1976 to make personal computers hit the jackpot with the iPhone in 2007, beating the likes of Amazon ($883 billion), the e-commerce enabler, and Google’s parent Alphabet ($845 billion), as traditional brick-and-mortar firms like US Steel, which hit a $1 billion valuation back as in 1901, were left behind. With a net profit of $48.5 billion in 2017, Apple has proved if a man makes a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to his door. It makes premium lifestyle products that made an impact as a brand, and is a pointer to how the world has changed forever.
Amazon’s chief honcho Jeff Bezos is considered the planet’s richest man ever, factoring inflation into the wealth of historical figures like the Nizam of Hyderabad, who ran the world’s only diamond-producing mines then in Golconda. What this means is that technology has enabled the world as it played the equaliser with the fruits of technology like instant communications and the repository of knowledge in the World Wide Web reaching ordinary people across the earth. The celebration now may be of new economy companies hitting unprecedented heights in riches. But the larger celebration is of mankind’s spirit having been empowered by technology — to socialise, access knowledge and entertainment and act in ways unknown to preceding generations. How well we have been able to use our devices like computers and mobile phones has defined the kind of progress made, with fishermen finding better prices for their catch while still at sea to telemedicine helping reach the best of medical science to inaccessible places.
There is of course a downside to all this — such as in communications triggering ghastly phenomena like mob lynchings in India. Those displaced by the Arab Spring may say communications was equally to blame for radical changes just as a Barack Obama, on the other hand, could claim his success was enabled by the social media reach of his 2008 presidential campaign. Technology is, however, only the enabler and a lot depends on how humanity will continue to harness it to make this more comfortable existence possible for more of the world’s seven billion-plus people. The success of new economy companies is a feather in the cap of man, but the anxiety is over how equally destructible the use of technology can be such as in modern warfare. There’s a lesson in this somewhere for leaders across the world — if only they are capable of focusing on the progress and allowing it to flourish more.