Apple, misunderestimated.

Back on August 5, Jean-Louis Gassée posted, Apple at $1Trillion: The Missing Theory, where he ponders why Apple continues to evade conventional wisdom: 

The broad recognition accorded to last week’s milestone is a deserved mark of respect for Apple, a company that has so often been “misunderestimated” and given up for dead. So dead, in fact, that Michael Dell once recommended shutting down the company and giving the cash back to shareholders. Pundits and competitors constantly predict the death of the iPhone because “it’s the same closed system mistake as the Mac” or “modularity always wins!”. These death warrants were issued by prestigious academics and still carom around the blogosphere’s echo chamber.

Yet, years later, Apple continues to follow its heterodox path and to prosper as a result. There are two reactions to this annoying anomaly. One is to stick to one’s comfortable theories, books and speeches. “Just wait, Apple will meet its preordained fate. Sooner or later!”.

The other approach is to react the way physicists or mathematicians do when they see a crack in their theories. Can’t express the diagonal of certain squares as a ratio between two integers? Let’s invent irrational numbers. And so on to the square root of a negative number, or special relativity.

A huge part of what makes Apple successful is something financial analysts can’t analyze: emotion. People love their iPhones. In fact, aside from the current clickity-clackity MacBooks, Apple has top marks in customer satisfaction.

Android phones have proven themselves more than worthy competitors to the iPhone, yet the iPhone remains the most popular smartphone in the world, both to buy and to shamelessly copy.

I’ve figured out an analogy I’ll probably lose a lot of people on, but I don’t care. Apple is the Conor McGregor of tech companies (and vice versa). Both Conor and Apple continue to be doubted, regardless of how many times they prove themselves.