Scan through a typical day’s worth of tech headlines and two things will immediately become clear. Apple (NASD:AAPL) has become one of the great success stories in American history. With a market capitalization of more than $500 billion, the company recently became bigger than Poland, noted The Guardian recently.
Conversely, Research in Motion (TSX:RIM) is struggling. After growing its revenue from just $6 billion in 2008 to nearly $20 billion in fiscal 2011, RIM has begun to lose market share and has suffered through a painful management transition because of it.
But were things always this way? Not exactly. On August 6, 1997, amid “gasps of disbelief and loud boos from the audience of thousands of Mac users and software developers” Microsoft founder Bill Gates bailed out struggling Apple with a $150 million dollar investment.
Keeping that day in mind, we present to you a simple quiz. Five of the headlines below are talking about Research in Motion today and five are from the mid-nineties, and pertain to Apple. Can you tell which is which? Answers at bottom.
HEADLINE QUIZ: MID-NINETIES APPLE OR PRESENT DAY RIM?
1. “Company X should close shop”
2. “Company X’s CEO said to be out the door”
3. “Why Microsoft Should Buy Company X”
4. “Company X struggling as market share in U.S. keeps slipping”
5. Company X: “Morgan Stanley Chops EPS Forecasts”
6. “The Fall of an American Icon”
7. “Company X results will continue to disappoint”
8. “Company X Holds School Market, Despite Decline”
9. “Are Company X sales weaker than thought?”
10. “Company X Expects it will Lose $700 Million”
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1. Apple: CNET news, October 6, 1997
2. Apple: San Francisco Chronicle, February 2nd, 1996
3. RIM: Windsor Star February 23rd, 2012
4. RIM: National Post, March 7th, 2012
5. RIM: Forbes, February 15th, 2012
6. Apple: “The Fall of an American Icon” BusinessWeek, 1996
7. RIM: Reuters, March 7th 2012
8. Apple: NY Times, September 11th, 1995.
9. RIM: The Globe and Mail, March 13, 2012
10. Apple: NY Times, March 26th, 1996
HOW DID YOU SCORE?
In 1997 Apple was struggling on a road it alone was travelling. Today RIM does not seem to have a roadmap that they are committed to.
Look at the body language of those two youngsters! Amazing. Which one would build the largest company in the world? The largest charitable foundation?
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