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Its not that the company is the most valuable and profitable company in the world, and its not even because Apple's history is rich, interesting, and full of fascinating highs and lows. Its because more than any other company, Apple has applied Micro Econ 101 - the way to stand apart from perfect competition is via differentiation and branding.
iPhones and Macs both prove a truism from Micro Econ 101: Perfect competition implies undifferentiated products and identical prices. Apple has this figured out - it vacuums all of the industry profits in smartphones with ~ 20% market share.
In 2001 Apple adopted a strategy it called the Digital Hub. See how iPod + iTunes set the stage for all of the spectacular hits to follow, including the iPad and the iPhone
Apple Pay and the Apple Watch represent the first major bets placed by the company in the post-Jobs era. The jury is out on whether these will be monster hits too.
Apple's size and geographical spread are worth understanding - especially the company's success in China.
Apple only competes with the best: Google, Samsung and Microsoft have all had complicated relationships with Apple
We examine Apple's revenues, profit margins, growth rates and valuation.
Apple's story is inextricably linked to Steve Jobs - a brilliant, complicated individual
We trace Apple's history from its founding in 1976 until the return of Steve Jobs for his second stint with the company in 1997. Interesting but volatile times for the company.
In the period between Jobs' return to Apple in 1997 and his death in 2011, the company delivered an astonishing turnaround, and redefined one industry after another.
Twitter is a thriving platform, but a struggling company. This divergence makes it more - not less - important for us to understand.
Why is Twitter so important? Because it is a flourishing platform but a struggling company.
Twitter did a great job of monetising its early engagement, but did n't pay heed when engagement stagnated.
For a company with its public profile, Twitter has astonishingly small revenues, and astonishingly high costs.
Because we don't really know a company until we understand its size and geographical spread.
Twitter has had a strange life so far. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.
Key characters from Twitter's past and possibly its future.
Twitter competes with two of the most successful and valuable company's in the world right now: Google and Facebook. So far, its struggled to go toe-to-toe.
LinkedIn is low on drama, but high on diversification. It is especially interesting to study right now, as it seeks to go from being a professional social network, to a content destination.
LinkedIn is important because it straddles many worlds. One company with 4 business models.
But not a slouch at spending money either. That's the tale of LinkedIn's costs and revenues.
LinkedIn publishes unusually granular information about its geographic split - but even so the most noteworthy bit about its international operations is its relative success in China
LinkedIn's life has been far less drama-filled than that of many of its tech industry peers.
LinkedIn seems to be making a conscious shift from professional social network to content destination. See the why - and the how.
LinkedIn has 4 superbly diversified streams of revenue that still somehow make sense together, and defy classification - or competition
Facebook is the most important social network, and one of the most successful companies in the world today
Facebook is doing many things right (right now): monetising well, engaging well; making smart acquisitions (Instagram, Whatsapp); executing on product. This rare combination has investors super-optimistic.
Facebook's core business is very very profitable - the company is consciously sacrificing some of those profits to quickly build up other businesses that might become its core businesses tomorrow.
Facebook's geographical splits show some interesting trends: the company is adroitly milking more revenue out of its mature markets, while simultaneously building engagement and a large user base in emerging markets.
Facebook's run so far has been widely studied - but this section focuses on Myspace's decline, and a brief period of uncertainty in 2012-2013 as drivers of Facebook's dream run in the last 2 years.
Some companies have size, others have growth, yet others have profits. Right now, only Facebook has them all. This Goldilocks combination is what makes Facebook so valuable relative to its peers (Google is 4x Facebook's revenues, but < 2x Facebook's valuation)
Loonycorn is us, Janani Ravi, Vitthal Srinivasan, Swetha Kolalapudi and Navdeep Singh. Between the four of us, we have studied at Stanford, IIM Ahmedabad, the IITs and have spent years (decades, actually) working in tech, in the Bay Area, New York, Singapore and Bangalore.
Janani: 7 years at Google (New York, Singapore); Studied at Stanford; also worked at Flipkart and Microsoft
Vitthal: Also Google (Singapore) and studied at Stanford; Flipkart, Credit Suisse and INSEAD too
Swetha: Early Flipkart employee, IIM Ahmedabad and IIT Madras alum
Navdeep: longtime Flipkart employee too, and IIT Guwahati alum
We think we might have hit upon a neat way of teaching complicated tech courses in a funny, practical, engaging way, which is why we are so excited to be here on Udemy!
We hope you will try our offerings, and think you'll like them :-)