It's difficult to "hard work" your way to success
Mac fans are crowing about Apple's current success--that they have a market cap 20% higher than Dell's. The lesson, other than the fact that pundits and the media are wrong 11 times out of every 9 predictions, is that Apple didn't succeed by digging in, working all night and doing more of what they'd been doing. They succeeded because they willfully changed the game. And then changed it again.
Here's a great list from David Pogue: Pogue’s Posts.
* Fortune, 2/19/1996: “By the time you read this story, the quirky cult company…will end its wild ride as an independent enterprise.”
* Time Magazine, 2/5/96: “One day Apple was a major technology company with assets to make any self respecting techno-conglomerate salivate. The next day Apple was a chaotic mess without a strategic vision and certainly no future.”
* BusinessWeek, 10/16/95: “Having underforecast demand, the company has a $1 billion-plus order backlog….The only alternative: to merge with a company with the marketing and financial clout to help Apple survive the switch to a software-based company. The most likely candidate, many think, is IBM Corp.”
* A Forrester Research analyst, 1/25/96 (quoted in, of all places, The New York Times): “Whether they stand alone or are acquired, Apple as we know it is cooked. It’s so classic. It’s so sad.”
* Nathan Myhrvold (Microsoft’s chief technology officer, 6/97: “The NeXT purchase is too little too late. Apple is already dead.”
* Wired, “101 Ways to Save Apple,” 6/97: “1. Admit it. You’re out of the hardware game.”
* BusinessWeek, 2/5/96: “There was so much magic in Apple Computer in the early ’80s that it is hard to believe that it may fade away. Apple went from hip to has-been in just 19 years.”
* Fortune, 2/19/1996: “Apple’s erratic performance has given it the reputation on Wall Street of a stock a long-term investor would probably avoid.”
* The Economist, 2/23/95: “Apple could hang on for years, gamely trying to slow the decline, but few expect it to make such a mistake. Instead it seems to have two options. The first is to break itself up, selling the hardware side. The second is to sell the company outright.”
* The Financial Times, 7/11/97: “Apple no longer plays a leading role in the $200 billion personal computer industry. ‘The idea that they’re going to go back to the past to hit a big home run…is delusional,’ says Dave Winer, a software developer.”