Essays on Technology and Culture

Defining Success, or: I Don’t Understand How the Stock Market Works

A company has a record setting quarter, makes more profit and money than they have made, per quarter, in history, and the stock tanks.

All because the company’s numbers didn’t meet the numbers someone analyst pulled out of their ass.

Thankfully, Apple’s stock price only matters to the shareholders. And probably not all of them.

For the rest of us, as long as Apple makes quality products that we want to buy, their stock price could be pennies.

Who is Apple beholden to? If you ask anyone on Wall Street, they’ll say “their shareholders.” If you ask Apple you’ll get a different answer.

What really blows my mind here, is that a successful and lucrative company is being penalized because their idea of success is different than the idea of success concocted by some guy in a suit on the other side of the country, paid to determine what qualifies as success so that other people can decide where to put their money.

This could easily read as fanboy-ism, and maybe it is. On the other hand, I can’t help but be upset when I see well-deserved, hard-earned success penalized, because its it’s “not enough” success.

By the way, the analysts’s target revenue for Apple? $54.58 billion.

Apple’s actual revenue? $54.5 billion.

The difference is less than one percent. But that’s enough for investors to run, screaming.

Clearly, I don’t understand how the stock market works.

Tomorrow, I’ll have something else to talk about.