No Need to Fret, Apple Is Doing Fine – by Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times

“Let’s get this out of the way first: Despite what you may have heard, the iPhone is not dying. Neither, by extension, is Apple.It’s true that in an earnings report on Tuesday, after weeks of speculation by Wall Street that iPhone sales would finally hit a peak, Apple confirmed the news: IPhone sales grew at their lowest-ever rate in the last quarter. And the company projected total sales of as much as $53 billion in the current quarter that ends in March, which would be a decline of 8.6 percent from last year and Apple’s first revenue drop in more than a decade.But if Apple is now hitting a plateau, it’s important to remember that it’s one of the loftiest plateaus in the history of business. The $18.4 billion profit that Apple reported on Tuesday is the most ever earned by any company in a single quarter.It’s necessary to start with these caveats because people have a tendency to react strongly, almost apoplectically, to any suggestion of weakness on Apple’s part. Like pickles, cilantro and Ted Cruz, Apple inspires extreme opinion. The doubters are now ascendant. Apple’s share price has fallen more than 11 percent over the last year, in stark contrast to gains by the other four American tech giants.”

Source: No Need to Fret, Apple Is Doing Fine – The New York Times

Dear Powerball Winner: Take Our Advice and Take the Annuity – Josh Barro, The New York Times

“So let us suppose, reader, that you have won Wednesday’s $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot. Congratulations! You have some important decisions to make, such as what ailing magazine to aquire and what congressional seat your spouse should run for. But first, you must choose whether to take the prize as an annuity paid over 30 years, or a lump-sum payment right now.If you’re like who I think you are, you should probably take the annuity.”

Source: Dear Powerball Winner: Take Our Advice and Take the Annuity – The New York Times

Steve Denning at Forbes: When Will ‘The World’s Dumbest Idea’ Die?

Steve Denning in Forbes, attacking the bushiness model of always maximizing shareholder value, at the expense of other values:

“The extraordinarily generous compensation afforded to senior executives is recognized in an HBR article by Professor Mihir Desai, the Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance at Harvard Business School to be a giant “financial incentives bubble”, accompanied by an unjustified sense of entitlement.

The short-term gains of large-scale off-shoring of manufacturing are recognized to have caused massive loss of competitive capacity: new heuristics for outsourcing have emerged.

Supposed distinctions between leaders and managers, as argued by leadership guru Professor John Kotter, are dissolving: managers are leaders and leaders must be able and willing to get their hands dirty and manage.

As a result of a failure of many firms to recognize and respond to these changes, a study by Harvard Business School has concluded that the US has lost much of its capacity to compete.”

What’s the over/under in years until the world’s dumbest idea’–maximizing shareholder value–is a minority view? With major thought leaders like Google’s Eric Schmidt behind it, my wager: Major thought leaders end 2014: All businesses and business schools: 2020.|By Steve Denning

Steve Denning at Forbes: The origin of ‘the world’s dumbest idea’: maximizing shareholder value

Amazing article. I found this while asking google, Why is IBM in trouble. It’s stock decreased d14% in 2014, why the market soared. This was accepted dogma when I attended bushiness school at the University of Washington.

The origin of ‘the world’s dumbest idea’: maximizing shareholder value: The idea got going with an article by Milton Friedman in the New York Times in 1970. The economic consequences were disastrous.|By Steve Denning

Why is IBM in delcine?

I asked the other god google, why is IBM in trouble, and this is what I got– Steve Denning at Forbes Magazine online.

Why IBM Is In Decline

Why IBM Is In Decline: Sam Palmisano’s interview in June HBR corroborates that what’s causing its share price to soar—managing investors—is also undermining its capability to survive.|By Steve Denning

NYT: “Budget Battle in G.O.P. Is Test of Governance” Fiscal hawks vs military hawks

My favorite comment is:
NYC 15 hours ago

Despite their supposed fixation on the debt, the debt has risen 60% as a percentage of GDP under Republican presidents after Eisenhower and fallen 9% under Democratic presidents during the same time period-

Republicans just fundamentally do not get how to run the economy. They slash at things that boost the economy, like education, scientific research and the safety net, and they spend like crazy on things that don’t help the economy, like the military and tax credits and subsidies for corporations that already have more money than they know what to do with.

The GOP needs to abandon its entire economic platform and draft a new one from scratch.

624 Recommended

Fiscal hawks who are determined to maintain strict spending caps oppose defense hawks who are threatening to derail any budget that does not ensure an increase for the military.|By JONATHAN WEISMAN

How does the Oracle from Omaha do it?

My take is that Warren Buffet is the master of buy and hold. He only buys undervalued assets, which he fixes up before keeping or selling.

There are two chief theories for why the company has been so successful, with important implications for imagining a future without Mr. Buffett.|By Neil Irwin