So it seems at some point in the last 10 years they decided to go with a freemium model. Anyway, as I was reading some of the posts, I think I recognized some of the old nicks from way back then. I got curious and decided to search for my old posts. Couldn't find them on a first try, but then I tried an alternate nick I used and there I was, in full 10-years-younger and slightly snarky-er glory, trying to be all witty and all that. (Ah, the old interwebs... hasn't changed one bit from the usenet days, it seems. Or rather, people haven't changed.)
So, here's my very first post ever on an AAPL board, and to my surprise (seriously), it's an EPS estimate:
Recipe for a killer Q2 2001
And, as it turned out, I nailed it to the penny! Although for the next quarter I was 6 cents too high (back then that amounted to a 35% error), my analysis of the media coverage is classic (reminds me of half the discussions today). For Q4 2001 I was off by a penny, and then boards.fool.com was shut. I don't remember publicly posting any more estimates until at least 2003 or 2004 in the infamous Yahoo! AAPL board.
2001 was an incredibly transformational year for Apple. iTunes, TiPB G4, Mac OS X, Apple Retail Stores, iPod. It's quite insightful to look in hindsight at their long-term strategic positioning back then, its flawless implementation and execution over the following 10 years, and the fruits reaped in the last 5 or so. Their financial analyst meeting on January 31, 2001 where Jobs laid out his "digital hub" strategy was a rare peek at their amazing vision. It's a shame that there isn't a recording or transcript of it somewhere in the internet anymore.
In this past decade Apple has grown revenues 20-fold from $5b (FY01) to over $100b (FY11 estimate), and earnings from zero (or losses) to $25b (FY11 est.). The stock went from around $10 to $350, and it still hasn't caught up with Apple's performance. I consider myself fortunate to have been around back then, watching, hearing, reading, analyzing, and investing in that vision. Wish I had done more (as I easily could) but I won't complain.
|AAPL 10-year chart (click to enlarge)|
PS: My second post there is in my classic "trolling" style (don't use it much anymore). Further reading the thread, I was quite impressed to read myself in a response to the replies to my flame-bait, conceptually arguing and wishing for the iPad revolution:
Why do you think the TV and the radio are present in every household, and the computer doesn't even reach half of them? And that's only in America. Even the 3rd world is saturated with TVs, but the computer's penetration is less than 5% in some places. Think about it. It's not a dumbed-down interface that I'm asking for. Think of iMovie.What a blast from the past to re-encounter my smart-ass self from 10 years ago.