That man changed the world?

You’ve already seen that picture, haven’t you? The truth is, you can hardly miss it those days…. The first time I saw it, a few months ago, I did not recognize the man (probably because I was more used to visualize him with a more black and white style). As far as I remember, the teaser did use a quote you can find everywhere in his biography, starting with a documentary: that man “changed the world“.

I mean, there are big fans of Steve Jobs around, I get it. But did he change my world? I doubt it…. The thing is, I do not have a iPhone (I do not even have a cell phone, and those who tried to reach me know that I barely answer the phone when it rings, in my office and at home), I do not have an iPad, and if I have a Mac at the Office, it is only because of the alternative I had… So if he did not change my life, whose life did he change?

Perhaps the life of those believed in him? If we look at the value of the Apple stock, starting on October, 23rd, 2001 (first iPod released), and compare it with the Nasdaq, both starting at value 100 on October 2001, we get

> library(tseries)
> x.nasdaq <- get.hist.quote("^IXIC")
> x.apple <- get.hist.quote("AAPL")
> nasdaq.100 <- 100*x.nasdaq$Close[time(x.nasdaq$Close)>as.Date("23/10/2001",
+ "%d/%m/%Y")]/as.numeric(x.nasdaq$Close[time(x.nasdaq$Close)==as.Date(
+ "23/10/2001","%d/%m/%Y")])
> plot(nasdaq.100,ylim=c(60,max(apple.100)),col="blue")
> apple.100 <- 100*x.apple$Close[time(x.apple$Close)>as.Date("23/10/2001",
+ "%d/%m/%Y")]/as.numeric(x.apple$Close[time(x.apple$Close)==as.Date(
+ "23/10/2001","%d/%m/%Y")])
> lines(apple.100,col="red")

in blue is the Nasdaq, and in red, the (closing) price of the Apple stock,

People who did buy Apple stocks in October 2001 had a good intuition. In ten years (perhaps a few months more), the stock was worth 40 times the price investors did pay for it. That’s not bad…. so indeed, Steve Jobs did probably change the life of some (long tern) investors who believed in him.


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