Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Graphic: High-tech market caps in the Steve Jobs era

September 29, 2011: 8:03 AM ET

Another striking visualization from Asymco

Market capitalizations from 1997-2011. Click to enlarge. Source: Asymco.com

Nobody covering high tech today is better at turning raw data into colorful, expressive visuals than the Asymco team of Horace Dediu and Dirk Schmidt. On Tuesday Schmidt marked the end of the second Steve Jobs era by graphing the market capitalizations of Apple (AAPL) and 16 of its peers from 1997 (when Jobs returned to Apple) to 2011 (when he stepped down as CEO).

"According to his own admission," Schmidt writes, "Steve Jobs became CEO when Apple was 90 days away from bankruptcy. He resigned 14 years later after leading Apple to becoming the most valuable listed company in the world. From a value creation point of view, it's hard to think of a better performance from anyone, ever."

For Schmidt's analysis and a second graph showing Apple's share of the companies' combined market caps, click here.

NOTE: An earlier version of this piece attributed the chart and the analysis to Dediu. This work, however, appeared under Schmidt's byline.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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