When Apple overtook Exxon Mobil to become the world’s largest company by market cap, most assumed it would not last. Exxon Mobil has real things, like oil. Besides, as you may have noticed, oil is pretty expensive these days.

 In the months that followed, oil continued to go up in price, and yet.

And yet Apple’s shares continued to rise. Steve Jobs was no doubt celebrating in heaven, as the company he co-founded just got bigger and bigger, leaving that giant oil company in its shadow.

They say Mr Jobs was a difficult man. One story has it that he used to fire people in the elevator. Here’s the scene: you step into the lift, and just as the door begin to close, a foot appears. The door slides open, you look from the foot upwards until you see the accompanying face. And it is none other than the boss: Mr Jobs, or Steve. “Nice day,” you say, and in response you get a grilling. Who are you? How long have you been with the company? What are your ambitions?  A few hours later, you are handed your notice. So it wasn’t a nice day after all.

And yet Mr Jobs was not apologetic about his style. He once said: “These are all smart people I work with, and any of them could get a top job at another place if they were truly feeling brutalised. But they don’t.”

So how has Apple been able to enjoy so much success? Frankly, the benefits its products provide are pretty obvious.

But, here is one benefit that may not be fully appreciated. Even in the days when Apple was a struggling company, its computer was the product of choice in the world of media. Across the world, journalists wrote their prose on Apples. And when opinion formers like you, the rest becomes an awful lot easier.

Besides Apple also sells the first piece of consumer electronics hardware in the world which you have to stroke gently in order to turn it on.

© Investment & Business News 2013