Steve Jobs Resigns: Why I Hated Apple

We are still struggling with high unemployment, but did you hear about one more job lost? Some guy named Steven P. Jobs stepped away from his CEO position at some tech company named after a fruit. Just what we need, one more job lost. Ok, I’m being silly. This is no ordinary man and no ordinary company. After the news hit, some people were expecting a huge drop. In the after market, AAPL was down 5%. But after the dust settled, AAPL was only down 1. A few months ago, I was inspired by Money Cone’s Had You Bought Apple Shares Instead Of Apple Products. I had a similar post to write, but put it off because I had issues. With Steve Jobs resigning from a fairy tale run, I figure now is the perfect time to exorcise my demons.

Early 2000s

We were finally coming out of the rubble of what was the internet bubble. A friend of mine was talking about stocks. I dabbled with tech, but lost my shirt and almost lost my mind in the Internet Gold Rush. The last thing I wanted to talk about was tech companies. He was sort of an Apple fanboy and was raving about how great an investment they would be. “They have great products and they have so much cash on hand. Even if the company collapsed, you would still have a share of that cash!” AAPL at that time was trading at $12. Excuse me while I throw up. I know, “Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda”.

Monkey See, Monkey Don’t

What even made this period more interesting is we both had a co-worker who was an even bigger fan boy and flaunted it. He said he was buying and holding Apple stock since the 90’s. We never saw eye to eye and I believe subconsciously I wanted nothing to do with him. I was slowly developing my identity and was more in line with the conservative, boring PC guy than the hip, cutting edge, Mac. These commercials came up later, but you get the picture. Ironically, since my nemesis had beliefs and a personality very different from my own, I further distanced myself from Apple.

What’s An iPod?

I believe it was 2004 and a friend of mine gave me a 40GB iPod (Click Wheel). I thought, “What is this unusual thing?” I never really listened to MP3’s and primarily used it as a portable hard drive. 40GB was huge back then! I’ve never been cutting edge. I didn’t particularly like the interface and I thought this was just a fad. My narrow-mindedness didn’t see we were on the verge of the greatest business comebacks in history. Whatever word you use to describe Steve Jobs, to put it bluntly, I was the direct opposite.

I Like My BlackBerry

In 2007, the tech world was buzzing. Rumor had it that the makers of the iPod would enter the smartphone space with the iPhone. Some of my friends were early adopters and raved endlessly. “You got to get it!” They were ecstatic, bordering on lunacy. “This is life changing.” Thinking back, my frugal self would not allow me to spend so much on a personal phone when my company provided a perfectly good BlackBerry. Research In Motion was dominating the business phone space so I thought nothing of it. How quickly things can change. The other half of me was still eeking out my identity. I had no opinions and usually followed the crowd. But now I wanted to be the guy who wasn’t into the iPhone craze. My mission to define myself blinded me of the ultimate game changer.

Strength Or Fear

I needed to go through what I was going through, but I sure picked a fine time to define myself. I vaguely remember thinking, “You missed the iPod boat, don’t miss it again.” AAPL was trading in the 90s and again I did nothing. I didn’t like change. I liked putting my head in the sand. At the time I was so weak, if I changed my tune my fragile ego couldn’t handle admitting defeat. In my warped mind, sitting and taking punishment is a sign of strength. How wrong I was. It was fear of change, fear of failure, and a whole lot of denial.

The Great Recession

Hindsight is 20/20. When the stock market bottomed in 2009, AAPL was back to iPhone levels. Did I buy? No. I feared for my job, my 401k, and my safety! People were talking of stocking up and getting shotguns to live in the mountains. I seriously thought it was over. Shame on me, yet again.

They Called It What? An iPad?

Here we are in 2010. After missing out on the iPod craze, the iPhone craze, and Great Recession sale, I was ready to make my move. I am going to buy AAPL before the iPad launch! You’re not going to fool me four times in a row! Four times in a row? Better late than never, right? I got in around $230 and happily saw it rise to $250. I’m on top of the world ala Leonardo DiCaprio on the Titanic!

Flash Crash

At the time, I was refining my stock trading moves. I was a very emotional and undisciplined trader. I finally added discipline to my game with stop losses. The Flash Crash activated my sell orders at $215 and just like that I was out of AAPL. I never fully recovered from that one. I properly executed my sell, was becoming a more disciplined trader, but never had a plan to buy back in. Self-doubt popped up again. Doing the right thing and becoming a better trader backfired on me. AAPL is now trading around $375. Where do we go from here?

Final Thoughts

Steve Jobs is a visionary. He miraculously rescued his dying company and transformed it into the most valuable company in the world. We are being drowned by his highlights, but for the first time ever I am coming to grips with one of my most gut wrenching lowlight reels. My personal Apple timeline is filled with second guesses and self-doubt. I was in denial and buried the pain. If I acknowledge my past failings and learn from them I have a chance to improve and move on. The final straw of inspiration came from Steve himself in a commencement speech he gave at Stanford in 2005.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

The great Steve Jobs came back from what he called a devastating dismissal. In my opinion, that firing would have leveled most normal men and would have rendered me into a permanent fetal position. In the big picture, my lowlight reel is a mere fraction of what he endured. If there is something in your past that is holding you back, can it come close to what Steve went through? I know it doesn’t matter what other people go through and we all have our lives to live. But holding on to bad memories or perceived failings is just an excuse for not moving on and trying new things. Change is scary and routine is comfortable. Believe me, I know. But if the same issue keeps bothering you over and over again, shouldn’t you do something that you haven’t tried before? As for me personally, it is finally time to let it go of my hatred of Apple and in some ways, hatred of myself. Life is too short. It’s time to live for right now. Thanks for helping me “Think Different”, Steve. You’re an inspiration to us all.

Stay Inspired!

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41 Responses

  1. Awesome post. Steve Jobs is a rock star in this video, and when you condense his career into a short summary, it reads appropriately. What an inspiring visionary. AAPL stock aside, he has given so much and is a remarkabley inspiring person. I can definitely draw strength from his creativity and determination. I can think of several aspects of my life that could benefit from “what would Steve do?”.

  2. Love your post! and the clip.
    It’s good to learn from your past mistakes, but not good to beat yourself up over them. Hindsight IS 20/20.

  3. MoneyCone says:

    Ouch Buck! Thanks for sharing your brush with Apple!

    It is kinda sad, all the wealth in the world, but missing out on the most important aspect of wealth, health.

  4. Excellent post Buck. You should promote this post as much as you can. I love Jobs’ quote at the end. I am a bit anti apple myself because I like value over style, but Steve Jobs is a visionary and I have doubt about Apple’s long term prospect. I think Apple will do very well in the short term, but in 10 years… who knows…

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks Joe for your support! I’m like you, value over style. But with Apple so mainstream I almost feel like I’m on the other side of the fence. I have to say, their products are top notch. It even goes down to their packaging. I have the MacBook Air and iPhone boxes and won’t throw them away because they are pieces of art!

  5. Awesome summary of Apple. But seriously $12 a share! I wish I had bought some of that action 🙂

  6. Buck this is wonderful summary of everything that is to do with that fruit. I missed on AAPL too. But I would rather miss it forever as I am a believer of Warren’s philosophy which states, if you can not see a guaranteed existence of the company in next 20 -30 years you should not purchase the stock. Can you guarantee any tech company to be in business for that long?

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks SB! Good point I thought Yahoo, myspace, and Microsoft would dominate forever. I respect your disciplined Buffett approach, something I am striving for myself!

  7. Squirrelers says:

    Good post, Buck! Change is often necessary, inevitable in many cases, so it might as well be embraced. Easier said than done sometimes, right?

    As for Jobs, what a career that guy had! I was an Apple fan when younger, but never got into the iphone craze…Android here:) Anyway, Money Cone’s post really opened my eyes on Apple’s stock price history. Your post tells another story of that journey, from a different perspective. Thanks for sharing.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks! Change should be embraced. Learning that now, but before, change was uncomfortable and stressful because I viewed it as a negative. Once again, it pays to think positively. How is the Android? Does it have a chance to knock of the iPhone?

  8. krantcents says:

    Good post! I am always fascinated with successful people like Steve Jobs. Either you forgot or don’t remember, there was a long period when Apple’s stock did almost nothing. It stayed around $60 for years. It may have been when Jobs was ousted.
    There will be future opportunities with Apple stock, they probably will do a split. After all $375 is a little pricey, but will their future be as good? Who knows.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks! We can learn a lot from successful people. In the past, I ignored them because it made me feel inadequate when compared to their greatness. I really need my head examined! You are so right. It did go sideways for quite awhile. Speaking of pricey, I thought I saw a price target approaching $500. Only time will tell.

  9. Barbara says:

    I’m sad to see him go, but probably he’ll be back. Cos he’s got apples running through his veins.

  10. The flash crash hurt a lot of people. There were so many sell orders that got triggered and even more that were never filled. I was interning at a brokerage firm when it happened and the phones were ringing like crazy! Great post!

  11. Flexo says:

    Great story! I’m not a fan of Apple products, but their cult-like following is good for business. Are you a Milan Kundera fan?

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks Flexo! I never heard of Milan Kundera before you mentioned him. I did a quick search and a post mentioned he takes a pessimistic view of the human condition. Interesting. I always thought I was naively optimistic, but when it came to viewing myself, it was very negative. I’m in a better place and constantly striving to rid my unhealthy pessimistic view of myself. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you and everyone on the East Coast are safe from Irene.

  12. Hey Buck. This is a great post. It serves as a warning to us all about allowing our prejudices and other feelings to get in the way of sound, unbiased analysis.

    By the way…I think it’s funny that you referred to your former coworker as your nemesis.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks Khaleef! You hit it on the head. I’m a very emotional person and I did let my prejudices and feelings cloud my judgment. Funny you picked up on nemesis. My friends laugh at my use of super charged words. Since you pointed it out. It made me realize I could really do nothing but what I did. How could a sane person mimic his nemesis’ thought process? How could someone follow the moves of someone he despised, even though it may have been the best move?

  13. Benny says:

    Great post Buck! $12 a share? Wow!! I bought some at $130 because that time I turned from a lifelong PC guy to a Mac and thought I should buy stocks in companies I love. I wish I had bought more when it went below $100.

    It’s sad he’s leaving cause he’s change the world with his innovations. I read they have products ready for the next couple years but after that there is no telling how they will be without his vision.

    $12? Wow…

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks Benny! Nice catch at $130 and buying companies you love. Good technique. Sadly, in my case, since I “hated” Apple, it wouldn’t have worked for me. Live and learn. It does sound like Apple is set for the next few years. $12? Too bad we don’t have a crystal ball.

  14. Excellent post, I should say. Apple is like Berkshire Hathaway. Without the man at the helm, they’re going to have a tough time doing as well as before.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks Tony! Has any company lost a critical figure and actually came back stronger? Most have gotten weaker (Microsoft, Walmart, Dell, etc.) Would this be a good reason to short the stock?

  15. Steve Jobs has always been the face of Apple, and as you mentioned, an inspiration to all with his career and accomplishments. It will be interesting to see where Apple goes from here.

  16. Maxhine Yap says:

    Watching the video really give me a lot of understand how Apple come to be the most trusted computer product. Steve Jobs really done many amazing things with Apple. Now that he resign from his position. What will happen to Apple? Will it still dominate the industry? Thanks for sharing the video

  17. Great post and tribute to a real visionary. Trading takes a level of conviction and confidence that’s inextricably linked with how confident we are in ourselves. Self-discovery is important and I hope you’re not beating yourself up about buying up shares in Apple.

  18. Jessica says:

    Good post! Really got me to finish the clip. Inspiring and courageous determination from Steve Jobs decision on resigning.

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