In business there is nothing like having enough cash to do what you want to help your business grow. Whether that is hiring key talent, purchasing new equipment or buying out a competitor, having money in hand is important. Matter of fact the number one reason businesses don't make it past year #1 is cash flow. Having enough “walking around money” to take advantage of key opportunities that may only happen once is a critical factor to a business' success.
Fortunately, Steve Jobs and Company know this all too well. Almost every financial quarterly conference call contains a question about, "What is Apple going to do with their billions in cash?"
A Few Quick Observations About Steve and Apple
So what is Apple missing and also something that would fit these characteristics? I've said before I think Apple's biggest threat in the upcoming decade is Facebook. Facebook is not a just social networking site. No, it is a platform. The Facebook platform could make Apple's innovative hardware and software far less relevant than it is today. If more and more of online traffic moves to Facebook (which is the trend), then what matters is not how many apps your operating system has or whether your computer is the best looking or the thinest. What matters is whether your device runs Facebook or not.
Until Ping Apple stayed out of social networking. It's not clear whether Ping will become a major player or not going forward. Therefore Apple must both protect and expand its platform before Facebook becomes the platform of choice for application development. To do that — by developing its own social networking platform or through buying a controlling share of Facebook —may just take most if not all of that walking around money.
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