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What's the Success Recipe of World's First Trillion-dollar Company? Money is not Apple's focus, CEO Tim Cook told employees after achieving the feat

By Pooja Singh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Apple's rise from the brink of bankruptcy in the late nineties to the world's first public company worth $1 trillion (that's 1 with 12 zeroes) is an unmitigated success story. Rapid innovation and a series of hit cutting-edge products have helped Apple become the cash cow it is today.

For the company's chief executive officer Tim Cook, however, it's not about money.

On Thursday, after Apple—founded four decades ago by a geek in the US' Santa Clara Valley garage to make personal computers—became the first publicly traded American firm worth over $1 trillion, Cook sent a memo to the companies' more than 1,20,000 employees. In the memo, which was obtained in full by Reuters, he acknowledged the feat and thanked the workers for making Apple the most valuable company in the world.

Where Values Lie

That's not all. In the memo, Cook, who became the CEO in 2011 after founder Steve Jobs' death from a rare form of pancreatic cancer, clarified that while the $1 trillion mark is a milestone, there's much more the company can, and should, do to achieve the kind of success Jobs once envisioned.

"Today Apple passed a significant milestone. At our closing share price of $207.39, the stock market now values Apple at more than $1 trillion. While we have much to be proud of in this achievement, it's not the most important measure of our success," he said.

Change is Here

He went on: "Steve founded Apple on the belief that the power of human creativity can solve even the biggest challenges... .

"In today's world, our mission is more important than ever. Our products not only create moments of surprise and delight, they empower people all around the globe to enrich their lives and the lives of others.

"Just as Steve always did in moments like this, we should all look forward to Apple's bright future and the great work we'll do together."

Think Ahead

According to Cook, the financial returns are "simply the result of Apple's innovation, putting our products and customers first, and always staying true to our values."

Cook's words might be exclusively for his employees, but leaders across the world can use them to learn how to create a successful brand.

For any company to survive in today's highly competitive era, it is vital to stay relevant. Each year, Apple comes out with a series of devices that change the way we live our lives, offering innovation and technology at its best.

The company's focus on its values and brand image is evident from its hallmark of simplicity. From the way Jobs dressed in his "uniform" of jeans teamed with black mock turtlenecks, to the way Apple devices operate, the presentation of the brand has remained intact and unchanged over the years.

More importantly, they have stayed true to Jobs' vision. "... The people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do," Cook repeated Jobs' words in his memo.

Pooja Singh

Former Features Editor, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific


A stickler for details, Pooja Singh likes telling people stories. She has previously worked with Mint-Hindustan Times, Down To Earth and Asian News International-Reuters. 

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