Apple’s headcount, up 30%, still industry’s most productive
[Via Brainstorm Tech: Technology blogs, news and analysis from Fortune Magazine » Apple 2.0]
With one seventh as many employees as IBM, Apple generates 13 times more profit
In most recent quarter. Source: Google Finance, Apple Inc. Click to enlarge.
As of September, Apple (AAPL) had 60,400 full-time equivalent employees, according to the SEC Form 10-K it filed Wednesday, nearly 30% more than the 46,600 it reported in Q4 2010.
But those employees generate more profit per capita — by far — than any of Apple’s peers in the industry.
In the quarter that ended in September — not its best, mind you — the company generated sales of $28.3 billion and net income of $6.62 billion, or nearly $110,000 profit per employee.
Amazon generated about $1500 per employee, almost 10 times less than Apple. In fact, as Apple has gotten larger, its profit per employee has increased.
Since 2008, the profits per employee have gone up almost 3-fold.
How many companies make more money per employee even as they grow? Well, Amazon, Dell and HP make the same amount per employee today as they did in 2008. Microsoft shows a little increase – maybe 20%. Not the almost 300% that Apple has.
Only Google has shown anything close to Apple and it is only up 75% per employee since 2008.
Apple really is some different kind of company. It continues to demonstrate the increasing returns that accrue to 21st Century companies. It also indicates that Apple continues to answer the questions Arthur posed in his paper Increasing Returns and the New World of Business.
I wonder when others will begin to answer them also.
How Siri Disrupts Search
[Via Daring Fireball]
Rich Mogull, at TidBITS:
Siri doesn’t replace search, but in many cases it circumvents it by directing users straight to integrated partner services. When you ask for the nearest Indian restaurant there’s still a search taking place, but it’s through Yelp, not a generic search engine that would include Yelp plus various other results.
By skipping the search engine and going straight to a designated source there is no place to insert advertising.
I wrote earlier about the apparent trend of Google to modify search in ways that actually make it less useful. This is a bad time for it to lose sight of its primary product.
Because Siri is about to change mobile search. 2/3rds of mobile search comes from iOS devices. But Siri reduces directed search that Google needs in order to get revenue.
In fact, Siri uses things like Yelp and thus supports their models while Google actually actively works to harm Yelp.
So Apple now has a method to reduce ad revenue that Google is used to getting and to also help Google’s competitors.
I’m thinking that Google shouldn’t aughta have ticked Steve off.
Google quietly removes + functionality from search
[Via Boing Boing]
It used to be that you could make Google include terms in search results by placing the + symbol before them in queries. Not any more! Writing for Wired, Andy Baio covers Google’s increasing willingness to muck around with your search queries and how to work around it. [Wired]
It used to be that by adding the “+” forced that word to explicitly be on the page, not in some sort of meta part based on Google’s magic computers.
Now to do the same thing requires twice as much work – placing quotes around everything.
All so it can use the + symbol for Google+ like Twitter uses the hash (#).
The reason Google took over with search are many but one of the basic things was how it combined the words in the search. It allowed very simple control over a search, meaning that the often arcane commands many earlier search engines used became unnecessary.
But as time has gone on, they have meddled with this. I often do searches where some of the words I use are not found on the page at all. It becomes a worthless search. Putting the “+” in front of a word helped make sure I would find it. Other’s have commented on this exact thing.
Now, to make it more convenient for their social service – which copies other services – they are harming their whole reason for existing.
Because it appears that the branding of “+” for their social services is now more important than their core product. Companies fail when branding becomes such a core part of their business, especially when it overshadows core business units.
There are already beginning to appear competitors to Google search that may find a large niche here if Google continues to take it eyes off the prize.
I know I will be looking for a service that acts more like the original Google than this new bastard version.