The publication tweeted an image of an issue of BusinessWeek from Feb. 5, 1996, that reads, “The Fall of an American Icon,” below the iconic Apple logo. BusinessWeek, which is now owned by Bloomberg L.P., simply captioned the image with, “LOL.”
People on Twitter loved the “self-own”:
While the thirteen digits don’t lie, BusinessWeek’s 1996 assessment of Apple wasn’t that far-fetched.
“There was so much magic in Apple Computer in the early ’80s that it is hard to believe that it may fade away. Apple went from hip to has-been in just 19 years,” wrote the publication at the time.
And they weren’t alone.
A Forrester analyst said of the company, “Whether they stand alone or are acquired, Apple as we know it is cooked. It’s so classic. It’s so sad.” And Fortune said, “By the time you read this story, the quirky cult company…will end its wild ride as an independent enterprise.”
Apple’s had launched in 1976, and after its early success the company’s profits and products were “hitting bottom” in 1996, according to The New York Times.
Apple’s CEO at the time, Gil Amelio, split the company into 7 separate divisions, each responsible for its own profit or loss. In just the first quarter, Apple saw a $740 million loss. That loss led to analysts and journalists predicting it would perish.
The company ultimately turned it around by Q3, which saw a $30 million profit, and by Q4, had brought back co-founder Steve Jobs, who had resigned 12 years earlier.
The rest, they say, is history.