IBM: Relevant in 2000 and relevant in 2013

This market value graphic is floating around the Internet:

People are focusing on the Microsoft orbs, and for good reason: Gawking is warranted when you “lose” $313 billion.

But let’s put that aside and focus on a different part of the image.

Take a look at IBM:

  • 2000: $209 billion
  • 2013: $203 billion

I find IBM’s staying power far more impressive than the blobby expansion and contraction of other firms. It’s hard to build something that adapts, reinvents and perseveres across long stretches of time.

That one teenager you know does not represent all teenagers

Some tech pundits fall into a bad habit of spotting trends among the dwindling number of young people they encounter on a regular basis.

Here’s an example from Adam Rifkin’s post, “Tumblr Is Not What You Think“:

A teenage friend of mine told me recently that he tries to post something to his Tumblog on an hourly basis …

So, there’s a teenage friend and that friend has a hyperactive Tumblr habit.

This isn’t a point. It’s an aside. And it certainly doesn’t qualify as a Trend to Watch.

It may very well be that Tumblr is where young people gather. I have no problem with that conclusion. But we’ve got to stop with this one-young-person-speaks-for-them-all nonsense.

Think back to when you were a teenager. Were your actions representative of everyone in your age group? Were they even representative of your close friends? Sometimes, but not always.

I don’t mean to pick on Rifkin. Much of his post focuses on survey results and his own insights. But that one line about that one teenager really stuck with me. I’m not sure why it’s in there.