Barron's ran typical coverage, which is to say they were totally focused on the $500 billion mark, to the exclusion of growth. This played out in a way we saw from too many media outlets to count. The story opened what became an instant cliche: "The 2010 data from the International Monetary Fund showed 19 countries with a GDP higher than $500 billion."
We were then treated to a list of other companies in the club, like Cisco (CSCO), Exxon Mobil (XOM), General Electric (GE) and Microsoft (MSFT). Barron's then closed with (yes, you guessed it) a list of companies in the second tier of companies in the $250 billion club.Nowhere, though, was there anything about growth. Not top line. Not bottom line. Not. A. Word. Remember: to the media, its almost always raw size that matters. If the size can be framed in a single eye-popping number, all the better. But in business, size is often curse. Just think of all those stories of General Motors being number one in car sales, which failed to mention that to earn the title, they were selling cars at big losses. Apple, of course, is in a completely different category. The company is growing in all ways, no just market capitalization. Top line. Profitability. In fact, the singular fact of Apple is that, even at its remarkable size, its growth is so steep, it's worth a mere mention.