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The Value of a Good Story

This entry was originally posted on January 11, 2007 at the old Brandstory blog (link available for a limited time).

On Tuesday Apple’s CEO and master storyteller, Steve Jobs, announced a “revolutionary” new mobile phone with a wide screen touch pad, Internet browser, built-in iPod, visual voice mail, Google maps feature, and much more. The reviews so far have been very good. Time writes: “Apple’s new iPhone could do to the cell phone market what the iPod did to the portable music player market: crush it pitilessly beneath the weight of its own superiority. This is unfortunate for anybody else who makes cell phones, but it’s good news for those of us who use them.”

It’s even better news for Apple’s share holders. On the day of the announcement, Apple’s share price increased more than 8% or $7.10 a share. And shares of both Palm (maker of the Treo) and Research in Motion (maker of blackberry) fell, 5.69% and 7.85% respectively (a collective loss of more than 2 billion dollars).

But here’s the kicker. Apple doesn’t even have a completely functional model yet. Those lucky few who have seen it report that some features are not yet ready for prime time. The demos are cool. The pictures are cool. But Apple won’t have a phone ready to deliver for almost 5 months.

So all Apple really has is a well-designed model and a terrific story, worth more than 6 billion dollars. True, Apple is very good at delivering products that change categories. And that’s what investors are betting on. Given their track record, it’s a pretty safe bet.

But until the iPhone starts shipping, all Apple has is a very impressive, very well-told story.

What’s your story worth?

Hat tip: tuaw.com.

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