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Bootcamp diary: Why Apple is worth $1 trillion and Samsung only $386 billion

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There is a reason why Apple now worth more than $1 trillion, nearly three times more than competitor Samsung.

“Apple smashed the status quo and showed us what was possible with technology,” said businessman and public speaker Mushambi Mutuma, speaking at the Practice Management Bootcamp for accountants, sponsored by QuickBooks and held at the Maslow Hotel in Pretoria last week.

There is much more to these stark valuations than mere sales and profit figures. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was able to articulate vision for the future, and translate it into products that are revered the world over. Samsung’s products are great, said Mutuma, but the company does not articulate its vision with the same clarity as Apple.

What distinguishes the truly great in business from the rest of the field is the ability to communicate the “why” behind their businesses. Virgin founder Richard Branson set out to give the average person a world class experience at an affordable price, whether it be in air travel, mobile communications or insurance. Oprah’s purpose is to serve others. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s ambition was to connect people and create like-minded communities online.

In each of these cases, there was another factor that distinguished these entrepreneurs: perseverance. “A number of studies have been done that show perseverance is a great predictor of success,” said Mutuma. “Perseverance is a better predictor of success than school or college grades, IQ, social intelligence, looks or charm. Those who achieved success were able to embrace failure. Fear of failure is the greatest barrier to entry.

“When was the last time you pushed the boundaries of your accounting practice?” he asked.

SA has no shortage of entrepreneurs. What it lacks is more entrepreneurial thinkers, added Mutuma.

What differentiates them from the rest of the population is their proven capacity to solve problems. “Entrepreneurs are the number one problem solvers in the world,” he said.