Finally in today's latest edition of, "Always Stay Humble," a company most thought would never have to bother.
That company is Apple.
And if my dad were alive today, I could just hear the line he used to tell me lots of days.
"Neil, stay humble, because in your case it'll come in handy."
What my father said in jest, he meant for me to keep and least know in earnest.
To never get ahead of myself.
To never get cocky.
To always stay humble.
You know to this day, it's one of the qualities I most admire about myself.
But enough about me--how this whole Apple thing relates back to me.
There was a time, gosh, barely months ago, when Apple could do no wrong.
Its stock was trading over 700 bucks a share and everyone wanted a share in the bucks. The company didn't just make money--it printed it.
Billions in cool cash selling so many cool gadgets.
iPhones, iPads, iPods--all sold at a premium to customers who still said, "I-gotta-have-it."
The problem, of course, with being cool, is staying cool.
And just acting cool doesn't keep you cool.
You have to keep doing cool stuff, keep making cool stuff, keep out-cooling the other guys' cool stuff.
And none of this is to say that Apple isn't a cool company-it still is.
Or that it doesn't still make a lot of cool cash. It does.
Just not as great a company. And not as much cash.
And I say this, not just as an Apple admirer, who loves and buys a lot of their stuff, but full disclosure, as an Apple shareholder for decades.
Apple's problems creeped up on itself. And it can't control them from creeping back, even now, even after promising to buy back 60 billion bucks of its stock and paying more in dividends to folks who own the stock.
So, Apple's stuck.
I suspect the company didn't so much get ahead of its own press, as it started believing its own press.
...that its stuff didn't stink, if you will.
...forgetting what my dad used to call, that "great ladder in life."
"Neil," he'd say, "Remember the people you pass on the way up the ladder, you'll be bumping into them again, on the way down."
Apparently ladders go both ways.
One day the world's taken a shine to your apple.
And the next, it's saying you're rotten to the core.
But think about that.
You're still the same person.
Still the same company.
Only now you're a very humbled person.
And you're desperately looking for any company.
I guess, that's business.
I guess, that's life.