Charting Apple vs. Exxon: The Battle to Be the World's Most Valuable Company

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After a few years of strong growth and a few weeks of market turmoil, Apple briefly surpassed Exxon Mobil as the most highly valued company in the world during intraday trading today. In most ways, it seems like the companies couldn't be more different. Exxon sells planet-destroying fossil fuels oil and natural gas whereas Apple sells hipster credibility computing devices and software. We decided to see how the companies stacked up on a variety of important metrics, which we collected into the table below.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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