The Internet, in an attempt to both say something different about the talked-to-death Apple earnings report and the $110 billion of cash it has on hand and also give readers a visual representation of the massively abstract, resorted many, many comparisons. It's time to judge their efforts. Numbers can only get a reader so far. If we had $110 billion in our checking accounts, that would indeed be an absurd amount of money. But, Apple's not a single human, it's a huge company. And, as we learned on Frontline last night, insane amounts of money slosh around company accounts on a regular basis. But we can thank the bloggers for helping us really understand how successful Apple is, providing illustrative comparisons for our pea-brains.
Not all comparisons are created equal, with some more useful than others. The best comparison gives the reader an understanding of both grandness (or lack thereof) and context. On a style level, we also appreciate a little creativity. After coming across so many of these, we went ahead and rounded up some of our favorites high-school year book superlative style.
The Most Relatable
This prize goes to our neighbor over at The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal for his post "Apple's Cash Reserves Would Fill 50 Olympic Swimming Pools With Dollar Bills, Y'all" This comparison does a good job depicting the size of Apple's achievements. That is a lot of money! I don't think all my money, even if converted to useless Greek drachmas, would fill a single Olympic sized pool. But it doesn't do much in the contrast department. Maybe Google has 50 swimming pools worth of cash, too? However, this comparison wins the most relatable award, because we feel it is something readers can really get. "Can't you just see Tim Cook breaststroking through cashmoney? I can," writes Madrigal. Not only can we see Cook swimming in all that money, but if we had all that money, this is exactly what we'd do with it.