Who is Building Billion Dollar Companies These Days?

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Gruber, commenting on Ben Thompson:

There are developers making good money with professional caliber iPad apps. But nothing like the companies that were built around the Mac.

Gruber and Thompson use Adobe as an example of a company who built Mac software and turned into a billion dollar company. They contend no one has done this on the iPad.

My counter would be: since 2010, what billion dollar companies have been built on Mac-specific software? If there is one, I can’t think of it.

I know that web apps and anything built on Electron go against everything people like Gruber believe in when it comes to software, but the massively successful companies today are built on web technologies, and they certainly don’t build native Mac software as their main business.

I look at Notion, which has a $800 million valuation, Atlasian’s $36 billion market cap, Slack’s $500 million-ish valuation, and the many other apps I use on my Mac to get work done and none of them were built on selling local software for the Mac. The closest I can think of is someone like Pixelmator, but even they must be way smaller than $1 billion, and then that’s not perfect because they sell iPad apps as part of whatever their revenue is.

Please let me know if there are companies out there building billion dollar businesses on native Mac software over the past decade, but I can’t for the life of me think of someone. I think this is an example of setting up metrics that the iPad could never live up to, and using that as a way to call it a failure.