In today’s fast-paced world, businesses need to adapt if they are to stay relevant. Even Big Tech giants can’t get too comfortable: to stay competitive, big companies like Google and Amazon are constantly innovating and evolving.

This set of graphics by Truman Du illustrates the income statements of five of the world’s largest companies – Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Tesla and Alphabet – and shows how their financials have evolved since their first public disclosure.

Editor’s note: Click any graphic to view a full-width version with higher resolution. Also, because these companies are in some cases 10,000 times larger than they were at the IPO date, the two visual financial statements are not meant to be directly comparable in size.

Visual income statement: from the IPO to today

Let’s start with Apple, the first company to go public and the biggest in the mix:

1. Apple

Apple's evolving revenue streams

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In 1998, Apple was called “Apple Computer”, because at the time the company only sold computers and computer hardware kits. However, over the next decade, the company expanded its product offerings and began selling various consumer technology products such as phones, portable music players, and even tablets.

Apple’s consumer technology has been so successful that in 2007, the company decided to drop “Computer” from its name. Fast forward to today and the company also generates revenue through services like Apple TV and Apple Pay.

While computers are still a key part of its business, the iPhone has become the primary revenue driver for the company.

In 2021, Apple generated a profit of $94.7 billion with a margin of 26%. Today, the company is one of the few Big Tech companies that has been able to weather declining industry-wide valuations. Sitting strong with a market cap of over $2 trillion, the company is worth roughly as much as Amazon, Alphabet and Meta combined.


Microsoft's evolving revenue streams

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Microsoft, one of the oldest companies on this list, went public in 1985. At the time, the company only sold microprocessors and software, hence the name Micro soft.

And while Microsoft’s flagship operating system (Windows) is still one of its main revenue drivers, the company’s product offering has become much more diverse.

Now, its revenue streams are split fairly evenly between its cloud service (Azure), productivity tools (Office), and personal computing (Xbox and Windows OS).

3. Amazonia

Amazon's evolving revenue streams

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When Amazon went public in 1997, the online retailer only sold books.

But in 1998, Amazon began rapidly expanding its product offering. He was soon selling everything from CDs and toys to electronics and even instruments.

Fast forward to today and Amazon’s ecommerce segment has become just a part of the company’s overall business.

Amazon is also a cloud service provider (AWS), a supermarket chain (with its Amazon Fresh grocery brands and Whole Foods acquisition), and even a video streaming service (Prime Video). In particular, AWS stands out as a major part of Amazon’s overall business, generating a whopping 74% of operating profits.

4. Alphabet

Alphabet's Evolving Revenue Streams

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When Google went public in 2003, it was a simple search engine that generated approx $1.4 billion in advertising revenue from its website and cloud network.

Today the company (now renamed Alphabet) has become synonymous with the Internet and accounts for the vast majority of Internet search traffic. Because of this, it generates hundreds of billions in advertising revenue each year.

The company also owns YouTube and has branched out into several verticals beyond consumer technology (Fitbit) and premium streaming (YouTube Premium and TV).

5. Tesla

Tesla's evolving revenue streams

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Tesla’s IPO took place in 2008, making it the youngest company on the list. And as the newest on the block, Tesla’s revenue streams haven’t changed as drastically as others.

However, while EVs are still the company’s primary revenue driver, Tesla has managed to dive into other vertical markets over the past 10 years. For example, in 2021, approximately $2.8 billion of your own $53.8 billion revenue came from energy generation and storage.

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