4.2 out of 5
26 reviews on Udemy

Case Studies: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Apple

A course in business for tech folks, and in tech for the business folks
Loony Corn
3,645 students enrolled
English [Auto]
Understand common business models in the tech industry
Spot trends, and possibly pick the winners and losers of tomorrow
Understand how we got to today - the key players, their successes, failures, strengths and weaknesses
Make sense, line-by-line of the financial statements and investor reports of tech companies
  • Conducted by an instructor who worked in Sales Finance at Google, and set up Product Finance at Flipkart

Whether you are an engineer seeking to understand business, or a business/strategy person seeking to understand technology – this course is right for you.

What’s Covered:

  • Case studies of Apple, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • In-depth analysis of the business models of these companies
  • Line-by-line walk through their financial statements and investor filings
  • Product choices – good and bad – made by these companies
  • Competitive analysis of each company: how they stack up in revenue, growth, profitability and valuation

The Business of Technology

The Business of Technology

We outline what you'll be able to do by the end of this course, and then plunge into an examination of Twitter's recent travails, and see how 'engagement precedes monetisation'

Case Study: Apple

The best reason to study Apple

Its not that the company is the most valuable and profitable company in the world, and its not even because Apple's history is rich, interesting, and full of fascinating highs and lows. Its because more than any other company, Apple has applied Micro Econ 101 - the way to stand apart from perfect competition is via differentiation and branding.

How Important is Apple?

Pretty damn important

Perfect Competition: The Exceptions Prove the Rule

iPhones and Macs both prove a truism from Micro Econ 101: Perfect competition implies undifferentiated products and identical prices. Apple has this figured out - it vacuums all of the industry profits in smartphones with ~ 20% market share.

The Digital Hub: iTunes + iPod

In 2001 Apple adopted a strategy it called the Digital Hub. See how iPod + iTunes set the stage for all of the spectacular hits to follow, including the iPad and the iPhone

On Tim's Watch: Apple Watch and Apple Pay

Apple Pay and the Apple Watch represent the first major bets placed by the company in the post-Jobs era. The jury is out on whether these will be monster hits too.

How Big, How Far

Apple's size and geographical spread are worth understanding - especially the company's success in China.

The Best of the Best

Apple only competes with the best: Google, Samsung and Microsoft have all had complicated relationships with Apple

Need Help Counting the Money?

We examine Apple's revenues, profit margins, growth rates and valuation.

A Job for Jobs

Apple's story is inextricably linked to Steve Jobs - a brilliant, complicated individual

Apple Before the Second Coming

We trace Apple's history from its founding in 1976 until the return of Steve Jobs for his second stint with the company in 1997. Interesting but volatile times for the company.

Unbeaten, Unbeatable

In the period between Jobs' return to Apple in 1997 and his death in 2011, the company delivered an astonishing turnaround, and redefined one industry after another.

Case Study: Twitter

A Tale of two Twitters

Twitter is a thriving platform, but a struggling company. This divergence makes it more - not less - important for us to understand.

An Important Dichotomy

Why is Twitter so important? Because it is a flourishing platform but a struggling company.

Engagement Precedes Monetisation

Twitter did a great job of monetising its early engagement, but did n't pay heed when engagement stagnated.

How does Twitter manage to lose so much money?

For a company with its public profile, Twitter has astonishingly small revenues, and astonishingly high costs.

How Big, How Far

Because we don't really know a company until we understand its size and geographical spread.

Twitter's Strange Life So Far

Twitter has had a strange life so far. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

The Characters in the Drama

Key characters from Twitter's past and possibly its future.


Twitter competes with two of the most successful and valuable company's in the world right now: Google and Facebook. So far, its struggled to go toe-to-toe.

Case Study: LinkedIn

LinkedIn: Network or Destination?

LinkedIn is low on drama, but high on diversification. It is especially interesting to study right now, as it seeks to go from being a professional social network, to a content destination.

Sum of its Parts

LinkedIn is important because it straddles many worlds. One company with 4 business models.

Not a One-Trick Pony

But not a slouch at spending money either. That's the tale of LinkedIn's costs and revenues.

A Rare Success In China

LinkedIn publishes unusually granular information about its geographic split - but even so the most noteworthy bit about its international operations is its relative success in China


LinkedIn's life has been far less drama-filled than that of many of its tech industry peers.

Social Network to Content Destination

LinkedIn seems to be making a conscious shift from professional social network to content destination. See the why - and the how.

In Its Own Little Niches

LinkedIn has 4 superbly diversified streams of revenue that still somehow make sense together, and defy classification - or competition

Case Study: Facebook

Facebook Rising

Facebook is the most important social network, and one of the most successful companies in the world today

Rockstar du jour

Facebook is doing many things right (right now): monetising well, engaging well; making smart acquisitions (Instagram, Whatsapp); executing on product. This rare combination has investors super-optimistic.

A Profit-Machine Buys Growth

Facebook's core business is very very profitable - the company is consciously sacrificing some of those profits to quickly build up other businesses that might become its core businesses tomorrow.

Monetising in the US, Engaging in Asia

Facebook's geographical splits show some interesting trends: the company is adroitly milking more revenue out of its mature markets, while simultaneously building engagement and a large user base in emerging markets.

Learning from mistakes: own and others

Facebook's run so far has been widely studied - but this section focuses on Myspace's decline, and a brief period of uncertainty in 2012-2013 as drivers of Facebook's dream run in the last 2 years.


Some companies have size, others have growth, yet others have profits. Right now, only Facebook has them all. This Goldilocks combination is what makes Facebook so valuable relative to its peers (Google is 4x Facebook's revenues, but < 2x Facebook's valuation)

You can view and review the lecture materials indefinitely, like an on-demand channel.
Definitely! If you have an internet connection, courses on Udemy are available on any device at any time. If you don't have an internet connection, some instructors also let their students download course lectures. That's up to the instructor though, so make sure you get on their good side!
4.2 out of 5
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4 hours on-demand video
Full lifetime access
Access on mobile and TV
Certificate of Completion


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