Visualizing Financials of the Biggest Companies: From IPO to Today
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Visualizing Financials of the World’s Biggest Companies: From IPO to Today

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

This series of graphics by Truman Du illustrates the income statements of five of the world’s biggest companies—Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Tesla, and Alphabet—and shows how their financials have evolved since the date of their very first public disclosures.

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

Visual Income Statements: From 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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Back in 1998, Apple went by the name “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 started to sell various consumer tech products like phones, portable music players, and even tablets.

Apple’s consumer tech was so successful, that by 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 core part of its business, the iPhone has become the biggest revenue driver for the company.

In 2021, Apple generated $94.7 billion in profit at a 26% margin. Today, the company is one of the only Big Tech companies that has been able to withstand the industrywide drop in valuations. Sitting strong with a market capitalization over $2 trillion, the company is worth roughly the same as Amazon, Alphabet, and Meta combined.

2. Microsoft

Microsoft's Evolving Revenue Streams

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Microsoft, one of the oldest companies on this list, went public in 1985. Back then, 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 major revenue drivers, the company’s product offerings have 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. Amazon

Amazon's Evolving Revenue Streams

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

But by 1998, Amazon started rapidly expanding its product offering. Soon it was selling everything from CDs and toys to electronics, and even tools.

Fast forward to now, and the ecommerce segment of Amazon has become just a portion of the company’s overall business.

Amazon is also a cloud-service provider (AWS), supermarket chain (with its grocery brands Amazon Fresh and its acquisition of Whole Foods) and even a video streaming service (Prime Video). In particular, AWS stands out as an important part of Amazon’s overall business, driving 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 about $1.4 billion in ad revenue from its website and cloud network.

Today, the company (now renamed Alphabet) has become synonymous with the internet, and accounts for an overwhelming majority of the internet’s search traffic. Because of this, it generates hundreds of billions in ad revenue each year.

The company also owns YouTube, and has branched out into different verticals as well like consumer tech (Fitbit), and premium streaming (YouTube Premium &TV).

5. Tesla

Tesla's Evolving Revenue Streams

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

However, while electric vehicles are still the company’s main revenue driver, Tesla has managed to dip its toes into other verticals over the last 10 years. For instance, in 2021, about $2.8 billion of its $53.8 billion in revenue came from energy generation and storage.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Ranked: America’s 20 Biggest Tech Layoffs Since 2020

How bad are the current layoffs in the tech sector? This visual reveals the 20 biggest tech layoffs since the start of the pandemic.

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layoffs in tech

Ranked: America’s 20 Biggest Tech Layoffs This Decade

The events of the last few years could not have been predicted by anyone. From a global pandemic and remote work as the standard, to a subsequent hiring craze, rising inflation, and now, mass layoffs.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, essentially laid off the equivalent of a small town just weeks ago, letting go of 12,000 people—the biggest layoffs the company has ever seen in its history. Additionally, Amazon and Microsoft have also laid off 10,000 workers each in the last few months, not to mention Meta’s 11,000.

This visual puts the current layoffs in the tech industry in context and ranks the 20 biggest tech layoffs of the 2020s using data from the tracker, Layoffs.fyi.

The Top 20 Layoffs of the 2020s

Since 2020, layoffs in the tech industry have been significant, accelerating in 2022 in particular. Here’s a look at the companies that laid off the most people over the last three years.

RankCompany# Laid Off% of WorkforceAs of
#1Google12,0006%Jan 2023
#2Meta11,00013%Nov 2021
#3Amazon10,0003%Nov 2021
#4Microsoft10,0005%Jan 2023
#5Salesforce8,00010%Jan 2023
#6Amazon8,0002%Jan 2023
#7Uber6,70024%May 2020
#8Cisco4,1005%Nov 2021
#9IBM3,9002%Jan 2023
#10Twitter3,70050%Nov 2021
#11Better.com3,00033%Mar 2022
#12Groupon2,80044%Apr 2020
#13Peloton2,80020%Feb 2022
#14Carvana2,50012%May 2022
#15Katerra2,434100%Jun 2021
#16Zillow2,00025%Nov 2021
#17PayPal2,0007%Jan 2023
#18Airbnb1,90025%May 2020
#19Instacart1,877--Jan 2021
#20Wayfair1,75010%Jan 2023

Layoffs were high in 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, halting the global economy and forcing staff reductions worldwide. After that, things were steady until the economic uncertainty of last year, which ultimately led to large-scale layoffs in tech—with many of the biggest cuts happening in the past three months.

The Cause of Layoffs

Most workforce slashings are being blamed on the impending recession. Companies are claiming they are forced to cut down the excess of the hiring boom that followed the pandemic.

Additionally, during this hiring craze competition was fierce, resulting in higher salaries for workers, which is now translating in an increased need to trim the fat thanks to the current economic conditions.

layoffs in the tech sector

Of course, the factors leading up to these recent layoffs are more nuanced than simple over-hiring plus recession narrative. In truth, there appears to be a culture shift occurring at many of America’s tech companies. As Rani Molla and Shirin Ghaffary from Recode have astutely pointed out, tech giants really want you to know they’re behaving like scrappy startups again.

Twitter’s highly publicized headcount reduction in late 2022 occurred for reasons beyond just macroeconomic factors. Elon Musk’s goal of doing more with a smaller team seemed to resonate with other founders and executives in Silicon Valley, providing an opening for others in tech space to cut down on labor costs as well. In just one example, Mark Zuckerberg hailed 2023 as the “year of efficiency” for Meta.

Meanwhile, over at Google, 12,000 jobs were put on the chopping block as the company repositions itself to win the AI race. In the words of Google’s own CEO:

“Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today… We have a substantial opportunity in front of us with AI across our products and are prepared to approach it boldly and responsibly.”– Sundar Pichai

The Bigger Picture in the U.S. Job Market

Beyond the tech sector, job openings continue to rise. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed a total of 11 million job openings across the U.S., an increase of almost 7% month-over-month. This means that for every unemployed worker in America right now there are 1.9 job openings available.

Additionally, hiring increased significantly in January, with employers adding 517,000 jobs. While the BLS did report a decrease in openings in information-based industries, openings are increasing rapidly especially in the food services, retail trade, and construction industries.

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