The New World Order of True Free Cash Flow
I’m reminded of an old saying "I lose a little on each deal, but I make up for it in volume."
Irony: Your great piece has "The New World Order" in the title. And I just read Ming-Chi Kuo's rumor-based piece Apple xR headset which referred the "Metaverse Standards Forum".
Of course, the Metaversians, think they're creating the New World Order, precisely at a time when people care much more about old world things like tFCF and the US dollar, oil, minerals, and food. Sadly, we have add weapons to the above list.
More specifically, your point about employees and IP underpins one the best reasons to stay long on Apple (and similar companies) with superb tFCF to hire the talent to grow the IP to widen the moat to raise the ARPU to keep on increasing tFCF. Dayenu. I recommend adding Glassdoor metrics to your screening.