About Steve Jobs
Born in 1955, California Steve Jobs founded with Steve Wozniak, in 1976 (and incorporated in 1977), Apple Computer Corporation. Jobs renewed his friendship with Steve Wozniak when both of them worked for Atari, designing computer games and a telephone blue box. In the early 1980s, Jobs was among the first to see the potential commercial success of the mouse-driven Graphical User Interface. After losing a power struggle with John Sculley, Jobs decided in 1985 to leave from Apple with several executives.
Steve Jobs founded NeXT, company which in 1997 was bought by Apple Computer Corporation. This strategic move was made by Gil Amelio. In short time the board directors named Jobs as CEO of Apple. Steve Jobs is mostly responsible for all the milestone Apple products. In January 2009, Jobs took a six month leave of absence from Apple due to health problems, which involved a liver transplant. In September, Steve Jobs returned just in time for the It’s only rock and roll event.
Although Steve Jobs dropped out of college – Red College, where he studied physics, literature and poetry, Jobs had an innovative idea regarding the personal computer. That idea revolutionized not only the hardware industry, but also the software industry. At the age of 21, Jobs in partnership with Wozniak built the first Apple computer, Apple I (1976). Although Apple I was not a success due to lack of proper advertising, it did make a statement regarding the proper dimensions of a personal computer. Since then Apple Computer Inc develops and manufacturers user-friendly computers. Jobs software development for the Macintosh re-introduced the windows interface, and added the mouse-point technology.
In 1977, Jobs and Wozniak released the Apple II. This computer was the first Apple success, best bought for home and small business, with a lifetime of five years. In 1984, Jobs was targeting the medium and large businesses with the new Macintosh. This computer was the first Apple product to implement the needs of corporate work force. In the beginning Jobs hired workers with small to none computer knowledge for daily activities. By 1985, Steve Jobs was considered a brilliant man in Silicon Valley, thanks to his idea regarding future demands of the computer industry.
|“||The personal computer was created by the hardware revolution of the 1970′s and the next dramatic change will come from a software revolution.||”|
The user-friendly status of Apple was implemented in all products, and upgraded since Macintosh family. The Macintosh removed the computer command-code lines and substituted it with the GUI and the mouse.
Steven Paul was born in California in February 1955. Although his biological parents were alive, Steven was give adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain View. Because Jobs was not happy with the school in Mountain View, the family moved to Los Altos, California. Steve attended the Homestead High School. Since high school Jobs was seen as different, something of a loner, with different way of looking at things (Hohn McCollum-electronics teacher at Homestead High). After school, Jobs attended lectures at HP electronic, in Palo Alto, California.
Steve got a job at HP as a summer employee, were he first met Steve Wozniak, also employee and college dropout (University of California at Berkeley). Wozniak’s hobby was building electronics gadgets. At that time Wozniak was working at the latest details of the blue box, a telephone attachment that would enable user to make free long distance calls. Even do this was an illegal gadget Jobs helped Wozniak sell the blue box. In 1972 Jobs graduated from high school, registered at Reed College, and also dropped out after only one semester.
In 1974, Steve Jobs got a job as video game designer at Atari Inc. After only a few months, Steve Jobs decided to adventure on a spiritual enlightenment trip to India with Dan Kottke, also a student at Reed College. After returning from India, Jobs started attending meetings at Wozniak’s Computer Club. During that time Jobs realized the difference between him and Wozniak. The last was interested in creating electronics, with over than average engineering skills, while Jobs was interested in marketing the electronic products. Jobs convinced, eventually, Wozniak to work with him and build a personal computer.
The first computer designed by Wozniak and Jobs in Jobs’s bedroom, and built in Jobs’s garage was sold in 25 units to a local electronics equipment retailer. The event determined Jobs and Wozniak to start their very own computer company. In order to do so, Jobs sold his micro-bus and Wozniak sold his HP scientific calculator, rising up to $1.300. Wozniak quit his job at HP and became the vice-president in charge with the research department and development department. It was Jobs who decided that the new computer company will be named Apple. The reason was a memory of Jobs of a happy summer in Oregon.
In 1976 Jobs and Wozniak released the first computer, Apple I, with a price tag of $666. This computer brought several new elements in the computer industry including the video interface, and on-board ROM. The Apple I was even capable of loading other programs from an external source. From Apple I, Jobs and Wozniak obtained sales of $774.000. In 1977, Wozniak and Jobs released the Apple II. The main idea was kept, simple and compact design. The Apple II included a built-in circuitry allowing it to interface directly to a color video monitor.
Another smart move came from Jobs which allowed independent program developers to create applications for Apple II. As a result by the end of 1977, there were over 16.000 software programs available for the Apple II. In order to improve the company’s image, Jobs hired Nolan Bushnell (Jobs’s former supervisor at Atari) and Regis McKenna (well known PR in the Silicon Valley). Even more, Bushnell introduced Jobs to Don Valentine, who told Markkula (marketing manager at Intel) about Apple. Interested Markkula bought one third of Apple for $250.000, and became chairman in 1977. In June 1977 Michael Scott was hired as president of Apple Computer Inc.
By 1978, Apple was already a serious computer company, part because of its products, and part because of its new staff. By 1980 Apple II brought earnings of almost $140 million, with a standard growth of over 700%. In 1980 Hambrecht & Quist with Morgan Stanley Inc took Apple public. In only a few days, the price of a market share rose from $22 to $29. By 1982 Apple achieved sales of over $580 million. From 1978 to 1983, Apple compound growth rate was over 150% per year. In 1983 IBM released the first PC. In 1985 IBM passed Apple in sales of the computers. IBM products, which were very successful at that time, were not compatible with Apple products.
In order to compete with IBM, Jobs hired Josh Sculley as president of Apple. In 1981 Jobs announced Apple III. Unfortunately the Apple III was not developed properly and when released costumers found not only design flaws but also hardware malfunction. The Apple III+ was soon release to correct the traumatic introduction of Apple III. Even more, Apple announced the Lisa computer, which was the first personal computer controlled by a mouse and featuring a GUI. Unfortunately the high asking price ($10.000) blocked the Lisa from becoming a success. Even more, a glitch in the development of products was discovered. Every Apple computer featured a different operating system. Even more, some of the computers were incompatible with each other.
At that point Jobs realized that he had to reinvent Apple products. Jobs released the Macintosh family, which was the first Apple-1980s success. The Macintosh had 128K of memory, expandable to 192K. the Macintosh computer also sported a 32-bit processor, improved from the 16-bit processor of the PC. However, the Macintosh was not compatible with IBM products. By middle of 1980s Apple products were known for flexibility, friendliness, and adaptability to perform work. However, the business market was still unreached by Apple products.
The Macintosh was released in 1984 and became a market success in only a few months. Even do Macintosh was Jobs creation, Sculley considered that Jobs was hurting the company, and convinced the board executives to diminish his company power. John Sculley then tried to ruin Apple by implementing other business directions, such as hard controlling costs, rationalizing product lines, and reducing overhead. While Sculley was directing Apple to failure, Jobs was exiled to an office in an auxiliary building named Siberia.
Steve Jobs was not being given any assignments. Also Jobs was not allowed to see any company documents. Soon, Jobs gave up going to Siberia, but not before giving his home phone number to several executive staff. In July, Sculley decided to share with security analysts his decision that Jobs would have no role in the operations of the company anymore.
In 1985 Jobs decided to sell over $20 million of his Apple stock, enjoying his extra time and traveling. In August Jobs decided to improve its best talent, spearheading development of new products. In order to collect all his thoughts, Jobs wrote down all the things important for him, including Macintosh (with the entire development process). Steve Jobs decided to launch three educational projects:
- Apple University Consortium,
- Kids Can’t Wait,
- Apple Educational Foundation.
In September 1985, Steve Jobs announced in a board meeting:
|“||I’ve been thinking a lot and it’s time for me to get on with my life. It’s obvious that I’ve got to do something. I’m thirty years old.||”|
Jobs resigned as chairman of Apple. After a meeting with Paul Berg, Nobel laureate in biochemistry at Standford University (were Berg explained to Jobs that most universities do not have the necessary computers and software to extract DNA), Jobs decided to develop a new company to address the higher education market. In Jobs plans the company would have in only several years, sales of over $50 million and would not be competitive with Apple.
Steve Jobs recruited five employees from Apple, including Rich Page, the leading engineer in design, Daniel Lewin, marketing manager for the educational business division, Susan Barnes, Senior controller over the sales and marketing, Bud Tribble, manager of the software engineering in the Macintosh development, and George Crow, engineering manager of the Macintosh project.
Although Apple’s success was delivered by the perfect balance between hardware and software, Jobs vision for the new company was regarding mostly the software of the computer industry. In 1989, Jobs incorporated NeXT. The plan was simple, new line of personal computers, better than Apple’s products. Unfortunately the plan was never successful, Jobs closing NeXT hardware division in 1993. To save the new company, Jobs turned to software.
By 1994, Jobs already developed a plan for the software computer industry. The plan included offering object-oriented applications to help companies in developing software. Steve Jobs was interested in revolutionizing the computer industry using the NeXT operating systems. NeXT operating system included a new feature software, object-oriented programming (also known as OOP). OOP will help programmers built software application much faster than usual, serving as a blue print to develop programs like blue prints for constructing a building.
However, NeXT was criticized because it failed to become the second computer empire. Even so, Jobs goals remained the same, to produce a $3.000 NextStep computer with its primary consumer, the college student. In mid 1989 NeXT released the $7.000 monochrome system, NextStep. Unfortunately Jobs developed this computer disregarding the market demands. NextStep had no floppy disk, no useful software applications, and a slow magneto-optical disk. NextStep was rejected by both corporate America and academic world. After only 50.000 units sold, Jobs announced that NeXT will close its hardware division. However, Jobs focus was now on the NeXT operating system.
In order to help him promote the NextStep computer, Jobs hired as his number two person, Peter van Culyenburg. Culyenburg also had to organize the company’s management. Because of Culyenburg managing skills in less than six months all vice presidents of NeXT had quit. With fewer executives and more engineers, Jobs and Culyenburg decided to release the NextStep software in 1993. This software unlike Apple’s software was able to run on other companies computers. Even so, the success of NextStep operating system was almost nonexistent.
The market was mostly taken by Microsoft DOS or the OS/2. Although manufacturers like HP and Sun refused to include on their computers NextStep, Jobs continued to trust that NeXT will surely become a well known software company. Soon after the Next Step operating system release, Microsoft announced its own OOP operating system, Cairo while Apple and IBM finished a joint venture in order to release an OOP operating system. The object oriented software was one of the milestone elements in the software industry. However, Jobs discovered it by accident.
After releasing NeXT first computer in 1988, the Cube, Jobs realized that Cube was incompatible with any of the operating systems. Therefore he hired software developers to develop the basis software, called Mach (which happened to use object oriented programming), found at Carnegie Mellon University. Jobs first plan was not to revolutionize the programmers work but making programming more accessible. Mostly Jobs was interested in developing as fast as it was possible an operating system for the NextStep computers.
The NextStep operating system was not considered a first option in customers’ minds. Therefore, Jobs decided to contact the CKS Partners, advertising agency founded by colleagues of Steve Jobs. The CKS Partners agency conducted focus groups of Fortune 500 managers in charge of information systems. Soon, the advertising agency discovered the importance of the NextStep operating system for programmers and software companies. The NextStep operating system allowed programmers to start from a previous programming point using the object oriented programming. All the previous points were centralized into a library of software modules.
This feature was important in NextStep advertising, since it would be the first real product of Jobs to enter the business level. Companies started to focus their interest over NextStep, mostly after O’Connor & Associates claimed that its engineers can build a complex trading program in three months with NextStep, in comparison with two years using the Sun workstation. Even more, the Sun World magazine reviewed in the same time the NextStation Turbo machine and a Sun machine. The result was conclusive: NextStep cast shadow over Sun. In the light of these events, Jobs decides to keep NextStep as a software company. The main competitor of NextStep by 1994 was Microsoft with its new software product, Cairo.
In 1996, before Gil Amelio got ousted from Apple, he decided to buy NeXT for $429 million. This was the first good management decision taken by Amelio at Apple. Amelio decided to hire Jobs as his adviser, but eventually Jobs was named chief executive officer by Apple’s board of directors. In order to save Apple, Jobs discontinued 15 out of 19 products and several on-going projects such as OpenDoc, Newton, and Cyberdog. Soon Jobs decided to improve Apple software. Jobs decided to use the NextStep operating system, and develop something better, the Mac OS X.
After finalizing the Mac OS X, Jobs turned his attention to Apple computers. In 1997, Apple released a new computer, the iMac, and other products. However the iMac was the only computer to survive several renewing of Apple’s portfolio. Soon, Jobs decided to extend Apple’s portfolio and released the iPod portable music player, which eventually became a full line of multimedia players. Also, Jobs finalized the iTunes; digital music software, which soon incorporated a music store, and later became a full store of applications, music, movies and more.
In 2007, Jobs impressed once again everyone with the announcement of the iPhone. Because of Jobs, all Apple products represent innovation in an attractive design. Since 2005, Jobs started recycling programs, and by 2009, many Apple products are based on the EPA ENERGY STAR 5.0. The latest Apple recycling program is implemented in 95% of the countries where Apple products are sold, officially (or direct, not using local resellers). Since 1994 Apple has directed over 83 million pounds of equipment from landfills. In 2008 Apple reached the value of 41.9% of the total worldwide recycling (with an equivalent of 33 million pounds of electronic waste). Apple is now expecting to reach the recycling rate of 50% by 2010.
On March 18, 1991, Steve Jobs married Laurene Powell. The couple has three children. Jobs is also father of Lisa Brennan-Jobs (born in 1978), from his relationship with Chrisann Brennan. However, Jobs denied paternity, clamming he was sterile. Until he decided to recognize Lisa as his daughter, Chrisann raised her daughter on welfare.
In 1982, Steve Jobs bought an apartment in The San Remo, apartment building in New York City. Some of Jobs new neighbors were Steven Spielberg, Steve Martin, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, and Demi Moore. However, Jobs spent two years in renovating the apartment, which was sold in 1984 to Bono, the front man of U2. Steve Jobs never lived in his two floor apartment of the north tower of The San Remo. Also in 1984 Jobs bought a 14 bedroom Spanish Colonial mansion, in Woodside California. Steve Jobs lived in the 17,000-square-foot mansion for ten years. Since 1998 the mansion was left to fall in state of disrepair. Since June 2004, Jobs tried to obtain approval to demolish the mansion and build a smaller house on the property.
In January 2007 Jobs was denied the right to demolish the Spanish Colonial mansion, with a court decision. On October 6, 1997, Michael Dell, CEO at Dell stated that if he were to be the owner of Apple Computer he would shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders. However, in 2006 Apple Computer worth more than Dell on the stock market. Even more, Steve Jobs criticized Michael Dell in an email sent to all Apple employees.
In 2004 Jobs was diagnosed with islet cell neuroendocrine tumor, cancerous tumor in his pancreas. Although less than 50% of the patients with pancreatic cancer survive at best five years, Jobs fought using initially a special diet and in July 2004 he underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy (to remove the tumor), which at the time seemed successful. In August 2006, Jobs delivered the keynote for Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. At that time Jobs was looking thinner. Even more, he delegated important parts of the keynote presentation to other presenters. In August 2008, Bloomberg L.P. accidentally published Jobs obituary in its corporate news service. However, the 2500-word obituary contained blank spaces for his age and cause of death.
In December 2008, Apple announced that vie-president Phil Schiller would take over the keynote presentation at the Macworld Conference and Expo 2009. Even more, on January 14, 2009, Steve Jobs announced he would be taking a leave of absence from Apple for six months, in order to focus his attention to his health, and other on-going projects. In April 2009, Steve Jobs underwent a liver transplant at the Methodist University Hospital Transplant in Memphis, Tennessee. In September 2009, Jobs returned to Apple in time to present the event It’s only rock and roll.
- Steve Jobs about Steve Wozniak:
|“||Woz[niak] was the first person I met who knew more about electronics than I did.||”|
- Robert X. Cringely about Jobs:
|“||Like the Bhagwan, driving around Rancho Rajneesh each day in another Rolls-Royce, Jobs kept his troops fascinated and productive. The joke going around said that Jobs had a ‘reality distortion field’ surrounding him. He’d say something, and the kids in the Macintosh division would find themselves replying ‘Drink poison Kool-Aid? Yeah, that makes sense’.||”|