The Inspiring Life of Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs is the cofounder of Apple Computers. He had always dreamt of making affordable personal computers. He successfully launched one of the largest industries in the world in his early twenties. He is still regarded as one of the most inventive and energetic minds in American technology.
The maverick entrepreneur was born on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco, California. He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs. His sister was called Patty. Paul Jobs was a machinist who was fond of fixing cars.
The whole family moved to Mountain View, California in 1961. The area, which was located south of Palo Alto, had already started becoming a center for electronics. We all know that electronics form the basic elements of devices such as radios, televisions, computers, etc. Since silicon was used for manufacturing electronic parts, the area came to be popularly known as the ‘Silicon Valley’!
As a child, Steve was never really interested in team sports. He preferred doing things by himself. He wished to learn more about electronics and gadgetry. He spent a lot of his ‘childhood’ working in the garage workshop of a neighbor.
Going ahead, Jobs enrolled himself in the Hewlett-Packard Explorer Club. He saw a computer for the first time at the age of twelve. He was very impressed and decided to work with computers. He was even offered a summer internship at Hewlett-Packard!
College and Travel
Jobs attended Reed College in Portland for two years, but eventually dropped out! He visited India to study eastern religions in the summer of 1974. In 1975, he joined the Homebrew Computer Club. There he met Steve Wozniak who was trying to build a small computer. Both of them formed a company in 1976 and called it the Apple Computer Company (named after a happy summer Jobs had spent picking apples). The duo raised $1,300 in startup money by selling Steve’s microbus and Wozniak’s calculator.
The Personal Computer Era
Jobs identified a huge gap in the computer market. At that time, most of the computers were mainframes. They were so large, they filled an entire room! They were really expensive as well! However, advances in electronics ensured that computer components were getting smaller and the power of computing was increasing!
Jobs and Wozniak redesigned their computer, making it more appealing for individual users. The Apple II entered the market in 1977. Fetched an impressive first year sales of $2.7 million. The company’s sales skyrocketed to $200 million within just three years! This is considered as one of the most phenomenal cases of corporate growth in the history of the USA. Jobs and Wozniak had thrown open an entirely new market of personal computers!
By 1980 personal computers flooded the market. Apple was forced to improve its products to remain ahead of their competitors.
Jobs continued to be the driving force behind Apple. He unveiled ‘Lisa’ in 1983 for people possessing minimal computer experience. However it failed to attract buyers since it was more expensive than personal computers sold by Apple’s competitors. Gradually, Apple lost half of its business share to IBM (International Business Machines).
- The revolutionary new model was introduced by Apple in 1984.
- The onscreen display had icons and a new device called mouse was introduced.
- Macintosh was easy to use, however it did not cater well to businesses.
- Steve Jobs resigned in 1985 from the company, however he retained his title as chairman of its board of directors.
- Jobs hired a few of his former employees, and began a new computer company called NeXT.
- The NeXT computer, which aimed at the educational market, was unveiled at a grand event in 1988.
- Despite being very user-friendly, the product could not create waves in the market.
- The NeXT machine was very expensive and had a black-and-white screen!
Steve Jobs never accepted defeat.
- He purchased a small company called Pixar from filmmaker George Lucas in 1986.
- Pixar, which specialized in computer animation, went on to release Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life etc.
- All these were commercially successful animated films.
NeXT and Apple
The NeXT software was purchased by Apple for over $400 million in December 1996. Steve Jobs returned to Apple. He was now part-time consultant to the chief executive officer (CEO). The following year, in a surprising move, Apple forged a partnership with its competitor Microsoft.
Steve Jobs was named the interim CEO of Apple in September 1997. The ‘Apple Store’ became an instant success. Within a week of its launch, it became the third-largest e-commerce site on the internet!
iMac hit the markets in 1998, followed by iBook in July 1999. The new internet strategy of Apple was unveiled by Steve Jobs in January 2000. He also became the permanent CEO of Apple!
Steve worked really hard for translating his ideas into exciting and innovative products for businesses and consumers. Being a computer industry visionary, he was pivotal in launching the age of the personal computer!
Steve Jobs married Laurene Powell in 1991. He has three daughters and a son. Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Erin Siena Jobs, Eve Jobs and Reed Jobs.
He died of complications from pancreatic cancer on October 5, 2011.
Steve Jobs dared to dream, never accepted defeat, and created wonders in life!