Updated: Jun 5, 2020
Who is Steve Jobs ?
Steve Jobs, former Apple chief executive officer who died at the age of 56, has been hailed as a cultural zeitgeist. He's changed the way the world communicates, interacts and entertains. He's even changed the way we think.
Steven Paul Jobs ( February 24, 19
55 – October 5, 2011) was an American business magnate, industrial designer, investor, and media proprietor. He was the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), and co-founder of Apple Inc., the chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar, a member of The Walt Disney Company's board of directors following its acquisition of Pixar, and the founder, chairman, and CEO of NeXT. Jobs is widely recognized as a pioneer of the personal computer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, along with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Jobs was born in San Francisco, California, and put up for adoption. He was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended Reed College in 1972 before dropping out that same year, and traveled through India in 1974 seeking enlightenment and studying Zen Buddhism. His declassified FBI report states that he used marijuana and LSD while he was in college, and once told a reporter that taking LSD was "one of the two or three most important things" he had done in his life.
Jobs and Wozniak co-founded Apple in 1976 to sell Wozniak's Apple I personal computer. Together the duo gained fame and wealth a year later with the Apple II, one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputers.
Jobs saw the commercial potential of the Xerox Alto in 1979, which was mouse-driven and had a graphical user interface (GUI). This led to the development of the unsuccessful Apple Lisa in 1983, followed by the breakthrough Macintosh in 1984, the first mass-produced computer with a GUI. The Macintosh introduced the desktop publishing industry in 1985 with the addition of the Apple LaserWriter, the first laser printer to feature vector graphics. Jobs was forced out of Apple in 1985 after a long power struggle with the company's board and its then-CEO John Sculley.
Pic : Job's Product Release conference
In addition, he helped to develop the visual effects industry when he funded the computer graphics division of George Lucas's Lucasfilm in 1986. The new company was Pixar, which produced the first 3D computer animated film Toy Story (1995).
Apple acquired NeXT in 1997, and Jobs became CEO of his former company within a few months. He was largely responsible for helping revive Apple, which had been at the verge of bankruptcy. He worked closely with designer Jony Ive to develop a line of products that had larger cultural ramifications, beginning in 1997 with the "Think different" advertising campaign and leading to the iMac, iTunes, iTunes Store, Apple Store, iPod, iPhone, App Store, and the iPad. In 2001, the original Mac OS was replaced with a completely new Mac OS X, based on NeXT's NeXTSTEP platform, giving the OS a modern Unix-based foundation for the first time. Jobs was diagnosed with a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor in 2003.
He died of respiratory arrest related to the tumor at age 56 on October 5, 2011.
I. Early Life
Steven Paul Jobs was born to students Abdul Fattah Jandali and Joanne Carole Schieble who were unmarried at the time and gave him up for adoption. He was taken in by a working class couple, Paul and Clara Jobs, and grew up with them in Mountain View, California.
He attended Homestead High School in Cupertino California and went to Reed College in Portland Oregon in 1972 but dropped out after only one semester, staying on to "drop in" on courses that interested him.
He took a job with video game manufacturer Atari to raise enough money for a trip to India and returned from there a Buddhist.
Back in Cupertino he returned to Atari where his old friend Steve Wozniak was still working. Wozniak was building his own computer and in 1976 Jobs pre-sold 50 of the as-yet unmade computers to a local store and managed to buy the components on credit solely on the strength of the order, enabling them to build the Apple I without any funding at all.
Pic : Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak
The Apple II followed in 1977 and the company Apple Computer was formed shortly afterwards. The Apple II was credited with starting the personal computer boom, its popularity prompting IBM to hurriedly develop their own PC. By the time production of the Apple II ended in 1993 it had sold over 6 million units.
Inspired by a trip to Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), engineers from Apple began working on a commercial application for the graphical interface ideas they had seen there. The resulting machine, Lisa, was expensive and never achieved any level of commercial success, but in 1984 another Apple computer, using the same WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointer) interface concept, was launched.
An advertisement during the 1984 Super Bowl, directed by Ridley Scott introduced the Macintosh computer to the world (in fact, the advert had been shown on a local TV channel in Idaho on 31 December 1983 and in movie theaters during January 1984 before its famous "premiere" on 22 January during the Super Bowl).
III. Jobs Fired
In 1985 ,Jobs was fired from Apple and immediately founded another computer company, NeXT. Its machines were not a commercial success but some of the technology was later used by Apple when Jobs eventually returned there.
In the meantime, in 1986, Jobs bought The Computer Graphics Group from Lucasfilm. The group was responsible for making high-end computer graphics hardware but under its new name, Pixar, it began to produce innovative computer animations. Their first title under the Pixar name,Luxo Jr.(1986) won critical and popular acclaim and in 1991 Pixar signed an agreement with Disney, with whom it already had a relationship, to produce a series of feature films, beginning with Toy Story (1995).
IV. Jobs returned to Apple Again
In 1996 Apple bought NeXT and Jobs returned to Apple, becoming its CEO. With the help of British-born industrial designerJonathan Ive, Jobs brought his own aesthetic philosophy back to the ailing company and began to turn its fortunes around with the release of the iMac in 1998. The company's MP3 player, the iPod, followed in 2001, with the iPhone launching in 2007 and the iPad in 2010. The company's software music player, iTunes, evolved into an online music (and eventually also movie and software application) store, helping to popularize the idea of "legally" downloading entertainment content.
In 2003, Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and underwent surgery in 2004. Despite the success of this operation he became increasingly ill and received a liver transplant in 2009. He returned to work after a six month break but eventually resigned his position in August 2011 after another period of medical leave which began in January 2011. He died on 5 October 2011.
VI. Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address (with intro by President John Hennessy)
VI. Steve Jobs as a Person - Critical Views
Jobs did not have a well-balanced character. He was volatile. And if truth be told, the man’s burning passion for design caused him to fail as a businessperson more than once. So while there are plenty of reasons to admire what he accomplished, not to mention respect his brilliant salesmanship and abilities as a consumer product visionary, I do not think it is a good idea to romanticize Jobs as a role model for future business leaders.
But one can argue that Jobs was initially driven to succeed by his massive ego more than any altruistic desire to help other people engage with the world via beautiful products. And even if Jobs cared only about improving the lot of consumers, his leader character was not necessarily pedestal-worthy.
VII. How Steve Jobs Changed How the World Works ??
His company's impact on how we do business has been no less impressive.