Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
----In its original sixty-second version of TV commercial of “Think Different ” campaign initiated by Jobs after his return to Apple Computer in 1997.
Steve Jobs (1955-2011)
Photo: Apple logo in 1977, created by Rob Janoff with the rainbow color theme used until 1998.
Photo: Apple Monochrome Logo: 1998 – Present
Why I Choose Steve Jobs for My Assignment???
Steven Paul Jobs was an American businessman and inventor widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution. He was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. Jobs was co-founder and previously served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, following the acquisition of Pixar by Disney.
In August 2009, Jobs was selected as the most admired entrepreneur among teenagers in a survey by Junior Achievement, having previously been named Entrepreneur of the Decade 20 years earlier in 1989, by Inc. magazine. On November 5, 2009, Jobs was named the CEO of the decade by Fortune magazine.
At the time of his resignation, and again after his death, Jobs was widely described as a visionary, pioneer and genius in the field of business, innovation, and product design, and a man who had profoundly changed the face of the modern world, revolutionized at least six different industries, and who was an "exemplar for all chief executives".
After his resignation as Apple's CEO, Jobs was characterized as the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford of his time. In his The Daily Show eulogy, Jon Stewart said that unlike others of Jobs's ilk, such as Thomas Edison or Henry Ford, Jobs died young. He felt that we had, in a sense, "wrung everything out of" these other men, but his feeling on Jobs was that "we're not done with you yet."
Steve Jobs' impact on our life cannot be underestimated. His innovations have likely touched nearly every aspect -- computers, movies, music and mobile. For entrepreneurs, Jobs' greatest legacy is the set of principles that drove his success.
His occupation was listed as "entrepreneur" in the "high tech" business. And I am very much glad to make “Case History of an Entrepreneur” on the life and work of my inspirational icon Steve Jobs.
Photo: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs posing with an Apple II computer, 1977
Steve Jobs: A Brief Introduction
Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American businessman and inventor widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution. He was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. Jobs was co-founder and previously served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, following the acquisition of Pixar by Disney.
In the late 1970s, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak engineered one of the first commercially successful lines of personal computers, the Apple II series. Jobs directed its aesthetic design and marketing along with A.C. "Mike" Markkula, Jr. and others.
In the early 1980s, Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of Xerox PARC's mouse-driven graphical user interface, which led to the creation of the Apple Lisa (engineered by Ken Rothmuller and John Couch) and, one year later, of Apple employee Jef Raskin's Macintosh. After losing a power struggle with the board of directors in 1985, Jobs left Apple and founded NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in the higher-education and business markets.
In 1986, he acquired the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm Ltd, which was spun off as Pixar Animation Studios. He was credited in Toy Story (1995) as an executive producer. He remained CEO and majority shareholder at 50.1 percent until its acquisition by The Walt Disney Company in 2006, making Jobs Disney's largest individual shareholder at seven percent and a member of Disney's Board of Directors.
In 1996, NeXT was acquired by Apple. The deal brought Jobs back to the company he co-founded, and provided Apple with the NeXTSTEP codebase, from which the Mac OS X was developed." Jobs was named Apple advisor in 1996, interim CEO in 1997, and CEO from 2000 until his resignation. He oversaw the development of the iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone, and iPad and the company's Apple Retail Stores.
In 2003, Jobs was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer. In August 2011, during his third medical leave, Jobs resigned as CEO, but continued to work for Apple as Chairman of the Board until his death.
On October 5, 2011, he died in his Palo Alto home, aged 56. His death certificate listed respiratory arrest as the immediate cause of death, with "metastatic pancreasneuroendocrine tumor" as the underlying cause.
Early Life and Education
Steven Paul Jobs was born in San Francisco on 24 February 1955. His mother is Joanne Carole Schieble and father is Syrian born Abdulfattah "John" Jandali, were two university students then. He was adopted at birth by Paul Reinhold Jobs (1922–1993) and Clara Jobs (1924–1986).
The Jobs family moved from San Francisco to Mountain View, California when Steve was five years old. Paul and Clara later adopted a daughter, Patti. Paul Jobs, a machinist for a company that made lasers, taught his son rudimentary electronics and how to work with his hands. Clara was an accountant, who taught him to read before he went to school. Clara Jobs had been a payroll clerk for Varian Associates, one of the first high-tech firms in what became known as Silicon Valley.
Jobs attended Monta Loma Elementary, Mountain View, Cupertino Junior High and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California. He frequented after-school lectures at the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto, California, and was later hired there, working with Steve Wozniak as a summer employee. Following high school graduation in 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Although he dropped out after only one semester, he continued auditing classes at Reed, while sleeping on the floor in friends' rooms, returning Coke bottles for food money, and getting weekly free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple. Jobs later said, "If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts."
He traveled to India in the summer of 1974 to visit Neem Karoli Baba at his Kainchi Ashram with a Reed College friend (and, later, an early Apple employee), Daniel Kottke, in search of spiritual enlightenment. However, when they got to the Neem Karoli ashram, it was basically deserted after Neem Karoli had died earlier in the year. Then they made a long trek up a huge dry riverbed to an ashram of Hariakhan Baba. In India, they spent a lot of time on endless bus rides from Delhi to Uttar Pradesh and back, then up to Himachal Pradesh and back.
In 1974, Jobs took a job as a technician at Atari, Inc. in Los Gatos, California. He traveled to India in the summer of 1974. After 7 months Jobs returned to Atari and was assigned to create a circuit board for the game Breakout. According to Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, Atari offered $100 for each chip that was eliminated in the machine. Jobs had little interest in or knowledge of circuit board design and made a deal with Wozniak to split the fee evenly between them if Wozniak could minimize the number of chips. Much to the amazement of Atari, Wozniak reduced the number of chips by 50, a design so tight that it was impossible to reproduce on an assembly line.
Jobs began attending meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club with Wozniak in 1975. He greatly admired Edwin H. Land, the inventor of instant photography and founder of Polaroid Corporation, and explicitly modeled his own career after that of the earlier man's.
Photo: Home of Paul and Clara Jobs, on Crist Drive in Los Altos, California. Steve Jobs formed Apple Computer in its garage with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in 1976. Wayne stayed only a short time, leaving Jobs and Wozniak as the primary co-founders of the company.
Jobs and Steve Wozniak met in 1971, when their mutual friend, Bill Fernandez, introduced 21-year-old Wozniak to 16-year-old Jobs. In 1976, Wozniak invented the Apple I computer. Jobs, Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne founded Apple computer in the garage of Jobs's parents in order to sell it. They received funding from a then-semi-retired Intel product-marketing manager and engineer Mike Markkula.
Photo: Steve Jobs with new Apple LISA computer during press preview, 1983
In the early 1980s, Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of Xerox PARC's mouse-driven graphical user interface, which led to the creation of the Apple Lisa. One year later, Apple employee Jef Raskin invented the Macintosh.
The following year, Apple aired a Super Bowl television commercial titled "1984". At Apple's annual shareholders meeting on January 24, 1984, an emotional Jobs introduced the Macintosh to a wildly enthusiastic audience; Andy Hertzfeld described the scene as "pandemonium".
While Jobs was a persuasive and charismatic director for Apple, some of his employees from that time described him as an erratic and temperamental manager. An industry-wide sales slump towards the end of 1984 caused a deterioration in Jobs's working relationship with Sculley, as well as layoffs and disappointing sales performance. An internal power struggle developed between Jobs and Sculley. Jobs kept meetings running past midnight, sent out lengthy faxes, then called new meetings at 7:00 am.
Sculley learned that Jobs—believing Sculley to be "bad for Apple" and the wrong person to lead the company—had been attempting to organize a boardroom coup, and on May 24, 1985, called a board meeting to resolve the matter. Apple's board of directors sided with Sculley and removed Jobs from his managerial duties as head of the Macintosh division. Stripped of all power and control, Jobs eventually sold his shares of Apple stock and resigned five months later.
In a speech Jobs gave at Stanford University in 2005, he said being fired from Apple was the best thing that could have happened to him; "The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life." And he added, "I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful-tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it."
Photo: A NeXTstation with the original keyboard, mouse and the NeXT MegaPixel monitor
After leaving Apple, Later that year, using a portion of the money from the stock sale Jobs founded NeXT Computer in 1985, with $7 million. A year later, Jobs was running out of money, and with no product on the horizon, he appealed for venture capital. Eventually, he attracted the attention of billionaire Ross Perot who invested heavily in the company. NeXT workstations were first released in 1990, priced at $9,999. Like the Apple Lisa, the NeXT workstation was technologically advanced, but was largely dismissed as cost-prohibitive by the educational sector for which it was designed. Jobs marketed NeXT products to the financial, scientific, and academic community, highlighting its innovative, experimental new technologies, such as the Mach kernel, the processor chip, and the built-in Ethernet port. Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web on a NeXT computer at CERN.
The revised, second-generation NeXTcube was released in 1990, also. Jobs touted it as the first "interpersonal" computer that would replace the personal computer. With its innovative NeXT Mailmultimedia email system, NeXTcube could share voice, image, graphics, and video in email for the first time. "Interpersonal computing is going to revolutionize human communications and group work", Jobs told reporters. Jobs ran NeXT with an obsession for aesthetic perfection, as evidenced by the development of and attention to NeXTcube's magnesium case. This put considerable strain on NeXT's hardware division, and in 1993, after having sold only 50,000 machines, NeXT transitioned fully to software development with the release of NeXTSTEP/Intel. The company reported its first profit of $1.03 million in 1994. In 1996, NeXT Software, Inc. released WebObjects, a framework for Web application development. After NeXT was acquired by Apple Inc. in 1997, WebObjects was used to build and run the Apple Store, MobileMe services, and the iTunes Store.
Pixar and Disney
In 1986, Jobs bought The Graphics Group (later renamed Pixar) from Lucasfilm's computer graphics division for the price of $10 million, $5 million of which was given to the company as capital.
The new company, which was originally based at Lucasfilm's Kerner Studios in San Rafael, California, but has since relocated to Emeryville, was initially intended to be a high-end graphics hardware developer. After years of unprofitability selling the Pixar Image Computer, it contracted with Disney to produce a number of computer-animated feature films that Disney would co-finance and distribute.
The first film produced by the partnership, Toy Story, with Jobs credited as executive producer, brought fame and critical acclaim to the studio when it was released in 1995. Over the next 15 years, under Pixar's creative chief John Lasseter, the company produced box-office hits A Bug's Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Monsters Inc. (2001),Finding Nemo (2003), The Incredibles (2004); Cars (2006); Ratatouille (2007); WALL-E (2008); Up (2009); and Toy Story 3 (2010). Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Toy Story 3 and Up each received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, an award introduced in 2001.
In the years 2003 and 2004, as Pixar's contract with Disney was running out, Jobs and Disney chief executive Michael Eisner tried but failed to negotiate a new partnership, and in early 2004, Jobs announced that Pixar would seek a new partner to distribute its films after its contract with Disney expired.
In October 2005, Bob Iger replaced Eisner at Disney, and Iger quickly worked to patch up relations with Jobs and Pixar. On January 24, 2006, Jobs and Iger announced that Disney had agreed to purchase Pixar in an all-stock transaction worth $7.4 billion. When the deal closed, Jobs became The Walt Disney Company's largest single shareholder with approximately seven percent of the company's stock. Jobs's holdings in Disney far exceeded those of Eisner, who holds 1.7 percent, and of Disney family member Roy E. Disney, who until his 2009 death held about one percent of the company's stock and whose criticisms of Eisner — especially that he soured Disney's relationship with Pixar — accelerated Eisner's ousting. Jobs joined the company's board of directors upon completion of the merger and also helped oversee Disney and Pixar's combined animation businesses from a seat on a special six-person steering committee.
Photo: Steve Jobs introduce iMac, 1998
Photo: Versions of iPod ; Portable Music Player, Revolutionizing the way we listen music
Return to Apple
In 1996, Apple announced that it would buy NeXT for $429 million. The deal was finalized in late 1996, bringing Jobs back to the company he co-founded. Jobs became de facto chief after then-CEO Gil Amelio. At the end of March 1997, Apple announced a quarterly loss of $708 million. Three months later, Amelio resigned and Jobs took over as interim CEO. Once again in charge of Apple, Jobs struck a deal with Microsoft to help ensure Apple's survival. Under the arrangement, Microsoft invested $150 million for a nonvoting minority stake in Apple, and the companies agreed to "cooperate on several sales and technology fronts." Jobs also changed the licensing program for Macintosh clones, making it too costly for the manufacturers to continue making machines. Next, Jobs installed the G3 PowerPC microprocessor in all Apple computers, making them faster than competing Pentium PCs. He also spearheaded the development of the iMac, a new line of affordable home desktops, which debuted in August 1998 to rave reviews. Under Jobs' guidance, Apple quickly returned to profitability, and by the end of 1998, boasted sales of $5.9 billion.
With the purchase of NeXT, much of the company's technology found its way into Apple products, most notably NeXTSTEP, which evolved into Mac OS X. Under Jobs's guidance, the company increased sales significantly with the introduction of the iMac and other new products; since then, appealing designs and powerful branding have worked well for Apple. At the 2000 Macworld Expo, Jobs officially dropped the "interim" modifier from his title at Apple and became permanent CEO. Jobs quipped at the time that he would be using the title "iCEO".
Against all odds, Steve Jobs pulled the company he founded and loved back from the brink. Apple once again was healthy and churning out the kind of breakthrough products that made the Apple name synonymous with innovation.
But Apple's innovations were just getting started. Over the next decade, the company rolled out a series of revolutionary products, including the iPod portable digital audio player in 2001, an online marketplace called the Apple iTunes Store in 2003, the iPhone mobile handset in 2007 and the iPad tablet computer in 2010. The design and functionality of these devices resonated with users worldwide. Apple says it has sold more than 300 million iPods, over 100 million iPhones and more than 15 million iPad devices. The company has sold billions of songs from its iTunes Store.
In 1978, Apple recruited Mike Scott from National Semiconductor to serve as CEO for what turned out to be several turbulent years. In 1983, Jobs lured John Sculley away from Pepsi-Cola to serve as Apple's CEO, asking, "Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?"
MicroSummary: Written at the request of Mr. Apple Inc. himself, the eponymous biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson is based on hundreds of interviews and an unprecedented access to Steve Jobs’ life. Adapted in the 2015 Danny Boyle blockbuster, the authorized memoir follows Jobs’ path from an adopted child to a supreme creative genius.
Understanding and communicating the life of Steve Jobs is a challenge. Making the Steve Jobs summary wasn’t any easier. Steve was such a genius that he chose a biographer to the height. After the cancer diagnosis which eventually led to his death, Walter Isaacson was the chosen biographer. He already had in his portfolio no less than biographies of Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin, and to fulfill the mission, he interviewed Steve on more than 40 occasions for 2 years, as well as more than 100 friends, relatives, competitors, and co-workers.
Jobs biography is a collection of fantastic stories, through the ups and downs of his career, his passion and perfectionism and the revolution of six major industries: personal computing, animation cinema, music, e-books, mobile phones, and tablets. Jobs was an inventive genius who knew that the 21st century was based on connecting technology and creativity. Steve cooperated with the book, but he did not interfere in any way. In fact, he did not even read the book before its publication and encouraged all interviewees to be sincere and transparent. His story, captured succinctly in this summary, is a fantastic tale of innovation, character, leadership, and values.
Zen, Critic, and ill-behaved
Those who knew Steve Jobs as a child may not have imagined that he would reach the top of the business world by founding and leading the most valuable company in the world. Born in February 1955, the son of a Muslim father named Abdulfattah and a Catholic mother named Joanne, he was put up for donation because his father did not share his mother’s Catholic religion. He was adopted by Paul, an engineer who worked as a mechanic and Clara Jobs. Living in Silicon Valley, a rich environment for technology experiments, Steve was introduced to the world of engineering and design by his own adoptive father. Despite being welcomed by his parents, he fought throughout his life against feelings of abandonment. The Steve boy was extremely precocious, impertinent and intelligent. Proof of his daring is that when he was 13, he phoned Bill Hewlett, Hewlett-Packard’s president to order electronic components for a school project. Working with his father, he learned to be proud of his work and to be thorough.
From childhood, he had already demanded the perfection of himself and the people around him. As a teenager, Jobs became interested in the computer world and the hippy culture that spilled over into the Valley at that time. Steve experimented with drugs like LSD and other psychedelics, and later he would attribute some of his creativity to these drugs. For Steve, his experiences with LSD helped him to understand what mattered in life and to see other perspectives on the world. In addition to his interest in altered consciousness, Steve was also interested in spirituality. He walked barefoot and rarely bathed and followed his growing interest in spiritual philosophies spending seven months in India, where he learned more about intuition and introspection. At first, he embraced the possibilities of computing, much more for his potential to raise human consciousness than for his business or commercial applications. But the Zen influences failed to soften his increasingly critical and arrogant behavior.
One Apple day
Steve Wozniak was a timid electronic nerd who shared with Steve the taste for Bob Dylan’s classics. They invented a device called the “Blue Box” that mimicked the wrists of a telephone line and allowed people to hack into the telephone system, making free calls. Wozniak was superior to Jobs technically, but Jobs had the determination and the spirit to market the products. Woz invented and Jobs sold.
After visiting a farm, Jobs imagined that “Apple” was a gentle and simple name. With only $ 1,300 in 1976, Apple Computer was founded. In Jobs’s garage, he and Woz worked together and created the Apple, their first personal computer and their second version, the Apple II. The Apple I consisted of a case with a built-in keyboard that plugged into a TV and software that would allow the end consumer to operate a computer. With this, they managed to take the computing from the world of nerds to put it in the house of people.
Wozniak developed the circuit boards as Jobs linked computing power to a friendly packaging that represented his obsession with perfection. In just 30 days being marketed, the Apple I was already becoming profitable. For the Apple II, the project was more audacious and perfectionist. But Steve was rude and rude to his employees. He seemed not to care about their feelings and focused only on the details of the product itself. Given his imbalances and emotional instabilities, Mike Scott was appointed the president of Apple Computer, and eventually, there were conflicts between employees and Jobs, who had to be mediated by Scott.
Steve’s obsession was so great that he came to reject more than 2,000 shades of beige for the Apple II box and Scott had to decide at the end. Steve also insisted on offering a one-year consumer warranty when the industry standard was 90 days. When his colleagues confronted him, Jobs screamed, spoke and sometimes even cried, but he always got what he wanted. His closest collaborators learned how to deal with him, but he was a master of manipulation, always trying to do everything his way. But the company was doing so well that this situation ended up being tolerated internally.
The Apple II has sold 6 million copies and is considered one of the cornerstones of personal computing. For Steve, that was not enough. He wanted to build a computer that would leave a mark on the universe. So Jobs began working on the Macintosh, the successor to the Apple II that would lead him to stardom. The impetus for further action prompted Jobs to assemble a renegade team of “pirates” inside the company to compete internally with the Apple team that was building the computer Lisa (named after the illegitimate daughter Jobs first was reluctant to acknowledge, but later welcomed). The Macintosh was not a unique creation of Jobs, in fact, some ideas were “appropriately” (stolen?) from others, but the project gave life to a machine that was powerful enough to display sophisticated graphics and be controlled by a mouse.
The Macintosh was an absolute success especially due to the TV campaign of the commercial called “1984”, directed by famous Hollywood director Ridley Scott. The commercial was so successful that sales exploded and everyone came to know Steve Jobs. He got interviews in every major magazine manipulating journalists as if he were giving them an exclusive.The Macintosh made Steve rich and famous, but his personality was eroding the company.His oppressive and perfectionist behavior was making the employees feel disenchanted and depressed. This behavior caused his dismissal from Apple by its board in 1985.
After recovering from his resignation from his own company, Jobs noticed that he could now do things his own way. His first project was a computer for the educational market called NeXT. With Next, he resumed his passion for design. He invested more than $ 100,000 just for the company logo and wanted the computer to be in the form of a perfect cube, but that made manufacturing costs too expensive. The NeXT almost broke, the launch was delayed in years and in the end, the product was too expensive for the consumer. Its high cost and the lack of availability of software caused the project to fail.
At the same time, Jobs bought control of a company called Pixar. As chairman of the board, he created a strategy that combined technology and art. In 1988, Jobs had already lost tens of millions at Next and invested $ 50 million in Pixar. Pixar released a movie called “Tin Toy” that won the award for best animation and this made Jobs shift its focus to the animated film business. Eventually, Pixar partnered with Disney and released their first movie, Toy Story, which became the most profitable film of the year 1996. Pixar made an IPO, and Steve’s stock was then valued at $ 1.2 billion.
Steve in family
In addition to his new business, Jobs tried to reconcile his personal life, reconnecting with his biological family. In 1986 after the death of his adoptive mother, he met his biological mother. He was surprised to learn that she had a sister who was artistic and temperamental and they became close. At the same time, he met his future wife, Laurene Powell, with whom he married in 1991. The couple had two children, Erin and Eve. With Laurene’s encouragement, Jobs also spent more time with his daughter Lisa, who was as temperamental as Jobs. In some cases, they would remain months without speaking. In private as well as in his professional life, Jobs was either very passionate or extremely distant.
A new Apple
After Jobs left, Apple fell into decline. In 1996 Gil Amelio was appointed CEO, and he wanted to bring new ideas to restore the company. In 1997, he bought Next and made Jobs an advisor to Apple. Once back at Apple, Steve took as much control as he could. He put his favorite NeXT employees in the highest positions at Apple. The company was not doing well, and the board decided to give Jobs a new chance as CEO. But Jobs declined the invitation. He preferred to retain his advisor status to gain more influence in the company. He managed to sew a partnership with Microsoft to develop Office for Mac and thus ended the battle between companies.
The stock price of Apple took off, and after some time, he finally accepted the invitation to become CEO of the company again. By taking over, his focus became unique. Focus the company on making fewer products. And so he worked to save Apple. The mantra of his administration was “Focus.” He rejected entire product lines, fired irrelevant employees and cut the whole stockpiles. Jobs had transformed himself from a free-spirited corporate rebel to a uniquely dedicated, collaborative yet volatile executive.
He believed in “deep collaboration” between departments and in engaging and cultivating “A-players”, high-level talents. Thus, a potential marketing engagement had to be hounded by designers and software engineers. “Simultaneous Engineering” meant that the products under development went through simultaneous reviews of manufacturing, design, marketing, and distribution, rather than going through each area sequentially. This ensured that everyone had a stake in the development and creation of new products. Jobs hired Tim Cook to run operations, and the two connected and quickly became friends. Cook would eventually help Jobs lead Apple. The strategy worked: Apple, which was 90 days from insolvency, turned a loss of $ 1 billion in 1997 to a profit of $ 309 million a year later.
The field of reality distortion
Jobs had a strange ability to persuade people to follow his vision and ideas. He demanded what others considered impossible. Thus, glimpsing the impossible, he made things happen and changed reality. He focused so intensely on what interested him that he sometimes ignored everything else, including his wife, Laureen, their children – Reed, Erin and Eve, Lisa – and their family and friends. Steve was cruel and extremely critical of others and his work, but even so, he cultivated faithful, almost fanatical assistants. He never clung to material possessions, living in unfurnished homes, but his passion for products made Apple a giant. Jobs believed that the rules did not apply to him. The man who refused to put plates in his cars and parked in places reserved for disabled people invented products that consumers did not even know they wanted but for which they soon fell in love.
Design in all the aspects
Steve Jobs learned the importance of design quality with his father who taught him how to make beautiful the hidden sides of a cabinet mattered as much as creating an elegant front. From his forays into the Eastern philosophies, Jobs understood that product design was at its core. He met a designer named Jony Ive, who became his right-hand man and # 2 at Apple.
Mr. Jobs elevated these concepts to the point where he believed the presentation of Apple products could convey as much meaning as the products themselves. Even packaging was crucial. Jobs got so involved in the design minutiae that his name appears on several patents of Apple products. Jobs caught the attention of the public when Apple introduced the iMac in 1998. Quickly the computer developed along with Jony Ive became the computer that sold fastest in history.
The round, fun-looking computer came with a semi-transparent coating and was available in five colors. Jobs made the interior as attractive as the exterior. When Apple extended the range of colors, Microsoft’s Bill Gates painted his PC in red and mocked that the iMac would be a fad. In addition to the obsession with design, Jobs wanted to control the entire distribution chain. Hence came the idea of having your own physical presence, the Apple Store. The first Apple Store came in 2001 and was a great success.
Today, Apple Stores are still the result of the almost obsessive need for control of Jobs. Computers were different, but retailers generally did not focus on explaining differences to buyers. Jobs wanted to manage the consumer experience, just as he had influenced all other aspects of computer design and production. Therefore, he resolved to design sales points with the same taste he brought for everything else. He insisted on expensive and busy places. He patented the design of the titanium and glass staircases of the stores. He wanted more than a store. He wanted a customer experience that was associated with the spirit of Apple products.
More than just computers
Jobs took the “Top 100” employees (the ones he would choose to put on a “lifeboat and take to his next company”) at an annual retreat to discuss Apple’s future. In 2000, the company’s transformation began. The personal computer evolved into a digital cube that could manage the consumer’s digital lifestyle, from written communications to cameras, music players, and video recording. Apple removed the word “Computers” from its corporate name to explore the potential of the internet to connect and integrate these different aspects. For example, iTunes grew out of Jobs’s perception that downloading music over the internet would change the music industry: the iTunes store sold a million songs in the first six days.
The iPod resulted from the need for a better music player, and among its innovations, the scroll wheel is included. The success of the iPod, built on the sales of the iMac, consolidated the brand. In January 2007, the iPod accounted for half of Apple’s revenue. Still, Jobs kept looking for the next big release. Identifying cell phone as the next wave, he left a new mark on the universe and unveiled the iPhone, combining iPod, telephony and internet access. It alone accounted for more than 50% of total global cellphone profits in the year 2010. The idea of a tablet predated the iPhone, but in 2010 experiments with the iPhone paved the way for the next revolutionary item: the iPad. In the case of the iPad, Apple sold 1 million units in the first month and reached 15 million in just 9 months.
Battling against cancer
Jobs believed that his cancer, diagnosed in 2003, resulted from the stressful moments he experienced when he led Apple and Pixar in the late 1990s. Treatment for kidney stones led to an examination that discovered his cancer. Even so, the prognosis was good; the tumor was treatable and slow-growing. However, Jobs rejected medical recommendations for surgery. He consulted nutritionists, acupuncturists, followed vegetarian diets, underwent colon cleanings and banished negativity from his thoughts. In 2005, he made mention of his mortality in a graduation speech at Stanford University. Jobs told the trainees, “Remembering that I will be dead soon is the most important tool I have found to help me make great choices in life … There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
A better world | Final Notes
Steve Jobs has transformed industries, invented new forms of communication, put the world at your fingertips, and made it fun, intelligent and cool. His belief that the product was everything guided Apple’s philosophy and its focus on how the consumer would perceive and use those products. Jobs felt, just like his idol Edwin Lan of Polaroid, that he was in the “intersection of the arts with science.” Like Walt Disney, Jobs wanted to leave a company that contributed to society and represented more than just profits. He recognized that his personality was difficult and that his behavior was sometimes cruel but believed that being honest was the only way to give his best and extract the best from those around him.
Nugget tip: How about checking out the Walmart founder Sam Walton in our Made in America summary?