Steve Jobs was the man who created Apple computers. He was raised by his adoptive parents in California. He had multiple interests in his youth, including engineering and game design. He left school early and went on to work as a video game designer at the Atari Corporation, where he saved enough money for a trip to India in order to experience and learn more about Buddhism.
In 1974, he would meet an old high school friend, Stephen Wozniak, who at the time used to work for Hewlett-Packard. Wozniak explained to Jobs that he was making significant progress in the design of his computer logic board. Following their interaction, Steve Jobs recommended that they build a business together. Following the rejection of his design project by Hewlett Packard, Wozniak accepted Jobs’ proposition and together they went to work on the Apple I, which they built together in Steve Jobs’ family garage, with a tight budget gained from the sale of Jobs’ Volkswagen minibus and Wozniak’s programmable calculator.
Steve Jobs is recognised as one of the early few to comprehend that the personal computer will appeal to the mass market. They went on to further develop the product, into the Apple 2 which was accompanied by a keyboard and used a plastic case to have the unit enclosed. Though his appearance was a tad shabby, Steve Jobs managed to find someone to invest in his business, mainly finance for the distribution of products and promotion for the Apple Computer. He incorporated his company in 1977, together when the Apple 2 was complete. It was an instant hit! Success would soon follow for Apple, as it would set a record public stock offering in 1981 and in 1983 achieved a significant milestone of being included in the Fortune 500 list of American companies.
The growth experienced by Apple meant that it needed to recruit top talent. It is here where Steve Jobs approached PepsiCO president, John Sculley to become Apple’s, Chief Executive Officer. He enticed Sculley by giving him a new sense of meaning and not just be renowned for selling sugar water for the rest of his life.
Steve Jobs was also an integral pillar of the Macintosh project, where he insisted that great would not cut it, only “insanely great” would. The Macintosh was introduced in 1984 and was part of an exceptional marketing campaign, culminating into the main event. With that said, software limitations and expensive pricing led to lacklustre sales. The machine progressed gradually, becoming one of the company’s key products and a model for the following computer interfaces. Its disappointing sales figures were associated with a Steve Jobs failure and it was here that Sculley convinced the board of directors to have Steve Jobs removed from the company.
Following his sheer disappointment at being ousted from the organisation he created, he went on to launch another company called NeXT. He was involved in the creation of computer technology for the education sector. He also bought a controlling interest in Pixar. Jobs’ influence was key for the company to build a sizeable animation studio that created the film Toy Story in 1995. It was there that Steve Jobs became a billionaire. The studio was sold to Disney in 2006.
In 1996, Apple was on the brink of disaster following a significant financial loss. It was here where Apple brought on Gilbert Amelio to steady the ship, who in turn bought Steve Jobs’ company NEXTSTEP for more than four hundred million dollars and asked him to return to the company as a consultant. The Board of Directors soon asked Steve to lead the company replacing Amelio in 1997.
His initial approach was to simplify the company’s product range and used Apple’s different operating system as a key differentiator, building an incredibly successful campaign with a theme of “Think different”. Innovation was key in saving Apple and with a suite of new products he cemented his legacy as a master marketer and visionary in the technology sphere.
His re-inventing of the company would extend into the telecommunications sector where he launched the iPhone, changing mobile telephony as we know it. It also became one of the company’s key products in the years that followed, till the present day.
In 2003, he was plagued by health issues and was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer. Following an operation and short period of recovery, Jobs resumed his role at Apple. In 2008 his appearance indicated sickness as he had lost a lot of weight, spurring investors to demand full disclosure regarding his health status. Following a number of months with his health being under constant monitoring, he resigned as Apple’s CEO in January 2011 and became Chairman. He died shortly, two months after this appointment.
Apple products are an icon in the world of technology, however, there is no doubt that Steve Jobs himself, is an icon for many, and will surely always remain in the hearts of technology enthusiasts. He will be remembered as a charismatic entrepreneur who pushed technology to new heights.