Steve Jobs: A Success Story

Steve Jobs — one of the founders of Apple, Next, Pixar, and a key figure in the global computer industry, a man who largely shaped its course of development.

Steven Paul Jobs, better known as Steve Jobs, is one of the founders of Apple, Next, and Pixar corporations, and a key figure in the global computer industry, a man who largely defined its course of development.

The future billionaire was born on February 24, 1955, in the town of Mountain View, California (ironically, this area would later become the heart of Silicon Valley). Steve’s biological parents, Abdulfattah Jandali (a Syrian immigrant), and Joanne Schieble (an American graduate student), gave their illegitimate child up for adoption to Paul and Clara Jobs (born Hagopian). The main condition for adoption was that Steve would receive a higher education.

Even in school, Steve Jobs became interested in electronics, and when he met his namesake, Steve Wozniak, he first thought about a business related to computer technology. The partners’ first project was the BlueBox — a device that allowed free long-distance calls and was sold for $150 each. Wozniak was responsible for the development and assembly of the device, while thirteen-year-old Jobs sold the illegal product. Such a division of roles would continue in the future, only their future business would now be entirely legal.

In 1972, after finishing high school, Steve Jobs entered Reed College (Portland, Oregon), but quickly lost interest in studying. After the first semester, he was voluntarily expelled, but continued to live in friends’ rooms for about a year and a half, sleeping on the floor, living on money from returned Coca-Cola bottles, and coming once a week for free lunches at the local Hare Krishna temple. It was then that he took calligraphy courses, which later inspired him to equip the Mac OS system with scalable fonts.
Then Steve got a job at Atari. There, Jobs worked on developing computer games. Four years later, Wozniak created his first computer, and Jobs, continuing to work at Atari, arranged for its sales.

Apple

From the creative duo of friends emerged the company «Apple» (Jobs suggested the name «Apple» because in this case the company’s phone number came in the phone book just before «Atari»). The founding date of Apple is considered to be April 1, 1976 (April Fools’ Day), and the first office-workshop was the garage of Jobs’ parents. Apple was officially registered in early 1977.

Most of the developments were authored by Steve Wozniak, while Jobs acted as a marketer. It is believed that it was Jobs who convinced Wozniak to refine the microcomputer scheme he had come up with, thereby giving impetus to the creation of a new market for personal computers. The debut model of the computer was named Apple I. Within a year, the companions sold 200 such machines (each priced at $666.66). The number was respectable for beginners, but it was nothing compared to the Apple II, released in 1977.

The success of the Apple I and especially the Apple II computers, coupled with the appearance of investors, made the company an indisputable leader in the computer market until the early eighties, and made both Steves millionaires. It is noteworthy that the software for Apple computers was developed by the then-young company Microsoft, created six months after Apple. In the future, fate will repeatedly bring Jobs and Gates together.

Macintosh

A landmark event was the contract signed between Apple and Xerox. The revolutionary developments, which Xerox had long been unable to find a worthy use for, later became part of the «Macintosh» project (a line of personal computers designed, developed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Inc). Essentially, the modern interface of the personal computer with its windows and virtual buttons owes much to this contract.

It can confidently be said that the Macintosh is the first personal computer in the modern sense (the first Mac was released on January 24, 1984). Previously, the machine was controlled using intricate commands typed by the «initiated» on the keyboard. Now the mouse becomes the primary working tool.

The success of the Macintosh was simply staggering. At that time, there was no competitor in the world that was even close in terms of sales volume and technological potential. Shortly after the release of the Macintosh, the company discontinued the development and production of the Apple II family, which had previously been the company’s main source of revenue.

Steve Jobs Resignation

Despite significant successes, in the early 1980s Steve Jobs gradually began to lose ground at Apple, which by that time had grown into a huge corporation. His authoritarian management style led first to disagreements and then to open conflict with the board of directors. At the age of 30 (in 1985), the founder of Apple was simply fired.

Losing power in the company and his job, Jobs did not lose heart and immediately embarked on new projects. First, he founded the company NeXT, which specialized in producing complex computers for higher education and business structures. This market was too narrow, so significant sales were not achieved.

A much more successful venture was the graphics studio The Graphics Group (later renamed Pixar), purchased from Lucasfilm for almost half its estimated value ($5 million) (George Lucas was divorcing and needed money). Under Jobs’ leadership, several blockbuster animated films were released. The most famous ones include «Monsters, Inc.» and the renowned «Toy Story.»

In 2006, Pixar was sold to Walt Disney for $7.5 billion, with Jobs receiving 7% ownership of Walt Disney’s shares. For comparison, Disney’s direct heir inherited only 1%.

Return to Apple

In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to Apple. Initially as interim CEO, and from 2000 as a full-fledged CEO. Several unprofitable directions were closed, and work on the new iMac computer was successfully completed, after which the company’s business rapidly improved.

Later, a multitude of developments will be introduced, which will set the trends in the technological market. This includes the iPhone mobile phone, the iPod player, and the iPad tablet computer, which went on sale in 2010. All of this will make Apple the third most capitalized company in the world (surpassing even Microsoft).

Personal life

Jobs married Laurene Powell on March 18, 1991. He has a son and two daughters from this marriage. Jobs also has a daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, from a relationship with artist Chrisann Brennan. Initially, he denied his paternity, but later acknowledged it.

Illness

In October 2003, a scan of Steve Jobs’s abdomen revealed a cancerous tumor in the pancreas. Generally, this diagnosis is fatal, but the head of Apple had a very rare form of the disease that could be treated with surgery. Initially, Jobs refused it because, on personal convictions, he did not endorse interventions in the human body. For 9 months, Steve Jobs hoped to cure himself independently, and during this time, none of the Apple leadership informed investors about his terminal illness. Then Steve finally decided to trust the doctors and informed the public about his illness. On July 31, 2004, the medical center at Stanford University successfully performed the operation.

In December 2008, doctors discovered a hormonal imbalance in Jobs. In the summer of 2009, representatives of the Methodist Hospital at the University (Medical Center) in Tennessee revealed that Steve had undergone a liver transplant. On March 2, 2011, Steve appeared at the presentation of the new tablet — the iPad 2.

On October 5, 2011, Steve Jobs passed away at the age of 56 after a long battle with cancer.

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