When the concern is about start-up or entrepreneur, then there is surely one person who seems to be “The One” for whom these two words were created in the dictionary. A man who had been betrayed right from birth by his biological parents, but grew up to totally digitalized and personalized the concept of a personal computer. He once said,
“We started out to get a computer right in the hands of everyday people, and we succeeded beyond our wildest dreams”
A man well known even by his famous quotes is none other than Steven Paul Jobs aka Steve Jobs, the inventor as well as co-founder of Apple Inc, one of the largest industries in the world. Let us put the pieces of the big puzzle together that is “The story Behind the Man Steve Jobs.”
The Story Where It All Started
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Born out of wedlock, Steve Jobs was an unconventional child right from birth. Abdulfattah “John” Jandali, Steve’s biological father, a Syrian by birth was born in Arab Muslim household. He was studying economics and political science at the University of Wisconsin, where he met Joanne Carole Schieble. The two started dating each other but could not marry as Schieble’s refused of the match because Abdulfattah was a Muslim. Schieble became pregnant in the year 1954. She had no other option but to give the baby up for adoption.
Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco and Schieble was to choose an educated couple for her baby. The couple Paul and Clara Jobs wanted to adopt Steve but Schieble refused to sign the adoption papers. After a court battle, he finally agreed when Paul and Clara promised that Steve would attend college.
Steve was deeply loved and indulged by his birth mother. He was just 6 years old, his next door neighbor after finding out that he was adopted told him “Your parents did not want you after birth and abandoned you.” Hearing this, Steve ran into the home where his adoptive parents told him that “You were special and that is the reason we took you out.” This made him very special through his life and helped him to become the person he was.
When Jobs was just two, his adopted sister Patricia came. The family moved to Mountain View, California in the year 1961. In this bigger house, Paul Jobs again started practicing his hobby of rebuilding cars and also constructed a workbench for his son. Jobs would help his father rebuild cars along with wide range of repair projects and household building jobs. With this project, started leave early interest in electronics one which he shared with various engineers who lived in his neighborhood.
Jobs never liked authority figures and trouble in classroom studies and misbehaved with each and everyone at school. His mother Clara taught him to read long before he joined the school. But Jobs was pretty bored in school. He would credit his fourth-grade teacher for turning him around.
“She was one of the saints of my life. She taught an advanced fourth-grade class, and it took her about a month to get hip to my situation. She bribed me into learning.”
His fourth-grade teacher used to bribe him with chocolate and gave him her own money. This drove a passion in him and he studied more in that year than he had done in any other year. He was also suggested by school authority to skip years and move to middle school which thankfully his parents refused.
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Steve jobs got into in Homestead High School getting enrolled in the popular electronics class. His teacher McCollum fondly recalled that his pupil Steve had called up Bill Hewlett himself, the co-founder of HP to get spare parts for his homework. Hewlett was so impressed with his boldness that he not only offered Jobs the parts but also a summer internship at HP’s factory.
It was at this school that Steve met his future co-founder Stephen Wozniak or Woz as he was fondly called. At that time, Steve and Woz were of the age 14 and 19 respectively. In fact, at Homestead, only Steve met Chris-Ann Brennan, his first ever steady girlfriend.
Time in Reed College
Steve wanted to get enrolled at Reed College which was surely very costly. But his parents had to oblige given the promise they gave to his biological mother. They, in fact, spent their life’s savings on their student’s higher education. But Reed dropped out of college soon as he did not want to spend his father money in that way. But Jobs started attending auditing classes as he was not officially a student. It was during this time that Brennan ended her relationship with Jobs who was now homeless and jobless and spent his days on his friend’s couch and saved food money by returning coke bottles. He also got weekly free meals at the Hare Krishna temple.
Job at Atari and visit to India
Direly in need of money, Job joined Atari. Atari is often noted to be the first video game company. This company was created by Nolan Bushnell in the year 1972. Steve would often call his co-workers by bad names which were why he was moved to the night shift. Young Steve Jobs really praised and looked up to Nolan Bushnell. His concept of making lots of money by building pinball machine really motivated Jobs to start Apple.
While working Atari, Steve wished and asked his boss for funding a trip to India. He got a trip till Germany where he was given the work of fixing some machines. Later accompanied by his friend Dan Kottke, they went to India in search of enlightenment. But they failed miserably there in India. It was this time which paved the way for Apple Computers.
Apple- How it originated
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Woz had designed a low-cost digital “blue-box” which was used to generate tones which can manipulate telephone network allowing long distance calls for free. Jobs had the quick idea that they could make money by easily selling it. Well, the sale went well and it gave Jobs the idea that developing electronics can be fun as well as profitable. Once Jobs had said,
“If it was not for the blue boxes, there would never have been any Apple”
Then they had this concept that computers were mainframe and were too large to handle. Woz along with Jobs decided to bring a revolution to the invention of the computer with Apple computers. But to start the business, they needed $1000. Steve sold his Volkswagen van while Woz sold his HP 65 calculator. And so Apple computers were born.
One of Steve colleagues Ron Wayne from Atari wrote all the paperwork start the corporation and made the first logo of the company. Due to this fact, he got 10% of the company’s share while Steve and Woz made a split of the rest 45% each.
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The company was started in the garage of Jobs in Palo Alto. One of the neighbors recalled Jobs as a hippie who went out barefoot and underwear hanging to meet customers. There were many problems which came the way. Woz was still working for HP and all his creations were HP’s. He even showed his design to his boss which he refused. So Apple remained a part of Jobs and Woz’s creation.
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The first order of Apple computer came from a Homebrew member called Paul Terrel who was starting new computer store called Byte Shop which required fully built computers. He ordered nearly 50 pieces of them which were priced at $500 piece. This was surely a huge amount $25,000 for a very young company. With the help of Steve’s sister Patti, they are putting all the parts together. The parts of Apple would cost $200 and be put into wooden boxes. This system was named as Apple 1.
The Early Days of Apple
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They agreed on a retail price of nearly 666.66 which had a 33% margin of profit. Steve was the only people who were working in the garage. Woz would come once in two weeks with a code and Steve was busy looking for financiers to sell their products as their Homebrew group refused to buy the product. The company was finally incorporated on April 1, 1976.
The same day Woz finished his first computer, Woz started working on an improved design the future Apple II. This design was the same as Apple I. This was the first commercial product and was introduced by Jobs and Wozniak at 1977 at a conference in San Francisco. It was said that Mike Markkula who was once an Intel employee with millions decided to sponsor the investment.
Mike had a business plan. He wanted to put $250,000 for building 1,000 machines. This was surely a huge order for the young team. This meant that Woz had to resign from his job which surely at first he refused. But when Steve Jobs is involved there can surely be any “No”. He lobbied him to join the company. Mike wanted that Apple advertises their new computer in the best possible way. So they hired the art director Rob Janoff for the new logo. The only thing Steve said was,
“Do Not Make it Cute.”
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So the designer came up with a bitten apple so that it would not look like a tomato as well as the stripped colors which displayed Apple ability to display colors.
Right from the show itself, the computer received an order of 300 which is twice as much as Apple I. But this was just the beginning. With Apple II, the new revolution of personal computer evolution started. Apple II had exclusive designs with integrated keyboards as well as the ability to plug-in into any TV for displaying color graphics or for playing sounds.
The Rise And Fall Of Apple
The growth of Apple Computer was stupendous if the numbers are considered. In the year 1977, nearly 2,500 Apple IIs were sold, 8,000 in the year 1978 and nearly up to 35,000 in the year 1979. This was the first time there was a market for personal computers. In the financial year 1979, the company earned $47 million revenues making Steve Jobs a millionaire on paper.
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Thoughts were made to make Apple public and there were several projects which arrived in those early years. Apple III was released following the prototype of Apple II but it surely made fewer sales. Next came, Lisa. This project was named after Job’s love-child with Chris-Ann Brennan. The project was surely not a big success as expected and IBM surpassed its sales from Apple making Apple in a big loss.
Steve Left Apple.Inc
Macintosh was released in the year 1984 targeting the modern youth as well as lifestyle. But there were positive sales with the performance being superior to that IBM’s PCs but Macintosh certainly did not match IBM-compatible.
But then an unexpected something happened. The CEO Sculley believed Steve was certainly the reason for the failures and nearly all the company’s executive surely tried to phase him out.
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Steve Jobs were looking for new directions in his life when he met with the friend, Nobel Prize Paul Berg right from Stanford University. Right from Steve, he got the idea of opening a new company. He decided to build a high-end computer for higher education and research markets. The computer could hold one megabyte of memory nearly performing one million instructions per second as well as displaying one million pixels right on the screen.
He informed the idea to the board at Apple on September 13, 1985. They though seemed enthusiastic at first but did not wish to join Steve’s new company called Next. They felt their position would be threatened. So on September 17, he announced his resignation from Apple.
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Next was thus founded by Steve Jobs. But the whole process did not begin easily. Six of the co-founders of Apple joined Next but they were in turn sued by former employer Apple. They were accused of stealing their technology.
But Steve Jobs set out to build the perfect company. He started doing the things he was best at doing: recruiting. He made sure that extremely bright and competent people were hired. In fact at one point of time, even the receptionist was Ph.D. There was great hype around Steve’s new venture. Nearly all of the people wanted to work at Next but some still feared. The company treated its employees in the unique fashion in Silicon Valley. There were usually two levels in salary like the senior staff earned $75,000 a year while the rest of the staff earned $50,000. No other perks apart from health club memberships, emergency loans, counseling services and free fresh juice was given. All the money was spent from Steve’s own pocket money.
Next was growing at a fast rate with huge profit margins but Steve decided to invest in another company by the name Pixar. For long years, this was Steve’s money sink. But Steve’s heart was at Next. There were burning money with the fast rate. Back then Steve Jobs was a brand with his black t-shirt valuing over $125 million. That was the power of Steve Jobs’ name in the mid-1980s.
Jobs Back At Apple
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Well, Apple was facing serious loss during this time. It had a case against Microsoft which it lost. Apple was in need for better OS and once thought of buying the Windows but then changed its mind of buying Next OS. Sculley was replaced and soon Apple purchased Next with a whopping amount of 430 million dollars. Jobs steps back into the Apple Campus completely changed from the way he is from his first time in 1985.
Now Jobs concentrates more on computers shutting down all other projects. Soon iMac is released. In the year 2000, Jobs become the permanent CEO at Apple. Soon Apple opens its first retail store in McLean in Virginia. And then comes the big invention of Apple- iPod.
Jobs Battles At Cancer
In the year 2004, Jobs is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Jobs struggled with serious health issues. He announced in an email to Apple employees that he had an operation for removing cancerous tumor right from his pancreas. In January 2011, after a liver transplant, Jobs was taking a medical leave from the company.
In the year 2011, on August 24th, Steve Jobs announced that he will be resigning as Apple CEO shifting his position to the chairman of Board. He wrote in a letter to the company:
“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.”
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Jobs have decided that he needed a break so decided to sell Pixar to Disney which till date continued to make excellent movies. Well, Jobs health was worsening while in the meantime, Apple was rising to an excellent position in the best way.
Apple launches some of the excellent and latest tech revolutions like iMac, iPod, iTunes and certainly later iPhone and iPad. The stocks were nearly worth $199.99 a share which is record breaking number at that time and company boasted a profit amount of $1.58 billion.
In the year 2008, iTunes came to become the biggest music retailer in America right next to Walmart and certainly fueled by the sales of iPod and iTunes. In fact, it has also ranked as No.1 right on the list of Fortune magazine’s list of “America Most Admired Companies”
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Again in early 2009, reports circulated about weight loss of Jobs keeping a guess that health issues have seriously returned also a liver transplant. However, Jobs dismissed them as merely health issues.
Right in his personal life, Steve Jobs was a very private man who never really disclosed information about his family. Jobs had married Laurene Powell whom he met at Stanford Business School where he was an MBA student. They married on March 18, 1991, and stayed together in Palo Alto, California with their three children.
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Jobs died at his Palo Alto, California home right around 3 p.m. on October 5, 2011, right to complications from a relapse of his previously treated pancreatic cancer which caused a respiratory arrest. The last words he said were,
“Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”
His private funeral was held on October 7, 2011, the details of which were not revealed. Both Apple and Microsoft flew flags at half-staff throughout the headquarters.
The Key Takeaway
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The person Steve Jobs was, he summarized lots of things together. He suggested us to find the work which we love because as per him that was true both for his work and lovers. The work which one do is surely a large part one’s life so one must be satisfied. If you have not found it yet just go on searching that what Steve Jobs was. His versatility was surely commendable, as well as his quality of giving direct cut answers to one and all.
He was a deadly combination of all things together right from technical knowledge to showmanship and salesmanship. Jobs had this multi-dimensional personality with various contradictions of which he was still proud of.
In the end that one can say is that