Profiles In Amazing People©
By William M Wright BBA MBA 07-01-2006 / 09-10-2009 / 12-10-2010 video updates from achieves.
Steven Jobs, was born February 24th, 1955 in California. Bill Gates was born the same year, October 28th, 1955. Think about the magnitude of what these two and their associates created. They created two new world industries. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are the fathers of the World PC industry. Bill Gates and Paul Allen are the founders of the World Software industry. They are the American baby-boomer's generational equivalent of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.
You know Jobs as the CEO - I know Jobs the Freedom Fighter.
You know Steve Jobs as the Co-founder and CEO of Apple and the CEO and Chairman of Pixar Animation Studios.
My Steve Jobs Memories & Memorabilia Photos
(including The Finger in early 80s)
But I'm old enough to remember the young, brash and bold Steve Jobs from the 70's. Back then he fancied himself as the Che' Guevara of the PC Revolution and Anti-IBM movement. Steve was our 70's Freedom Fighter. He foughtagainst the powerful forces of the IBM Centralized Command & Control Mainframe work world baby boomers grew up in. In the 80's he viewed himself as a Pirate againest the forces of IBM, Xerox, Hewett Packard and Microsoft.
There was never anything evil about IBM, Xerox or Hewett Packard. Baby-Boomers, like Steve Jobs, were just expressing the usual rebellious youth thinking of the time. Every new generation has their youthful rebellious side and hero's. We had Steve Jobs and my parents had James Dean. Todays generation even has a song "Rebellious Youth" by Mortal Sin. I doubt they realize just how "Old School" thinking their lyrics are.
Overnight success brought along a big ego to match
Steve Jobs overnight success with Apple Corp. and its IPO made him an instant millionaire at age 24. It brought him fame and fortune. But quick fame created a big ego that made him difficult to work with in a large corporate environment were team and consensus building becomes paramount. After losing a power struggle with the board of directors in 1985, Jobs resigned from Apple and founded NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in the higher education and business markets. The company was an innovator but never a financial success. In 1997 Apple, also struggling to grow in Windows PC dominate world, purchased Next and brought Jobs back to the company he co-founded. He has served as its CEO since then. The Apple and Steve Jobs turnaround story is nothing short of an inspirational miracle.
Today Steve Jobs has become one of the iconic leaders of the digital era. This is the story of the man in plain black shirt and jeans, known as Steve Jobs.
Three odd fellows make a great team
Steve Wozniak was a gifted tecno wizard. Mike Markkula provided the venture capital and business skills both Wozniak and Jobs lacked. Steve Jobs real gift was his vision and powerful group communications skills to inspire.
In 1974 Steve Jobs was a college drop-out searching for the meaning of life in India. Two years later (in 1976) he had found the meaning of his life by starting Apple Computer Company in his parents garage. Wozniak and Jobs designed the Apple I computer in Jobs's bedroom and they built the prototype in the Jobs' family garage.
To start this company they sold their most valuable possessions Jobs sold his Volkswagen micro-bus and Wozniak sold his Hewlett-Packard scientific calculator, which raised $1,300 to start their new company. Legend has it, Jobs came up with the name of their new company Apple in memory of a happy summer he had spent as an orchard worker in Oregon.
Just four years later in 1980, Apple went public with a success no company had experienced since Ford’s own IPO in the 50s. Steve was worth $217.5 million. He became the youngest and one of the richest self-made men in America.
Steve Jobs has become a legend to American Computer fans and hero to millions of young aspiring computer and software engineers around the world.
In the 80's Steve Jobs was the talk of silicon valley
In the 80's, Steve exhibited many of the characteristics that have made him an icon. He epitomised the American dream, in a classic rags-to-riches story. Steve was a charismatic and visionary young man who surmounted all obstacles to become one of America's youngest millionaires.
He led the project to develop the legendary Macintosh computer and inspired almost fanatical devotion from many of his staff. He knew where he was going – and where the digital revolution was going – and most people were carried along by his vision. It was the textbook “You lead, they’ll follow” scenario.
With the good came the bag and ugly too
But his rise to stardom wasn’t a smooth ride – there were some major setbacks along the way. In fact most people do not even know the fact Jobs was orginally againest the Macintosh project lead by another person. The Macintosh project started in the late 70s with Jef Raskin, an Apple employee, who envisioned an easy-to-use, low-cost computer for the average consumer. Realizing that the Macintosh was more marketable than Steve Jobs own Lisa PC, he began to focus his attention on the project. Raskin finally left the Macintosh project in 1981 over a personality conflict with Jobs. Some say Jobs forced him out of Apple.
Steve Jobs also had a dark-side to his self-taught management style. Steve sometimes didn’t understand the technical limitations of his product and his "I know best" attitute lost sight of the customer and market trends. Given his success as a college drop-out and hippie roots he gave little respect to those who wore suits or had great academic success. He micro-managed people and allowed damaging frictions to develop within the company.
In fact many labeled Steve Jobs management style as Terrorist Tactics or Management by Terror. Many an employee had a "Jobs Terror" story to tell.
And many have forgotten Steve Jobs NeXT Computers company. A visionary concept that ended up a "business case study in failure". Over $250 million dollars was sunk into the company by investors including famous backers like Ross Perot. But in the end less than 50,000 PC's were sold.
By the late 90's Apple was dying in the land of PC's
The most amazing fact is Steve lead Apple back from near death
just 10 years ago to a grow into a $170 billion dollar market capitalization gaint by November of 2007. Apple had become larger than Intel and Citigroup.
Steve's APPLE is now almost larger than the mighty IBM - the very company he intensely hated as a young man. I doubt that even Steve would have dreamed that possible when he was photographed giving IBM headquarters the finger 25 years ago (photo below).
Even after the worst stock market decline (2007-2009) since 1929 Apple's market capitalization in April 2009 was $20 billion larger than the mighty Intel Corp.
View Window To Wall Street's®
Steve Jobs & The WOZ Memorabilia Photos & Videos
Jobs and The Woz didn't invent PC's they made it desirable
Computers had been around long before Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (The WOZ) entered the field, but their contributions revolutionized the personal-computer industry. Henry Ford didn't invent the car but he did make it affordable and desirable for ever American to own. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak did the same for the PC.
As the co-founders of Apple in 1976, Wozniak and Jobs introduced the concept of a small, relatively inexpensive desktop computer that the average person could own and operate.
Jobs has presided over a number of technological innovations with Apple and his NeXT computer workstation company. He has also made an impact in the field of animated movies as the head of Pixar, the studio responsible for such blockbusters as Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., and Finding Nemo. Jobs headed up yet another innovative success story with Apple's online music shop, iTunes, and with its portable digital music player, iPod.
In the early years Jobs was considered a bully manager
Lets be clear - Steve Jobs is no saint. His quick financial success with no college education lead him to believe highly educated people and seasoned corporate employees had little value. His bold and brash 70's personality was viewed by many as pure arrogance. His 1979 pet project the LISA PC (named after his out-of-wedlock daughter) was a financial failure while the MACINTOSH project (envisioned by Jef Raskin) he orginally wanted canceled.
In the early years Steve Jobs had a reputation for being intimidating to employees and peers. Many employees viewed Jobs as a person who managed by fear and intimidation. Employee, Andy Hertzfeld said,"Lots of people at Apple were afraid of Steve Jobs, because of his spontaneous temper tantrums and his proclivity to tell everyone exactly what he thought, which often wasn't very favorable."
The word terrorist was often used to discribe young Jobs management style in the early 80's. But he is also seen by the same employees as a visionary who dreams big and enjoys taking risks. Even his critics back then agreed his passion, drive and risk taking style lead to the success of Apple. While not all of his risks have paid off, those that have succeeded have significantly altered the high-tech landscape and paved the way for future advances.
Wozniak was a classic geek interested in inventing not money
Steve Wozniak had no desire to become rich or build a business - he just wanted a personal computer for himself and friends. The WOZ has publicly stated Mike Markkula's (little known 3ed partner) conribution to Apples success exceeded his own. By the late 80's many people had contributed to the success of Apple.
Steve Jobs is no electrical engineer like the WOZ. Jobs is no experianced businessman like Mike Markkula nor software engineer like Bill Gates. But Steve Jobs passion and drive for PC's created an industry that many computer experts never envisioned. The bottom line is Steve Jobs is no saint but he is the Don King of the PC industry.
Searching for meaning
Jobs was an adopted son
Steven Paul Jobs was born in California on February 24, 1955. His parents, unmarried and unable to care for a baby, put him up for adoption. He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, who raised him in a northern California community surrounded by apricot orchards and farm country—a community that has since become the center of technological innovation known as Silicon Valley. When Jobs was in the seventh grade, he encountered troubles at school, the victim of bullies. He refused to return to that school, and his parents decided to move to Los Altos. Jobs attended Homestead High School in Cupertino, California, where he had a reputation as a loner and developed a keen interest in technology. During a school field trip to the plant of the Hewlett-Packard computer company in nearby Palo Alto, the concept of a desktop computer attracted Jobs's notice. Later, in pursuit of computer parts for a school project, Jobs went straight to the source, contacting William Hewlett, cofounder of Hewlett-Packard. Jobs got more than just the needed parts; he was also offered a summer job at the company.
Jobs and Wozniak attended the same high school
During his internship at Hewlett-Packard, Jobs met Steve Wozniak (1950–), an electronics whiz who had attended Homestead High School a few years prior. They formed an immediate bond and soon began collaborating on various projects, including a device that would allow users to make free long-distance phone calls. Wozniak supplied the technological know-how, while Jobs dreamed up ways for consumers to use the products they developed. These roles would remain the same years later, when the two men became reacquainted for a new venture. In the meantime, Jobs graduated from high school in 1972 and then enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He dropped out after one semester, but he continued to spend time on campus, searching for life's meaning: he studied philosophy and meditation, experimented with drugs, and became a vegetarian.
Apple bites back
Jobs returns from India and gets hired at Atari
Jobs returned to California in 1974, restless and looking for work. He answered a help-wanted ad in the newspaper and was hired to work for Atari, a video-game manufacturer that had risen to prominence with Pong, a game that today looks extremely primitive but at the time seemed quite high-tech. According to a profile in Time magazine, Jobs's intense personality made him few friends at Atari. "His mind kept going a mile a minute," reported Al Alcorn, the chief engineer at Atari. "The engineers in the lab didn't like him. They thought he was arrogant and brash. Finally, we made an agreement that he come to work late at night." After a short time at Atari, Jobs left to take a trip to India, continuing his quest for spiritual fulfillment. After his return to the United States, Jobs traveled for a time and then got involved with the Homebrew Computer Club in 1975. At meetings for this club, computer enthusiasts would gather to share information and technology. Jobs's friend from Hewlett-Packard, Steve Wozniak, was a member of the club, and in 1975 Wozniak was still working at Hewlett-Packard and trying to build a computer in his spare time.
Jobs envisions an affordable PC for every American
Jobs, excited by the prospect of building and selling reasonably priced personal computers, teamed up with Wozniak. While Jobs had a decent grasp on the technology, it was Wozniak who brought the brilliant engineering skills to the partnership. Jobs, on the other hand, was the entrepreneur, the person who understood what they would need to get their business off the ground, how the products would be used, and how to market the products to the public. Jobs and Wozniak formed a company, which Jobs named (he told Jay Cocks of Time: "One day I just told everyone that unless they came up with a better name by 5 P.M., we would go with Apple"), and they released their first product, the Apple I, for the price of $666. At that time, few people outside of computer hobbyists felt the need to own a desktop computer, but Jobs set out to change that. In 1977 Apple released the Apple II computer, which was a huge success and established the model for personal computers that all other companies attempted to imitate. Three years later, Apple's sales reached $139 million. The company then went public, selling shares to those who wished to invest in Apple.
The First User-Friendly Computer, LISA
In 1979 Jobs oversaw the development of a radically new kind of personal computer, one that required little experience with computers and was the first to incorporate a mouse. Called the Lisa (Local Integrated Systems Architecture), the computer sold for $10,000 when released in 1983, a price that put it out of reach for most consumers. The development of the Lisa did lead to Apple's next great innovation, however—a computer that was not only affordable but also easy to use, a critical factor at a time when most people considered computers intimidating and foreign. The Macintosh, released in 1984, brought personal computing to the masses, with its easily understood graphics and point-and-click mouse. Macintosh was the revolutionary machine that meant you no longer needed to be a computer programmer to accomplish computer task. Rather than typing in complicated commands, users could simply click on an icon, or picture, on the screen. Jobs's obsession with developing the product, however, had caused problems at Apple. Many years and much of the company's money had been spent on the product's development, causing many at Apple to wonder whether Jobs had lost sight of the big picture. When Macintosh's initial sales were lower than expected, Jobs was pushed to resign by the company's president and CEO, John Sculley. In 1985 both Jobs and Wozniak left the company they had founded.
The Prodigal Son Returns
When Apple began to struggle in the mid-1990s, Jobs agreed to act as a consultant, offering advice on turning the company around. In 1997 he was named Apple's interim CEO—a position intended to be temporary until a permanent CEO was found. Three years later, a permanent CEO was named: Steve Jobs. After returning to the helm at Apple, Jobs made a number of decisive moves that immediately improved the company's fortunes. He simplified the product line, introduced a new version of the Apple operating system, and entered into a cooperative agreement with Microsoft. In 1998 Jobs introduced the iMac. This computer offered sufficiently powerful processors and an affordable price tag, but the key to its success may have been the PC's streamlined design and array of bright colors. Upon Jobs's return to Apple, the company pioneered a wireless technology called Air-Port, which enables users to surf the Internet and print without having anything plugged into their computers. A number of new products followed, some of which, like the iBook and PowerMac, were extremely successful, and some of which were not—including the G4 Cube, which sported a slick design but an out-of-reach price.
The i-Pod Revolution
Jobs's endless quest for technological innovation soon led him to tackle the digital music industry. In 2001 Apple launched a sleek new handheld product, a portable digital music player called the iPod. Comparable to MP3 players introduced by other companies, the iPod allowed users to download music from CDs or from online sites. Thanks in part to a memorable advertising campaign and good word-of-mouth, Apple sold three million iPods in less than three years. By 2004, almost half of the digital music players bought by consumers were iPods.
Apple's next move, in 2003, was to open an online music store. The music industry had been in a sales slump, with many concerned that such free file-sharing services as Napster, which allowed users to download songs without paying a penny, would spell doom for CD sales. Soon after legal battles complicated the practice of downloading music for free, Jobs opened the iTunes Music Store. Others had attempted online music sales with little success, failing either because they offered a poor selection or because users rejected the notion of paying a monthly subscription fee to download songs. Jobs's iTunes offered simplicity: with the blessing of the world's major record labels, customers could download any of the two hundred thousand songs for just ninety-nine cents each. Users could then create their own CDs with the downloaded songs or transfer them to a portable digital music player, to take with them wherever they go.