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steve jobs

Steve Jobs - Life of a Legend

2011-10-16 05:48:05

Steve Jobs, mostly renowned as the co founder of Apple Inc died at 5th October, 2011 after a seven year long battle with cancer. He was the CEO of the first successful personal computer company for fourteen years. Jobs will be remembered forever for Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and Pixar Studio. His innovative idea, marketing charisma and success made him the icon of the American business and technology. Steve Jobs died at only 56 years of age, but he will surely be remembered forever for his extraordinary designs and innovations. Let's take a look at his history changing life.

Early Life
Steve Paul Jobs was born in San Francisco, California in 24th February, 1955. He was adopted by Paul and Clara jobs. Jobs grew up with one sister named Patty Jobs. His father was a machinist and his hobby was fixing cars.

The Jobs family moved from San Francisco to Mountain View in 1961. This area was very close to Palo Alto which was the center of the electronics at that time. Palo Alto is currently known as the famous "Silicon Valley". It was named after the silicon material which is extensively used in electronic such as radio, television and computer.

In his childhood, Job was a competitive young child who preferred to do things by himself. He had a lack of interest in group activities. He had interest in electronics from his early age and was often found working in a garage of a neighbor who was a worker of Hewlett-Packard. He joined the Hewlett-Packard Explorer Club where he saw the engineers demonstrating products and ideas. In Hewlett-Packard he saw his first computer when he was only 12 years old. He got so impresses with the machine that he desperately wanted to work with it. He attended the lecture at the HP plant while he was in high school. On one occasion he asked the president of HP that he would need some electronic parts to complete his class project. The president was so impresses that he gave Steve Jobs the parts and offered a summer internship at the HP plant.


Apple Computer Company
Jobs graduated from high school in 1972 and then he attended Reed College in Portland. But he dropped out just after a semester and traveled to India where he studied eastern religions. He returned to California in 1974 and joined a job at Atari. Here he became friend with Steve Wozniak who was trying to build a small computer by his own. Jobs became very fascinated about the marketing potential of such a machine. In 1976, he and Wozniak formed their own company which they called Apple Computer Company. They started the company with $1300 which they got by selling Jobs's microbus and Wozniak's calculator. At that time they only sold the circuit boards of computer and spent their time in working on computer samples.

Apple II
Jobs was very talented in marketing and he observed a huge gap in the computer market. The computers were mostly mainframe and needed a room to it. These mainframe machines were very costly and individuals could not afford to buy. Jobs realized the need and marketing prospects of personal computer and redesigned their computer along with Wozniak. In 1977 they build the Apple II which was built for individual users. It was a huge success with the annual sales of 2.7 million US$. Within three years, the sales grew to 200 million which is observed as one of the most extraordinary corporate growth of any company. With the Apple II, Jobs and Wozniak began a new era of personal computer.
Apple was continually trying to improve the products and in this process it introduced a new Apple III which was not successful like its predecessor because of technical faults and marketing problems. Apple withdrew this product and reintroduced it later. In 1983, Jobs introduced another machine named as Lisa and it was more expensive than the machine build by other manufacturers. So this machine also did not sell well. In the early 80's Apple's biggest competitor was IBM and it lost half of its market share to IBM by 1983.

The Macintosh
In 1984, Apple introduced a new machine the Macintosh which brought a revolutionary change in the ideas of personal computer. The Macintosh used the Mac OS which was the first OS to use graphical user interface. Apple also introduced a device called mouse which was used to interface with the icons on the screen. Despite of these revolutionary features, Macintosh was a failure due to lacking of other features such as corresponding with high quality printers. The back to back marketing failures and continuous pressure from the competitors led to resign of Steve Jobs from Apple, the company he had built with Wozniak. However, he retained his title as the chairman of the board of the directors.
NeXT and Toy Story

After resigning from Apple Steve Jobs formed another computer company named as NeXT. In 1988 NeXT launched its first product with a large showdown in San Francisco. The system had a fast processing speed, extraordinary graphical interface and sound system. Though it did receive a warm reception in the market, it was a marketing failure due to high cost and black and white screen.
In 1986, Steve Jobs purchased a small company Pixar from film director George Lucas. Pixar was actually more like a studio than a company which is specialized in computer animation. Under Jobs's leadership Pixar released Toy Story after nine years. The movie itself was a blockbuster hit. Later Pixar released Toy Story 2, A Bug's Life with Disney, Monsters, Inc , Wall-E. All of these movies were a huge success in the Hollywood. In 2006 Jobs sold Pixar to Walt Disney Co but the deal made him one of the largest shareholders of Disney and he got a spot of Disney's board. The Fortune magazine named him as the most successful businessman of 2007 because of this deal.


Return to Apple
In the late 96' Apple purchased NeXT and the deal made Steve Jobs the CEO of Apple. In the following year, Apple made a surprising partnership deal with its rival Microsoft. The two tech giants agreed to co-operate on sales and technology. In the next six years Apple introduced several new products.
In the late 97', Apple took a new marketing policy to sell its computer products. The company began to sell its products directly to the consumers by internet and telephone. The online Apple store became the third largest E-commerce sites with a week. In 1998, Jobs announced iMac which was an extraordinary powerful machine at affordable price. The iMac was a major success during the second tenure of Jobs at Apple. The series of iMac is still in production today and it was followed by a series of powerful laptop and desktop computers such as Power Mac.

In October, 2011 Apple released the first iPod which was a revolution in this type of electronic gadget. It was a cigarette pack shaped digital music player featuring the storage of 5GB and a simple user interface. The gadget was an instant massive hit. The combination of iTunes and iPod made it very simple for the music lovers to listen the music anywhere. Apple continued to release new versions of iPod named as Mini, nano, Shuffle and Touch. iTunes and iTunes store were also a huge success for Apple and in 2003 Apple introduced online music sales through iTunes store. This move established Apple in the music industry in a very short time. By 2008 the company became the largest retailer of music.

In January 2009 Apple entered in the mobile market with its new product- the iPhone. Under Jobs's oversight and leadership, the iPhone was an instant hit with a massive sale of 270,000 units in the first thirty hours. By March Apple sold over 17 million iPhone and surpassed the quarterly sales of Blackberry.
After the iPhone Apple introduced a tablet PC named as iPad. It was also a huge success with the annual sales of 25 million units.

Jobs was diagnosed with pancreas cancer in 2004. He had undergone a surgery and returned to Apple but had to take another leave in 2009 and undergone a liver transplant. He took his final leave in January, 2011.

The Legacy
It would be a big mistake to characterize Steve Jobs by only the products of Apple the company released during Jobs's time. It was the strategy and supervision which turned the nearly bankrupted company in to one of the richest companies of the world. He told the Time Magazine in 2002 about his strategy that led the Apple, NeXT and Pixar to success. He quoted that "The way we're going to survive is to innovate our way out of this." The mastermind behind many outstanding innovations such as Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, iPad will be remembered forever through his innovations, ideas and strategies.

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