Before, only those who were loyal to their Apple Computers were aware of who Steve Jobs was. Now, nearly everyone knows him, thanks to the iPod phenomenon.
Steve Jobs and Apple have had a love-hate relationship, even ending at one time with Jobs being booted from the firm, only to return in 1996 to completely turn the company around profitability.
This achievement merits Steve Jobs to be included in America’s greatest business leader list.
Steve Jobs was born to a Syrian father and an American mother who gave him up for adoption immediately after he was born. He was adopted by Californian couple, Paul and Clara Jobs and spent his ‘schooling days’ in Cupertino, CA, where he often went to the after-school lectures of the Hewlett-Packard Company. He was later hired by HP and worked with Stephen Wozniak.
Steve Jobs’ First ‘Business Deal’
In the mid-1970’s, Jobs, who was working at Atari at the time, was approached by its founder Nolan Bushnell and offered $100 for every chip that he can reduce for the game Breakout’s new circuit board. He made a deal with Wozniak to share the bonus 50/50. Wozniak amazed everybody by reducing the number of chips by 50, which earned him a bonus of $250. Jobs was not completely honest with his partner; he told Wozniak that Atari only gave them a $500 bonus (instead of the $5000 he received).
Steve Jobs and Apple
In 1976, Jobs founded Apple with Wozniak after he saw a computer the latter designed for himself. The company’s first product was called the Apple I. The next product was aptly called Apple II and it became such a hit that Apple II is credited to be the best-selling computer in the 1970s and early 1980s.
In 1984, the firm introduced the Macintosh, which was the first commercially successful computer with a graphical user interface. It was so successful in fact, that Apple abandoned further developments on Apple II.
It was not all smooth sailing from there however. An internal power struggle in Apple ended with Jobs being stripped of his duties in 1985, so he left the company and founded NeXT Computer. NeXT was not an instant hit but, it reflected Jobs’ perfectionist side, which garnered the company a small following.
In 1993, it would transition into a software development firm. Meanwhile, Apple had been struggling and in 1996, the company bought NeXT for US$402 million, bringing Jobs back at the helm of the firm he founded. Since then, Apple has regained its foothold in the computers and electronics industry and has even successfully branched out into the portable music business with the iPod MP4 player, iTunes digital music software, and the iTunes Music Store.
The Steve Jobs Quick Bio
Full name: Steven Paul Jobs
Birth date: February 24, 1955
Death: October 5, 2011
Key success traits: Man of action, Innovator, Visionary
Company: Apple Computer
Industry: Computers & Electronics
Former Chairman and CEO of Pixar Animation Studios, which is popular for its production of animated films such as The Incredibles and Toy Story. The firm was recently bought by Walt Disney Studios for $7.4 billion in stock, making Jobs the biggest individual shareholder at Disney.