On October 5, 2011 the world lost a legendary entrepreneur, Steve Jobs. We all know Steve Jobs as co-founder of Apple, but in this article I wanted to write a short biography about his life and to remember a person who inspired and motivated us all to become more technologically savvy and better entrepreneurs.
Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955 to Joanne Simpson and Abdulfattah “John” Jandali, two University of Wisconsin graduate students who gave their unnamed son up for adoption. Steve was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs and grew up in Mountain View, a town within California’s Silicon Valley. Steve first became interested and involved in electronics when he and his father Paul would work on cars in their garage.
Steve was not your average student. He was actually so smart that at one point in school he tested so well that administrators wanted to skip him ahead two years to high school, which his parents declined, although they let him skip one grade. During high school Steve spent most of his free time at Hewlett-Packard (aka HP) where he met and worked with Steve Wozniak. After high school Jobs enrolled in Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Lacking a sense of direction Jobs dropped out of College after six months and spent the next eighteen months auditing a variety of creative classes.
In 1976, at the age of 21 Jobs and Wozniak started Apple Computer out of Jobs family garage, and funded their entrepreneurial venture after Jobs sold his VW bus and Wozniak sold his beloved scientific calculator. Jobs and Wozniak are credited with revolutionizing the computer industry by democratizing the technology and making the machines smaller, cheaper, intuitive, and accessible to everyday consumers. The two conceived a series of user-friendly personal computers that they initially marketed for $666.66 each. Their first model, the Apple I, earned them $774,000. Three years after the release of their second model, the Apple II, sales increased 700 percent to $139 million dollars. In 1980, Apple Computer became a publically traded company with a market value of $1.2 billion on the very first day of trading.
In 1984, Apple started to suffer significantly with design flaws and IBM suddenly surpassed Apple sales. Also in that year Apple released the Macintosh, despite positive sales, the Macintosh was not IBM compatible. About this time, John Scully, Apple’s President thought Steve was hurting Apple and began to plot against him.
In 1985 Jobs resigned as Apple’s Chairman to begin a new hardware and software company called NeXT, Inc. The following year Jobs purchased an animation company from George Lucas, which later became Pixar Animation Studios in which Steve invested $50 million of his own money. Pixar produced such films as Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. Pixar films has netted more than $4 Billion. The studio merged with Walt Disney in 2006, making Steve Jobs Disney’s largest shareholder.
NeXT, Inc floundered and was eventually bought by Apple in 1997 for $429 million the same year Jobs returned to his post as Apple’s CEO. Immediately, Jobs revitalized Apple.
From here, we all know Apple went to new levels with a new management team and new products from the iPod to the iPhone and ultimately the iPad. Job got stock options but he worked for a self imposed annual salary of $1.00. Jobs put Apple back on track and we are all aware of the recent innovations that cannot and will not be matched by any other software company in the world.
Unfortunately, Jobs life took a tragic turn in 2003 when he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Jobs would fight through it and altered everything in his life to make it through it but it eventually took his life on October 5, 2011, he was 55.
From all the entrepreneurs in the world I say thank you to Steve Jobs. A man so inspirational to all of us and one who will always be remembered for his resiliency and passion to succeed and make technology better and better.
To read the full biography of Steve Jobs click HERE.
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