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He brought a new style of art to the masses with Pixar. And he created the most popular music player of all time. This is the story—Of Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs, an orphan from San Fransico, founded Apple Computers, which led to him creating the first commercially successful personal computer, and change the world with his vision of how technology should look, work, and feel.
Steve Jobs was born on Febuary 24, 1955, An orphan from San Francisco, Jobs always was rather liberal minded in his thinking. Jobs was never interested in co-operating with others. The only sport he chose to compete in was swimming, as it allowed him to compete independently. Jobs became interested in electronics by spending evenings in the garage workshop of neighbor who worked for Hewlett-Pakard, also known as HP. Jobs later went to work for HP, and it was here that he met a computer engineer by the name of Steve Wozniak. Jobs left HP soon after being hired and went to work as a technician at Atari. (This was back before Atari made bi-yearly Dragon Ball Z games. Alas, Jobs didn’t exactly agree with how things were run at Atari. Steve quickly became frustrated with the work he had to do at Atari. In the evenings, after most employees had gone home, Jobs would come in with his friend he met at HP, Steve Wozniak. He asked Wozniak to build the motherboards, and in return, the Woz, as he’s called, could play as many videogames as he wanted. This was a taste of Job’s ability to manipulate others. After going to India to meet with his.. err… Guru… He came back to the US to work for Atari once again. As a hobby, Woz and Jobs began building computers in the Jobs family garage. After the computers began to work, and were shown off at local trade shows, the two started up Apple computers. Jobs had a vision, which companies like HP found crazy, of regular families owning personal computers. The two created Apple Computers in 1976. Jobs designed the computer case to look sleek and sophisticated enough to lure in casual consumers. The first personal computer that Apple sold was the Apple I, which sold for $666.66. The company reached the mass market later with the Apple II, which led to the success of Apple.
Within three years of launching the Apple II, the company’s sales grew to over $200 million. Jobs and Wozniak had not only created a successful company, but opened an entirely new market, the personal computer. After much success with the Apple II, and the release of the Apple III, Steve Jobs was invited to go to Xerox to view a project they were working on. The team at Xerox had developed a computer that had a GUI, or general user interface. This meant that gone were the days of text-based computing. Everything could be managed on screen through visuals. Many, even the CEO’s at Xerox, did not see the advantage of this, but Jobs felt this was the greatest thing he had ever seen. Steve, wanting something new to work on, began working on the ‘Macintosh’ project. The computer was meant to be easy enough for any consumer to use with ease. He dubbed it ‘Macintosh’ after his favorite apple. With IBM entering the PC market, Apple had to innovate to stay ahead of the competition. With nearly all of Apple’s income still coming from the Apple II, the company needed a new cash-cow to keep the company afloat. The Macintosh was seen as ‘The New Hope’ to stand up against IBM. Before launching the Mac, Jobs made sure that there was plenty of software available. He made deals with software developers, including a company dubbed ‘Microsoft’, to ensure that this was so. Microsoft, founded by Bill Gates, later went on to create their own GUI, called Windows. The GUI was a near carbon-copy of Apple’s GUI. Jobs felt betrayed by Gates, and is said to hold a grudge over it to this day. Apple’s CEO, Mike Scott, was removed as the CEO in 1981. Jobs had met John Sculley, CEO of Pepsi, while in New York of that year. Knowing the company needed a new head, Jobs wanted Sculley aboard. To convince him, Jobs asked,
“Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life or do you want to come with me and change the world?”
Scully was aboard as the new head of Apple.
The Mac launched in 1984. The computer was very popular on college campuses, but did not catch on in the mainstream market. Because of this, Scully merged different departments of Apple, in an attempt to cut down on costs. Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak left the company in 1985, after disagreements with Jobs. Jobs was a harsh manager, and was causing divides in the
company. Jobs and Scully began to grow suspicious of the other’s activities. Each felt that the other was trying to remove the other from the company. Alas, this is what happened in late 1985, as Steve Jobs was removed as an employee of Apple, the company he co-founded years before. He was left on as the Chairman of the Board, but later resigned after coming up with a new company idea. After taking some time off and traveling, Jobs returned the US. He met with a Stanford chemistry professor, and a new idea sprung to his mind. A computer created for the sole purpose of being sold to the higher education market. After resigning from the Chairman of the Board position at Apple, he took some talented Apple employees to start a new venture called, ‘NeXT’. With solid experience under his belt, and a name well known throughout the business relm, Jobs was able to create the perfect company, in his mind, from the ground up. This took a lot of work, and investment. The start up of NeXT was slow, because Jobs wanted perfection. NeXT had developed an operating system, to rival Windows. IBM, Apple’s rival, approached NeXT inquiring about using NeXT’s OS in the future, to stop a monopoly by OS maker Microsoft. In 1988 NeXT unveiled its first computer to the general public. Alas, the market was already full, and with the NeXT Cube, NeXT’s computer system, selling for nearly $10,000 with everything included, students and universities were not willing to open their wallets for a piece of technology with little software. Along with poor sales, Jobs had begun insulting and humiliating his employees— again. Some of the co-founders of NeXT ended up leaving the company over this. This did not phase Jobs, as at the same time, NeXT released a newer line of computers, which began to bring in revenue for the company. Jobs felt that to keep the company afloat, he would have to license the NeXT OS out to other companies. He did exactly this, making it compatible with Intel’s chips.
In 1986, Jobs bought Pixar from George Lucas, the founder of Lucasfilm and creator of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones series, for $10 million. The company created software as well as short films on the side to show the power of the programs. It wasn’t until 1991 that Disney contacted Jobs and requested that Pixar be signed into a three-picture deal. Pixar then began working on a movie called, ‘Toy Story’. After the release and critical and commercial success of Toy Story, Jobs brought Pixar public, keeping 80% of the shares for
himself. Within 30 minutes of Wall Street opening on the morning of Pixar’s debut, Jobs became worth $1.5 billion. Pixar continued to make hits after Toy Story, including a sequel to the movie, Toy Story 2, which is the highest rated movie of all time on Rottentomatoes.com. A third film in the franchise is planned for 2010. By 1996, Apple was dying. Microsoft’s release of Windows 95 was the second last nail in Apple’s coffin. The current CEO of Apple, Gil Amelio, had an idea to attempt to fix the company. Apple would purchase NeXT, which would then bring Apple co-founder Steve Jobs back to the company. In 1996, Apple bought NeXT, and Jobs was brought on as an advisor to Apple. In 1997 Jobs appeared before the world once again representing Apple, at Macworld in Boston. It was in 1997 that Jobs became the interim CEO of Apple, as Amelio left the company. Jobs made drastic changes at Apple, such as not allowing other companies to use Apple software, as Microsoft did, and cutting back on useless projects. A year later, at Macworld 1998, Jobs announced that Apple was profitable once again. It was this year that Apple was revolutionized with the introduction, of the iMac.
In 2000, Jobs announced that he would be taking the CEO position at Apple. This news was received positively by the media and the computer industry. It was at MacWorld 2000 that Jobs showed off Mac OS X, as well as expanding the Mac computer line.
After a year of great computer sales for Apple, Jobs decided that it was time for Apple to expand into another market. On October 23, 2001, Jobs introduced to the world, the iPod. This was one of the best looking, and cheapest MP3 players at the time. The player brought the MP3 player market to the mainstream consumer.
Since 2001, Apple has gained what some consider a monopoly on the portable media player market. Apple computer sales have been through the roof since the company switched to Intel processors, allowing Windows operating systems to be run on Apple computers. The company has dominated the online music and TV sales market with iTunes, and has broken into both the media-center market with the iTV, and the cell-phone market with the iPhone.
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