Born 1955 Los Altos CA; Evangelic bad boy who, with Steve Wozniak, co-founded Apple Computer Corporation and became a multimillionaire before the age of 30. Subsequently started the NeXT Corporation to provide an educational system at a reasonable price, but found that software was a better seller than hardware. Steven Paul, was an orphan adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain View, California in February 1955. Jobs was not happy at school in Mountain View so the family moved to Los Altos, California, where Steven attended Homestead High School. His electronics teacher at Homestead High, Hohn McCollum, recalled he was “something of a loner” and “always had a different way of looking at things.” Going to work for Atari after leaving Reed College, Jobs renewed his friendship with Steve Wozniak. The two designed computer games for Atari and a telephone “blue box”, getting much of their impetus from the Homebrew Computer Club.
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Beginning work in the Job’s family garage they managed to make their first “killing” when the Byte Shop in Mountain View bought their first fifty fully assembled computers. On this basis the Apple Corporation was founded, the name based on Job’s favorite fruit and the logo. Steve Jobs innovative idea of a personal computer led him into revolutionizing the computer hardware and software industry. When Jobs was twenty one, he and a friend, Wozniak, built a personal computer called the Apple. The Apple changed people’s idea of a computer from a gigantic and inscrutable mass of vacuum tubes only used by big business and the government to a small box used by ordinary people. No company has done more to democratize the computer and make it user- friendly than Apple Computer Inc. Jobs software development for the Macintosh re-introduced windows interface and mouse technology which set a standard for all applications interface in software. Two years after building the Apple I, Jobs introduced the Apple II. The Apple II was the best buy in personal computers for home and small business throughout the following five years. When the Macintosh was introduced in 1984, it was marketed towards medium and large businesses.
The Macintosh took the first major step in adapting the personal computer to the needs of the corporate work force. Steve Jobs was considered a brilliant young man in Silicon Valley, because he saw the future demands of the computer industry. He was able to build a personal computer and market the product. His innovative ideas of user-friendly software for the Macintosh changed the design and functionality of software interfaces created for computers. The Macintosh’s interface allowed people to interact easier with computers, because they used a mouse to click on objects displayed on the screen to perform some function. The Macintosh got ride of the computer command lines that intimidated people from using computers. After resigning from Apple Inc., Jobs would continue challenging himself to develop computers and software for education and research by starting a new company that would eventually develop the NextStep computer.
After school, Jobs attended lectures at the Hewlett-Packard electronics firm in Palo Alto, California. There he was hired as a summer employee. Another employee at Hewlett-Packard was Stephen Wozniak a recent dropout from the University of California at Berkeley. An engineering whiz with a passion for inventing electronic gadgets, Wozniak at that time was perfecting his “blue box,” an illegal pocket-size telephone attachment that would allow the user to make free long-distance calls. Jobs helped Wozniak sell a number of the devices to customers. After school, Jobs attended lectures at the Hewlett-Packard electronics firm in Palo Alto, California. There he was hired as a summer employee. Another employee at Hewlett-Packard was Stephen Wozniak a recent dropout from the University of California at Berkeley. An engineering whiz with a passion for inventing electronic gadgets. Wozniak and Jobs designed the Apple I computer in Jobs’s bedroom and they built the prototype in the Jobs’ garage. Jobs showed the machine to a local electronics equipment retailer, who ordered twenty-five.
Jobs received marketing advice from a friend, who was a retired CEO from Intel, and he helped them with marketing strategies for selling their new product. Jobs and Wozniak had great inspiration in starting a computer company that would produce and sell computers. 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. With that capital base and credit begged from local electronics suppliers, they set up their first production line. 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. Jobs and Wozniak put together their first computer, called the Apple I. They marketed it in 1976 at a price of $666. The Apple I was the first single-board computer with built-in video interface, and on-board ROM, which told the machine how to load other programs from an external source. Jobs was marketing the Apple I at hobbyists like members of the Homebrew Computer Club who could now perform their own operations on their personal computers. Jobs and Wozniak managed to earn $774,000 from the sales of the Apple I. The following year, Jobs and Wozniak developed the general purpose Apple II. The design of the Apple II did not depart from Apple I’s simplistic and compactness design.
The Apple II was the Volkswagon of computers. The Apple II had built-in circuitry allowing it to interface directly to a color video monitor. Jobs encouraged independent programmers to invent applications for Apple II. The result was a library of some 16,000 software programs. Quickly setting the standard in personal computers, the Apple II had earnings of $139,000,000 within three years, a growth of 700 percent. Impressed with that growth, and a trend indicating an additional worth of 35 to 40 percent, the cautious underwriting firm of Hambrecht & Quist in cooperation with Wall Street’s prestigious Morgan Stanley, Inc., took Apple public in 1980. The underwriters price of $22 per share went up to $29 the first day of trading, bringing the market value of Apple to $1.2 billion. In 1982 Apple had sales of $583,000,000 up 74 percent from 1981. Its net earnings were $1.06 a share, up 55 percent, and as of December 1982, the company’s stock was selling for approximately $30 a share. Over the past seven years of Apple’s creation, Jobs had created a strong productive company with a growth curve like a straight line North with no serious competitors. From 1978 to 1983, its compound growth rate was over 150% a year. Then IBM muscled into the personal computer business.
Two years after introducing its PC, IBM passed Apple in dollar sales of the machines. IBM’s dominance had made its operating system an industry standard which was not compatible with Apple’s products. Jobs knew in order to compete with IBM, he would have to make the Apple compatible with IBM computers and needed to introduce new computers that could be marketed in the business world which IBM controlled. To help him market these new computers Jobs recruited John Sculley from Pesi Cola for a position as president at Apple. Jobs designed the Macintosh to compete with the PC and, in turn, make Apple’s new products a success. In an effort to revitalize the company and prevent it from falling victim to corporate bureaucracy, Jobs launched a campaign to bring back the values and entrepreneurial spirit that characterized Apple in its garage shop days. In developing the Macintosh, he tried to re-create an atmosphere in which the computer industry’s highly individualistic, talented, and often eccentric software and hardware designers could flourish. The Macintosh had 128K of memory, twice that of the PC, and the memory could be expandable up to192K.
The Mac’s 32-bit microprocessor did more things and outperformed the PC’s 16-bit microprocessor. The larger concern of management concerning the Macintosh was not IBM compatible. This caused an uphill fight for Apple in trying to sell Macintosh to big corporations that where IBM territory. “We have thought about this very hard and it old be easy for us to come out with an IBM look-alike product, and put the Apple logo on it, and sell a lot of Apples. Our earnings per share would go up and our stock holders would be happy, but we think that would be the wrong thing to do,” says Jobs. The Macintosh held the moment’s possibility that computer technology would evolve beyond the mindless crunching of numbers for legions of corporate bean-counters.
As the print campaign claimed, the Macintosh was the computer “for the rest of us.” The strategy Jobs used to introduce the Macintosh in 1984 was radical. The Macintosh, with all its apparent vulnerability, was a revolutionary act infused with altruism, a technological bomb-throwing. When the machine was introduced to the public on Super Bowl Sunday it was, as Apple Chairman Steve Jobs described it, “kind of like watching the gladiator going into the arena and saying, ‘Here it is.” [Scott, 1991, p.71] The commercial had a young woman athlete being chased by faceless storm-troopers who raced past hundreds of vacant eyed workers and hurled a sledgehammer into the image of a menacing voice. A transcendent blast. Then a calm, cultivated speaker assured the astonished multitudes that 1984 would not be like 1984. Macintosh had entered the arena. That week, countless newspapers and magazines ran stories with titles like “What were you doing when the ‘1984’ commercial ran?” Jobs’ invocation of the gladiator image is not incidental here.
Throughout the development of the Macintosh, he had fanned the fervor of the design team by characterizing them as brilliant, committed marhinals. He repeatedly clothed both public and private statements about the machine in revolutionary, sometimes violent imagery, first encouraging his compatriots to see themselves as outlaws, and then target the audience to imagine themselves as revolutionaries. Jobs, like all those who worked on the project, saw the Macintosh as something that would change the world. Jobs described his Macintosh developing team as souls who were “well grounded in the philosophical traditions of the last 100 years and the sociological traditions of the 60’s. The Macintosh team pursued their project through grueling hours and against formidable odds. A reporter who interviewed the team wrote: “The machine’s development was, in turn, traumatic, joyful, grueling, lunatic, rewarding and ultimately the major event in the lives of almost everyone involved”.
Steve Jobs passed away October 5, 2011 in his home in Palo Alto, California after a long time battle with pancreatic cancer.
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