Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs (//; February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American entrepreneur and inventor, best known as the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. Through Apple, he was widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution and for his influential career in the computer and consumer electronics fields, transforming “one industry after another, from computers and smartphones to music and movies…” Jobs also co-founded and served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, when Disney acquired Pixar. Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of Xerox PARC‘s mouse-driven graphical user interface, which led to the creation of the Apple Lisa and, one year later, the Macintosh. He also played a role in introducing the LaserWriter, one of the first widely available laser printers, to the market.
After a power struggle with the board of directors in 1985, Jobs left Apple and founded NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in the higher-education and business markets. In 1986, he acquired the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm, which was spun off as Pixar. He was credited in Toy Story (1995) as an executive producer. He served as CEO and majority shareholder until Disney‘s purchase of Pixar in 2006. In 1996, after Apple had failed to deliver its operating system, Copland, Gil Amelio turned to NeXT Computer, and the NeXTSTEP platform became the foundation for the Mac OS X. Jobs returned to Apple as an advisor, and took control of the company as an interim CEO. Jobs brought Apple from near bankruptcy to profitability by 1998.
As the new CEO of the company, Jobs oversaw the development of the iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPhone, and iPad, and on the services side, the company’s Apple Retail Stores, iTunes Store and the App Store. The success of these products and services provided several years of stable financial returns, and propelled Apple to become the world’s most valuable publicly traded company in 2011. The reinvigoration of the company is regarded by many commentators as one of the greatest turnarounds in business history.
In 2003, Jobs was diagnosed with a pancreas neuroendocrine tumor. Though it was initially treated, he reported a hormone imbalance, underwent a liver transplant in 2009, and appeared progressively thinner as his health declined. On medical leave for most of 2011, Jobs resigned in August that year, and was elected Chairman of the Board. He died of respiratory arrest related to his metastatic tumor on October 5, 2011.
Jobs received a number of honors and public recognition for his influence in the technology and music industries. He has been referred to as “legendary”, a “futurist” or simply “visionary”, and has been described as the “Father of the Digital Revolution”, a “master of innovation”, and a “design perfectionistEarly life and education
Steven Paul Jobs was born in San Francisco on February 24, 1955 to two university students, Joanne Carole Schieble, of Swiss Catholic descent, and Syrian-born Abdulfattah “John” Jandali (Arabic: عبدالفتاح جندلي), who were both unmarried at the time. Jandali, who was teaching in Wisconsin when Steve was born, said he had no choice but to put the baby up for adoption because his girlfriend’s family objected to their relationship.
The baby was adopted at birth by Paul Reinhold Jobs (1922–1993) and Clara Jobs (1924–1986), an Armenian American whose maiden name was Hagopian. According to Steve Jobs’s commencement address at Stanford, Schieble wanted Jobs to be adopted only by a college-graduate couple. Schieble learned that Clara Jobs hadn’t graduated from college and Paul Jobs had only attended high school, but signed final adoption papers after they promised her that the child would definitely be encouraged and supported to attend college. Later, when asked about his “adoptive parents”, Jobs replied emphatically that Paul and Clara Jobs “were my parents.” He stated in his authorized biography that they “were my parents 1,000%.” Unknown to him, his biological parents would subsequently marry (December 1955), have a second child, novelist Mona Simpson, in 1957, and divorce in 1962.
The Jobs family moved from San Francisco to Mountain View, California when Steve was five years old. The parents later adopted a daughter, Patty. Paul worked as a mechanic and a carpenter, and taught his son rudimentary electronics and how to work with his hands. The father showed Steve how to work on electronics in the family garage, demonstrating to his son how to take apart and rebuild electronics such as radios and televisions. As a result, Steve became interested in and developed a hobby of technical tinkering.
Clara was an accountant who taught him to read before he went to school. Clara Jobs had been a payroll clerk for Varian Associates, one of the first high-tech firms in what became known as Silicon Valley.
Jobs’s youth was riddled with frustrations over formal schooling. At Monta Loma Elementary school in Mountain View, he frequently played pranks on others. Though school officials recommended that he skip two grades on account of his test scores, his parents elected for him only to skip one grade.
Jobs then attended Cupertino Junior High and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California. At Homestead, Jobs became friends with Bill Fernandez, a neighbor who shared the same interests in electronics. Fernandez introduced Jobs to another, older computer whiz kid, Steve Wozniak (also known as “Woz”). In 1969 Woz started building a little computer board with Fernandez that they named “The Cream Soda Computer”, which they showed to Jobs; he seemed really interested. (Woz has stated that they called it the Cream Soda Computer because he and Fernandez drank cream soda all the time whilst they worked on it and that he and Jobs had gone to the same high school, although they did not know each other there.)
Following high school graduation in 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Reed was an expensive college which Paul and Clara could ill afford. They were spending much of their life savings on their son’s higher education. Jobs dropped out of college after six months and spent the next 18 months dropping in on creative classes, including a course on calligraphy. He continued auditing classes at Reed while sleeping on the floor in friends’ dorm rooms, returning Coke bottles for food money, and getting weekly free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple. Jobs later said, “If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.”
Inventions and designs
Jobs’s design aesthetic was influenced by the modernist architectural style of Joseph Eichler, and the industrial designs of Braun’s Dieter Rams. His design sense was also greatly influenced by the Buddhism which he experienced in India while on a seven-month spiritual journey. His sense of intuition was also influenced by the spiritual people with whom he studied.
According to Apple cofounder, Steve Wozniak, “Steve didn’t ever code. He wasn’t an engineer and he didn’t do any original design…” Daniel Kottke, one of Apple’s earliest employees and a college friend of Jobs’, stated that “Between Woz and Jobs, Woz was the innovator, the inventor. Steve Jobs was the marketing person.”
He is listed as either primary inventor or co-inventor in 346 United States patents or patent applications related to a range of technologies from actual computer and portable devices to user interfaces (including touch-based), speakers, keyboards, power adapters, staircases, clasps, sleeves, lanyards and packages. Jobs’s contributions to most of his patents were to “the look and feel of the product”. His industrial design chief Sir Jonathan Ive had his name along with him for 200 of the patents. Most of these are design patents (specific product designs; for example, Jobs listed as primary inventor in patents for both original and lamp-style iMacs, as well as PowerBook G4 Titanium) as opposed to utility patents (inventions).
He has 43 issued US patents on inventions. The patent on the Mac OS X Dock user interface with “magnification” feature was issued the day before he died. Although Jobs had little involvement in the engineering and technical side of the original Apple computers, Jobs later used his CEO position to directly involve himself with product design.
Even while terminally ill in the hospital, Jobs sketched new devices that would hold the iPad in a hospital bed. He also despised the oxygen monitor on his finger and suggested ways to revise the design for simplicity.
The Macintosh Computer
The Macintosh was introduced in January 1984. The computer had no “Mac” name on the front, but rather just the Apple logo. The Macintosh had a friendly appearance since it was meant to be easy to use. The disk drive is below the display, the Macintosh was taller, narrower, more symmetrical, and far more suggestive of a face. The Macintosh was identified as a computer that ordinary people could understand.
The NeXT Computer
After Jobs was forced out of Apple in 1985, he started a company that built workstation computers. The NeXT Computer was introduced in 1989. Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the world’s first web browser on the NeXT Computer. The NeXT Computer was the basis for today’s Macintosh OS X and iPhone operating system (iOS).
Apple iMac was introduced in 1998 and its innovative design was directly the result of Jobs’s return to Apple. Apple boasted “the back of our computer looks better than the front of anyone else’s”. Described as “cartoonlike” the first iMac, clad in Bondi Blue plastic, was unlike any personal computer that came before. In 1999, Apple introduced the Graphite gray Apple iMac and since has varied the shape, colour and size considerably while maintaining the all-in-one design. Design ideas were intended to create a connection with the user such as the handle and a breathing light effect when the computer went to sleep. The Apple iMac sold for $1,299 at that time. There were some technical revolutions for iMac too. The USB ports being the only device inputs on the iMac. So the iMac’s success helped popularize the interface among third party peripheral makers, which is evidenced by the fact that many early USB peripherals were made of translucent plastic to match the iMac design.
The first generation of iPod was released October 23, 2001. The major innovation of the iPod was its small size achieved by using a 1.8″ hard drive compared to the 2.5″ drives common to players at that time. The capacity of the first generation iPod ranged from 5G to 10 Gigabytes. The iPod sold for US$399 and more than 100,000 iPods were sold before the end of 2001. The introduction of the iPod resulted in Apple becoming a major player in the music industry. Also, the iPod’s success prepared the way for the iTunes music store and the iPhone. After the 1st generation of iPod, Apple released the hard drive-based iPod classic, the touchscreen iPod Touch, video-capable iPod Nano, screenless iPod Shuffle in the following years.
Apple began work on the first iPhone in 2005 and the first iPhone was released on June 29, 2007. The iPhone created such a sensation that a survey indicated six out of ten Americans were aware of its release. Time magazine declared it “Invention of the Year” for 2007. The Apple iPhone is a small device with multimedia capabilities and functions as a quad-band touch screen smartphone. A year later, the iPhone 3G was released in July 2008 with the key feature was support for GPS, 3G data and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA. In June 2009, the iPhone 3GS, added voice control, a better camera, and a faster processor was introduced by Phil Schiller. iPhone 4 was thinner than previous models, had a five megapixel camera which can record videos in 720p HD, and added a secondary front facing camera for video calls. A major feature of the iPhone 4S, introduced in October 2011, was Siri, which is a virtual assistant that is capable of voice recognition.
Arik Hesseldahl of BusinessWeek magazine stated that “Jobs isn’t widely known for his association with philanthropic causes”, compared to Bill Gates‘s efforts. In contrast to Gates, Jobs did not sign the Giving Pledge of Warren Buffett which challenged the world’s richest billionaires to give at least half their wealth to charity. In an interview with Playboy in 1985, Jobs said in respect to money that “the challenges are to figure out how to live with it and to reinvest it back into the world which means either giving it away or using it to express your concerns or values.” Jobs also added that when he has some time we would start a public foundation but for now he does charitable acts privately.
After resuming control of Apple in 1997, Jobs eliminated all corporate philanthropy programs initially. Jobs’s friends told The New York Times that he felt that expanding Apple would have done more good than giving money to charity. Later, under Jobs, Apple signed to participate in Product Red program, producing red versions of devices to give profits from sales to charity. Apple has gone on to become the largest contributor to the charity since its initial involvement with it. The chief of the Product Red project, singer Bono cited Jobs saying there was “nothing better than the chance to save lives”, when he initially approached Apple with the invitation to participate in the program. Through its sales, Apple has been the largest contributor to Product Red’s gift to the Global Fund, which fights AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, according to Bono.[164“.