Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Brief Biography of Steve Jobs

(For the complete biography visit

In his brief biography , it is seen that Jobs started innovating and making business in early ages of his life. He was living in the valley, which later turned into the world’s most condensed technology area, the Silicon Valley. He was surrounded by microelectronics and computer enthusiasts, like Steve Wozniak, and Jobs had a deep interest in computers. Wozniak was making computers and Jobs suggested him to sell those computers together, for which they established the company Apple Computer Inc.
It was the early ages of computer era, which was full with opportunities for the early starters. Wozniak finished Apple II computer in 1977 and they both knew that this computer was a breakthrough since it had no match in the market due to its breakthrough hardware features (including its colour graphics) and its very large supply of compatible software. For the mass production of the Apple II, Jobs knew that they should find a venture capitalist, so he made a deal with Mike Markkula, “an enthusiastic former Intel executive who invested $250,000 in their business and assured them their company would enter the Fortune 500 list in less than two years”.

Apple II was a big success and in its fourth year of existence in December 1980 Apple Computer Inc went public. At the age of 25, Jobs’ net worth passed $200 million.
Due to its high profit margin, computer industry was very competitive and rivals of Apple were releasing their computers to the market day after day. Commodore 64 was one of them, which was much cheaper than an Apple computer with its similar features but with a perception of consumers that Commodore 64s were low quality.

Lisa computer, with its advanced user interface, followed Apple II but Jobs due to his temperamental personality was thrown out of project Lisa, in a company which he established. Deeply angry, he started a project called Mac which will eventually undermine the success of Apple II and Lisa. Apple II was selling good but it was too expensive for home consumers. Lisa with its advanced graphical user interface was not a big market success. With the support of Apple Computer CEO John Sculley, Jobs introduced the Mac. Although the Mac’s sales were encouraging, it did not last long. This was a three-in-a-row market failure for Apple Computer Inc. Combining with his arrogance and management mistakes, the CEO and other directors of Apple declared a new organisational chart in which jobs was the chairman with no managerial duties whatsoever.

In 1985, he was introduced to a team of computer graphics experts who had a dream of making computer animated movies. He bought the company for $10 million, incorporating it as Pixar. In the same year Jobs announced to the Apple board that he will make a new computer for higher education and scientific research purposes and he will take the best engineers and sales experts in the project Mac. Apple board disapproved and threatened to sue him; Jobs sold his stocks in Apple for this reason, with disgust.
He started working on his new computer and aimed industry’s highest standards: “he wanted the best hardware, built in the world’s most automated factory, and running the most advanced software possible”. However great it was, NeXT’s sales were not good enough due to its high price, and also useful software was missing.

His investment in Pixar led to nowhere; he shut down the hardware section of Pixar but kept the animation division, because it was the only division that was producing revenue with its business by producing animated commercials for TV channels.
With an animated movie contract from Disney, called Toy Story, Pixar started making business again. Jobs realized the power of Disney brand, and decided that Pixar should go public after the release of the Toy Story: “Toy Story’s box-office success was only surpassed by the Pixar stock’s success on Wall Street”. His net worth rose to $1.5 billion.

Meanwhile Apple was loosing ground fast; it was announced that its losses was $700 million for the first quarter of 1997. In 1996, new CEO of Apple, Gil Amelio, decided to replace the Mac OS operating system with NeXTSTEP, which belong to Jobs and acquired the NeXT for $400 million. Jobs became the official advisor to the CEO in Apple.

Due to major losses of Apple Computer, the board decided that Amelio was not capable of managing the company and assigned Jobs as the interim CEO of the company. “He immediately started an extensive review of the whole company, cutting the number of projects from hundreds to a dozen. The number of hardware products would be cut down to just four.”
Jobs gave confidence to the company and launched a new marketing campaign: Think Different “spreading the idea that people who used Macs were dreamers who could change the world”. As the company started growing again, they introduced two new products to the market: Power Mac G3 and PowerBook.
In May 1998, Jobs introduced the iMac to the consumer markets, which was the first really innovative product since Macintosh which was announced in 1984. iMac was a high selling product and it brought back developers to the Mac platform. Incremental innovations in design continued throughout 1998 and 1999, which resulted in the birth of coloured iMac and iBook. Jobs became full-time CEO of Apple Computer Inc in 2000.

Based on Apple Computer’s technological insight, company decided to focus more on the handheld consumer products which they thought that the PC will evolve into digital centers for new digital lifestyles, i.e. digital cameras and camcorders, MP3 players, smart phones and other digital devices. Based on its digital hub strategy company introduced the so-called iApps to manage the new lifestyle: iMovie (1999), iTunes (2001), iDVD (2001), iPhoto (2002), iCal and iSync (2002), GarageBand (2004) and finally iWeb (2006).
Out of these iApps, iPod enabled Apple to gain a huge market share (%75) with “its beautiful design, its brilliant user interface and click wheel, its fast FireWire connectivity and its ability to sync with iTunes seamlessly”. Incremental innovations continued and even more iPods are introduced: iPod mini in 2004, iPod shuffle then iPod nano in 2005.

In January 2007, Jobs introduced the iPhone in Macworld. Its features revolutionized the phone industry with its multi-touch technology, Web surfing and iPod capabilities, easy-to-use interface, application centre, GPS and compass features, and many more. On March 2, 2011, Apple announced that they have sold 100 million iPhones worldwide .

In 2010, after he recovered from surgery, Jobs came back on the stage for the announcement of iPad; “Steve Jobs clearly stated that in his opinion, iPad had started the post-PC era, and that PCs would eventually become “like trucks”, a marginal part of a market dominated by portable tablets”.

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