Steve Jobs was a unique child. At the age of eight, he was quite a handful. He was a mischievous boy and at times quite a troublemaker. In school he got suspended numerous times and he refused to do any schoolwork or assignments that he said were a “waste of time”.
When he joined the swimming team, one of his only ventures into sports, a teacher noted, “He’d lose a race and go off by himself and cry. He didn’t fit in with everyone else. He wasn’t one of the guys.”
This was reminiscent behavior of being different from the rest. As he grew older, Jobs became even more secluded and even a little iconoclastic.
Throughout his early adolescent years, many people would refer to Steve Jobs as a typical
hippie. With long hair draped over his shoulders, Steve had a few friends. He had a new craze for electronics in his early teens. He loved working with technology and innovating new things. He had an intensive demeanor and a drive for whatever his latest passion was. He was a man deeply engrossed in whatever he was doing at the time, self-absorbed and isolated. Later on Steve would meet Steve Wozniack, and his life would change forever.
Steve Wozniack, much like Jobs, had an intense passion for electronics. Even though Woz was five years older, both Jobs and Woz had a bond that was backed by one activity both adored to practice – electronics. Woz had the mind-set of a true genius. He would spend days-on-end working on electronics projects, and not bother about mundane subjects in his senior year at high school. At one point he was nearly on the verge of failing social studies and literature due to his lack of interest. Both Jobs and Woz were perfect for each other as they both were focused and driven. In 1976, both started building a computer in Job’s garage. The computer was named Apple I. The breakthrough for both had finally arrived.
Wozniack saw the Apple I as just another one of his countless projects, but Jobs didn’t. He
recognized that this computer had commercial value, and would be able to garner people’s attention. Jobs ventured out to find someone who could provide funding for the computer. At the time he was very young and this worked against him. Many people rejected his request for funding because of this. However, after countless rejections, Steve finally found Mike Markkula, an Intel product-marketing manager, who agreed to provide a generous sum. Mike partly had given consent because of Jobs uncanny ability to coax someone into agreeing on his own terms. Apple’s inception saw Steve transition into a leader. He would no longer indulge in the actual production of a product, but rather he would suggest his ideas and designs to engineer. Steve was remodeling his mindset to becoming a marketer and CEO. Marketing came with ease to Steve and it would go on to pay dividends and help Apple burgeon soon.
Apple grew in its earlier stages due to an upsurge in sales of Apple I computer. Soon, another successful development of the Apple I, called Apple II, led to even more success. During this time of prosperity in the company, Steve’s role as marketer and leader was a highly debated issue amongst employees. Many were frustrated at his approach. Jobs believed in his intuition and his marketing savvy.
One employee said, “Steve did his market research by looking into the mirror every morning.”
No matter what anyone said, he simply decided what the box would contain, and that was it. This would spur more trouble for him in the future, and it inevitably would lead to his ousting from Apple.
Jobs was depressed and didn’t know what to do with his life after he got kicked out of Apple, a company he pronounced as his ‘baby’. He came to India to rekindle his cheerful self and connect with spirituality. After several months, Steve finally landed a new business scheme. He decided to name the venture NeXT. Subsequently, he also bought out Pixar, a computer animation film studio, which created an array of animations films that caught the public-eye in an instant. Pixar’s first film became a box office hit, winning critical acclaim and noted as one the of the greatest and most revolutionary films in the history of animation. Both of Jobs’ business ventures turned out to be successful throughout their rudimentary stages. While Jobs was happy at NeXT and Pixar, Apple was tumbling down a steep hill, with no cushion to break its fall.
Steve soon returned to Apple, after it brought out NeXT. Steve became
interim-CEO and then took up the lead as CEO. Apple was a set for a huge turnaround.
Many individuals contemplated Apple’s turnaround as one of the greatest business triumphs in history. From 2000 to present day, Apple has created an empire with products beautiful from the outside in. The iPad, iPhone, Macbook, iMac, and iPod are the products that have now become household names all over the world. That is the story of Apple’s rise, then fall, and its ensuing ascendancy again. This all happened under the supervision and leadership of a visionary and a titan, a man who never took no for an answer. This luminary is none other than Steve Jobs.
A couple more pictures…
Book – iCon: The greatest second act in the history of business by Jeffrey S. Young and William L. Simon (http://www.amazon.com/iCon-Steve-Jobs-Greatest-Business/dp/0471787841/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343734783&sr=8-1&keywords=icon+steve+jobs+business)