Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 05, 2011)
Founder Name: Steve Jobs
Steve Paul “Steve” Jobs, was the co-founder, chairman, and iCEO of Apple Inc. and visionary leader in computer and consumer electronics field, who quite successfully articulated interesting, dynamic, and compelling vision that established, saved from bankruptcy and propelled to the sky, the high tech giant Apple Inc., as well as his own computer platform development company NeXT Computer, that set ground for the Mac OS X operating system.
Apple Inc., NeXT Computer Inc., Pixar Animation Studios, (in 2006 became part of The Walt Disney Company).
In 1976, after Steve Wozniak just invented the Apple I computer, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne founded Apple Inc. and started selling the Apple I computer. After that success, the Apple Lisa was launched in 1980 and the Macintosh computer in 1984. After the power struggle with the Apple Board in 1985, Steve left Apple and founded his own company NeXT Computer Inc. producing the most advanced computers in the world. When Apple realized that Steve is making better computers at NeXT, in 1996 Apple Inc. offered $427 million and bought NeXT, and Steve became de facto a chief in 1997.
After the huge market impact of Windows 95, Apple was gradually loosing fight with Microsoft, in 1996 Steve became CEO of the company where he looked for new products, and lead and 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. Under Steve’s guidance, the company pioneered a series of revolutionary technologies, including the iPod, iPhone and iPad.The extraordinary success of these products and services, saved Apple from the bankruptcy, and provided several years of stable financial returns, and propelled Apple to become the world’s most valuable publicly traded company in 2011.
Short Bio of Steve Jobs:
Steve was born in San Francisco, California on February 24, 1955. He was adopted at birth by the Jobs family, and later moved from San Francisco to Mountain View, California where Steve went to elementary school. His test scores were extraordinary so he was suggested to skip two grades. Then he attended Cupertino Junior High and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California where he met Steve Wozniak, a computer and electronics whiz kid experimenting with computing boards. After high school Steve enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where he dropped after 6 months, and continued taking creative classes. That had profound impact on his creativity and visionary mind. Steve was persuasive and charismatic director for Apple, NeXT and Pixar and believed in creativity and importance of quality design. He also preferred owning of songs and videos than music streaming subscription model, and built iTunes on that model. Steve himself holds 43 patents in computer and consumer electronics and entertainment filed.
I often ask myself, can the leader do this when things fall apart?
I remember back in 1996 and 1997, the revolutionary “Windows 95 attack” that caused Apple sales drop, and 8.3% loss of shares value on the financial markets, so I reasonably expected that Apple will gradually sink as a result of losing competitive edge on the PC market, profit and customers, so at that point it was difficult to believe that some leader is going to be so persisting, compelling, and being able to sell his “salvation and resurrection vision” to the crew of the Apple sinking ship, and actually reverse the “sinking”. That was quite unbelievable, so this extraordinary success is worth every respect, and that is the reason why millions of customers, students, educators and tech enthusiasts, including myself, appreciate the extraordinary vision and achievements of Steve Jobs.
When Apple got to a point when it did not make objective financial sense for any employee to continue working there, he as the leader was able to articulate an extraordinary vision that was compelling and challenging enough that made the people stay out of curiosity.
I believe that Jobs’ greatest achievements as a visionary leader and venturer were:
- using his highly developed sense for seeing the commercial potential of the products,
- getting so many super talented people to continue following him at NeXT, long after the company lost its market appeal;
- getting the employees of Apple to buy into his vision when the company was weeks away from bankruptcy,
- constantly persisting on perfecting the products and importance of product design.
- worked hard to put a learning computer (PC, tablet, smartphone, etc.) in the hands of every student
Impact on education worldwide:
In Europe, I quite appreciated the Apple’s continuous support of education since 1980’s, the Apple PC early days. The support got even more momentum under Steve’s lead, and the pursuit of his mission and the venture to put a learning computer in the hands of every student, to see Macs, and later iPads, readily available in every school nationwide and worldwide. All those generations of iPods, iPhones and iPads triggered mobile revolution in education by bringing the most important affordances of the Internet as connected world and mobility into the hands of learners worldwide. A few years ago it was difficult to imagine.
Even though, many from the computing industry as well as many customers criticized and did not endorse some Apple moves under his directions (near-fanatical control mindset, aggressive and demanding personality, business ruthlessness and creation of closed platform), in general Steve was a great visionary leader, and stays the role model for the 21st century leader, education supporter and venturer. His early death is a big loss for computer and consumer electronics field, education, and society in general.
Let the Steve Jobs legacy be our own aspiration to make a difference in the big picture by thinking, and acting, differently in our everyday lives.
Thanks Steve for your vision and all those nice products!
Steven Paul Jobs. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved from http://www.biography.com/people/steve-jobs-9354805.