Despite his wealth and success, Steve Jobs always managed to keep a “pirate”-like look in Silicon Valley, his abrasive styling hinting that he was a difficult boss, but his instinct for great products made Apple one of the biggest brands in the world.
Steven Paul Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco. He was the son of two college students – Joanne Schieble and Abdulfattah Jandali. His birth parents gave him up for adoption and he was adopted by two working class people – Paul and Clara Jobs.
A few months after the adoption, his biological parents got married and they had a daughter, Mona, who learned about the existence of her brother later on, when they were both adults.
Steve Jobs grew up in the house of his adoptive parents in Silicon Valley, the cradle of the United States technology industry.
While he was in high school, Steve Jobs took a summer job at a Palo Alto Hewlett Packard factory, where he worked with his buddy, Steve Wozniak.
Steve Jobs dropped out of college after only one semester and took a job at Atari, to raise money to travel to India. He returned from his trip with a shaved head, dressed in Indian clothes and affected by LSD. Steve Jobs remained a buddhist and vegetarian all of his life. He took a new job at Atari and join a local computer club along with his friend, Steve Wozniak, who was working on creating his first computer.
In 1976, Jobs sold 50 of Wozniak’s computer in a local store and, he convinced a local electronics retailer to sell the necessary parts through credit.
He managed to release the personal computer named Apple 1 without taking a loan from a bank, and he named the company after his favorite fruit.
The profit made from the Apple 1 was invested in an improved version named Apple II which was released at a California computer fair in 1977. The development of a new PC was costly, so Jobs convinced Mike Markkula, a local investor, to co-sign on a 250,000 dollars credit and alongside Wozniak the three created Apple Computer.
Unlike many other computers at that time, Apple II was sold already assembled. The new model became a hit, and the model was sold in more than six million units until it was stopped in 1993.
But there has been some worries about Steve Jobs’ lack of management skills so they hired new executives to lead the company. A Board of Directors member said, at that time, that Steve Jobs is out of control. ” He has ideas and, being a founder of the company, he acted on them without considering if they are good for the company or not” the member said.
In 1984 Steve Jobs presented the Macintosh, which was a very appreciated product but behind the scenes Apple was facing financial problems. The decrease in sales and other problems caused a internal power struggle inside Apple and as a consequence Steve Jobs was removed from the company he founded.
In 1985 Steve Jobs founded NeXT Computer and one year later he purchased Graphics Group from director George Lucas. The company, which he renamed as Pixar, produced computer animated productions, used in the movie industry.
Jobs gave up on computers and he started to focus on animation movies. He saw success in 1995 with Toy Story, which grossed more than 350 million dollars and followed by A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc.
One year later Apple paid 400 million dollars for NeXT computer and Jobs returned to the company he founded. And one of the first things he did was to fire the Apple CEO.
Jobs fixed Apple’s profit problems, quitting many secondary projects and focusing the company on the accessible electronics market, which was in full development.
iPod, released in 2001, satisfied demand and became a trendsetter immediately because of it’s innovative design and white headsets. Jobs also released iTunes, and billions of songs were downloaded.
In 2003 Steve Jobs was diagnosed with pancreas cancer. He rejected the idea of a surgery and started to look into alternative therapies. Eventually, he was operated in 2004. He kept his disease a secret and only a few people close to him knew the truth.
In 2005 Disney paid 7 million dollars for Pixar shares and Jobs become the biggest Walt Disney shareholder. Two years later, Jobs presented the iPhone.
In 2008 Steve Jobs and Apple released the MacBook Air, a very thin laptop. At the beginning of 2009 Jobs announced that he is going on medical leave for six months.
In April of the same year he received a liver transplant and doctors said that he is responding well to treatment. But in January 2011 Apple announced that Jobs is going on medical leave again.
In April 2010 Apple released the iPad tablet which became a instant hit. In the first 80 days since the release Apple sold more than three million units.
In March 2011 Apple released the improved iPad version, the iPad 2.
Unlike Bill Gates, Jobs never used his personal fortune for charity. And he was not preoccupied with the environment which is pretty odd for a Buddhist.
According to people who knew him, Steve Jobs was a man confident in his abilities but he didn’t had patience with people that didn’t agree with him. His biggest talents was his ability to see the market and the products that people would want. ” You can’t ask clients what they want. They don’t know what they want” Steve Jobs said at some point.