“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”
Steven Paul Jobs was born on this day in San Francisco, California, USA in 1955. Today is the 58th anniversary of his birth.
Adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs when he was a baby, he was five when the family moved to Mountain View, California. His parents later adopted a second child, his sister Patty. His dad worked with Steve on electronics and woodworking projects in the family’s garage.
My father was a machinist, and he was a sort of genius with his hands. … I started to gravitate more toward electronics, and he used to get me things I could take apart and put back together. –Steve Jobs [AllAboutSteveJobs.com]
He was a bright, inquisitive child, but he lacked focus and motivation. Because he was bored he became a class prankster. Then he met Imogene Hill, his fourth grade advanced class teacher, who “kindled a passion in me for learning things. I learned more that year than I think I learned in any year in school.” [Ibid] He scored so well in standardized testing that he could have skipped two grades (his parents let him skip one grade.)
He began Homestead High School in 1971. When he was a teen he met another electronics enthusiast, Steve “Woz” Wozniak. They two became friends over their shared interest in computer chips and electronics.
After High School Jobs went to Reed College but dropped out after a half a year. He felt the school was taking to much of his parent’s nest egg and he wasn’t getting enough from it. He continued to take creative classes for another year and a half, most notably calligraphy, which sparked his interest in typography. Then in 1974 he took a job with video game designer Atari.In 1976 he and Wozniak formed Apple Computer Company to sell circuit boards. The company was housed in the Jobs family garage. Wozniak invented the Apple 1 computer. They displayed it in July at he Homebrew computer Club in Palo Alto. To finance the production of the computer Jobs sold his VW Microbus and Wozniak sold his HP-65 calculator. The price of the computer was $666.66. About 200 computers were produced, about 50 of which are documented to still be in existence.
Jobs and Wozniak are credited with revolutionizing the computer industry by democratizing the technology and making the machines smaller, cheaper, intuitive and accessible to everyday consumers. [Biography.com]
In April of 1977 the Apple 11 came out. The Apple 11 ran at a lightning fast 1MHz with a whopping 4kb of RAM. The next improvement involved a floppy disk drive and a color monitor.Apple Computer became a publicly traded company in 1980. John Scully, formerly of Pepsi, came on board as Apple’s president.
But as the 80’s dawned so did IBM’s dominance in the personal computing world.
“In 1984, Apple released the Macintosh, marketing the computer as a piece of a counter culture lifestyle: romantic, youthful, creative.”[Biography.com] Apple has always had a certain attitude and style to their marketing. This is especially evident with the famous “1984” Apple ad …
Despite Jobs’ creative influence in including things like a WYSIWYG screen interface (vs the PC’s coded approach) choices in typography and a drawing package the Mac couldn’t compete with Big Blue’s stronghold in the business world. Sales were still strong, especially among the graphic design and art world, but Mac executives began to see Jobs as “hurting Apple” and began “to phase him out.” [Ibid]
He resigned in 1985 and started a new company called NeXT. In 1986 he joined with George Lucas to form what became Pixar Animation (“Jobs invested $50 million of his own money into the company.” [Ibid]) Pixar became one of the most successful animation studios in Hollywood history. It was eventually bought by Disney and Jobs became Disney’s largest shareholder.
Apple bought our NeXT in 1997 for $429 million and “Jobs returned to his post as Apple’s CEO.” [Ibid]
For much of the 90’s Apple, Inc. was a follower. It’s designed resembled IBM PCs and PC clones. a lot of the Apple magic was squandered.
With a new management team, altered stock options and a self-imposed annual salary of $1 a year, Jobs put Apple back on track. His ingenious products such as the iMac, effective branding campaigns, and stylish designs caught the attention of consumers once again. [Ibid]
The Macbook Air, iPod, iPhone and iPad followed. As did 2008s music and media download service iTunes.
in 2003 Jobs was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor. He had it successfully removed in 2004, but battled pancreatic cancer for nearly a decade until his death in 2011.
So are you a Mac or a PC?* Yeah, I got that.