Steve Jobs and Apple Company
Society changed overtime, technology improved quickly. The new generation can never understand how life was like just 20 years before. Walking on the streets, everyone has a light and small phone with a beautiful cover in their hands. Working at home or in the office, everyone has different laptops with different designs, unlike the stupid old fashioned computers. Steve Jobs, a man who always “dreams big”, is the person who lead to the big jumping point of technology. He was a catalyst for change not only because of his huge progress of inventing new technology, but also making them become everyday objects that have made people’s life more easy and convenient.
The pathway to success often starts from childhood, leading to a lifelong interest in electronics and design. Steve Jobs was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs as a child and was “encouraged to experiment with electronics in their garage..”(Pettinger). Following his stepfather, he learned all the basic skills of how to craft things. Later on, Jobs attended a local school in California and later enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. His education was characterized by excellent test results and potential, however, he struggled with formal education and his teachers reported he was a handful(Pettinger). At Reed College, he became interested in calligraphy and started to realize the importance of design. He would later say that this course was instrumental in Apple’s multiple typefaces and proportionally spaced fonts (Pettinger). In this kind of condition, Jobs was able to strengthen his knowledge of technology.
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Traveling around the world makes people view broader and wider. Steve Jobs traveled to India in 1974 in search of spiritual enlightenment. During his several months there, he became aware of Buddhist and Eastern spiritual philosophy(Pettinger). Steve Jobs had a strong personality and sometimes his thoughts and actions would be called stubborn. During his time in India, he also experimented with psychedelic drugs; he later commented that these counter-culture experiences were instrumental in giving him a wider perspective on life and business(Pettinger). And later when he came back he stated, “Bill Gates‘d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger”(The New York Times). Through this trip to India, he also came to know Steve Wozniak well. Jobs greatly admired this computer technician, whom he had first met in 1971. He also became an important partner of Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs, a true genius, accomplished his dream with his amazing talent and personality. Steve Jobs, a young man who just stepped into the society, got paid off from his hard work of creating and selling his own computer in his garage with his friend. Over the next few years, Apple computers expanded rapidly as the market for home computers began to become increasingly significant(Pettinger). By this time, Apple started to lead the way of the technology industry. In 1984, Jobs designed the first Macintosh. It was the first commercially successful home computer to use a graphical user interface (based on Xerox Parc’s mouse driver interface). This was an important milestone in home computing and the principle has become a key component in later home computers. Despite the many innovative successes of Jobs at Apple, there was increased friction between Jobs and other workers at Apple. Former Apple CEO Amelio stated,” I’ll never be as charismatic as Steve and he will never be as good an operating manager as I am,” Amelio said. “Running a company requires special skills that can only be mastered by experience and training”(Walsh). The employers in Apple often thinks that Steve Jobs is crazy that he can always hold a meeting all the way until midnight and sometimes even forgot to have dinner, which might have been the cause of his health problem. In other words, he not only requires others to be perfect but also strictly pushed himself to be perfect. However, regardless of the harsh treatment that Steve Jobs gave to the employees, there are still people who are willing to follow Steve Jobs, a true genius who brought up in such a short time. In 1985, removed from his managerial duties, Jobs resigned and left Apple with his followers. He later looked back on this incident and said that getting fired from Apple was one of the best things that happened to him – it helped him regain a sense of innovation and freedom, he couldn’t find work in a large company(Pettinger).
Although Apple brought Steve Jobs money, fame, rights, and the envy of others, it also limited the talent that Steve Jobs owned on creatively, innovation, and freedom at the same time. With his followers, Steve Jobs was able to get up again and bought a company, which he named NeXT, which creates software. Much more successful was Job’s foray into Pixar – a computer graphic film production company. Disney contracted Pixar to create films such as Toy Story, A Bug’s Life and Finding Nemo(A fruitful connection). These animation movies were highly successful and profitable – giving Jobs respect and success. Later Apple bought company NeXT and brought Jobs back to Apple. He was given the post of chief executive. At the time, Apple had fallen way behind rivals such as Microsoft, and Apple was struggling to even make a profit.
Returning to the starting point—Apple, showed the world Steve Jobs’ talent and power to change the society. Jobs became not only the chairman but also the CEO of Apple and launched Apple in a new direction. As a result, some projects were summarily ended with a certain degree of ruthlessness. Instead, Jobs promoted the development of a new wave of products which focused on accessibility, appealing design and innovate features(Pettinger), which led to the creation of iPod. The iPod was a revolutionary product in that it built on existing portable music devices and set the standard for portable digital music. In 2008, iTunes became the second biggest music retailer in the US, with over six billion song downloads and over 200 million iPods sold(Pettinger). Having iPods made people live a lot easier that it is easy to bring around while you listen to music. In 2007, Apple successfully entered the mobile phone market, with the iPhone(Pettinger). This used features of the iPod to offer a multi-functional and touchscreen device to become one of the best-selling electronic products. It is a huge jumping point in the technology industry that the shape, weight, size and other criteria are all so chic and different from the old design. In 2010, he introduced the iPad – a revolutionary new style of tablet computers(Pettinger). The design philosophy of Steve Jobs was to start with a fresh slate and imagine a new product that people would want to use. This contrasted with the alternative approach of trying to adapt current models to consumer feedback and focus groups. Job’s explained his philosophy of innovative design,“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”(Business Week)
Till now, Steve Jobs’ death still makes people feel melancholy that his talent and lasting effect was too impressive. He changed our lives quietly and left with the unfortunate.According to my interviewee, she stated, “I have imagined before how it will look like if there were no apple products. I would say that it will definitely be a harder life. Nowadays, people might think that Apple products are not that important because there are other phone brands, such as samsung, motorola, etc. They all have familiar functions with what Apple has now. But I want to point out that if it hasn’t been for Apple and Steve Jobs, I believe that the improvement of technology on phones and other electronics will be much slower and may take years to reach to the level that Steve Jobs approached”(Go). The most praiseworthy is that he never created things for money. His success is not about money but the heart to make people’s life easier, happier and more convenient. Steve Jobs stated, “I was worth over $1,000,000 when I was 23, and over $10,000,000 when I was 24, and over $100,000,000 when I was 25, and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.”(Pettinger). This kind of spirit should last forever and pass on.
- “A Fruitful Connection.” The Economist, vol. 344, no. 8030, Aug 16, 1997, pp. 52.
- ProQuest, https://search.proquest.com/docview/224107416?accountid=4735.
- Pettinger, Tejvan. “Biography of Steve Jobs”, Oxford, UK. 25th Feb. 2012. Last updated 11th March 2018.
- Biography online, https://www.biographyonline.net/business/steve-jobs.html
- Walsh, Jeff. “Apple Names Steve Jobs as Interim Chief Executive.” InfoWorld, vol. 19, no. 38, 1997, pp. 19.
- ProQuest, https://search.proquest.com/docview/194321895?accountid=4735.