Steve Jobs - Apple's Innovator and Inspiration
Steve Jobs - A Genius
I remember years, and years ago when I graduated from college, there was a nerdy, computer guy out in California, with two or three of his friends, working in his parent's garage making and designing computers. And, he had not even completed a college degree. Wow! I thought, how cool to be so smart and intelligent to be able to design computers and not even have a college degree. It was the first time I had heard the name of Steve Jobs.
It was a name I would remember and follow all my life. I would use his products at work and buy his products for my own personal use. As he invented more and more computers and cell phones I began to realize this nerdy, computer guy out in California was not just smart and intelligent --- he was a genius. His vision exceeded the 20th century. He had an inane abillity to understand what computer products we wanted and needed. He ushered in the 21st century with his iPhones, iPods and iPads. He completely transformed the technology industry, the music industry and the entertainment industry with his Apple products. It is with great sadness that I heard from the media on October 5, 2011, that Steve Jobs had died, after a valient fight with pancreatic cancer and following a 2009 liver transplant
His early years
Steve Jobs was born in San Francisco, California and adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs in Mountain View. CA. His biological father was Abdulfattah John Jandali, a Syrian Muslim immigrant to the U.S. and a University of Nevada professor . His biological mother was Joanne Schieble an American graduate student and speech language pathologist. Jandali has always said Jobs was put up for adoption because Joanne's parents didn't approve of their daughter marrying a Syrian.
He attended Cupertino Junior High School and Homestead High School in Cupertino, CA. He frequently attended after school lectures on computers at the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto, CA. Later he was hired there, along with Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple Inc. with him, as a summer employee. He graduated from high school in 1972 and enrolled at Reed College in Portland, OR. He dropped out of the college after one semester, but continued to audit some computer classes.
In 1974, Jobs returned to California and attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Co. with Wozniak. He also took a job as a technician at ATARI, a manufacturer of popular video games, with the idea of saving money for a trip to India.
Jobs did eventually visit India and Neem Karoli Baba at the Kainchi Ashram searching for spiritual enlightenment. He returned to California after this experience as a Buddist with a shaved head and wearing traditional Indian clothing. During this 70's time, he experimented with psychedelic drugs (LSD) and considered this experimentation "one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life." He later said that people around him who did not share his countercultural roots could not relate to his thinking.
Jobs' Apple Career
Steve Jobs ultimately became co-founder, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board of Apple Inc. In 1976, he founded the Apple company with Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne, and A.C."Mike" Markkula, Jr. They started with the Apple II series of personal computers and then, Apple's MacIntosh personal computer became the first commercially successful small computer with graphical user interface. The original designer of this computer was Jeff Raskin, but Jobs took over the design, development and marketing of this computer. I remember when the MacIntosh computer hit the market. We were all so excited by this computer as it could do more than any previous computer and we could use the computer to design our own computer generated designs.
In l985, Jobs lost Apple Inc. in a power struggle with Apple's board of directors and he resigned from Apple. At this time Jobs has been described as a persuasive and charismatic director of Apple Inc., but employees saw him as an erratic and tempramental manager, and as an aggressive demanding boss with a perfectionist personality. When forced out, Jobs was humiliated by what had happened; however, when he left Apple at this time, he said it "freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life."
He moved on and founded NeXT. a computer platform development company specializing in higher education and business markets. Ross Perot invested heavily in the NeXT company, and helped to save it from financial disaster. Jobs also moved on and worked with Pixar Animation Studios eventually becoming its chief executive. In 1995 he was executive producer of the film,Toy Story. In 2006, he became a member of the board of directors of the Walt Disney Company, following the acquisition of Pixar by Disney.
Finally, in l996, Apple Inc. bought out NeXT and brought Jobs back to Apple Inc. that he had co-founded, and became CEO from 1997-August 2011. On August 24, 2011 he announced his resignation from his role as Apple Inc.'s CEO. When he passed away on October 5, 2011, he was chairman of the board of Apple Inc.
He was married to Laurene Powell, and had one son and two daughters. He also had one more daughter in a relationship with Chrisann Brennan.
I, for one, mourn the death of a genius, Steve Jobs. Not only was he a computer genius, but he was also a design and marketing genius at the same time. He seemed to know what we needed before we had the sense to want it. And he was so intuitive in how he marketed his products. I love to go to one of his Apple Stores, with no less than a Genius Bar in the back, where his young, hip, and computer knowledged staff explain to me how to use my iPhone without making me feel like an idiot. They are so kind, humorous and patient with someone like me from Steve Jobs' generation who doesn't understand all the apps and contortions the iPhone can do.
Steve Jobs impact and influence on the 21st century will go down in history and he certainly deserves his place in this country's inventor history. Who will take his place? Someone influenced by Steve Jobs and his genius. Someone like Jobs who can "think outside the box."
Steve Jobs has always said, "Follow your intuition. . . don't let anyone talk you out of it."
Bravo, Steve Jobs, on a life well lived!
- Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson - a book review
A recently written biography, "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson, a noted writer and newsperson, is a fascinating look at the man who co-founded Apple, and changed the world forever.
- all about Steve Jobs.com
all about Steve Jobs.com: biography, pictures, movies, life and work of Apple CEO Steve Jobs
- TED: Ideas worth spreading
TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading -- through TED.com, our annual conferences, the annual TED Prize and local TEDx events.
Apple designs and creates iPod and iTunes, Mac laptop and desktop computers, the OS X operating system, and the revolutionary iPhone and iPad.
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