We all know that the time will come, but we didn’t expect it to happen so soon. Today is not an easy day for millions out there who owns an Apple product or two, certainly also a gloomy day for all folks who work at Apple. Steven Paul Jobs, better known as Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, has officially left us on today, 5th of October, 2011.
He was one of the key person bringing the true innovation to the world. He showed us how making the difference can change the world; He changed the way we interact with gadgets and computers. And when he left, he left behind a great deal of legacy of things he created and accomplished. He just changed the world.
Today, with this post, we’d like to pay our tribute to the Steve Jobs, the hero who rocked the technology industry, the Galileo of modern era, if you may. Let us look into the rocky life of this legendary visionary, and learn something from his never-regret life.
1955: The Adopted Son Of Paul Jobs
A child was born, and the world didn’t know that this child will change the world. Steve Jobs’ biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put him up for adoption.
His biological mother later found out that the adopting mother had never graduated from college and that the father was even not graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when his parents promised that he would someday go to college.
1972: College Drop-Out
The young Jobs graduated from his high school, and joined the course at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. During the time, Jobs had no idea what he wanted to do with his life, and he was spending all of the money his parents had saved their entire life, so he decided to drop the course after only 1 semester, mainly because he cannot afford the course.
The financial difficulties didn’t stop the young man’s passion, he rolled auditing classes at Reed, collecting and returning Coke bottles just to get himself some food money, and getting weekly free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple.
1972: Jobs’ First Job
Jobs’ first job was with Hewlett-Packard, as a summer employee. He then later took a job as a technician at Atari, which was a famous video game manufacturer. He was given a job to create circuit board for the game, “Breakout”, and he collaborated with Steve Wozniak (later the co-founder of Apple Inc), they both made $750 selling the chip back to Atari.
1974: Jobs Became A Buddhist
Jobs was sparked with the interest of philosophy during his days at Reed College. At the same year he took on his first job at Atari, he travelled to Neem Karoli Baba, India with Dan Kottke.
They went in search of spiritual enlightenment, he came back a Buddhist, with his head shaved and wearing traditional Indian clothing.
1976: Apple Computer Was Born
Many believed Jobs was inspired by Atari’s founder Nolan Bushnell, and it got him started Apple Computer. In 1976, at the age of 21 years old, Steve Job founded Apple with his summer job co-worker at HP Steve Wozniak, making them the first and second Apple employees.
1983: “Sugar Water Can’t Change The World”
An uprising year of Apple. The company hired Mike Scott from National Semiconductor to serve as CEO, then in 1983, Jobs lured John Sculley (vice president and president) away from Pepsi-Cola to serve as Apple’s CEO, with a very famous question:
“Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”
During his days, he help increased Apple’s sales from $800 million to $8 billion. In 1987, Sculley was Silicon Valley’s highest paid executive, withdrawing USD $2.2 million annually.
1984: Jobs Introduced Macintosh
The legend of Jobs’ innovation has just started. Jobs introduced the Macintosh to the world, and it became the first commercially successful small computer with a GUI (Graphical User Interface). The Mac’s development was later taken over by Jobs.
The company went well, but the disaster was quietly planted within the hearts of the founders.
1985: Jobs Fired From Apple
A turning year of Apple and Steve Jobs. Following the internal power struggle and announcement of significant layoffs due to the pessimistic sales, Sculley took off Jobs as from being the head of the Macintosh division, and later Jobs was fired by his own founded company, Apple.
Nevertheless he described the firing is the best thing happened to his life, noting that “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
1985: Jobs Founded NeXT
The innovation journey of Jobs is not gonna end here. He founded another computer company, NeXT Computer which produced highly advanced computer, but was ignored by market with the primary reason, “cost-prohibitive”. Like any other Apple product, Jobs ran the NeXT with the obsession for aesthetic perfection, but only 50,000 units of the machines was sold.
Due to the production constraint, NeXT transitioned fully to software development with the release of NeXTSTEP/Intel.
1986: Jobs Founded Pixar
Jobs purchased the The Graphics Group for the price of $10 million, which is widely known as Pixar today. The company was initially producing the high-end graphic hardware, but as the business didn’t go well, the company then contracted with Disney to produce a number of computer-animated feature films, and the Toy Story made it a notable success.
Pixar was later purchased and taken over by Disney in early 2006. Jobs serves as director of Disney, the largest single stockholder with 7% of the company’s stock.
1996: Jobs Re-Joined Apple
Apple, being experienced a series of business and innovation failure, bought the NeXT to bring back the Jobs to the company. Jobs was then named as the interim chief executive. After the return of the Jobs, he terminated a number of projects which he thought was useless to the company’s business.
It’s quite interesting to note that Apple’s employee was having fear to encounter the Jobs while riding the elevator that time, fearing that they might be the next batch to be fired.
2004 (Mid): Jobs Diagnosed With Pancreas Cancer
They said every genius does not have longer life, and it appears to be true. Jobs was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his pancreas, which doctor advised him to get his affairs in order, and told him he should expect to live no longer than 3-6 months. For him, it means to say goodbye.
Jobs announced to his employees about his diagnosis. However, he also stated that it is rare, far less aggressive type tumor. He resisted the conventional medical intervention (chemotherapy/radiation therapy) and embraces the diet method to cure the disease. It was a successful tactic, the tumor was reported to be “apparently removed”.
2004 (End): Jobs’ First Medical Leave
After the surgery, Jobs, announced in his e-mail to Apple employees that he will take the entire August off to take care of his health, and expects to recover from the pancreatic cancer. He planned to return to work in September. Tim Cook (current Apple CEO), head of word-wide sales and operation at that time took over Apple for the first time.
2005: Jobs Delivered Speech At Stanford
Steve Jobs delivered his commencement speech to the Stanford’s graduate. The speech was split into 3 main topics, with the first part focused on his earlier life, second part on his leaving from Apple and founding of NeXT, and the currently infamous third part – the death.
The speech ended with the advice from Jobs – “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
2007: Jobs Introduced IPhone
6 months after telling the George Bodenheimer of ESPN that the company’s new phone sucks, Jobs unveiled the plan of entering the mobile market with his new and revolutionary iDevice, named iPhone, which later not only dominates the U.S. market, changing the way people using the mobile phone, but also forcing mobile giants like Nokia to innovate at its best.
2009: Underwent Liver Transplant
On January 14, 2009, in an internal Apple memo, Jobs wrote that in the previous week he had “learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought” and announced a six-month leave of absence until the end of June 2009 to allow him to better focus on his health. Tim Cook, who had previously acted as CEO in Jobs’ 2004 absence, became acting CEO of Apple, with Jobs still involved with “major strategic decisions.”
In April 2009, Jobs underwent a liver transplant at Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis, Tennessee. Jobs’ prognosis was “excellent”. He had a liver of a young man, around 20 years old.
2010: Jobs Introduced IPad
Following the tremendous success of iPhone, Jobs took on the next risky step to introduce his another, and probably his last revolutionary product to the world – iPad. Once again Steve Jobs shocked the world by the device which can’t even be categorized into either computer or smartphone category, but its surprising success has once again proved the visionary power of the Jobs.
Despite the world’s hesitation on tablet computing, Steve Jobs went with what he believed. In 2010, Apple launched their first iPad.
2011 (June): Jobs’ Last Keynote
This was probably the last presentation of Steve Jobs. He announced iOS 5, the latest generation of Apple’s mobile operating system. He delegated most of the speeches to different Apple’s key employees, which pretty much hinted about his falling health.
2011 (August): Tim Cook, Jobs’ Successor
The cells are falling, the body is getting weak. Knowing that he could no longer serves as the CEO of the Apple, Steve Jobs announced his resignation, following the quote, “I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO”. He named Tim Cook as his successor, and thanked the Apple’s employees for working with him these years.
5th October 2011: The World Goes Job-Less
We know the time has come, but we didn’t expect it to come so soon, so suddenly. Today, Apple, by placing the portrait of Steve Jobs on its website, announced that Steve Jobs, the former CEO of the company, has passed away. This marks the end of a legendary visionary’s journey. His family, in a statement, said Jobs “died peacefully today surrounded by his family.”