Saturday, October 8, 2011

Steve Jobs: Celebrate His Life and Accomplishments

Good morning,

I am a huge MAC and iPhone advocate and user. I was shocked and saddened by the death of Steve Jobs, the co-founder and former CEO of Apple. I’ve been flipping back and forth since the announcement of his death (Wednesday, October 5th, 2011) on whether or not I should dedicate a blog post to this brilliant and fascinating man and this morning I decided I would.

Steve Jobs - 1955 - 2011

The Silicon Valley entrepreneur reinvented the world’s computing, music and handset industries and changed the way millions of people live each day around the world. He had his own way of doing things and was known for his temper and as being someone who always got what he wanted.  I came across the following quote and thought it was worth sharing:

Early Years:

·       Born on February 24, 1955 in San Francisco to Abdulfattah John Jandali, a Syrian immigrant, and Joanne Simpson who was a graduate student.
·       Later adopted by an Armenian family of Paul and Clara Jobs. He grew up in a middle-class suburb with the two loving parents.
·       Nurtured in Silicon Valley and probably never imagined that the training he received during his childhood days would help in shaping his future.
·       He learned to read before he started going to school, but school came as a shock for him ad he never liked the authority that he encountered at school. Luckily, a fourth grade teacher who caught his interest by assigning fascinating projects lured him back to learning.
·       His dad, Paul, also did his part by teaching Steve how to build things, disassemble them, and put them together.
·       Neighbors, who worked in the Valley’s electronics firms, taught Jobs that the TV was not made with a magical want, but was painstakingly designed by humans.
·       As a teenager, Jobs started working at HP. Later, he got a job at Atari, the video-game company, which was just getting started. But Jobs did not see the electronics field as something that will let him use all of his artistic powers.

Apple Was Born:

First Apple Computer
·       Everything changed when Steve Jobs got interested in what Steve Wozniak was doing. Wozniak, a high school friend, was thrilled about personal computers, and was designing one of his own but he had no intention of commercializing his project. That is where Steve came in.
·       In 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and industry vet Ronald Wayne, founded Apple. Steve’s first achievement after that was the introduction of the Apple I in 1976. A small group headed by Jobs, Wozniak and Wayne worked to invent Apple’s first computer, which was little more than a circuit board.
·       In 1977, the Apple II came out and was an instant hit. The company was becoming popular and the new computer was a fully assembled desktop computer, which came equipped with a handsome case.
·       In 1984, Jobs officially unveiled the Macintosh, which was the first computer to integrate a graphical user interface (GUI) and a mouse.
·       In the same year, Apple IIc was also released which was a slimmed-down version of the Apple II and was much more portable.
·       In 1985, John Sculley, who was running Apple at the time, fired Steve Jobs. Jobs later said, “You’ve probably had somebody punch you in the stomach and it knocks the wind out of you and you can’t breathe. That’s how I felt.”

Career Changes:

·       After being fired from Apple, Jobs refused to stay down and he started Next, which was a company that designed and sold next-generation workstations. Unfortunately, the Next computer never became popular, even thought its operating system was impressive.
·       Jobs paid $5 million to George Lucas and bought a computer graphics studio, which we all know today as Pixar. Jobs invested $5 million of his money into the company and it was morphed from a software company into an animation studio. Pixar has since churned out a string of hit family films such as Toy Story (1995), which was the first blockbuster, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc. (Two-Disc Collector's Edition), Finding Nemo (Two-Disc Collector's Edition), and The Incredibles (Two-Disc Collector's Edition). Jobs sold Pixar to Disney for $7.4 billion in 2006.

Pixar's Toy Story

Return to Apple:

·       Event though Next never became a popular household computer, it was Next that helped Jobs to get back into Apple, when Apple bought Next and Jobs came back into the fold in 1996.
·       In 1998, Apple unveiled the candy-colored iMac and it was a runaway hit. The all-in-one design is still used by today’s iMac. The new machine had sent out the message that simplicity, beauty, and power would be behind the company’s comeback.
·       Jobs encouraged Apple designer Jonathan Ive to work the cube shape into the Power Mac line, and in 2000 the company unveiled the Power Mac G4 Cube. That machine was perhaps the most beautiful computer ever. But unfortunately it was a rare failure. The reason might be because Jobs let his aesthetic instincts overwhelm his sense of the marketplace. And also it came with a price tag of $1,800, its disk drive had problems, and the case developed stress cracks easily.
·       2001 and onwards is when Jobs really showed his brilliance. That year, everyone witnessed the unveiling of the Apple Apple iPod touch 8 GB (4th Generation) NEWEST MODEL, which was a small music player. The first player came with a 5 GB hard drive and a mechanical scroll wheel. The device didn’t sync to Windows machines. Nobody would have ever thought that the device would completely change the music industry.
·       Jobs created the iTunes music store, which was the first successful service that sold music over the Internet. The iTunes store has sold billions of downloaded songs.
·       In 2001, we witnessed the surfacing of Mac OS X which was a complete departure from earlier Mac OSs and definitely a next generation OS. It was appealing to those who were fluent in Windows, but it came with enough of Apple’s well-established interface conventions to keep the Apple fans interested.
·       Also in 2001, Apple retail stores also began opening and there are now over 300 Apple Stores around the world. These stores boost sales and fuel the Apple culture. 

Fight With Cancer Begins:

·       In 2004, Steve Jobs was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer. After what appeared to be a successful initial surgery, Jobs gave an address to the Stanford graduating class of 2005, which is considered by many as the best commencement address in history, as evidenced in the following quote: 

No one wants to die, even people who want to go to Heaven don’t want to die to get there”, he said. “And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new … Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”.

iPhone And The Apps Store:

·       After the treatment of his cancer, Steve took Apple’s biggest risk yet — the developing of a mobile phone. He wanted to come out with a device that combined the media savvy of the iPod, with the interface wizardry of the Macintosh, and a beautiful design. The end result was nothing but spectacular. The Apple iPhone 3G 8GB - Unlocked
was unveiled in 2007, and Apple’s handsets have completely changed our expectations of how a smartphone should look, feel and perform.
·       In 2008, Apple released the iPhone SDK, which allowed developers to create their own apps for the handset and sell them through the App Store.

More Health Problems - Liver Transplant:

·       Everybody started to notice that Jobs was getting thinner, and seemed weaker. He was definitely suffering from health problems, which didn’t stop him from keeping on a steady pace of innovation.
·       After his liver transplant, he returned to Apple and his first appearance was in an iPod event. And rumors were that the company was coming up with something big and indeed it was something big!
·       In April 2010, Jobs introduced the Apple iPad (first generation) MB292LL/A Tablet (16GB, Wifi), the tablet computer. The shockwaves of that introduction are still evident even now as manufacturers are churning out iPad rivals of their own. But so far, they haven’t brought out anything that can match Apple’s greatest device.
iPad Launch

Steve Jobs Steps Down:

·       Earlier this year, Tim Cook became the temporary CEO and Jobs freed himself from everyday responsibilities. But he would still be involved in product design and strategic direction.
·       In June, Jobs gave his last public speech, talking about iCloud.
·       On August 24, he let the company’s board know that he could not resume the CEO role.

Steve Jobs was married to Laurene Powell and was the proud father of four children, three from his marriage to Laurene. You can find more interesting facts in the book entitled, "Steve Jobs", #1 bestseller on the New York Times list.

R.I.P. Mr. Jobs – the world already misses you!


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