👋 Hello friends, continuing with last week’s theme, analyzing important people, and the companies they helped create, I thought Steve Jobs and the story of Apple would fit in perfectly.
Steve Jobs, as many of you know was a key figure, if not the most important figure in Apple let alone any company in this period of time. Steve changed the way we function with technology specifically our handheld devices. From old flip phones to the newly created computer in our hands. This technological leap helped shape the way we live our lives today.
This is the story of Jobs's life and his role in Apple.
Steve Jobs was born on February 24th, 1955 but eventually was put up for adoption. Paul and Clara Jobs eventually were the parents who adopted Steve. By the age of 10, Steve was deeply entrenched with technology and befriended many engineers around the local neighborhood.
While attending Monta Loma Elementary School in Mountain Steve was bullied quite severely and considered dropping out of school. Fast-forwarding to when steve was 13, he was given a summer job by Bill Hewlett. At this point, Steve entered Homestead high school where he would enroll in a course called Electronics 1 with Bill Fernandez a fellow electronics hobbyist. However, Jobs and the instructor John McCollum began to clash and Jobs eventually would lose interest in the class. Steve Job was introduced to his future co-founder Steve Wozniak by a mutual friend.
Jobs and Wozniak got along quite well because of their shared interest in technology. Both Steves attended the Homebrew Computer Club where Wozniak created the first computer with a typewriter type keyboard and the ability to connect to regular television. That very computer was called The Apple 1!
Jobs recognized the innovation and genius behind Wozniak’s invention and decided to sell his car the VW MicroBus to help fund the Apple 1’s production. Wozniak sold his HP calculator, although I can’t tell you what that was worth, and together with Ronald Wayne, they founded Apple Computor Inc in April 1976. Steve wanted Ronald to take 10% of the company stock in case Jobs and Wozniak gets into some type of dispute. Ronald eventually decided to walk away from the company for $500. Today that $500 would be worth $72 Billion 😳 Apple’s first logo was designed by Ronald Wayne. Afterward, the multi-colored Apple was designed and used for the next 22 years.
Moving forward the Apple 2 was released. It was more of a commercial product with its own case. The Apple 2 was one of the three credited 1977 Trilogy Computers responsible for creating the “home” computer. In May 1980, the Apple 3 was released and targeted the business environment. Unfortunately, the lack of cooling fans resulted in 100’s recalls, a decision made by Steve Jobs.
On December 12, 1980, Apple’s IPO went public! Instantly 300 people now become millionaires more than any other IPO launched in the past. Apple 1, 2, & 3 computers were all text-based like others in the market. But Steve had a vision of something different, something better. So in 1983 the Macintosh was born and released the following year.
However, not all things were running smoothly for Jobs. In 1985, after a lengthy power struggle, with the board and John Scully, Steve was terminated from the very company he helped create.
Steve Jobs was fired from the company he co-founded for his mistakes. (entrepreneur.com)
Once this occurred Steve began to canvas employees to leave Apple with him to create another company called NEXT. After the success of NEXT, Apple eventually purchased it. This acquisition brought Steve back into Apple’s management and was responsible for the macOS operating system.
It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” – Steve Jobs One of the most famous Steve Jobs quotes references the time he was pushed out of what was once his own company, Apple. (arcapital.com)
In 1997, Jobs was appointed CEO and begin the critical restructuring of Apple. In 1997’s World Expo Steve announced the partnership with nonother than Microsoft. The agreement included a 5-year commitment to release Microsoft Office to Apple and a 150 Million dollar investment.
Pushing forward with his vision, Steve was looking at the first iMac computer. The family desktop computer. In 1998, the first iMac was released. This was a difficult period as most users opted for Window type PCs.
However, the visionary Jobs had other tricks up his sleeve, most notably changing how to we listen to music. In late 2001, the iPod was released. I can remember being blown away by this new device and really brought my attention to Apple. A short 3 years later the iTunes music store was launched. A massive 2,000,000 downloads were achieved in the first 16 days! Simple amazing!
The first version of the iPhone became available publically on June 29th, 2007. It was not the first “smartphone” but it was drastically different and launched the mobile revolution responsible for the devices that are in your hands today.
Once the success of the iPhone was established, this allowed Apple to push the envelope in other devices. The Macbook Air, launched in 2008, was the largest revamp in Apple’s lineup and invented a new category in computers called “Ultrabooks”. Sadly, in 2011 Steve Jobs passed away due to complications of pancreatic cancer.
Steve Cooks, now becoming the CEO, continued Jobs's vision of future technology. One of Cooks's first acquisitions was the purchase of Beats for 3 Billion dollars in 2014. A year later Apple launched the first Apple watch. The iPhone itself is responsible for the success of Apple and making it one of the most valuable publically trading companies ever.
In summary, I thought the journey of Steve Jobs and Apple showcase yet again failure does occur in some way or another. Being fired by the very company you help create must have been agonizing for Jobs. However, imagine the feeling of being brought back on and launching not only a new device but a product that changed how we use technology today. The point is, the road is often hard, but if you believe in something wholeheartedly then it’s worth pursuing and the journey that follows it.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s post, see you next week!
PS, I am contemplating if the name “Money Laundering” is suitable for this newsletter. If you have any suggestions or feedback, please share your thoughts in the linked thread.
PPS, any feedback on the newsletter thus far is welcomed 🙏🏼
Stay safe and see you next week 🤓