Thesis statement: Steve Jobs changed the world in many ways especially with his inventions in technology.
This is a research paper on how Steve Jobs changed the world. His full names were Steven Paul alias “Steve Jobs”. He was one of the greatest American business gurus and inventors.
He was until his time of death the Chairman, co-founder and Chief executive officer of Apple Inc. formerly known as Pixar animation Studios when it was acquired by Disney. Precisely, this research paper will prove that wherever Steve worked, he changed things for better and therefore changed the lives of people and thus the world; he engineered the greatest changes towards the end of his life.
Who was Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs was born in February 24, 1955. He was born in the city of San Francisco, California to an unwed graduate student called Joanne Simpson and a native Syrian who was a professor of mathematics named Abdulfattah John Jandali. He was later adopted by a couple Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain view, California and hence his name changed to Steve Jobs.
However, his mother Joanne Simpson conditioned the Jobs to take Steve to college though they themselves were a lower middle class couple with no high school education. The Jobs bound themselves to this condition upon adoption and they later adopted a baby girl named Patti in 1958 (Romain, 2011).
In his early years, Steve Jobs was a nasty kid who did not have any concern in his studies until he was in the fourth grade. Actually, his teacher named Imogene had to bribe him with candy and her own cash to make him learn which he did in earnest.
Due to his brilliance, he skipped fifth grade and went to a middle school called Crittenden Middle School which was in a hostile environment due to poor living status of the area residents. This forced him to demand for a transfer to another school at the age of 11 years. He was considerably transferred to Cupertino Junior High in Los Alto a step which effectively made his future (Romain, 2011).
Los Alto was in Santa Clara County a world of computer engineering from the ancient times. Among the many companies based there was the Shockley Semiconductor Company, Hewlett Packard and HP Company of engineers.
Steve Jobs curiosity about the electronic wares in his neighborhood grew with time and his father later introduced him to the co-founder of HP, Heathkits who had detailed electronic manuals on coding, joining and repairing different electronic gadgets. This fascinated him and his love for electronics grew much stronger in his teen-age.
And as such, when he joined Homestead High School he anxiously enrolled in an electronics class where he courageously pursued his craving for electronics. But Steve also had business interests and hence they got along with his neighbor Bill who had electronic interest.
Bill later in 1969 introduced Steve to a computer whiz kid named Woz. Bill and Woz had built the Cream Soda Computer which fascinated Steve. Woz and Steve built and consequently started an illegal business in high school of selling computer hackers that enabled one to make free calls in the US. However, they stopped this when they realized the police were on their trail.
On clearing High School, Steve wanted to join a high class college named Reed College and the Jobs had to take him in honor of the promise they made to his mother of providing Steve with higher education. However, Steve dropped out of college before Christmas the same year because he could not understand his interests and course of life. He decided to do things which interested him but ended up doing weird things like sleeping on the floor and going without food in order to survive.
Due to cash desperation, he sought for a job at Atari which was the first video company in 1974. He looked up and was inspired by Atari founder, Nolan Bushnell who had successfully invested in pinball machines. It was Nolan Bushnell who inspired Steve Jobs to start Apple. But while he was working with the Atari, his wiz friend, Woz had been hired by Hewlett-Packard a vibrant engineering company where he worked passionately in circuit design (Romain, 2011).
From 1974, computer inventions and advancements took full thrust. In 1974, a mountain view-based Intel introduced the first microprocessor. Later on, Ed Roberts launched the Altair which was a box that flashed lights on and off. In 1975, Bill gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft and wrote an interpreter for Altair. All these excited Woz and of concern was Altair and Microsoft interpreter though he believed he could do better than them.
And so he started building his own computer which he based on MOS’s Technology 502. He advanced this to a powerful and perfect computer board which was compatible with a keyboard and screen. Woz later showed his works to Steve and his engineering friends who were all amazed yet appreciative of his brilliance. Pursuant to Steve’s entrepreneurial skills, they decided to assemble the computers and sell them to meetings franked by engineers from Homebrew.
Steve was of the idea that they needed to upgrade there business to a company at whatever cost. Steve had to sell his car and Woz his HP 65 calculator for them to start building keyboards and after much thought they named the company Apple Computer.
They later turned it into a corporation with the help of Ron Wayne from Atari, drew a company logo and split the company shares. Their fist order came from Paul Terrell from Homebrew who bought 50 computers. This was a huge success to the Apple partners and more sales fell in place later on in an encouraging speed.
In 1976, Steve and Woz bought the other co-founder Ron Wayne marking the exclusive step of Apple computer. On clearing his contract with HP, Woz continued to advance the Apple design basing on the original design. The new design-Apple II produced color, handled high resolution graphics and had a built- in basic interpreter. As Woz strived to finish Apple II, Steve was busy selling Apple I in the Personal Computer Festival in 1976. However, Apple I got stiff completion from Altair in the festival (Romain, 2011).
While Apple II was complete they sold their vision to an investor who was a former Intel employee called, Mike Markkula. Mike Markkula was very instrumental in their development as he designed a business plan, called for advertisement of Apple II, drew another logo for the company, and hired technical staff for the company.
With this, the new Apple Company was up for competition and in April 1977, they got a chance to showcase their computer product at the West Coast Computer Faire held in San Francisco. Apple II stole the show in this Conference with its prototype nature and plastic casing. In that show alone Apple II got 300 orders marking another forward step. It was the start of personal computer revolution.
However, there were other competitors in this industry which included Radio Schack’s TRS-80 and Commodore PET but Apple II stood out exceptionally with its superb design, compatibility with color TV and integrated keyboard. Woz improved Apple II by including the 8 expansion slots hence boosting the demand for Apple II. But it is the spreadsheet called VisiCalc that castigated the success of Apple II. This was because it only worked with Apple II and was an invention itself.
Many projects were later initiated to develop Apple II like the Macintosh project which neither Steve Jobs nor Woz participated in. But Steve chose to participate in another project named after her daughter, the Lisa project.
Lisa project was a significant project for Apple Computers because it wanted to borrow some advancement from Xerox PARC. Xerox PARC had the first Graphical User Interface (GUI) and a mouse. This project led to change in management in Apple Computer; Steve was named chairman of the board as Apple went public in 1980.
The IPO was financially beneficial to Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs was later thrown out of Lisa project and made the head of Macintosh. He wanted to have his own successful computer and to revenge for being thrown out of Lisa project. Steve hired enough and professionally qualified staff for this job. Though he succeeded, at 30 years of age he officially lost his position at Macintosh due to conflicts with the management.
Under his capacity as the chairman of the board in Apple, he wanted Apple to build a high-end computer that could hold one megabyte of memory, perform one million instructions per second, and display one million pixels on a screen. However, though the board bought the idea they were reluctant to actualize it due to the partner Next who was to join the company to help in doing this task.
As a result Steve resigned from Apple on September 17, 1985 and started NeXT Inc. with other engineers amidst strong opposition from Apple. He later founded Pixar. He later developed the NeXT’s revolutionary software that turned too expensive to invest in. He also advanced Pixar Image Computer (PIC) to PIC II and RenderMan.
However, Pixar and NeXT did not do well in subsequent years. As a result he fired employees and encountered huge losses. Steve Jobs got married on March 18, 1991 to Laurene Powell a Stanford MBA student and Laurene gave birth to Reed Paul. In 1989, Pixar signed a contract with Disney for a full feature film made of computers only and this investment paid off even as that of NeXT was in the verge of collapsing. He named himself president and CEO of the company in February 1995.
In 1995, Microsoft launched Windows 95 which was very successful and thereby making Apple lose monopoly. The company lost much of its share in the market, fired most of its staff and set into motion the idea of Steve coming back to rescue Apple.
In 1996 Apple agreed to buy NeXTSTEP Company which was owned by Steve. In the deal, Steve was paid 400 million dollars and appointed informal adviser to CEO of Apple. After the continued poor performance in Apple, the CEO was fired and Steve appointed chairman of the board and CEO of Apple. He only agreed to become an interim CEO.
He later made a deal with Microsoft a step that propelled Apple to a better market position. He worked hard to reinstate Apple to its proper position and in 1997, he renovated Power Mac and Power book which sold well in the market. On May 1998 he unveiled the iMac which was the first mainstream computer which was compatible with the USB and that did not include a floppy disc drive. The satisfaction guaranteed by iMac boosted its sales and increased the company’s going concern.
In January 1999, Steve introduced a new Power Mac G3 tower which was more appealing. In July 1999 Steve unveiled the iBook and Apple’s first Wi-Fi product, the Airport base Station. Steve Jobs had completely changed Apple in his two years tenure as interim CEO. He redeemed its public image, launched highly defined products and attracted an overwhelming number of software developers. He became a full time CEO of the company in January 5, 2000 much to the joy of the company shareholders.
On March 24, 2001, Steve introduced Apple’s new operating system, Mac OS X which became the core of Apple’s turn around and recent success. IMovie, iDVD, iTunes, and iPhoto were released in 2002.
They were followed by iCal in 2003, Garageband in 2004 and iWeb in 2006. In November 2001, Apple introduced the iPod with a storage capacity of 5GB. It quickly became a hotcake for all music lovers. On April 28, 2003 Apple unleashed the iTunes Music Store whose success exceeded the company’s expectations. In February 2006, Apple through its CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPod hi-fi.
This is a stereo speaker system designed to work only with iPods. Steve later introduced the Apple TV at Macworld in 2007. But the greatest achievement was the unveiling of the iPhone in January 2007. It is during this unveiling that Steve announced the change of Apple Computer name to Apple Inc.
After long years of suffering with cancer, Steve Jobs resigned as the Apple CEO on 24 August, 2011 handing the reign to Chief Operating Officer, Tim Cook (Poornima, 2011). This had a significant impact on the company’s shares which tumbled in his first day of resignation. Steve Jobs succumbed to pancreas cancer on October 5, 2011.
In 1977, Apple Computer sold 1977 personal computers, in 1978 it sold 8,000 and in 1979, it sold 35,000 personal computers.
Though in 1987, NeXT Company under the partnership of Steve and other had no products, the company was valued over 125 million dollars due to the powerful name of Steve Jobs.
The Pixar IPO of 1995 was the IPO of the year and the company made 123 million dollars.
iMac was a remarkable achievement for Apple, selling two million units in its first two years of introduction.
AirPort set the standard for the future of Wi-Fi.
On unveiling the iTunes Music Store, five million songs were sold in just eight weeks, and another eight million in the subsequent weeks, bringing iTunes’ share of legal music downloads to 70%.
Steve Jobs and his legion of 50,000 coders and designers became the most valuable company in the world.
iTunes is now the world’s leading online music retailer , with over 200 million registered users who have so far downloaded 15 billion songs.
Steve Jobs changed the world in many ways especially the world of technology. His partnership with the spreadsheet VisiCalc which worked only on the Apple II was a revolution in the computer world. Millions of accountants, small businesses, and private individuals used it to do calculations with ease.
His introduction of a more developed iMac which came in several colors was another breakthrough in computer design. Up to this day, its mark can be felt in a myriad of different products. iMac was additionally the first mainstream computer to offer USB connectivity which was a great technological advancement. Apple Computer also shifted to USB. The iMac was also the first personal computer not to include a floppy disk drive.
The iApps introduced by Steve Jobs were a digital suite of applications which eventually evolved into iLife that had a common purpose of making digital lives easier. In January 2004, Steve unveiled the iPod mini, which came in different colors and soon became world’s best selling MP3 player. In 2005, Steve jobs introduced the iPod shuffle, which is a cheap, flash version of the iPod. This was great improvement in accessibility and portability of music.
The introduction of Apple operating system, Mac OS X was an independent yet advanced platform because the system could run on any kind of computer unlike earlier systems. In addition Mac OS X was more perfect in that it had a protected memory and pre-emptive multi-tasking, which allowed multiple applications to run concurrently without crushing the system.
It also provided high levels of networking unlike other systems. The Mac OS was simple and easy-to-use, highly accessible and stable than Windows. Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone which was less than half an inch thick, allowed calls, took photos, handled contacts and emails, browsed the Web, listen to music and watch movies in a defined comfort.
Prior to the introduction of the iPhone by Apple, wireless carriers monopolized and mistreated handsets manufacturers; they dictated the phone’s features, pricing and marketing, in exchange for the right to use their networks. The iPhone deal by Steve Jobs gave them an equal muscle and hence reversed this balance of power. His introduction of Apple TV was a plus to the technology as the TV was now more accessible and portable.
Steve Jobs also gave kindly to charity and hence improved lives of desperate and needy people. Due to his sound managerial skills and advancements in Apple Computer, Steve was increasingly recognized as a national icon, a symbol for the country’s new entrepreneurial class. His dream of changing the world started shaping up to reality.
What Steve unveiled and sold was of higher form and function. It was a platform for competitive and fair business which removed the expensive layer of magazine designers, disk jockeys, secretaries and postal workers and cable guys who were all zoomed out by his inventions (Kessler, 2011). The invention and subsequent demand of the iPod proved that many people want a sizable yet portable device; Steve Jobs provided this. Apple produced one of the excellent forays in advertising hence boosting marketing.
Since his return to Apple computer in 1997, Steve Jobs reengineered it into the most valuable technology company in the world, overcoming other market leaders like Microsoft or HP. This might have been the greatest turnaround in business history as the company was formerly headed for the drains (Fortune Editors, 2011).
He was such a great influence to the world that upon his death, Apple wrote on their website that the company had lost a visionary and creative genius; the world had lost an amazing human being, a dear friend, and an aspiring mentor (Apple, 2011).
It is quite clear from the research paper that Steve Jobs was a great man who influenced many and the world at large through his inventions, management and participation. Being the co-founder of Apple Inc. he had an upper stake in the technology world and his contribution to the company will always be felt. He and the entire Apple Inc. made life, business, music, calculations, advertisements, movies and personal computers in general accessible and portable.
His entrepreneurial skills paid off in the running of the company, partnerships and bargaining for deals. His return to Apple Inc and consequent turnaround of the company which was initially facing bankruptcy will form part of his historical achievements. His hard work and never-give up attitude propelled him to his success and we can only name him, the Genius of Technology.
Apple. (2011). Steve Jobs 1955-2011.Apple Inc. Retrieved on October 20, 2011 from: http://www.apple.com/stevejobs/
Fortune Editors. (2011). 10 ways Steve Jobs changed the world. Money CNN. Retrieved on October 20, 2011 from: http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/technology/1110/gallery.how_steve_jobs_changed_the_world.fortune/index.html
Kessler, A. (2011). How Steve Jobs Changed The World. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved on October 20, 2011 from: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904875404576530460630468114.html
Poornima, G. (2011). Steve Jobs resigns from Apple, Cook becomes CEO. Reuters. Retrieved on October 20, 2011 from: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/24/us-apple-idUSTRE77N82K20110824
Romain, M. (2011). Steve Jobs. All about Steve Jobs. Retrieved on October 20, 2011 from: http://allaboutstevejobs.com/bio/Steve_Jobs_Bio.pdf