Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955 in San Francisco, California. His birth parents, Joanne Schieble and Abdulfattah Jandali, were two graduate students from Wisconsin who gave him up for adoption. Steve was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, a lower-middle class couple, and was raised in Mountain View, California.
As a young boy, Steve was intrigued by and developed a hobby of building electronic devices. His father would later expose him to the workings of electronics in the family garage. This hobby and interest would prove formative later in Steve’s life.
What high school did Steve Jobs attend?
Steve attended Homestead High School in Cupertino, California. While there, he frequented after-school lectures at the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto and was later hired there. It was during this time that Steve befriended the co-founder of HP, Steve Wozniak.
In the early 1970s, Jobs attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club with his friend Steve Wozniak. Here they met other enthusiasts who wanted to make computers compact, affordable and accessible to everyday users.
In 1976, when Jobs was just 21, he and Wozniak started Apple in the Jobs’ family garage, funded by selling Jobs’ Volkswagen bus and Wozniak’s scientific calculator. That first year, they sold 200 of their Apple I computers priced at $666.66 each.
The following year, Apple incorporated as a business and introduced the Apple II model which was a phenomenal success and spawned worldwide computer sales and demand. This put Apple on the map as a major player in the market.
What was unique about the early Apple computers?
Some unique features of the early Apple computers included:
- Compact design
- The use of a TV screen as the display monitor rather than printed output on paper
- Inclusion of color graphics and easy-to-use design for non-technical users
- Use of the BASIC programming language which was easy to learn
- Cassette tape storage
The Apple computers were designed to be affordable, compact, and usable by everyday people, not just experts and programmers. This opened up computing to a much wider consumer population.
Apple’s Initial Public Offering
In 1980, Apple launched a highly successful public stock offering, raising $110 million with a market value of $1.2 billion by the end of its first day of trading. Steve Jobs was suddenly worth $217 million by the age of 25.
Apple continued to grow rapidly over the next several years with increasing sales and revenues. However, in 1985, following some internal disputes amongst top management about the company’s direction and Jobs’ leadership style, Jobs was forced out of the company.
Steve Jobs Exiled from Apple
After his exile from Apple in 1985, Steve Jobs founded another computer platform company called NeXT, Inc. The NeXT computer was marketed to higher education and businesses. While the NeXT machine was technologically advanced in terms of its hardware and operating system software, it was largely too expensive for mass market consumers.
In 1986, Jobs purchased what would become Pixar Animation Studios from George Lucas. His initial modest investment of $10 million eventually netted him $7 billion when the company was sold to Disney decades later.
Jobs Returns to Apple
Apple meanwhile struggled in the 1990s under the new leadership. In 1996, as a result, Apple bought NeXT for $429 million and in 1997 Jobs returned to lead Apple once again.
With the advent of the internet and the need for compact portable media devices to access online content, Jobs led Apple to unveil several revolutionary products over the next decade and beyond. This set the stage for a staggering recovery and ascent into prosperity.
Apple Products Under Steve Jobs in 2nd Stint
An all-in-one PC released in 1998 aimed at the mass consumer market. Its unique features included:
- Vibrant translucent colored cases
- Focus on the new possibilities of online access
What was unique about the iMac design?
The original iMac was an all-in-one design with vivid translucent colors, simple door-like opening panels rather than screws, built-in monitor, speakers, modem, Ethernet networking, as well as a keyboard and mouse. This was an innovative approach allowing easy and stylish access for the average consumer in contrast to complex prior PC designs.
Released in 2001, the iPod portable digital music device coupled with the iTunes software built an entire music ecosystem and became the dominant force in the music industry.
|Hard Drive Capacity
|Scroll wheel interface, Mac/Windows compatibility
|Touch sensitive buttons, Windows compatibility
|Slimmer size, new navigation, dock connector, Mac/Windows
|Click wheel, color screen, photo/video viewing
When released in 2007, the iPhone revolutionized smartphones with these innovative features:
- Multi-touch screen interface
- Large easy to use virtual keyboard
- Advanced mobile web browser
- Wireless email, SMS and internet access
- Media player for music, video and photos
- 2G, 3G and WiFi connectivity
Tablet computers had languished for decades until Apple released the iPad in 2010 featuring:
- High resolution 9.7 inch touchscreen display
- Slim lightweight design at just 1.5 lbs and 0.5 inch thin
- Long battery life of over 10 hours
- Access to iPhone apps and multimedia
- Fast custom mobile processor
- Optional keyboard
Over his storied career spanning 5 decades, Steve Jobs transformed no less than 6 industries with his innovative products and visionary leadership style:
- Personal computers
- Computer animation films
- Tablet computing
- Retail store experiences
The products that Apple created under his guidance have become an essential part of our daily lives, redefining how we work, play, communicate, consume information and media, and access entertainment.
Steve Jobs succumbed to cancer at the age of 56 in 2011, but his influence endures through Apple’s continuing innovation across its various products and services aimed at pushing technology forward to the next level.
At the core, Steve Jobs was a creative visionary and business leader who valued elegance in design, simplicity and ease of use. He embodied a relentless focus on executional excellence. His legacy serves as an inspiration for all those seeking to make their dent in the universe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who were Steve Jobs’ birth parents?
Steve Jobs was born to Joanne Schieble and Abdulfattah Jandali, two graduate students from Wisconsin who gave him up for adoption. He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs and raised in Mountain View, California.
How old was Steve Jobs when he co-founded Apple?
Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976 when he was just 21 years old, along with his friend Steve Wozniak. They started the company out of Jobs’ family garage in Los Altos, California.
Why did Steve Jobs get fired from Apple in 1985?
In 1985, Steve Jobs was forced out of Apple following conflicts with the board and CEO John Sculley over the company’s direction and Jobs’ leadership style. Apple’s board perceived Jobs as unprofessional and difficult to work with.
When did Steve Jobs return to lead Apple again?
Steve Jobs returned to lead Apple in 1997 after Apple acquired Jobs’ computer company NeXT for $429 million. He was brought back due to Apple’s own struggles in the 1990s under Sculley’s successors and their need for more visionary leadership.
Who bought Pixar from Steve Jobs in 2006?
Steve Jobs founded Pixar after purchasing the company from George Lucas in 1986. In 2006, The Walt Disney Company acquired Pixar in a stock deal worth $7.4 billion, which made Steve Jobs Disney’s single largest shareholder at 7%.