Steven Paul Jobs Biography
“To turn really interesting ideas and fledgling technologies into a company that can continue to innovate for years, it requires a lot of disciplines.”
Steven Paul Jobs (born February 24, 1955) is the co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc and former CEO of Pixar Animation Studios.
In the late '70s, Jobs, with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, made the easy and affordable (compared to other computers of the time) personal computer become reality, years before the advent of IBM PC. In the early '80s, still at Apple, Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of the mouse-driven GUI (Graphical User Interface). After losing a power struggle with the board of directors in 1985, Jobs resigned from Apple and founded NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in the higher education and business markets. NeXT's subsequent 1997 buyout by Apple Inc. brought Jobs back to the company he co-founded, and he has served as its CEO since then. Steve Jobs was listed as Fortune Magazine's Most Powerful Businessman of 2007.
In 1986, he acquired the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm Ltd which was spun off as Pixar Animation Studios. He remained CEO and majority shareholder until its acquisition by the Walt Disney Company in 2006. Jobs is currently the Walt Disney Company's largest individual shareholder and a member of its Board of Directors. He is considered a leading figure in both the computer and entertainment industries.
Jobs's history in business has contributed greatly to the myths of the quirky, individualistic Silicon Valley entrepreneur, emphasizing the importance of design while understanding the crucial role aesthetics play in public appeal. His work driving forward the development of products that are both functional and elegant has earned him a devoted following.
Jobs was born in San Francisco and was adopted by Justin and Clara (née Hagopian) Jobs of Mountain View, Santa Clara County, California who named him Steven Paul. His biological parents, Joanne Carole Schieble and Abdulfattah Jandali — a graduate student from Syria who became a political science professor — later married and gave birth to Jobs's sister, the novelist Mona Simpson.
Jobs attended Cupertino Junior High School and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California, and frequented after-school lectures at the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto, California. He was soon hired there and worked with Steve Wozniak as a summer employee. In 1972, Jobs graduated from high school and enrolled in Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Although he dropped out after only one semester, he continued auditing classes at Reed, such as one in calligraphy. "If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts," he said.
In the autumn of 1974, Jobs returned to California and began attending meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club with Steve Wozniak. He took a job as a technician at Atari, a manufacturer of popular video games, with the primary intent of saving money for a spiritual retreat to India.
Jobs then backpacked around India with a Reed College friend (and, later, the first Apple employee), Daniel Kottke, in search of philosophical enlightenment. He came back with his head shaved and wearing traditional Indian clothing. During this time, Jobs experimented with LSD, calling these experiences "one of the two or three most important things [he had] done in [his] life." He has stated that people around him who did not share his countercultural roots could not understand certain aspects of his thinking.
He returned to his previous job at Atari and was given the task of creating a circuit board for the game Breakout. According to Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell, Atari had offered US$100 for each chip that was reduced in the machine. Jobs had little interest or knowledge in circuit board design and made a deal with Wozniak to split the bonus evenly between them if Wozniak could minimize the number of chips. Much to the amazement of Atari, Wozniak reduced the number of chips by 50, a design so tight that it was impossible to reproduce on an assembly line. At the time, Jobs told Wozniak that Atari had only given them US$600 (instead of the actual US$5000) and that Wozniak's share was thus US$300.
Beginnings of Apple Computer
In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple. Before Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple with Jobs, he was an electronics hacker. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had been friends for some time, having met in 1971, when their mutual friend, Bill Fernandez, introduced 21-year-old Wozniak to 16-year-old Jobs. Steve Jobs managed to interest Wozniak in assembling a computer and selling it. As Apple continued to expand, the company began looking for an experienced executive to help manage its expansion. In 1983, Steve Jobs lured John Sculley away from Pepsi-Cola, to serve as Apple's CEO, challenging him, "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?" The following year, Apple set out to do just that, starting with a Super Bowl television commercial titled, "1984." Two years later, at Apple's annual shareholders meeting on January 24, 1984, an emotional Jobs introduced the Macintosh to a wildly enthusiastic audience; Andy Hertzfeld described the scene as "pandemonium." The Macintosh became the first commercially successful small computer with a graphical user interface, although it was heavily influenced by Xerox. The development of the Mac was started by Jef Raskin, and eventually taken over by Jobs.
While Jobs was a persuasive and charismatic director for Apple, some of his employees from that time had described him as an erratic and tempestuous manager. An industry-wide sales slump towards the end of 1984 caused a deterioration in Jobs's working relationship with Sculley, and at the end of May 1985 — following an internal power struggle and an announcement of significant layoffs — Sculley relieved Jobs of his duties as head of the Macintosh division.
Around the same time, Jobs founded another computer company, NeXT Computer. Like the Apple Lisa, the NeXT workstation was technologically advanced, but was never able to break into the mainstream mainly owing to its high cost. Among those who could afford it, however, the NeXT workstation garnered a strong following because of its technical strengths, chief among them its object-oriented software development system. Jobs marketed NeXT products to the scientific and academic fields because of the innovative, experimental new technologies it incorporated (such as the Mach kernel, the digital signal processor chip, and the built-in Ethernet port).
The NeXT Cube was described by Jobs as an "interpersonal" computer, which he believed was the next step after "personal" computing. That is, if computers could allow people to communicate and collaborate together in an easy way, it would solve a lot of the problems that "personal" computing had come up against. During a time when e-mail for most people was plain text, Jobs loved to demo the NeXT's e-mail system, NeXTMail, as an example of his "interpersonal" philosophy. NeXTMail was one of the first to support universally visible, clickable embedded graphics and audio within e-mail.
Jobs ran NeXT with an obsession for aesthetic perfection, as evidenced by such things as the NeXTcube's magnesium case. This put considerable strain on NeXT's hardware division, and in 1993, after having sold only 50,000 machines, NeXT transitioned fully to software development with the release of NeXTSTEP/Intel.
NeXT technology played a large role in catalyzing three unrelated events:
Return to Apple
In 1996, Apple announced that it would buy NeXT for US$429 million. The deal was finalized in late 1996, bringing Jobs back to the company he founded. He soon became Apple's interim CEO after the directors lost confidence in and ousted then-CEO Gil Amelio in a boardroom coup. In March of 1998, in order to concentrate Apple's efforts on returning to profitability, Jobs immediately terminated a number of projects such as Newton, Cyberdog, and OpenDoc. In the coming months, many employees developed a fear of encountering Jobs while riding in the elevator, "afraid that they might not have a job when the doors opened. The reality was that Jobs's summary executions were rare, but a handful of victims was enough to terrorize a whole company."
With the purchase of NeXT, much of the company's technology found its way into Apple products, notably NeXTSTEP, which evolved into Mac OS X. Under Jobs's guidance the company increased sales significantly with the introduction of the iMac and other new products; since then, appealing designs and powerful branding have worked well for Apple. At the 2000 Macworld Expo, Jobs officially dropped the "interim" modifier from his title at Apple and became permanent CEO. Jobs quipped at the time that he would be using the title 'iCEO'.
In recent years, the company has branched out, introducing and improving upon other digital appliances. With the introduction of the iPod portable music player, iTunes digital music software, and the iTunes Store, the company made forays into consumer electronics and music distribution. In 2007, Apple entered the cellular phone business with the introduction of the iPhone, a multi-touch display cell phone, iPod, and internet device. While stimulating innovation, Jobs also reminds his employees that "real artists ship", by which he means that delivering working products on time is as important as innovation and attractive design.
Jobs is both admired and criticized for his consummate skill at persuasion and salesmanship, which has been dubbed the "reality distortion field" and is particularly evident during his keynote speeches (colloquially known as "Stevenotes") at Macworld Expos and at Apple's own World Wide Developers Conferences.
In 2005, Jobs responded to criticism of Apple's poor recycling programs for e-waste in the U.S. by lashing out at environmental and other advocates at Apple's Annual Meeting in Cupertino in April. However, a few weeks later, Apple announced it would take back iPods for free at its retail stores. The Computer TakeBack Campaign responded by flying a banner from a plane over the Stanford University graduation at which Jobs was the commencement speaker. The banner read "Steve — Don't be a mini-player recycle all e-waste". In 2006 he further expanded Apple's recycling programs to any U.S. customer who buys a new Mac. This program includes shipping and "environmentally friendly disposal" of their old systems.
Pixar and Disney
In 1986, Jobs bought The Graphics Group (later renamed Pixar) from Lucasfilm's computer graphics division for the price of US$10 million, US$5 million of which was given to the company as capital. The major cause of the low purchase price was George Lucas' need to finance his 1983 divorce without significantly reducing his stock and control of the Star Wars enterprises.
The new company, which was originally based in San Rafael, California but has since relocated to Emeryville, California, was initially intended to be a high-end graphics hardware developer. After years of unprofitability selling the Pixar Image Computer, it contracted with Disney to produce a number of computer-animated feature films, which Disney would co-finance and distribute.
The first film produced by the partnership, Toy Story, brought fame and critical acclaim to the studio when it was released in 1995. Over the next ten years, under Pixar's creative chief John Lasseter, the company would produce the box-office hits A Bug's Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003), The Incredibles (2004), Cars (2006), Ratatouille (2007), and Wall-E (2008) . Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Ratatouille each received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, an award introduced in 2001. In the years 2003 and 2004, as Pixar's contract with Disney was running out, Jobs and Disney chief executive Michael Eisner tried but failed to negotiate a new partnership, and in early 2004 Jobs announced that Pixar would seek a new partner to distribute its films once its contract with Disney expired. Personal animosity between the two executives was largely blamed for the companies' failure to renew their partnership.
In October 2005, Bob Iger replaced Eisner at Disney, and Iger quickly worked to patch up relations with Jobs and Pixar. On January 24, 2006, Jobs and Iger announced that Disney had agreed to purchase Pixar in an all-stock transaction worth US$7.4 billion. Once the deal closed, Jobs became The Walt Disney Company's largest single shareholder with approximately 7% of the company's stock. Jobs's holdings in Disney far exceed those of Eisner, who holds 1.7%, and Disney family member Roy E. Disney, who holds about 1% of the company's stock and whose criticisms of Eisner included the soured Pixar relationship and accelerated his ousting. Jobs joined the company's board of directors upon completion of the merger.
Jobs also helps oversee Disney and Pixar's combined animation businesses with a seat on a special six-man steering committee. One of the committee's first decisions was to discontinue the production of so-called "cheapquels" (cheap direct-to-video sequels). Many also see Jobs as a valuable and influential advisor to Iger and Disney on technology matters.
Jobs married Laurene Powell, nine years his junior, on March 18, 1991. Presiding over the wedding was the Zen Buddhist monk Kobun Chino. Jobs has had three children with Ms. Powell. He also had a daughter named Lisa Brennan-Jobs with Chris-Ann Brennan, whom he did not marry. Lisa (born May 17, 1978) is a journalist who wrote for The Harvard Crimson. It is widely believed that Apple's Lisa Computer was named for her.
In the unauthorized biography The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, author Alan Deutschman reports that Jobs once dated Joan Baez. Deutschman quotes Elizabeth Holmes, a friend of Jobs from his time at Reed College, as saying she "believed that Steve became the lover of Joan Baez in large measure because Baez had been the lover of Bob Dylan." In another unauthorized biography, iCon: Steve Jobs by Jeffrey S. Young & William L. Simon, the authors suggest that Jobs might have married Baez, but her age at the time meant it was unlikely the couple could have children. Baez included a mention of Jobs in the acknowledgments of her 1987 memoir And A Voice To Sing With.
Steve Jobs is also a devoted Beatles fan. He has referenced them on more than one occasion at Keynotes and also was interviewed on a showing of a Paul McCartney concert. When asked about his Business Model on 60 Minutes, he replied:
In 1982, Jobs bought an apartment in The San Remo, an apartment building in New York City with a politically progressive reputation, where Demi Moore, Steven Spielberg, Steve Martin, and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, daughter of Rita Hayworth, also had apartments. With the help of I.M. Pei, Jobs spent years renovating his apartment in the top two floors of the building's north tower, only to sell it almost two decades later to U2 frontman Bono. Jobs had never moved in.
In 1984, Jobs purchased a 17,000-square-foot (1,600 m²), 14 bedroom Spanish Colonial mansion, designed by George Washington Smith in Woodside, California, also known as Jackling House. Although it reportedly remained in an almost unfurnished state, Jobs lived in the mansion for ten years. According to reports, he kept an old BMW motorcycle in the living room, and let Bill Clinton use it in 1998. He allowed the mansion to fall into a state of disrepair, planning to demolish the house and build a smaller home on the property; but he met with complaints from local preservationists over his plans. In June 2004, the Woodside Town Council gave Jobs approval to demolish the mansion, on the condition that he advertise the property for a year to see if someone would move it to another location and restore it. A number of people expressed interest, including several with experience in restoring old property, but no agreements to that effect were reached. Later that same year, a local preservationist group began seeking legal action to prevent demolition. In January 2007 Jobs was denied the right to demolish the property, by a court decision.
He usually wears a black long-sleeved mock turtleneck made by St. Croix, Levis 501 blue jeans, and New Balance 992 sneakers.
Jobs had a public war of words with Dell Computer CEO Michael Dell, starting when Jobs first criticized Dell for making "un-innovative beige boxes." On October 6, 1997, in a Gartner Symposium, when Michael Dell was asked what he would do if he owned then-troubled Apple Computer, he said "I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." In 2006, Steve Jobs sent an email to all employees when Apple's market capitalisation rose above Dell's. The email read:
In 2005, Steve Jobs banned all books published by John Wiley & Sons from the Apple retail stores in response to their publishing an unauthorized biography, iCon: Steve Jobs.
When Jobs spoke at the Stanford Commencement, he spoke frankly about his opinions on entrepreneurship, work, and life. He reflected on what kept him going through challenging times: "I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going is that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love." He continued to stress the importance of "finding something you love" and "following your own inner voice."
In May 2007, Jobs recommended Al Gore to run for the U.S. Presidential Race.
In mid-2004, Jobs announced to his employees that he had been diagnosed with a malignant tumor in his pancreas. The prognosis for pancreatic cancer is usually very grim. Jobs, however, stated that he had a rare, far less aggressive type known as islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. Survival in islet cell carcinoma is highly dependent upon the degree of disease involvement. Surgical cure is possible if the tumor is resected completely. However, studies using the SEER national database (Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results), showed a median survival of approximately 10 years for localized disease, approximately 6 years for regional (confined to the region of the pancreas) and approximately 2 years for those with distant disease. After initially resisting the idea of conventional medical intervention and embarking on a special diet to thwart the disease, Jobs underwent surgery (pancreaticoduodenectomy) that successfully removed the tumor in July, 2004.
He was awarded the National Medal of Technology from President Ronald Reagan in 1985 with Steve Wozniak (the first people to ever receive the honor), and the Jefferson Award for Public Service in 1987.
On November 27, 2007, Jobs was named the most powerful person in business by Fortune Magazine.
On December 5, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted Jobs into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts.