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Steve Jobs And The Apple Story

BY SFGATE.COM
San Francisco, TAG – In Oct. 2011, Steve Jobs passed away at the age of 56. He had just left the CEO post at Apple, the company he cofounded, for the second time. Jobs was an entrepreneur, through and through, and the story of his rise is the story of Apple as a company, along with some very interesting twists. In this article, we'll look at the career of Steve Jobs and the company he founded, as well as some of the lessons there are for would-be entrepreneurs.

Steve Jobs got his start in business with another Steve - Steve Wozniak - building the blue boxes that phone phreakers used to make free calls all around the nation. The two were members of the HomeBrew Computer Club where they quickly became enamored with kit computers, leaving the blue boxes behind. The next product the two sold was the Apple I. It was a kit for building a PC; one that the customer needed to add a monitor and keyboard to before they could do anything with them.
With Wozniak doing most of the building and Jobs handling the sales, the two made enough money off the hobbyist market to invest in the Apple II. It was the Apple II that made the company. Jobs and Wozniak created enough interest in their new product to attract venture capital. This meant they were in the big leagues and their company, Apple, was officially incorporated in 1977. Steve Jobs was a month shy of his 22nd birthday and would be a millionaire by his 23rd.
By 1978, Apple was making $2 million in profits solely on the strength of the Apple II. The Apple II wasn't state of the art, but it did allow computer enthusiasts to create and sell their own programs. Among these user generated programs was VisiCalc, a type of proto-excel that represented the first software with business applications. Although Apple did not profit directly from these programs, they did see more interest as the uses for the Apple II broadened. This model of allowing users to create their own programs and sell them would reappear in the app market of the future, but with a much tighter business strategy around it.
By the time Apple went public in 1980, the dynamic of the company was more or less set. Steve Jobs was the fiery visionary, with an intense and often combative management style, and Steve Wozniak was the quiet genius who made the vision work. The board of Apple wasn't too fond of such a power imbalance in the company, however. Jobs and the board agreed to add John Sculley to the executive team in 1983. In 1985, the board ousted Jobs in favor of Sculley.
Steve Jobs was rich and unemployed. Although he wasn't working at Apple, he was far from idle. During this time, from 1985 to 1996, Jobs was involved in two big deals; the first was an investment. In 1986, Jobs purchased a controlling stake in a company called Pixar from George Lucas. The company was struggling, but their eventual success in digital animation led to an initial public offering (IPO) that earned Jobs around $1 billion at the time of the IPO.
The second was a return to his old obsession with computers, founding NeXT to create high-end computers. These were expensive machines with an operating system that represented the best attempt, yet, at making the power of UNIX fit into a graphical user interface. When Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web, he did so using a NeXT machine.
Of these two deals, NeXT proved the most important, as it turned out that Apple was looking to replace its operating system. Apple bought NeXT in 1996 for its operating system, bringing Steve Jobs back to the first company he founded.[]
Steve Jobs And The Apple Story Steve Jobs And The Apple Story Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on January 13, 2012 Rating: 5

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