Jobs, Steven Paul (1955 - )
American businessman that, partnered by Steve Wozniak, set up the Apple Computers company. Jobs has been recognized for its visionary spirit and business audacity.
He was born on 24 February1955 in Silicon Valley (USA), where, after his adoption by Paul and Clara Jobs, he grew up, worked and lived with his wife and three children.
Jobs attended Homestead High School in Cupertino, California, and then spent a short time at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.
He worked briefly at Atari, a pioneer company in the world of video games, until he had earned enough money to pay for a trip to India in search of spiritual enlightenment. Later, he worked at Hewlett-Packard, where he met Steve Wozniak.
In 1974, he joined Wozniak’s Homebrew Computer Club, one of the many groups of amateur computer users and video game lovers that emerged in Silicon Valley in the early 1970s. But, unlike the other members, Jobs was not satisfied with building electronic toys. He persuaded Wozniak to let him work on the construction of a personal computer that Wozniak was designing.
The two designed the Apple I in Jobs’ bedroom and built the prototype in his garage.
They decided to set up a company to sell their personal computers and raised $ 1,300 by selling their most prized possessions: Jobs got rid of his car and Wozniak his HP scientific calculator. In 1976, they started to sell their Apple I for $ 666. Sales amounted to $ 774,000 in the first year.
In 1977, they founded Apple, and it was not long before profits soared to $ 335 million, and it dominated the market.
On a visit to the Xerox PARC research center in 1979, Jobs and his team saw the Alto computer, a prototype using a graphical interface and mouse. When they got back to their office, Jobs’ team quickly modified the technical characteristics of Lisa, a computer bearing the same name as Jobs’ daughter. Both Lisa and its successor, the Macintosh, had a mouse and graphical interface. Xerox sued Apple for copying the GUI. Ironically, Apple also later sued Microsoft for using a similar graphical interface to Xerox’s in its Windows operating system. Although Apple lost that case.
In 1981, IBM entered the home computer market with its IBM PC, and Apple began to lose ground.
In 1985, Steve Wozniak and Jobs received the National Medal for Technology, the highest honour for technological innovation in the United States, from President Ronald Reagan. That year, Jobs left Apple in order to set up the NeXT Corporation.
He was obsessed with innovating in the computer business. In 1986 he bought the digital animation division of Lucasfilm from George Lucas, which he later renamed Pixar Animation Studios. Pixar was the company that, in 1995, was to broaden the horizons of the animation world with its hit Toy Story. Toy Story was the first feature film generated completely by computer. Toy Story was followed by Bugs, which used innovative computer animation techniques.
In 1996, in a strange twist of events, Jobs was again invited to join Apple, when Apple bought his company, NeXT, for close to $ 400 million. Jobs returned to Apple as president and helped the company to gain a large market share, as, with the introduction of the extremely popular iMac in summer 1998, it rose to market leader in terms of sales volume and prestige. Jobs died on 5 October 2011.