October 13, 2011 – Steve Jobs epitomised the American Dream. As co-founder and CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs dared to think differently and in the process he not only changed the world, he encouraged the rest of us to think differently and use the innovative products created by Apple as tools to change our own lives too. From the revolutionary Apple Mac computer to innovative products such as the iPod, iPhone , iPad and the newly released iPhone 4S, Steve Jobs and his team at Apple have changed the way we live and communicate. Apple’s inventions have transformed the way we listen to music, impacted on the way we do business and made technology fun and accessible for everyone.
An innovator and a visionary, Steve Jobs followed his heart and became a true success story. An adopted child who dropped out of college because he couldn’t bear to see his parents’ life-savings squandered on courses he didn’t think would get him anywhere, Jobs dropped in on other courses instead and trusted it would all work out okay. It did. At the age of 20, along with Steve Wozniak, he took what was seen as a geeky hobby, created the Apple ll computer series and revolutionized technology from his parent’s garage. Believing that one day every home could have a computer, Jobs launched Apple in 1976 with Wozniak. A decade later, the company was worth over $2 billion and had over 4,000 employees. The Apple ll computer was one of the first mass-produced microcomputers, successfully paving the way for the personal computers we know today. Steve Jobs, Wozniak and Apple were a huge success and just before Jobs 30th birthday, the innovative Apple Macintosh computer was launched. Jobs used the experience of a calligraphy course he’d ‘dropped in on’ many years before to make the Apple Mac the first computer with ‘beautiful typography and multiple typefaces’. He firmly believed that personal computers would not have the fantastic typography they do today if he had not incorporated his experience and love of calligraphy into the first Mac.
Despite Jobs success however, he was fired from Apple in 1985 after disagreements with the board of directors, but later he viewed it as one of the best things that happened to him. He believed it released him and allowed him to explore his creativity once more without the burden of success. Steve Jobs didn’t give up. He simply loved what he did and started over. He founded NeXT, ‘a computer platform development company’ and then Pixar. Pixar created ‘Toy Story’ the world’s first computer animated feature film, also ‘The Incredibles’ and many more.
Jobs success with NeXT and Pixar proved he didn’t need Apple, but after being estranged from Apple for over a decade, Jobs returned in 1996 when Apple bought NeXT. He became Apple’s CEO and his efforts and vision over the following 15 years moved Apple beyond computers to become the world’s leading technological giant. With Job’s as CEO, Apple went from strength to strength, launching the Apple iPod and the iTunes store in 2001. Later the iPod Touch and the iPod Shuffle were introduced and by 2010 iTune downloads had reached 10 billion. Apple’s interest in digital devices beyond the computer didn’t stop with the iPod though. Apple kicked off the New Year in 2007 with the first iPhone, complete with a multi-touch screen feature. It was followed in 2008 by the iPhone 3GS and the creation of the App store. In the first year of the App store, a staggering 1.8 billion apps were downloaded, excluding updates. By 2009, Apple had sold over 30 million iPhones worldwide and in 2010 the iPhone 4 arrived along with another amazing Apple invention, the Apple iPad tablet. To date (Oct 2011) over 28 million iPads have been sold and sales of iPhones around the globe are estimated at over 125 million. With the Apple iPhone 4S now on sale, complete with Siri, a voice control which aims to revolutionize the way people use their phones, iPhone sales are set to soar. To date, there are also 60 million Apple Mac users worldwide and the wafer thin computer is a far cry from the original. Everything Steve Jobs did was pretty much a ‘first’, genius technology created by a genius man who surrounded himself with the best. His goal was to produce products that enrich people’s lives, products that help you grow. His success in achieving his goals made him one of the most successful CEO’s in history. Always interested in the experience of the consumer he understood what consumers wanted. He cared how products looked aesthetically, not just how they functioned, and as a result he created chic, iconic products that are a ‘must have’ for many. Jobs knew that ‘simple design, clean technology and integrated software and hardware’ is key to their success. The packaging of Apple products has increased their desirability, elevating them to cult status.
Jobs will always be known for his genius, his high standards, his understanding that achieving success also means ‘saying no to a 1,000 things’, that what you leave out is as important as what you put in. And while it may seem like a strange twist of fate that on the day Steve Jobs left this world, (October 5th 2011) his latest creation, the iPhone 4S entered, perhaps it’s truly a timely reminder of the genius of the man. A man who advised, that no matter what you want, if you haven’t found it ‘keep looking, don’t settle’.
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Steve Jobs quote (Stanford University): ‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other peoples thinking. Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your own inner voice and most importantly, have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition, they somehow know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.’
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