Steve Jobs was an American entrepreneur and inventor, one of the most creative minds in the history of American technology. A well-known fact is that he was co-founder of Apple Computers and, as such, one of the most influential people on the planet who shaped life as we know it today. But not many people know that he had a long way to go to reach this success.
Adopted and loved by the Jobs family.
Steve Jobs was born in 1955. His father Abdulfattah Jandali was a Syrian immigrant while his mother, Joanne Carole Schieble was American. Joanne’s father fiercely opposed to their marriage which finally led her to give the baby up for adoption. He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, a lower middle-class couple, but he always referred to them as his “100% parents”. Paul was a mechanic so he taught Steve about electronics, mainly how to take them apart and reconstruct them. From an early age Steve developed a hobby in this area and showed great talent in working with his hands. He was 13 when he met Steve Wozniak, an 18 year old computer genius, who would later become his partner and co-founder of Apple Computers.
Hippie communes, eastern philosophy and Atari.
Jobs was always very independent and lacked a sense of direction. So it was not long after he enrolled at Reed College in Portland that he dropped out of it and spent the next 18 months in a hippie commune practicing eastern philosophy. After that, he was hired by Atari, a young video game company, but he was once again restless, so he decided to go to India to find “spiritual enlightenment”.
Founded Apple with Steve Wozniak in 1976.
When Jobs came back he reunited with his old friend Steve Wozniak and the two of them eventually founded Apple Computers in 1976. Their idea was to make personal computers accessible to everyone. And indeed their work revolutionized technology making products cheaper, simpler and smaller. The company was an instant success, but after their initial idea Wozniak was already working on a much more powerful computer. With their second product Apple II, they became millionaires. Jobs was only 25 and his net worth was over $200 million. But everything was not so perfect. Apple III was a flop and the competition used the opportunity to thrive. IBM sales went up and Apple’s only hope was the new revolutionary computer called Macintosh. However, Macintosh did not sell very well and Jobs felt he was to blame, so he resigned in 1985.
Resigned at Apple and started a new venture.
In the following years, Jobs created another enterprise called NeXT, Inc. and invested in George Lucas’s animation company Pixar Animation Studios that later became incredibly successful producing some of the very popular films such as “Toy Story” and “Finding Nemo”. However, his new company NeXT was not so successful. Their products were too expensive and they didn’t sell. Co-founders and investors started leaving – it seemed that Jobs had failed.
Destiny wanted him back in Apple.
Back at Apple, things were not so great either. The competition grew stronger as Microsoft released their operating system Windows 95. Apple’s sales were dropping like a stone and they had to create an operating system of their own. In 1996, Apple bought NeXT hoping that united they will bring the old glory days back. This meant that Steve Jobs was back at his first company. He changed the management team, terminated the projects that didn’t pay off, and introduced iMac which was the first truly innovative computer Apple had released in years. He firmly decided to revive the company and with hard work he succeeded. That was only the beginning, as other wildly popular products such as iTunes and iPod were released one after the other. Also, one of the most well-known and widely used products, iPhone was a game changer in the world of mobile phones.
Even today, the legend remains.
Jobs’s personal life was always kept private. He was married and had four children. In 2003, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Even though he had a surgery to remove it, his struggle with the horrible disease continued for 8 years. He died in 2011 at the age of 56 but he left an immeasurable legacy and an empire that isn’t going to fall anytime soon.