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Steve Jobs

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Introduction

Steven Paul Jobs[7] (born February 24, 1955) is the co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Apple Inc, and is the founder of Pixar Animation Studios and was its CEO until it was acquired by the Walt Disney Company in 2006.[2] Jobs is currently the Walt Disney Company's largest individual shareholder[8] and a member of its Board of Directors. He is considered a leading figure in both the computer and entertainment industries. Steve Jobs is listed as Fortune Magazine's most powerful businessman of 2007 out of twenty-five other top businessmen.[9]

Jobs' 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.[10]

Together with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Jobs helped popularize the personal computer in the late '70s. In the early '80s, still at Apple, Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of the mouse-driven GUI.[11] 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 brought Jobs back to the company he co-founded, and he has served as its chief executive officer since shortly after his return.

Early years

Jobs was born in San Francisco[1] and was adopted by Paul and Clara (nйe Hagopian) Jobs of Mountain View, Santa Clara County, California who named him Steven Paul. His natural parents, Joanne Carole Schieble and Syrian Abdulfattah Jandali --a graduate student who later became a political science professor[12]-- later married and gave birth to Jobs' sister, the novelist Mona Simpson.

Jobs attended Cupertino Middle School and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California,[10] 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.[13] In 1972, Jobs graduated from high school and enrolled in Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Although he dropped out after only one semester,[14] 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.[15]

In the autumn of 1974, Jobs returned to California and began attending meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club with Steve Wozniak.[16] 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. During the 1960s, it had been discovered by phone phreakers (and popularized by John Draper) that a half taped-over toy-whistle included in every box of Cap'n Crunch breakfast cereal was able to reproduce the 2600 hertz supervision tone used by the AT&T long distance telephone system. After reading about it and later meeting with John Draper, Jobs and Wozniak went into business briefly in 1974 to build "blue boxes" that allowed illicit free long distance calls.

Jobs then backpacked around India with a Reed College friend (and, later, 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 has done in his life."[17] He has stated that people around him who did not share his countercultural roots could not understand certain aspects of his thinking.[17]

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$700 (instead of the actual US$5000) and that Wozniak's share was thus US$350.[18][19][20][21][22][23]

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates at D5

Beginnings of Apple Computer

See also: History of Apple

When twenty-one-year-old Jobs saw a computer that Wozniak had designed for his own use, he persuaded Wozniak to assist him and started a company to market the computer. Apple Computer Co. was founded as a partnership on April 1, 1976. Though their initial plan was to sell just printed circuit boards, Jobs and Wozniak ended up creating a batch of completely assembled computers and thus entered the personal computer business. The first personal computer Jobs and Wozniak introduced, the Apple I, sold for US$666.66, a number Wozniak came up with because he liked repeating digits.[19] Its successor, the Apple II, was introduced the following year and became a huge success, turning Apple into an important player in the nascent personal computer industry. In December 1980, with a successful IPO, Apple Computer became a publicly traded corporation, making Jobs a multi-millionaire.

As Apple continued to expand, the company began looking for an experienced executive to help manage its expansion. In 1983, 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?"[24][25] The following year, Apple set out to do just that, starting with a Super Bowl television commercial titled, "1984." Two days 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."[26] The Macintosh became the first commercially successful computer with a graphical user interface, although it was heavily influenced by Xerox PARC. The development of the Mac was started by Jef Raskin, and eventually taken over by Jobs.

While Jobs was a persuasive and charismatic evangelist for Apple, some of his employees from that time had described him as an erratic and tempestuous manager. An industry-wide

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