My Steve Jobs Paper

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Steve Jobs has been labeled a visionary by many, and rightfully so. Though he may not be the tech celebrity that he once was, nor is his name any longer so strongly associated with the basic, commonplace components of software and hardware design that he helped to pioneer and that computer users the world over take for granted, the charismatic, passionately counterculture chief executive officer of Apple Computer was once the most important individual in Silicon Valley and even today dictates the trends and, some would say, overall health of the industry, continuing to drive innovation.

Steven Paul Jobs was born an orphan on February 24, 1955 in Los Altos, California. Steve Jobs was adopted from infancy by a Northern California machinist named Paul Jobs and an accountant Clara Jobs, both now deceased. Being mostly a typical boy Steve did well in school with no disciplinary problems to speak of. He was a person that was not easy to get to know, he guarded himself carefully, which is something he still does today. His girlfriend from Homestead High School in Cupertino California remembered him saying, ?Someday I will be a millionaire? in a completely serious manner. Steve would talk about the future a lot and was usually involved in some form of a crusade over one thing or another.

Steve?s obsessive personality meshed quite well with his best friend Steve Wozniak whom he called ?Woz.? Steve Wozniak was a brilliant engineer and is responsible for some amazingly complex circuitry designs for computers. Woz was a prankster and a happy go lucky guy where as Steve Jobs was a motivator and usually serious. The two Steve?s were great friends since high school and still are friends today. After a brief one-semester stay at Reed College in Oregon; Steve Jobs sold his VW Bus and used the money saved from working at Atari (A computer game company) to travel to India. Steve went to India in search of spiritual enlightenment and guidance. He trekked around India with a shaven head and returned to California where he worked on a Communal farm in apple orchards. After the short time spent working on the farm he found that his friend Woz was working at Hewlett-Packard and building computers to impress pals at the Homebrew Computer Club. Wozniak was regarded as an engineering genius and soon Jobs realized the brilliance that Woz possessed. Jobs began attending Homebrew meetings with Woz; by doing this they both made some inner circle names for themselves. At Homebrew hobbyists from around the area would bring in their latest inventions, trying to outdo each other all in good fun. But Wozniak had created a computer that Jobs saw as more than just fun; he thought this latest invention would attract a far wider audience than hobbyists. Jobs persuaded his friend into launching a business together.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple Computer in Jobs? garage on April Fools day in 1976. The name Apple Computer comes from the pleasant summer job Steve had while working in an apple orchard. Little did Wozniak know that this company was not going to be a joke. Steve Jobs was totally convinced that the future of computers was for home users and education, something that when said to industry executives they would scoff at such a proposition. Mike Markkula, a former Intel board member was looking for a venture opportunity and when he heard about and then met Steve Jobs, he was convinced Apple would be a winner. Mike took the Mom and Pop operation that Apple was and invested $250,000 into the upstart company. Having the luxury of starting in obscurity and brainstorming with Steve Wozniak, as the legend goes, Jobs built the Apple I in his parents garage, during the early 1970?s the most affordable personal computer of its time?in truth, it wasn?t much more than an assembly-required toolkit, consisting of a motherboard, crucial components, and a small frame, but its ?cheaper-than-hell? $666 price tag put it in the hands of masses. Later, the duo would go on to craft the Apple II, and its many variations, which marked the first true buying explosion in computer history. The Apple 1 Personal Computer was a success at the time, selling 33 units (a large sale at the time) to a local dealer. Wozniak and Jobs expanded upon the original design of the Apple 1, as they worked feverishly on the follow up, the Apple II. The Apple II was released in 1977 and was the first mss marketed personal computer, it had a plastic case and included color graphics. This is where Steve Jobs? genius lies, in his ability to market a product. He has an amazing business sense about how the populous will perceive a product. By building the first personal computer that appealed to both businesses and home users Apple quickly became a 335 million dollar company. When the company went public in 1980 for $22 per share, the market value of Apple rose to 1.2 billion dollars. Steve Jobs became an overnight millionaire and in the process a generational icon.

Meanwhile, Jobs was leading a development team that would change the face of personal computing forever. In December of 1979, Steve and his engineering team visited the elite Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Inside they saw the Alto Computer, a prototype that featured a graphical user interface (GUI) and an input device called the Mouse. Xerox executives saw no use for such technologies and thus let Apple use any knowledge gained from the PARC in their own business. Steve Jobs left the PARC with a look of amazement; he knew the future of personal computing was in the GUI. Steve and his team rushed back to Apple to implement these technologies (more than a billion dollar head start over competitors) into their latest computers.

In 1984, Jobs and a dedicated team at Apple created the Macintosh. During a time when most computer users displayed a single, raw, fluorescent font of text, the Mac was something remarkably new, with its graphic user interface?an intuitive first in computer interaction, representing files and folders with friendly icons and windows?and its use of the 3.5? Floppy (it was the first computer to adopt the format, which would later be standardized so strongly, that it is still being used today). The Mac opened the door to entirely new applications, involving graphics and then-breathtaking WYSIWYG text, which allowed users to see what their papers would look like on printed paper using PostScript fonts. There would be nothing even remotely close to it on IBM compatibles for years to come. The Macintosh was born, sold with a mouse and a point-and-click graphics interface. The Macintosh radically changed the way people thought of computers, the advent of the GUI was practically like finding a use for the wheel. The interface brought ease of use to a whole new level, causing a paradigm shift in technology. Any ordinary person was capable of using a computer after the Macintosh?s release. Apple ran an advertisement during the 1984 Super Bowl; the advertisement is one of the most famous in history. Featuring an Orwellian set, the ad showed a women in red represents Apple; destroying a dictator-like figure on a giant screen by throwing a large sledge hammer into the talking propagandizing face. The message was that 1984 would not be like the book ?1984? in that there would be power to the people by a new means of communication. The first major computing revolution was underway. The Macintosh was the computer that single handedly stole the industry from IBM and Microsoft and brought customers to Apple. The war for market share was on and Apple was winning it. It would be 10 more years until the goliaths of IBM and Microsoft would retake the lead in market share.

As amazing as the Macintosh was the original sales predictions were not met and Apple?s board took issue with Steve Jobs over the problem. Steve Jobs had previously lured Pepsi President John Sculley to become the President of Apple. John Sculley brought a sense of reassurance to Wall Street, John was a proven businessman. Jobs and Sculley were friends for a few years in the early 80?s, sharing each other?s insights and knowledge about the industry. Sculley was secretly using Jobs, stealing his ingenious ideas and making personal use of them. Tension was building because Jobs was realizing what was happening, it was too late though, Jobs had lost control of his very own company. In a famous coup attempt, Jobs attempted to take the power struggle to a vote by the Apple board members. Jobs said, ?If you want innovation you should vote for me, if you want a business man you should vote for John.? The board voted Jobs out by a slim margin, crushed Jobs resigned from the company in late 1985. Steve sold his Apple stock worth an estimated 100 plus million dollars and started and bought a new company.

Steve was now on the outside of his true passion, Apple. Steve loved everything he did at Apple and was now watching from outside as its once prominent place in the industry was diminishing. He started his own computer company NeXT, hoping to reinvent the success of Apple. NeXT made some incredibly advanced hardware and software. The NeXTStep operating system was the most advanced of the time but ran on hardware called the NeXT Cube (a stunning 10?? solid black cube-shaped computer) that cost from 6,000 to 10,000 dollars. The price of this technology was too much for an ordinary person to afford. The commercially unsuccessful NeXT computers, in many ways, emulated the wealth of innovation afforded by the original Macintosh, this time on the multimedia front. The sleek, austere magnesium cubes (which, themselves were considered revolutions in computer aesthetics) housed circuitry that could pump out full stereo sound and play full motion video?industry firsts. NeXT?s programming interfaces and operating system software were, and are still, considered such breakthroughs in developmental ease of use, that programmers are using the API (dubbed, ?NEXTSTEP?) to create applications for Mac OS X today.

NeXT poured through hundred of millions of dollars with a terrible return on investment. NeXT became the laughing stock of Silicone Valley. NeXT was revealed as a failure by the media, the media that had once adored Steve now spurned him. For the first time in his life Steve had produced a successful failure.

Steve wasn?t completely down though because the other venture of his was a success. Jobs bought Pixar Animation Studios from George Lucas in 1986 for a mere 10 million dollars. The animation house was a success because the first ever wholly computer generated film was created, ?Luxo Jr.? Luxo Jr. was a cartoon about a desk lamp getting into mischief until its father lamp comes along and scolds it for jumping on and popping a ball. Pixar?s animation is state of the art and the brilliant John Lassetar directs its films. Lassetar created movies such as ?Toy Story?, ?Toy Story 2?, ?A Bugs Life?, and ?Monsters Inc.? Steve Jobs is the CEO to this day of Pixar, the Academy Award winning film studio.

During this time in the mid to late 80?s Steve started a family. He met his wife when he had to speak at Stanford University. He was speaking when he saw her in the crowd, he approached her after the keynote and they became friends, eventually marrying.

Steve Jobs had a friend in Silicone Valley named Larry Elisson, the CEO of Software giant Oracle. Larry and Steve had talked about paying billions of dollars to try and pull out a hostile take over of Apple. Larry publicly stated that the only person that could run and save Apple was Steve Jobs. At the time the CEO of Apple was Gil Amelio, an uncharismatic but smart tech leader. He wasn?t the brash visionary that Jobs was, Apple needed a change. At the time Apple was ironically looking for a next generation operating system for its Macintosh computers. Steve?s NextStep operating system was one of the considered choices that Apple was looking at to possibly buy. It seemed far fetched that Apple would pay money for a product that failed and a person that they fired, nearly a decade ago. During Steve?s long exile, Apple had lost all of the qualities that had made it such an astonishing success during his glory days there. Apple?s software had once stood out as innovative, original, and uncommonly easy to use, but it hadn?t changed that much in a decade. However, Steve was coming back to Apple.

In 1997, through an odd coincidence, Jobs was summoned to Apple as an interim CEO, because the company had suffered terrible losses due to corporate arrogance on behalf of its current leader, Gil Amelio. Apple bought NeXT and Steve for over $400 million. In a MacWorld Keynote address (a biannual Apple event) that the Apple CEO gives, Steve Jobs said, ?There is one last thing?? he was finally accepting the title of CEO instead of being the interim in which he had been for 2 1/2 years. The thousands in attendance rose to their feet and applauded chanting his name like a mantra, ?STEVE, STEVE, STEVE!? ?Thank you, thank you. You guys are making me feel funny now because I?I get to come to work everyday and work with the most talented people on the planet. It?s the best job in the world,? he said.

In the months and years after Jobs? return, he revolutionized desktop design with the company?s bestseller, the iMac. With its clear, colored plastics, the iMac was the forerunner of design elements in nearly everything from consumer electronics to furniture, as absurd as the notion is. The man also rejuvenated the stale Mac OS operating system with ?OS X,? breathing life into the applauded NeXTSTEP technology, and marrying the usability of the Mac?s interface with a solid and secure UNIX core. The operating system also brought unheard of jaw-dropping graphical elegance with features like real-time window shadowing, image scaling, and on-the-fly transparencies, a look rival Microsoft attempted to emulate with its Windows XP release (a move that interestingly seemed to pay deference to the same interface war that was waged decades ago). Jobs also coined the ?Digital Hub? strategy in early 2001, predicting that users would start using computers as a central hub for all of their devices, such as MP3 players, digital cameras, and even cell phones. Within months, one could see the entire industry beginning to lean towards that initiative. Jobs? passion, the tangible hardware which he considers an art form, was also once again ignited, as he helped craft works of utter beauty, such as a 23? wide-screen flat-panel monitor, the flat panel ergonomically perfect iMac, a one-inch-thin Titanium laptop, and the iPod, which even garnered immense affection from Windows users. Who could forget, of course, what will probably go down in history as his greatest physical creation of all time: a seventeen-inch anamorphic notebook (the first of its kind) that writes DVD?s and includes a backlit keyboard that relies on ambient light sensors to determine the exact illumination of the keyboard depending on the environment.

Steve Jobs has been so strongly tied to the computer industry ever since its inception, that it is difficult to imagine it in his absence. He successfully became the Jackie Kennedy of business and technology, a figure who was ubiquitous as a symbol of his times but little known as a human being. Countless times he has set new standards for usability and performance, and in many ways is the ultimate example of the American entrepreneur. Steve is now only 48 years old and his vision is only now starting to take shape, he will be around for many more years to come, and so will Apple. He overcame seemingly insurmountable odds and achieved his goal, though in a way he could never have anticipated when the story began.

[ 01-28-2003: Message edited by: Mr. Macintosh ]</p>


  • Reply 1 of 35
    paulpaul Posts: 5,278member
    dude... post a .doc to your iDisk it is impossible to read
  • Reply 2 of 35
    Never start a short bio with "so an so was born on."

    Make the first paragraph or two a recap on all the exciting accomplishments, then start with the chronological order.

    Technicalities: I got bored pretty quickly and didn't read the whole thing, but Atari was not so much a computer game maker but a computer / electronics company at the time, since any software essentially had to be done on the extreme low level. As for Jobs's life, I can't help you since I don't really know too much about it.

    [ 01-27-2003: Message edited by: Splinemodel ]</p>
  • Reply 3 of 35
    Yes, good ideas...I need to rewrite a lot of this jargon. Its very rough so far.
  • Reply 4 of 35
    Wow so much to comment. I´ll handle 10%. Others can comment the rest:

    1) Why not use your signature instead of the paper? The message is excatly the same.

    2) Yes Steveo and Woz was and is friends. But please include to time Woz was screwed over by Jobs when he constructed a game (breakout?) for Atari.

    3) The end of the paper describes the situation just before Steve came back? Apple was creating a computer that is second only to the first Mac in terms of significans: The Newton

    4) you really love Steve don´t you?
  • Reply 5 of 35
    And 5) The visit in PARC wasn´t quite as you described.
  • Reply 6 of 35
    Download the document here

    <a href=" &xmlfn=TKDocument.9.xml&sitefn=RootSite.xml&aff=co nsumer&cty=US&lang=en" target="_blank">HERE</a>

    [ 01-27-2003: Message edited by: Mr. Macintosh ]</p>
  • Reply 7 of 35
    [quote]Originally posted by Anders the White:

    <strong>4) you really love Steve don´t you?</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Yes, I do.
  • Reply 8 of 35
    applenutapplenut Posts: 5,768member
    haven't you done this before?
  • Reply 9 of 35
    nebagakidnebagakid Posts: 2,692member
    maybe that was for english, and this is for humanaties... <img src="graemlins/cancer.gif" border="0" alt="[cancer]" /> <img src="graemlins/cancer.gif" border="0" alt="[cancer]" /> <img src="graemlins/cancer.gif" border="0" alt="[cancer]" />
  • Reply 10 of 35
    [quote]Originally posted by applenut:

    <strong>haven't you done this before?</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Im glad you noticed because I have. It turns out that this year part of the course requirement is that we write 2 papers on historical figures. Steve Jobs was on the list, so I thought, why not?
  • Reply 11 of 35
    emaneman Posts: 7,204member
    [quote]Originally posted by applenut:

    <strong>haven't you done this before?</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Yeah he has. This is for a different class.
  • Reply 12 of 35
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member
    What kind of history class is this that includes Steve Jobs as a historical figure?
  • Reply 13 of 35
    [quote]Originally posted by MCQ:

    <strong>What kind of history class is this that includes Steve Jobs as a historical figure?</strong><hr></blockquote>

    US History 11
  • Reply 14 of 35
    brbr Posts: 8,395member
    [quote]Originally posted by Mr. Macintosh:

    <strong>Yes, good ideas...I need to rewrite a lot of this jargon. Its very rough so far.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    You actually write rought drafts? What a waste of time. Get it right the first time.
  • Reply 15 of 35
    [quote]Originally posted by BR:


    You actually write rought drafts? What a waste of time. Get it right the first time.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Not all of us are as perfect as you. Maybe I should reach for the sky and DeVry again. <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />
  • Reply 16 of 35
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Do you write this Steve Jobs paper over for every remotely relevant class, every semester? It hasn't gotten any better. You ought to be ogling girls or idolizing testosterone fueled juvenile angst rock/rap outfits. Jobs is just, well, gay. And if you are gay, there are plenty of pretty boys in the world for you to concern yourself with. Disturbing.

    [ 01-27-2003: Message edited by: Matsu ]</p>
  • Reply 17 of 35
    stevesteve Posts: 523member
    This is one of my rough drafts for my Steve Jobs paper, on how he has been crucial to the industry in pushing things forward. There have been more advanced versions since, and there are some grammar screw-ups and stuff, but this should help you. Feel free to rob some phrases from me.

    <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>;
  • Reply 18 of 35
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Another freak, Steve Jobs commentary should remain confined to obsessive whining on anonymous web fora , not class papers. Jeez
  • Reply 19 of 35
    stevesteve Posts: 523member
    Nope, Steve Jobs was assigned to me, as fate might have had it, for my Computer Tech class. I almost ended up with Larry Ellison, go figure.

    Instead of frollicking to and fro to websites on information, I let Audible tell me the lengthy history of Jobs. It was a pretty good read. Erhm, listen. Well-written. I learned a lot.

    I was able to shovel that paper off in about 15 minutes.

    EDIT: It did kind of turn into a huge PR spectacle, though, didn't it?

    [ 01-27-2003: Message edited by: Steve ]</p>
  • Reply 20 of 35
    [quote]Originally posted by Matsu:

    <strong>Do you write this Steve Jobs paper over for every remotely relevant class, every semester? It hasn't gotten any better. You ought to be ogling girls or idolizing testosterone fueled juvenile angst rock/rap outfits. Jobs is just, well, gay. And if you are gay, there are plenty of pretty boys in the world for you to concern yourself with. Disturbing.

    [ 01-27-2003: Message edited by: Matsu ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Disturbing? My profile says it all. I think the man is a living legend and a genius. There is nothing wrong with being on his side or learning about him. It is just like a legendary coach of a football team. Take coach Paterno for example. he is a FOOTBALL coach and people in my town call him Saint Joe.
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