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Steve Jobs: A portrait of vision,innovation and success (part 1)

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Jan 9, 2013
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“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”Can you imagine the person I have quoted from? Think about Apple computers, iPod, iPhone and iPad. Don’t they seem wonderful to you? Yeah, He is Steve Jobs who combined technology with art & aesthetics and changed the way people taste their life. He contributed to bring computers in home environment from large corporate environment by reshaping it. Now by redesigning he has brought the computer technologies into a person’s pocket by launching iPad. He Understood what actually consumers want and may want in future that made him a true visionary leader in the consumer electronics industry.

Childhood

Young Steve grew up in a valley of apricot orchards that was already turning into the world center of computer technology: Silicon Valley. It was not uncommon to see engineers fill their garages with all kind of electronic devices in that part of California.His father Paul Jobs was a machinist and Steve often worked with him in his Garage. He learned how the little parts are assembled and make a workable form of machine with a new shape. Steve Jobs was fascinated by these. By the time, in 1969, he met with a computer whiz kid who shared his interests in electronics: Stephen Wozniak — commonly known as Woz. Steve and Woz quickly became friends even though Woz was five years older.

Growing Up

When Steve Jobs reached college age, he decided he would go to Reed College in Oregon. It was an expensive liberal arts college, way too pricey for his modest parents; but they had to keep their promise to Steve’s biological mother, and therefore paid for the tuition. Steve only stayed at Reed for one semester though, after which he dropped out. He then spent a lot of time learning about Eastern mysticism and adopted strange diets, fasting or eating only fruits: it was his hippie period. He even traveled to India with a friend to seek enlightenment at age 19.

Background machinery to be an entrepreneur

The Crazy Start

After Steve came back to the Valley, he focused on Woz’s work on a computer board. Woz was attending a group of early personal computer hobbyists called the Homebrew Computer Club, where he got the idea of designing his own computer (which consisted only of a circuit board at the time). Steve Jobs saw that many people were interested in his friend’s brilliant work: he suggested they sell the board to them. Apple Computer was born.

 Apple’s first year in business consisted of assembling the boards in Steve’s garage and driving to local computer stores to try and sell them. Meanwhile, Woz worked on a new, much improved computer, the Apple II, which he basically finished in 1977. Both Woz and Steve knew the Apple II was a breakthrough computer, much more advanced than anything the market had ever seen. That’s why Steve set out to find venture capitalists to fund Apple’s expansion. After a while, he made a deal with Mike Markkula, an enthusiastic former Intel executive who invested $250,000 in their business and assured them their company would enter the Fortune 500 list in less than two years.

 The Apple II soon became the symbol of the personal computing revolution worldwide. It crushed all competition both because of its breakthrough hardware features (including its color graphics) and its very large supply of compatible software. The key to Apple II’s success was actually VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet program ever brought to market. Thousands of people bought Apple IIs just to use it. As a result, the company grew at a very fast rate, and went public after just four years of existence, in December 1980. Steve Jobs’ net worth passed the $200 million mark on that day — he was only 25.

But Apple’s success was threatened, as industry giant IBM was planning to enter the personal computer market in 1981. Apple had to fight back or they would go out of business in a couple of years’ time. Their Apple III computer had already bombed on the marketplace. They focused all their energy on a project headed by Steve Jobs: Lisa. He had named it after his ex-girlfriend’s daughter; although he denied all paternity (that difficult situation actually caused him to miss Time Magazine’s Man of the Year 1982). The Lisa computer was a breakthrough because it used a graphical user interface instead of a command-line interface. This technology, like many others that would revolutionize computing, was invented at Xerox PARC — but Apple was the first company to bring it to market.

(to be continued) part 2


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Mr. Julfikar Islam is currently studying Marketing (4th year) at University of Dhaka. He is truly an organizational being. He has been working with a number of knowledge-based organizations for last 3 years within the University. His area of specialization is Supply Chain Management. He also has an effective knowledge about Branding, Current Market trends. He has been blogging for last 1 year about these issues in a number of national blog and community website.

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