Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was born on February 25, 1955. He was soon adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain View, CA. Steve wasn?t happy at school in Mountain View so the family moved to Palo Alto, CA. Steve attended Homestead High School. His electronics teacher recalled that he was "something of a loner" and "always had a different way of looking at things". []

After school, Steve attended lectures at Hewlett Packard Electronics firm in Palo Alto, CA. There he was hired as a summer employee. Another employee at Hewlett-Packard was Steven Wozniak, a recent drop-out from the University of California, Berkeley. "Woz" was an engineering whiz with a passion for inventing electric gadgets. He worked on perfecting an illegal gadget called "blue Box" that allowed them to get free long distance calls from pay phones. Jobs helped "Woz" to sell a number of "blue boxes".

In 1972 Steve graduated from high school and registered at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. After dropping out of Reed after one semester he hung around the campus for a year taking classes in philosophy and immersing himself in the counter culture.

In 1974, Steve Jobs took a job as a video game designer at Atari, Inc., a pioneer in electronic arcade recreation. After a few months he saved enough money to go to India where he traveled in search of spiritual enlightenment with Dan Kottke, a friend from Reed College.

In the autumn of 1974, Jobs returned to California and started attending meetings of "Woz?s" "Homebrew Computer Club". Woz like most of the clubs members, was happy with the creation of electronics. Steve wasn?t nearly the engineer as Woz and persuaded him to start work on a home computer.

Woz and Jobs designed the Apple I in Steve?s bedroom and built the first prototype in Steve?s parents garage. Apple I was a hit. Steve sold his Volkswagen microbus and Woz sold his Hewlett-Packard scientific calculator to make enough money to build more machines. Jobs named the company Apple because of a happy summer working in an orchard in Oregon.

Jobs and Woz built the first real machine called the Apple I. They marketed it at a price of $666.00 in 1976. The Apple I was the first computer with one board. It had a built in video interface, on board ROM-which told the machine hold to load programs from an external source. Jobs and Wozniak managed $774,000.00 in sales from the Apple I. Soon after they started working on the Apple II. The Apple II supported built in circuitry allowing it to connect to a color video monitor. Jobs encouraged programmers to write code and the result was some 16,000 programs for the Apple II.

In 1977, Apple hired the most successful PR men in Silicon Valley, Regis McKenna and Nolan Bushnell. They were both very good marketers and public relation men on Apple?s board of directors.

In the first seven years of Apple?s existence, Steve Jobs had created a strong productive company with growth rates of over 150% a year. Then IBM muscled its way into the PC market. In two years, IBM PC?s had taken over as the top selling computer in the PC industry.

Steven countered the PC movement by introducing the Macintosh. The "Mac" was radical, it was all driven by a mouse and had a graphical display. When the machine was introduced during the Super Bowl in 1984, Steve Jobs described it as kind of like watching a gladiator going to the arena and saying "here it is". [Scott 1991, page 71].
The commercial had a young woman athlete going into the arena chased by faceless storm troopers and hurled a sledge hammer into the image of a menacing voice. A translucent blast...then a calm cultivated speaker assured the astonished multitudes that 1984 would not be like 1984.

Jobs innovation of the gladiator was not incidental here. Throughout the development of the Mac, it has come up in projects in all it?s glory. Apple exiled Steve for his work on the Mac saying "it was hurting the Apple platform, not helping it". [Slater, 1987, page 319].

Steve sold over $20 million in Apple shares. He spent days along the beach, went to Europe. One day inspiration came to Steve. He wanted a company to call his own. He left Apple for good and founded NeXTStep with five key Apple employees. Jobs?