Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco, California. His mother decided to put him for adoption, as at the time she was still unwed. When she found out that her son’s future parents, Justin and Clara Jobs were not college graduates she agreed to sign the adoption papers only after they promised that they would give her son a chance to go to college. Steve grew up in Cupertino, California. He did go to college but dropped out due to the high costs. Since he could not afford a dorm room, he slept on the floor of his friend’s room.
He would walk 7 miles across town to get one good meal at the Hare Krishna temple on Sundays. He did continue with calligraphy classes – an invaluable learning for young Steve and the foundation for his font system in the Mac. Steve managed to get a job at Hewlett Packard in Palo Alto – this is where he met Steve Wozniak – the man who would eventually be Jobs’ co-founder of Apple Computers. The two Steve’s founded Apple Computers, establishing the company operations in a garage on April 1, 1976. Steve Jobs was convinced they could design a personal computer.
They called it Apple and their first product was the Apple I. In that year itself, the duo sold their prized possessions to produce 50 machines for a local store. However, the advent of IBM’s highly successful PC and a horrible expensive launch by Apple of Lisa (a failure) put the company under a lot of pressure. Commandeered by Jobs who apparently pushed the company’s engineers mercilessly, Apple introduced the Macintosh in 1984, the first small computer with a GUI. Thereafter, several companies copied this easily accessible interface.
The Macintosh paid rich dividends as it was a great success and after 10 years of hard work and full of ups and downs, Apple computer had grown into a 2 billion dollar company with 4000 employed. A sad turn of events followed where Jobs was fired by John Sculley, the CEO Jobs had appointed himself. Further he lost a bitter battle in court. This was a golden chance in disguise for Jobs, as he could now think about new technology without anyone looking over his shoulder, “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.
The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life. ” During the next five years he started two companies – NeXTStep and Pixar. Though, NeXTStep was not a success, Pixar was a sensation and they created the first computer-animated film, Toy Story and when Pixar’s stock went public, Steve Jobs became a billionaire.
In December 1996 Jobs convinced Apple to buy NeXT and make its software the foundation of the next-generation Mac OS. The technology he developed at NeXT became the catalyst of Apple’s comeback. Initially appointed as Apple’s adviser, Steve Jobs was named Apple’s interim CEO in 1997. The decade following Jobs’ return to Apple has been the most spectacular for the company. Revolutionary products – iPod, iphone and iMac have changed the way people view technology. While Apple was enjoying success after success, Steve faced another personally tragedy.
In 2004 he was diagnosed with cancer on his pancreas and was informed that the cancer was incurable and he could only live for another three to six months. Later, a biopsy showed that he actually had a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. This stroke of fortune was vital especially for Apple and after the successful surgery; he returned with a vengeance. Under his brilliant skills of bringing out the best in others, Steve Jobs continues to direct and drive Apple to reach soaring heights and bring fantastic products to people around the globe.