Are you using an Apple computer right now? Well, if so, then you can thank Steve Jobs for the wonderful machine! Together with Stephen Wozniak, Jobs provided the inspiration to start a company called Apple Computers, Inc.
You might think that people like Steve Jobs, Stephen Wozniak, and Bill Gates must all be genius child
prodigies. Well, Steve Jobs proves that anyone, with hard work and perseverance, can be successful.
Steven Paul was an orphan adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs. He attended the Homestead High School in Los Altos, California. While many people go to basketball practice, to the student council meeting, or to piano lessons after school, Jobs attended the lectures at Hewlett-Packard after school. Hewlett-Packard was an early entrant into the personal computer market. It isnow famous for its excellent printers .
Courtesy of Microsoft
Encarta Encyclopedia Online.
Copyright (c) Microsoft Encarta Online.
Well, one summer, Jobs was hired by Hewlett-Packard. This is how he met Apple co-founder, Stephen Wozniak. At the time, Wozniak, or Woz, as he was often called, was a college dropout engineering whiz. Wozniak and Jobs immediately became friends.
In 1972, Jobs graduated from high school and went off to Reed College in Portland, Oregon. After just one semester at Reed, Jobs dropped out.
In late 1974, Jobs found out that Stephen Wozniak had begun a club for computer enthusiasts known as the "Homebrew Computer Club." Jobs began attending meetings, but he wasn't particularly interested in engineering and electronics creation. Rather, Jobs had set his eye on the marketing of electronic products. Steve Jobs quickly realized that Wozniak was an engineering whiz. Jobs persuaded him to help him to develop a new personal computer.
Together, the two men designed and built the Apple I computer. Jobs and Wozniak were able to sell 25 of these machines to a local electronics retailer. Apple Computers, Inc. was founded in April of 1976.
Jobs and Wozniak marketed the Apple I at a price of $666.66. After selling 600 of these machines, the two men came up with a total of $774,000 from the sales! Soon, Jobs and Wozniak had another computer out in the PC market-the Apple II. Like its predecessor, the Apple I, the Apple II was simple and compact. However, it was geared towards the general user, not just hobbyists, like the Apple I. The Apple II was extremely popular from the moment it was first released. Within three years, it had raised $139,000,000 and had a growth rate of 700%! In 1980, Apple Computer went public, opening up at a price of $22 per share. By the end of the first day, the price rose seven dollars to $29 per share.
For a few years, Apple was the personal computer giant, with no serious competitors. Then, IBM introduced its PC. Jobs realized that he needed to introduce computers compatible with IBM computers in order to compete with the new computer giant.
Starting in 1981, Apple released a series of computers- all of which were quite unsuccessful. First, there was the Apple III. Perhaps the Apple III would have been popular if Apple hadn't had to recall the first 14,000 computers because of a design flaw. However, we shall never know. The next failure was Lisa, an innovative computer complete with a mouse and a user-friendly interface. So why wasn't Lisa popular? Its price was set at $10,000. Not many people can afford a $10,000 computer!
Finally, with the development of the Macintosh, Jobs found himself, and Apple, back in business. The Macintosh became the IBM PC's greatest competitor. This new computer was directed towards the general public and provided easy-to-use, affordable computer access. This was a computer specially designed for all of us "dummies" out there! The Macintosh completely changed the computing world.
However, along with the release of the Macintosh came problems- problems for Steven Jobs. Throughout much of the 1980s, Jobs had led Apple into becoming a great computer giant. However, Apple Computer began facing poor sales and numerous internal problems. A few people at Apple felt that Jobs was hurting, and not helping, the company. Jobs began to realize that he no longer got any assignments, and that important papers were no longer sent to him. Realizing that there was nothing for him to do at Apple, he resigned.
After leaving Apple Computer, Jobs was at a loss. He no longer had a drive, an inspiration. Jobs soon got over the disappointment, and continued on to start a new computer company, which he called NeXT, Inc. Jobs designed NeXT to primarily concentrate on not hardware, but software.
In 1986, Jobs bought a portion of Lucasfilm Ltd., the famous motion-picture studio. He called this division Pixar Animation Studios. If you've ever seen the movie Toy Story, you'll realize what a success Pixar was. Pixar became the leader in computer animation and has developed tons of high-tech software and graphics!
Then, in 1996, Apple bought Jobs's software company, NeXT! Jobs became involved in Apple once again. A year later, he became interim chief executive officer of the company that he had co-founded. Apple has since released all sorts of new hardware and software!