Inventor, modern-day marketer, tech legend, innovative thinker, visionary leader, and creative genius: Steve Jobs was nothing less than a mastermind. His products revolutionised and transformed the world’s relationship with technology. Here’s a quick look at some of the most memorable moments of his career.
1. World, meet Macintosh
On April 16th, 1977, Jobs introduced The Apple II, the first commercially successful personal computer. By the time the Apple II went out of production, Steve Jobs and co-founder Steve Wozniak had sold more than six million of the computers. Apple had also gone public, making these men millionaires many times over. It was history in the making.
2. The iconic 1984 Super Bowl ad
In the 1984 Super Bowl, the Los Angeles Raiders crushed the Washington Redskins. But the lasting legacy of Super Bowl XVIII was Apple’s iconic 60-second ad. It introduced the Macintosh computer to the world, symbolising the future of the PC industry.
3. From Siberian exile to new beginnings
In 1985, Jobs enticed marketer John Sculley with the famous line, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” Unfortunately, things between the two soured, and Jobs was ousted after a 24-hour board meeting and power struggle. Jobs was banished to a side building he described as “Siberia.”
Jobs resigned from Apple and founded NeXT Computer Company. While NeXT never found real financial success, it was the very thing that eventually brought Jobs and Apple back together. He later claimed, “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.”
4. Pixar: the move that made Jobs a billionaire
In 1986, Jobs bought The Graphics Group from Lucas films. He contracted with Disney, renaming the company Pixar, and producing a number of computer-animated films.
In 2006, Jobs sold Pixar to Walt Disney Co, a deal worth more than $7 billion that also landed him a Disney board seat and the single largest share of Disney stock, worth more than $3 billion.
5. The return of the prodigal son
After Steve left Apple, the company began a slow but sure decline. Apple was in real financial trouble, and in desperate need of a new operating system. Apple Bought NeXT for $429 million in 1996, and Jobs was a major part of that buyout.
6. The deal with rival Microsoft and Bill Gates
Steve Jobs returned to a near-bankrupt company. He decided to cut a deal with formal rival Microsoft and Bill Gates. Though the two made an unlikely pairing, Steve was brilliant enough to recognise that a marriage between Apple and Microsoft was exactly what he needed to move forward.
The era of competition between Microsoft and Apple was over. Two former rivals shook hands and Apple was re-born.
7. The Launch of the iPod and iTunes
Jobs introduced the iPod in 2001 saying, “No one has really found the recipe for digital music. This is huge.” What was huge was his timing. The iPod wasn’t the first mp3 player out there, and it wasn’t even the best. But the combination of the iPod and the iTunes music store was an instant success.
8. The Stanford University speech
In 2005, a very uncharacteristic Steve Jobs spoke to university students at Stanford. He encouraged them to reach for their dreams and talked in a personal way about his life.
9. The revolution of the mobile phone industry
A few minutes into his 2007 Macworld keynote, Jobs said, “Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone.” With the introduction of the iPhone, sales surged. People lined up all over the world for each new iPhone release. Imitations started popping up everywhere. And Apple stock went from $10 to $400 a share almost overnight.
10. The debut of the iPad
Steve declared the iPad the most important thing he had ever done, reportedly working on the device even while recuperating from a liver transplant. Apple had a reputation for showcasing the unconventional, and once again, they didn’t disappoint. The company called it “a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.”
Rest in Peace Steve.