Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower, a familiar saying attributed to the late Steve Paul Jobs. Remarkably smart, diligent and complicated as his life was Steve Jobs made it to the rich and powerful lists over the years. His might was due to his ingenious inventions in Apple, Pixar and next. Jobs could actually have upstaged Bill Gates but he was baffled by innovation as Bill Gates was by money.
Personal life Steve jobs was born in San Francisco California on February 1955. This was to two university graduates who where unmarried at the time and later gave him up for adoption. He was taken in by a customer at the Mediterranean restaurant which was owned by biological father, as they were to later realize couple and grew up with them in the suburban city of Mountain View, California.
In the 1950s young Steve jobs lived in Silicon Valley in the Santa Clara County. A chain of semi –conductor companies where coming up in the neighborhood. This thus exposed Jobs to engineers working on electronics in their garages on weekends. At this early stage of life, Jobs was able to shape his interests In life and also meet Stephen Wozniak an electronic wizard who impacted greatly in his life.
Jobs was a talented and intelligent individual, however his youth was coupled with frustration over formal schooling. In high school Jobs spent his free time at Hewlett-packard. Once he attained college age, Jobs was particular enough to select Reeds College. Though considered expensive for the poor couple, they relentlessly enrolled him as they had promised his biological parents that he would get tertiary education. One semester at Reed, he dropped out only to attend classes he had keen interest in for 18months. Later on, he moved to Oregon to cultivate apples. Months later, in 1974 Steve jobs returned to California seeking employment. Hired as a young video maker, Jobs saved his wages to travel to India with a college friend both looking for spiritual enlightenment. On coming back he was a Buddhist, a bit disillusioned and took interest on Woz’s activities.
Woz interest in electronics specifically computers had taken a whole new direction. From attending computer club meetings to collection of radio jammers and was the finally pioneering personal computing. Jobs was first in conceptualizing what his friend was doing, he saw a market niche and convinced Wozniak to start a company. In 1976 at an age of 21, Steve and Wozniak started Apple computers in a family garage where they both contributed towards the venture.
The two combined revolutionized the computer industry by developing smaller, cheaper and user friendly computers that were made accessible to everyday consumers. They embarked on Apple 1, assembling it and selling it to computer merchants in the area. Wozniak however intended to develop a better model that was more powerful, expandable and could support colored graphics. They had a deep conviction on the success of their venture and towards its attainment, Jobs sought additional venture capital. In 1977, Intel’s executive Markkula being the big believer in revolutionized computing that he was invested a huge sum of cash in Apple.
Apple 2 started a computer boom because of its desirable features including the first successful commercial spreadsheet program. These facilitated Apple computers to crash most of the competition which led to IBM developing their own personal computer soon after .By 1993 when Apple2 production came to an end; over 6 million units had been sold. This led to the Apple founders attain millionaires status. In 1984, Apple engineers under Jobs stewardship were inspired to produce the first Macintosh computer that was advertised during a superbowl game. The following year, Jobs left Apple after the board deemed it fit he does and founded Next. A computer company, though it did not reap much success the technology was utilized later. Jobs aspired for highest computer standards facilitating the most advanced software possible. In the meantime, jobs bought a leading graphics hardware called Pixar and ventured into computer animations. Pixar in the 5 years that followed aimed at developing 3D rendering software. The 3D commercials and productions won various awards and also signed deals with Disney world. Through the years, as Next collapsed Pixar was on the verge of success as a result of Disney’s marketing machine. True to predictions Jobs had made a fortune with the hit Toy Story. Pixar’s stock on wallstreet was doing so well that Jobs was ranked as a billionaire.
At Apple, the success story was not similar. Microsoft had developed a working OS and Apple not being able to match up, it was slowly plummeting. A new CEO was sought to come and save Apple. He cut on cost and as a result a third of the workforce was sent home. The new boss also decided that instead of developing a new operating system from scratch, they better buy. Next was chosen and on Jobs being approached he advised they buy the whole company, which happened in December 1996.Steve Jobs was back where he founded.
In a year’s time, Steve got rid of the C.E.O and was now leading Apple once more. He instilled a new management team, altered the stock options and with a hefty salary Jobs put Apple back on the success lane. He sought to catch the consumer’s eye through sleek products with stylish designs like the iMac, ingenious brand campaigns which he did.
All things seemed rosy until 2003 when Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in form of a neuroendocrine tumor. In 2004 Jobs heard surgery successfully and his illness was rarely spoken of.
Recent innovations and developments.
Apple over the years unveiled very impressive products such as the iPod, iPhone and the MacBook air. This made Apple a revolutionary brand in modern technology. Competitors were always lagging behind and trying to catch up with comparable technologies. 2007 was one of the most memorable years in Apples history as it stocks were very impressive, realized huge profits at no debt. In 2008, iTunes hit the music industry with a bang. It was rated as the 2nd biggest music retailer second to wall-mart. Apple ratings are really impressive up to date being the 1st among fortune 500 companies for favorable returns to its shareholders.
Leadership skills facilitated Steve Jobs success
When in authority, judgment on people’s future is on you. This makes or breaks a leader, a concept Steve Jobs understood to well. Some believe he is nearly iconic as his company logo. With all the names attributed to him like innovator, risk taker, unscrupulous and a corporate pirate his vision for success was eminent. This is the same business acumen that led to a revolution in the technology industry.
Leadership is commonly defined as organizing a group of people to work together in an end to achieve a common goal. According to Blue water President Darren Davis, having innovation commanding the front page of the news and health news affecting the stock market is remarkable for a college student. Steve Jobs tried to paint a picture of reality by demonstrating that hard work is a necessary ingredient for success. He also urged his colleges and employees to strive for something attainable. Leaders are people who mainly understand that if you are in a position to influence or direct peoples future, your main duty is to believe in them. You have to fuel their support system with confidence and teach them on how to fight failure rather than attempt to avoid it. This reasoning made Steve Jobs stand out even after Hewlett-packard rejected him for lacking formal college education.
Similar to the top ten things executives should do, Steve jobs was no different. He created competitive advantage through his outstanding products. One thing that remained constant was his desire for perfection. While in apple, Pixar and in Next, Steve jobs sought to design products like Macintosh, iPod iTunes and the MacBook which turned the face of the industry. He was so distinct from his rivals and this facilitated his success.
When dealing with employees, one has to be able to evaluate on their weaknesses and strengths. As for Steve jobs, he considered emotional intelligence was key in maximizing performance. This he accomplished by emphasizing that hard work and success go hand in hand. Although being a visionary leader is important for employees, being able to work with them helps a great deal. Steve jobs did just that as he worked for long hours.
Jobs life was crowned with various awards since 1982 when the time names the computer as machine of the year. They kept on flowing up until he was ranked number 17 by Forbes as the world’s most powerful people.
After his resignation as Apples CEO, Jobs was declared the Henry Ford of his time. Jobs were described as a visionary, genius and pioneer in the field of business where he immensely thrived. He had revolutionized the face of the modern world.
October 5 2011 was a dark day for Apple and the rest of the world as the co-founder Steve jobs had died Aged 56 years. Over a million people from the world over have paid tribute to Steve. The common thing about their thought and feelings about him were how his passion for perfection and style touched their lives.
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