|9 online articles from this issue.||Next|
In 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne founded Apple. Both Jobs and Wozniak had worked for Atari. A mutual friend had introduced the 21-year-old Wozniak to then 16-year-old Jobs. As the company expanded, Steve Jobs lured John Sculley away from Pepsi-Cola to take on the CEO position. The following year, Apple introduced the Macintosh in a Superbowl television commercial titled "1984" that launched the Macintosh as the first commercially successful small computer with a graphic interface. When hard times hit in late 1984, Sculley relieved Jobs of his duties. Later, Jobs would admit being fired was the best thing that could have ever happened to him.
After leaving Apple, Jobs founded NeXT Computer. A year later, he attracted billionaire, Ross Perot, who invested heavily in the company. In 1990 Jobs NeXTcube could share voice, image, graphics and video in email for the first time. His obsession for aesthetic profection was evidenced by the computer's magnesium case. In 1993 Jobs transitioned the company into software development in 1996. NeXT was acquired by Apple in 1997. Jobs WebObjects was used to build and run the Apple Store, MobileMe services and the iTunes store. Jobs came back to the company he co-founded as CEO.
In 1986, Jobs bought The Graphics Group (later renamed Pixar) from Lucasfilm. Jobs contracted with Disney to produce a number of computer-animated feature films, which Disney would co-finance and distribute. The first was Toy Story in 1995. Over the next 15 years, Pixar brought critical acclaim to the studio with box-office hits: A Bug's Life (1998); Toy Story 2 (1999); Monsters, Inc. (2001); Finding Nemo* (2003); The Incredibles* (2004); Cars (2006); Ratatouille* (2007); WALL-E* (2008); Up* (2008); and Toy Story 3* (2010). *Received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
In 2006 Disney bought Pixar for $7.4 billion and Jobs became Disney's largest stockholder. He joined the Disney Board of Directors upon completion of the merger.
Jobs NeXTSTEP created before company's merger with Apple, evolved into one of Apple's crowning achievements, OSX. Under Jobs guidance Apple's stock rose some 9000% and because the company delivered one innovation after another, other companies found themselves behind the eight-ball in the fast moving technological race Apple had unleashed.
Design and simplicity added with durability and unmatched customer service.
Jobs was undaunting in his relentless search for not only the most durable and innovative product, but one with attractive, sleek and clean lines. It had to be a product the consumer was proud to own and proud to display.
Apple's designs were legendary and every other computer company kept their spies working overtime to try to mimic Apple's creativeness as quickly as possible.
Compare the MacBook Pro to the dime-store models offered by the competition. Apple was the first to revolutionize the functionality and the sleek appearance of lap tops and Jobs went out of his way to see that these computers were clearly visible in the media and the entertainment industry. It was not your K-Mart $399 computer but you got exactly what you paid for. There was no complicated operating system like that found on Windows computers but the Mac OSX operating system was so simple and easy that a child could learn it easily.
There was a sleek, clean design that made you want to show it off and functionality and durability unmatched by any other computer on the market. Jobs kept it local. If you were confused about an issue or had a problem with your Mac, your AppleCare agreement would extend your warranty for three full years with access to knowledgeable English-speaking reps who in most cases would work you through most issues by phone. Apple takes care of their customers.
Another prime example is the now legendary iMac. The evolution of this product is a story all its own. The concept came from Job's original "Mac in a Box" design with the first one being rather boxy by today's standards but going through both technological and design changes, the current iMac is a sleek, functional, computer appliance that can handle the most demanding requirements without all the cables and mess required by previous outdated computers.
Aside from MacIntosh being the computer of choice for the Entertainment Industry, Publishing and Printing, Architecture and Design, Graphic Professionals and Illustrators, Authors and more, most of today's youth market is being driven to Apple products with the exposure in movies, television, sports and news. Steve Jobs developed his relationship with these professionals and celebrities so that they became allies of the Apple brand.
About ten years ago, Steve Jobs and Apple revolutionized the music industry and nobody saw it coming. The recorded music industry was dying. Music was being copied and shared online for free. It was unnecessary for people to buy CDs and artists and writers were not being compensated for their work. Then Apple introduced a stylish, yet simple, pocket-sized computer hard drive called the iPod that allowed consumers to save and play hundreds, if not thousands, of their favorite songs. Jobs developed the iTunes store and convinced record labels to sell songs and albums for a reasonable low price that benefited the consumer and the record label. According to Bill Werde of Billboard Magazine, "Other companies made digital music available on computers and digital phones. Apple's brilliance - and I don't think anyone doubts that this was Steve Jobs' brilliance - was that Apple made it exciting and simple and effortless and fun. Before Steve Jobs, digital music was math class. After, It was recess."
In 2007 the Evolution began all over again. Apple's iPhone was introduced to hungry new customers who were lining up, sleeping outside of Apple Stores across the country to be able to get their hands on this groundbreaking new device.
Right after the iPhone was introduced, Blackberry stock was rumored to have plummeted. Major competitors like Nokia, Motorola and others began to struggle. Apple had introduced the next generation of cell phone and the first smart phone and competitors were buying up models to take them apart to see how they were developed. Jobs had constructed meaning from desire. For him it was about harnessing the here and now with devices that propelled you into the future. Apple stock soared and existing cell phone providers as well as other computer companies were staggering forward to try to compete. But once again Jobs had put forethought and planning into the development of the iPhone. It was an incredible device, backed by a computer savvy design team and Jobs had spent years working with potential developers of apps. No one could touch the iPhone's succes just as virtually everyone gave up on competing with the dominance of the iPod.
But Steve still had a few tricks. In 2010 with the iPad's dramatic debut, lines of customers snaked around blocks and out into parking lots, even though people had the option to order on in advance. Being on the cutting edge of technology, less than a year later, Jobs introduced an even better iPad2 complete with extended Apple apps, front and back camera and more. While every Joe and Moe in the industry jumped into the fray, these failed in comparison with the functionality, simplicity and design from Apple. While the other manufacturers referred to their product as "tablets" the iPad was simply an iPad.
"Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American Innovators - brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it." - President Barack Obama
"Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives. The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come." - Bill Gates, Microsoft
"He's clearly the most effective and successful CEO in the last 50 years. He didn't just found Apple, and he didn't actually just make it successful in the first decade. He also took it over after a bad period and rebuilt it, which has essentially never been done in an American corporation. Steve is both a technologist and an artist who shows that art matters and the rest of us missed the fact that beautiful simple products are what people want." - Eric Schmidt, Chairman, Google
"Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you." - Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook
"The magic of Steve was that while others simply accepted the status quo, he saw the true potential in everything he touched and never compromised on that vision. He leaves behind a legacy that will continue to speak to people for years to come." - George Lucas, Filmmaker
"We've lost a unique tech pioneer and auteur who knew how to make amazingly great products." - Paul Allen, Co-founder Microsoft
"Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed and the culture he defined..an original." - Bob Iger, President, Walt Disney Company
"Steve was my hero growing up. He not only gave me a lot of personal advice and encouragement, he showed all of us how innovation can change lives. I will miss him dearly and will the world." - Jerry Yang, Co-founder, Yahoo
"The digital age has lost its leading light, but Steve's innovation and creativity will inspire dreamers and thinkers for generations." - Howard Stringer, Sony Corp. CEO
From the staff here at Cameo, we have relied on Apple products since our business started 20 years ago in 1991 and they have never let us down. The creativity and functionality of Apple products and the demanding nature of Steve Jobs requiring perfection has made us a loyal customer and we have been spokespersons for the brand based on our Apple experience.
Steve Jobs did truly change the world and the entertainment industry. At the recent AEP Conference in Las Vegas, Apple products had a commanding presence among artists, production people and agents.
I want to finish this article with a comment from a legendary entertainer:
"Steve Jobs was a man of absolute integrity. He pursued the deepest truths in his imagination with unabashed passion, uncompromising singularity of purpose and unyielding urgency. Apple's tenacious actualization of this transformative and lofty vision of integration brings us closer together. He was a force of nature, a volcano, and a man who loves and misses his family. The world is much poorer today. And always." - Wynton Marsalis, Jazz Musician
It is my hope that Steve's brilliant light will continue to shine long past his leaving us here, not only on our friends at Apple in Cupertino, but the young and old alike he has touched throughout the world. Keep the man in your hearts and his relentless drive for perfection in your practices.