Apple is one of the most revered brands on the planet, so it stands to reason that everyone’s probably heard of its co-founder, Steve Jobs.
As an inspiring innovator who turned failures into successes, it’s no wonder that Jobs has been named as one of the greatest entrepreneurs of recent times.
Birth of a businessman
Born in San Francisco in 1955, Jobs showed an interest in electronics at a young age, when his adoptive father showed him how different pieces fit together. During work experience at Hewlett-Packard, Jobs met Steve Wozniak.
In 1976, the pair set up a business in the garage of Wozniak’s family home, calling it Apple Computer (named after Jobs’ favourite fruit). They funded the enterprise by selling their possessions.
The Apple II was their breakthrough computer product, setting off the trend for personal computers. Unlike other models of that era, this version didn’t need assembling by the purchaser. After initial success, Apple Computer enjoyed sales of $139 million. However, financial issues meant Jobs’ Macintosh launch in 1984 failed to make an impact.
With money woes, rumours of Jobs’ difficult working style and a more competitive market, Apple began to struggle.
A new chapter
By 1985, Jobs left Apple Computer and launched a new business, NeXT Computer Company. Again, market conditions proved tricky. Although Jobs’ new computer model came loaded with innovative features, its high price kept sales low.
In order to boost his income, Jobs acquired Pixar Animation Studios, which has since produced box office smashes over the years, such as Toy Story and Finding Nemo.
Another bite of the Apple
Jobs sold NeXT to Apple for $429 million and returned to the Apple brand as CEO in the late 1990s. With his passion for technical innovation, Jobs managed to turn Apple around from its quarterly $708 million loss.
With a new management team on board and an investment package from Microsoft, Jobs dropped some product lines to pave the way for iconic new launches, such as the iMac and the G3 PowerPC microprocessor. By the close of 1998, Apple’s sales topped $5.9 billion.
Jobs also steered Apple into the consumer electronics market, introducing sought-after innovations such as the iPod. What better way to download and listen to songs on the iPod than through the brand’s own music portal, iTunes?
Despite getting a cancer diagnosis in 2003, Jobs only strived to innovate further, bringing ground breaking releases such as the iPhone, MacBook Air and iPad to the market.
Ingredients for success
Innovation was at the heart of Jobs’ ethos, but his passion to create things that looked beautiful also took priority.
As well as being a born entrepreneur, Jobs was a great motivator, and his thoughts on life and leadership inspired many people around the world.
As someone who believed that opportunities came out of failures, Jobs once said that “getting fired from Apple was the best thing that happened to me. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life”.
Trust and instinct were also important to Jobs. He once said that “you can’t connect the dots looking forward, only backwards. You have to trust the dots will connect in the future.”
Jobs also didn’t have much time for market research. He famously quoted that “it’s hard to design products by focus groups. People don’t know what they want until you show it them.”
Jobs passed away in 2011, but his legacy lives on. While he’s no longer around to steer the helm of the Apple ship, his beliefs are still firmly rooted in the foundations of the company. Little wonder then that last year the iconic global brand was the first ever to achieve a worth of $1 trillion.
The story of Steve Jobs is one of true spirit and determination to succeed. If you’re inspired to hone your personal development like the Apple founder, Headspace Group provides inspiring coworking environments to assist with this aim.
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