I'm sure many of you have heard by now, and if not, then let it be said once again that Apple co-founder and one of the truest geniuses and innovators of our time that the world had ever seen died yesterday after battling cancer for many many years. Steve Jobs was the co-founder of Apple back on April 1, 1976 with Steve Wozniak, but was actually an idea long before that and was having the foundation laid down for it in the garage of Steve's parents. He was the first to get the user the chance to use the computer out of the office and into their house. Was the first one to get the user then out of the CLI (command line interface) and into the GUI (graphical user interface) with the click and scroll with the mouse. It was also however the reason it didn't sell so well because of the inflated price for the GUI that it was introducing to the public. I don't know how many on here would remember the commercial that launched the Macintosh, but it was aired during the Super Bowl in 1984. Ironically, the commercial was even called 1984, lol. His innovative ideas back then came with a huge price tag to the public and thus caused the board at Apple to eventually fire him because his ideas were labeled as too big and expensive for the public an thus for the company for the lack of sales to bring in the profit that was expected. Once fired, Steve went onto form NeXT, which would ironically push Steve back into Apple.
In the meantime, Steve stayed busy with his NeXT development as well as staying busy with his new acquisition of Pixar from George Lucas (Lucasfilm). With the acquisition of Pixar, it gave Steve the chance to understand and better improve his knowledge of the graphical side of computers and television and movies. By improving on these things, he was presented the opportunity to do a film for Disney, Toy Story, and that movie became the biggest movie for that year and for a long time after it as well. In fact, the movie and production of it was so good that Disney ended up buying it in 2006 after a few more movies were created, for a little over 7 billion. Here is where Steve's ingenious also comes into play again. a contingent of the sale to Disney was also shares. When they purchased Pixar, they had to do it on a stock only purchase and thus made him the largest shareholder of Disney. In fact, he held more shares of Disney than he did in his own company, Apple, and thus catapulted him onto the Forbes list. With Disney in his pocket, so to speak, him back in the seat at Apple, and having the green light to do any and everything he wanted to with and for Apple products, he brought of a few of his employees from Pixar to the Apple side to help him with the new ideas and the designing of them. Thus began the explosion of the Apple that so many know now.
With the fall of Apple, Microsoft started to gain the majority of the market share by selling cheap software and hardware while Apple was still selling their nicer, sharper, and more robust systems at the same high pricing they were before. Most of the systems were being bought by governments and schools. Once Apple decided it needed to do something to keep up with Microsoft and were needing a new OS to do so, they then approached Steve about buying his NeXT OS because it was such an amazing, quick, and strong OS. In fact, after being bought and Steve being put in the driver seat of it, it later became known as Mac OS X. Once the acquisition was made, that pushed Steve back into Apple at that time as an advisor fro the company. Less than a year later, he was made the new interm CEO of the company and thus started to change things to the way he envisioned Apple was in his mind and should have been since the beginning in his mother's garage. With NeXT being the core of the company, he went in and started toying with it a little and then officially came back with the name Mac OS X and that was the OS used on the iMac that changed the computing world for good. It did cost a little more than you average home-based PC, but it would run laps around anything it was put up against. Not only was Steve now challenging Microsoft for the home user market, but he also once again worked it out to where Microsoft would help Apple do so by getting Microsoft to agree to allow them to use their Office suite on a Mac. They also opened their first Apple Store to the public in the same year after the Office announcement. A little less than a year later, the iMac was released.
Apple was doing really well, and in fact, the last time Apple saw their value not change was at the end of 1998. Stock back then was under 6 dollars a share and has risen over 9,000% to the level where it was at one time worth more than Exxon Mobile stock. Let's put it this way. My mother had Apple stock a LONG time ago and ended up selling it when one day her Macintosh started to smoke (after she threw a shoe at it of all things) and two, when the company was going through its downward spiral. The stock back then, according to her was in total like less than $30,000 and in todays market would have been worth over $200,000. My mother still kicks herself over that to this very day. In 2000, Steve Jobs dropped the prefix interm form his title and thus became the permanent CEO of Apple, but announced he would keep the i for his products. Every product is actually known as the "interm"Pod, the "interm"Phone, and so on. It was used back then for a reason and thus became a known part of the name and never changed. Not many knew about this, but now you do, lol.
The first innovation outside of the computer was the iPod. Steve was trying to find a way to give the user a way to have all their music available to them at all time and at every place that went to. The first held only 1,000 songs, but was still able to do more in a smaller platform than anyone could do with the best technology back then.....a CD. 2 years later, the iTunes store was released to the public and Steve once again worked his magic with all the major recording and label companies by getting them to agree to allow users to purchase their music for 0.99 a song and he did so by telling them that people were downloading illegal music because they didn't want to buy a whole album when all the wanted was just a song or two from it. By doing so, this didn't stop, but did slow down the illegal downloading of music. The next step in innovation was the MacPro, MacBook, and MacBook Pro. These devices raised the standard and bar on computers across the globe. It also gave birth to the unibody design that so many developers are using today to give it the seamless appearance. Next up for Steve and his company was the phone market. He saw that majority of the mobility in technology was either already in or going to the phone. He didn't just want to give the world a phone to make calls, or a phone that could make calls and pulls a web page slowly, but one that could do all of those things and also be able to integrate what the people have become used to at that time. A phone....a portable computer....and a portable music player. He released the iPhone and with its launch also released the App Store a year later to allow the user the chance to customize the look and functionality of their device. The App Store was a huge success in so much because it was generating more than $1 million a day in profits. With the iPhone's release, it sent Blackberry running and scrambling to try and keep up and thus it also changed the way the phone will look forever. Majority of phones now have a touch screen, have a store or market of some kind built into them, a music player built in, a good browser, and good processor, plenty of storage space and so on. The iPhone changed the way the world would use a phone and the ways the makers would produce those phones from that point on out. Finally, Steve asked the question of himself if there was a third tier to the technology world. He finally came to the conclusion that there is and thus he released the iPad to the public. It was the device that bridged the gap between the smartphone and the laptop. It gave the user the ability to do everything they can do with a smartphone in a bigger screen and all they can do with a laptop on a smaller device that didn't require so many parts or attachments or space to be used in.
Music.....communication........media........computing........flexibility........customization.......all were accomplished by Apple with Steve Jobs.......and all were original to Apple and Steve's inattentiveness. Many have copied and followed, but none have done it the way or in the time and speed that Steve has. Apple will be around for a very long time, but Apple will never be Apple as Steve had always wanted and dreamed Apple to be in Steve's mind because it took Steve's mind to do all the has been done to date by Apple. His ideas and legacy will live on and continue through his employees and all those that he has touched and effected in so many ways, but will never be replicated by anyone or anything ever again. I had the honor of meeting Steve on summer when I was in San Jose at the Cisco headquarters and I can say that just from our little 10 minute, give or take, talk we shared, it was such an awe-inspiring moment to hear what he had to say to my questions and to the general topics that were being discussed around us and by other Cisco employees. I and the rest of the world has suffered a great loss and suffered it all too soon. A true pioneer of innovation, genius, business, and real-life phoenix from all he had gone through and come up out of the ashes from has been lost. We, everyone in the world, will miss you because everyone in the world has been effected by you and your work in one way or another.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
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