Steve Jobs

Steven Paul Jobs (born February 24, 1955) is an American business magnate and inventor. He is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Apple Inc.. Jobs also previously served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, following the acquisition of Pixar by Disney. He was credited in the 1995 movie Toy Story as an executive producer.

In the late 1970s, Jobs, with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Mike Markkula, and others, designed, developed, and marketed one of the first commercially successful lines of personal computers, the Apple II series. In the early 1980s, Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of the mouse-driven graphical user interface which led to the creation of the Macintosh. After losing a power struggle with the board of directors in 1984, Jobs resigned from Apple and founded NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in the higher education and business markets. Apple’s subsequent 1996 buyout of NeXT brought Jobs back to the company he co-founded, and he has served as its CEO since 1997.

In 1986, he acquired the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm Ltd which was spun off as Pixar Animation Studios. He remained CEO and majority shareholder at 50.1% until its acquisition by The Walt Disney company in 2006. Consequently Jobs became Disney’s largest individual shareholder at 7% and a member of Disney’s Board of Directors.

Jobs’ history in business has contributed much to the symbolic image of the idiosyncratic, individualistic Silicon Valley entrepreneur, emphasizing the importance of design and understanding the crucial role aesthetics play in public appeal. His work driving forward the development of products that are both functional and elegant has earned him a devoted following.

In recent years, the company has branched out, introducing and improving upon other digital appliances. With the introduction of the iPod portable music player, iTunes digital music software, and the iTunes Store, the company made forays into consumer electronics and music distribution. In 2007, Apple entered the cellular phone business with the introduction of the iPhone, a multi-touch display cell phone, which also included the features of an iPod and, with its own mobile browser, revolutionized the mobile browsing scene. While stimulating innovation, Jobs also reminds his employees that “real artists ship”,[55] by which he means that delivering working products on time is as important as innovation and attractive design.

Jobs is both admired and criticized for his consummate skill at persuasion and salesmanship, which has been dubbed the “reality distortion field” and is particularly evident during his keynote speeches (colloquially known as “Stevenotes”) at Macworld Expos and at Apple’s own World Wide Developers Conferences.

via Steve Jobs

This entry was posted in Biography, Design, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Steve Jobs

  1. Steve B says:

    “Among the first to see the commercial potential of the mouse-driven graphical user interface”
    The quote from your article is true. But I think it is worthwhile understanding where the WIMP interface (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointing Device) originated.
    Ivan Sutherland, an American is cited as the first developer of a pointing device, which was used on his Sketchpad development in 1963. Sutherland’s work fed into early research in to a Graphical User Interface (GUI) undertaken by the Stanford Research Institute. This research was centred upon text-based hyperlinks which could be accessed by a pointing device (mouse). Xerox PARC picked up the results of Stanford’s work and established the first true graphical interface, which was used on their Alto computer launched in 1973. This computer was never available commercially, but was used by Xerox PARC itself. The first commercially available GUI was marketed by Xerox, namely the 8010 Star. The next major development of the GUI was the Apple Lisa, launched in 1983. Apple was responsible for the addition of a menu bar at the top of a window, which is now a common feature in many GUIs. IBM and Microsoft can be seen as “standing on the shoulders of giants” with there later developments of OS/2 and Windows.
    Obviously to list all GUIs developed after this point would be an onerous task, but today’s major players are:
    •Apple – Mac OS, and iOS
    •Microsoft – Windows
    •Various – Linux (various desktop environments such as KDE)
    Recent years have seen the WIMP paradigm spread from the desktop into mobile devices such as PDAs, Smartphones, Tablets, etc.
    With the increase in both capability and mobility of computing platforms, it is thought that the next major development in GUI technology will be the introduction of 3D interfaces. Imagine flying around in Google Earth using a 3D environment?

  2. Steve B says:

    Here’s an interesting fact that I have discovered whilst looking into the background of the information presented in the Steve Jobs article.

    A NeXT computer belonging to Tim Berners-Lee was the first ever to be used as a web-server.

Comments are closed.