I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. It is so hard – Steve Jobs, 1995
Steve Jobs was born in San Francisco, California, on February 24, 1955, to two University of Wisconsin graduate students who gave him up for adoption. Smart but directionless, Jobs experimented with different pursuits before starting Apple Computers with Steve Wozniak in 1976. Apple’s revolutionary products, which include the iPod, iPhone and iPad, are now seen as dictating the evolution of modern technology. He died in 2011, following a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
While Jobs was always an intelligent and innovative thinker, his youth was riddled with frustrations over formal schooling. Jobs was a prankster in elementary school, and his fourth-grade teacher needed to bribe him to study
After high school, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Lacking direction, he dropped out of college after six months and spent the next 18 months dropping in on creative classes at the school. Jobs later recounted how one course in calligraphy developed his love of typography.
In 1974, Jobs took a position as a video game designer with Atari. Several months later he left Atari to find spiritual enlightenment in India, traveling the continent and experimenting with psychedelic drugs. In 1976, when Jobs was just 21, he and Wozniak started Apple Computer. The duo started in the Jobs family garage, and funded their entrepreneurial venture by Jobs selling his Volkswagen bus and Wozniak selling his beloved scientific calculator.
Jobs and Wozniak are credited with revolutionizing the computer industry by democratizing the technology and making the machines smaller, cheaper, intuitive and accessible to everyday consumers. Wozniak conceived a series of user-friendly personal computers, and, with Jobs in charge of marketing.
Apple introduced such revolutionary products as the Macbook Air, iPod and iPhone, all of which have dictated the evolution of modern technology. Almost immediately after Apple releases a new product, competitors scramble to produce comparable technologies. Apple’s quarterly reports improved significantly in 2007: Stocks were worth $199.99 a share—a record-breaking number at that time—and the company boasted a staggering $1.58 billion profit, an $18 billion surplus in the bank and zero debt.
In 2008, iTunes became the second-biggest music retailer in America—second only to Wal-Mart. Half of Apple’s current revenue comes from iTunes and iPod sales, with 200 million iPods sold and 6 billion songs downloaded. For these reasons, Apple has been ranked No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s list of “America’s Most Admired Companies,” as well as No. 1 among Fortune 500 companies for returns to shareholders.
Truly, one of the greatest exceptionals of the 20th & 21st Century, Steve jobs revolutionized the computer technology. From Ipod to Iphone, Ipad to Macbook, every invention marked a new standard in modern technology, and despite being fired earlier from Apple, his vision for a better technology never died, and from NeXT Inc. to Pixar and then back to Apple as its CEO, Jobs reinvented Apple and the modern computer technology.
Every decade, an exceptional is born to question the existing world’s structure, believes in something unimaginable, and through perseverance, achieves it.