Steve Jobs Day: Celebrating a relentless entrepreneur who created value without compromising on vision

Steve Jobs made a comeback after being ousted from his own firm Apple, thanks to his timely investment in his own firm NeXT.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, October 15, 2022, 03:38 PM IST
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On October 23, 2001, Steve Jobs, Co-Founder and former Chief Executive unveiled the portable music player. | File pic

Every year tech geeks, smartphone enthusiasts and luxury-brand lovers eagerly wait for the launch of the iPhone’s latest version, which has become a tradition. But even as Tim Cook appears on stage to unveil the device, Steve Jobs is the only face that comes to mind when one thinks of Apple. More than a decade after his death, Jobs is remembered as the person who set the ball rolling for the iconic brand, which hit $3 trillion in value by January this year.

Exploring creative avenues beyond Apple

Apart from creating Apple, Jobs was also the mind behind Pixar, and truly designed products that appeal to the desires of everyone from big spenders, to the mass market and investors looking at numbers. Even with the same high-end smartphone which accounts for almost 50 per cent of its sales, Apple holds a 16 per cent market share, second only to Samsung which caters to a wider consumerbase. Wearables and accessories make up 10 per cent of sales for the company, which had launched iPhone as an evolved version of its digital music player iPod in 2007.

A relentless brand-building approach

Jobs managed to revolutionise the smartphone market with a single product, while scaling heights of efficiency with the Macbook and the iMac, without compromising on his vision. Apart from being relentless, Steve Jobs’ inspiring story of falling from grace and returning to save Apple, is also marked by smart investments. Behind the image of a hippy-turned-tech tycoon and a turtleneck wearing eccentric entrepreneur, Jobs had an eye for the right investment opportunity, which acted as his ticket back into Apple.

The son of a Syrian immigrant, Jobs was a go getter who landed a summer job at Hewlett & Packard at 13, by directly calling up co-founder Bill Hewlett.

A hustler from a young age, Jobs joined Steve Wozniak to create ‘blue boxes’ which facilitated free long distance calls, illegally.

After finding enlightenment on a trip to India, Jobs founded Apple, but was ousted from his own company by the board in 1985.

This was when Jobs showed quick thinking to invest $12 million from his pocket to launch NeXT, which later formed a partnership with IBM.

In the 80s, Jobs also bought Pixar from Star Wars maker George Lucas for $10 million, which turned into a major animation studio which would eventually be acquired by Disney for $7.4 billion.

But it was NeXT that was acquired by Apple under CEO Gil Amelio, simply with the aim of bringing Jobs back into the fold. But soon Jobs got the board to push out Amelio and make him the CEO, which reflected his sharp business acumen.

Displaying a practical approach, Jobs sought help from Microsoft and launched the iMac in 1998, which turned around Apple’s fortunes.

This was followed by the 2001 introduction of iPod in the music market, which was getting increasingly digitised with Mp3, and set the tone for the iPhone’s evolution.

Since its launch, the iPhone has sold more than 1.9 billion units in 15 years, and its popularity doesn’t seem to be fading away anytime soon. Known for the wearing the same Issey Miyake sweater and driving plateless Mercedes cars, Jobs had actually mastered the art of convincing top executives about his ideas being facts and his vision being viable.

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