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Remembering Steve Jobs : Illness and His Legacy

by The Finance Kid on October 6, 2011

in Entrepreneur

Steve Jobs thumb2 Remembering Steve Jobs : Illness and His Legacy

Ill­ness

Jobs was diag­nosed with pan­cre­atic can­cer in 2004. After surgery he returned to Apple, but had to take another leave of absence in 2009, ulti­mately under­go­ing a liver trans­plant. He took his final leave of absence in Jan­u­ary 2011.

In August, he for­mally resigned as CEO. “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expec­ta­tions as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfor­tu­nately, that day has come,” Jobs said in a let­ter addressed “to the Apple Board of Direc­tors and the Apple Community.”

I believe Apple’s bright­est and most inno­v­a­tive days are ahead of it. And I look for­ward to watch­ing and con­tribut­ing to its suc­cess in a new role,” Jobs wrote. “I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work along­side you.”

Jobs’s Legacy

It would be a mis­take to char­ac­ter­ize Jobs’s time at Apple sim­ply by the prod­ucts the com­pany released. Those prod­ucts came about because of prin­ci­ples held by Jobs that he made sure were shared by oth­ers at Apple, espe­cially as he refash­ioned the com­pany fol­low­ing his 1997 return to Cupertino.

The prod­ucts men­tioned through­out this story might not have come to pass were it not for Apple’s con­stant need to inno­vate. That’s an atti­tude dri­ven by Jobs, dur­ing flush times as well as well as when the tech busi­ness was less than boom­ing. It’s worth not­ing that some of Apple’s biggest prod­uct releases dur­ing Jobs’s tenure—the iPod and the iPad, most notably—were devel­oped dur­ing reces­sions when con­sumers the­o­ret­i­cally were less inclined to spend money on pricey electronics.

The way we’re going to sur­vive is to inno­vate our way out of this,” Jobs told Time Mag­a­zine in early 2002, a strat­egy the com­pany returned to when the econ­omy went south again in 2008. In both instances, Apple under Jobs upped its research-and-development spend­ing, help­ing the com­pany pro­duce a strong prod­uct lineup that could weather tough times.

It goes with­out say­ing that under Jobs, Apple became syn­ony­mous with great design. From the early days of the Mac­in­tosh, when Jobs agi­tated for rec­tan­gles with rounded cor­ners, no aspect of the design process escaped the company’s attention.

But Jobs was about more than design just for the sake of look­ing good—the design deci­sions Apple makes also take usabil­ity into account. That 2002 Time Mag­a­zine arti­cle recounts the cre­ation of the first flat-panel iMac and how Jobs scrapped an early ver­sion of the desk­top because its design failed to impress. Time’s Josh Quit­tner recounted the sub­se­quent meet­ing between Jobs and Apple exec­u­tive Jonathan Ive:

That’s an approach to cre­at­ing prod­ucts that sticks with other Apple employ­ees, even after they leave the com­pany. “You almost imag­ine that Steve is in your office,” Flip­board founder and ex-Apple engi­neer Evan Doll told the San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle. “You say to your­self, what would he say about this? When you’re kick­ing around an idea for a prod­uct, or for a fea­ture, you’ll even say it in discussion—’Steve Jobs would love this!’ or, more often, ‘Steve Jobs would say this isn’t good enough.’ He’s like the con­science sit­ting on your shoulder.”

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Remembering Steve Jobs : Beyond The Mac

by The Finance Kid on October 6, 2011

in Entrepreneur

Steve Jobs thumb1 Remembering Steve Jobs : Beyond The Mac

 

Beyond the Mac

Of course, the assorted tran­si­tions dur­ing Jobs’s reign as CEO weren’t con­fined to the Mac. Per­haps the great­est tran­si­tion Jobs ini­ti­ated was mov­ing Apple away from being just a soft­ware and com­puter maker and into the lucra­tive world of con­sumer elec­tron­ics. The shift became offi­cial in 2007 when Apple dropped the word “Com­puter” from its name, sim­ply call­ing itself Apple Inc.

The shift began with the iPod. When Apple unveiled its music player in the fall of 2001, the mar­ket for MP3 play­ers was in its early stages. Devices at the time relied on small amounts of flash mem­ory that could hold only a hand­ful of songs. In short, it was a field that was ripe for innovation—and inno­vate Apple did with the iPod. The device’s 5GB capac­ity gave it the stor­age space to, in Apple’s words, “put 1000 songs in your pocket.” And while not the first hard-drive-based dig­i­tal music player on the market—Creative’s Nomad series beat it to the punch—the iPod had some­thing going for it that no other com­pany could match: soft­ware inte­gra­tion. Though iTunes debuted ear­lier in 2001, it was with the iPod’s fall intro­duc­tion that the pieces clicked into place and Apple’s ecosys­tem started to take shape.

Still, at the time, the iPod met with heavy skep­ti­cism. Why was Apple, a com­puter com­pany, mak­ing a portable music player? “We love music,” Jobs said dur­ing the iPod’s intro­duc­tion. “And it’s always good to do some­thing you love.”

It proved to be lucra­tive for Apple, too. The com­pany has sold hun­dreds of mil­lions of iPods in the last decade, and though sales growth slowed and then declined in recent years, Apple con­tin­ues to enjoy a 70 per­cent share of the MP3 player mar­ket. Part of the rea­son for the device’s suc­cess? Apple’s repeated will­ing­ness to rein­vent the iPod line. Take 2005’s deci­sion to kill off the pop­u­lar iPod mini and replace it with the smaller, flash0based iPod nano. That kind of think­ing, utterly for­eign to most com­pa­nies, was sec­ond nature to Steve Jobs: Why not kill a prod­uct at the height of its pop­u­lar­ity if you’re going to replace it with some­thing even better?

Steve Jobs seemed to antic­i­pate the demand for the iPod from the get-go: “Music’s a part of everyone’s life,” Jobs said at the 2001 launch event. “Music’s been around for­ever. This is not a spec­u­la­tive mar­ket. And because it’s a part of everyone’s life, it’s a very large tar­get mar­ket all around the world.”

As it did with the iPod, Apple didn’t cre­ate a new prod­uct cat­e­gory with 2007’s iPhone intro­duc­tion. Smart­phones existed before Apple came out with its effort, with exist­ing devices aimed largely at busi­ness cus­tomers who wanted to check their email when they were out and about. Apple instead set its sights on the broader con­sumer mar­ket. It would appeal to the end user by inform­ing its device with the same sen­si­bil­i­ties it had used in the Mac: good design, ease of use, and a har­mo­nious mar­riage between soft­ware and hardware.

Every once in a while a rev­o­lu­tion­ary prod­uct comes along that changes every­thing,” Jobs said at the 2007 Mac­world Expo keynote when he pulled the first iPhone out of his pants pocket. “One is very for­tu­nate if you get to work on just one of these in your career. Apple’s been very for­tu­nate. It’s been able to intro­duce a few of these into the world.”

That may sound like the kind of “real­ity dis­tor­tion field”-style hype that Jobs became famous for—and to some extent, it is. But it also hap­pens to be true. Look no fur­ther than how other smart­phone mak­ers responded—with devices that mir­rored the iPhone’s touch-screen con­trols, pow­er­ful Web browser, and array of third-party mobile apps. Where once every smart­phone had to have a phys­i­cal key­board, many now rely upon just a touch­screen; that’s a direct result of the iPhone’s influence.

Jobs closes out his tenure as Apple’s CEO by lead­ing the com­pany into what’s being billed as the “post-PC” era—a period in which mobile devices no longer need sync up with com­put­ers. It was with that vision in mind that Apple rolled out the iPad, which brings PC-style com­put­ing into a hand­held device. Launched less than two years ago, the iPad has already carved out a new mar­ket for tablet com­put­ing, with other com­pa­nies once again try­ing to keep pace with Apple. It also joins the orig­i­nal Mac, the iPod, and the iPhone among the rev­o­lu­tion­ary prod­ucts Jobs helped develop dur­ing his Apple career.

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Remembering Steve Jobs : Jobs Return

October 6, 2011

  Jobs Returns In a com­mence­ment speech at Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity in 2005, Jobs said that his fir­ing from Apple in the mid-1980s “was the best thing that could have ever hap­pened to me.” That may have been true for Jobs, who used his time away from Cuper­tino to not only found Next but also buy […]

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Remembering Steve Jobs : Apple Early Years

October 6, 2011

Vision­ary, Leader & A Genius who rev­o­lu­tion­ized the way we com­mu­ni­cate today. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died Wednes­day after bat­tling can­cer and related con­di­tions for seven years. He was 56. Jobs, who reigned as Apple CEO for 14 years, resigned his post in August 2011 and was replaced by Tim Cook, who pre­vi­ously was the company’s […]

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Businessman vs Entrepreneur. What’s the difference?

September 11, 2011

  What is the dif­fer­ence between a busi­ness and an entre­pre­neur­ship? How about a busi­ness owner from an entre­pre­neur? These terms are com­monly used inter­change­ably. How­ever, these terms have dif­fer­ent mean­ing – and those dif­fer­ences are what we will try to find out. To illus­trate and under­stand sim­ply and clearly the dif­fer­ence between busi­ness and […]

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Only Once In Your Life…..

June 22, 2011

Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find some­one who can com­pletely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb every­thing you say and actu­ally want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that […]

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