Friday, October 7, 2011






The Best of the Jobs in the world until Wednesday was – Steve Jobs. That, unfortunately is no more available. He died of a rare type of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56.

Steven Paul Jobs (24 February 1955 – 5 October 2011) was Chairman and CEO of Apple Inc., a company he co-founded with Stephen Wozniak in 1976, in a suburban California Garage.

He underwent surgery in 2004 and received a liver transplant in 2009. He had to take medical leave of absence 3 times. He stepped down as CEO finally in August 2011, and Timothy  D Cook took, the COO, Apple  over as CEO.

It was a poignant and dignified departure by him. He had said –I have always said that 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 – this Wednesday.

To get Apple off the ground, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak  sold of their precious possessions – like Jobs’s Volkswagen micro-bus and Wozniak’s Hewlett-Packard scientific calculator – and raised $1,300 to start their new company

Apple made its slogan as - Think Different.

Eight years after founding Apple, in 1984, Steve introduced the Macintosh computer – as the first PC with a graphical user interface.

Subsequently, there was a bitter wrangle with the CEO, John Sculley and he had to leave Apple. He rejoined Apple after 12 long years again.

During that period, Steve bought Pixar Animation Studios from George Lucas in 1986 and was its CEO - until it was acquired by the Walt Disney Company in 2006. Steve Jobs was Walt Disney's largest individual shareholder and a former member of its Board of Directors. Pixar’s productions won several academy awards. He was thus a leading figure in both the computer and entertainment industries.

When Jobs was fired from Apple – he had also started his new company called NeXT.

Steve Jobs married Laurene Powell in 1991. The couple have three children.

In 1995, Pixar released ‘Toy Story’ which became a Big Hit and this started a series of hits from Pixar. After Apple bought NeXT, Steve gradually got closer to Apple again.

Steve Jobs introduced the iMac, an Internet-focused computer that came without any floppy drive.

The iPod was Apple’s and Steve’s biggest game-changer.

Steve Jobs influence over (i) portable music players and (ii) music business – became quite significant – as Steve understood that itunes was the base on which he could reach the music lovers easily.

Steve's most remembered speech is his Stanford Commencement speech in 2005.

In that speech – Jobs talked about the various periods of his life  - a college dropout, an entrepreneur, and one who is battling his pancreatic cancer.

Jobs took medical leave in 2009, and received liver transplant in Memphis.

In January, 2010, Jobs unveiled the iPad, an inexpensive tablet computer.

This year, Jobs stepped down again for health reasons.

Steve Jobs and Face book CEO Mark Zuckerberg sat next to President Obama at dinner in Silicon Valley. It must have  been a very happy birthday for Steve!

How did Steve Jobs iChange the World: He helped create the iPhone, the iPad, the iMac, and iTunes. Each of them was a Game Changer which redefined the technology and user needs both. What else? His earliest re-invention was of course the Macintosh Computer. The graphical user interface he brought in was a fantastic novelty which revolutionized the way users work on their computers. Of course, He also added the mouse, which is now standard for operating desk tops.

There were of course a number of failed products from Apple. But, that is how probably a company gets one winning product at the market place – out of every three or four introduced by it.

Many people equate him with Thomas Alva Edison. While Edison was a great Original Inventor – Steve Jobs was more a re-inventor of existing technologies and products, adding to them  grand designs and extraordinary uses.

Here are some of his Best remembered Quotes :

Ø  I was lucky -- I found what I love to do early in life,
Ø  We are very careful about what features we add because we can't take them away.
Ø  We do not say anything about future products. We work on them in secret, then we announce them.
Ø  We've gone through the operating system and looked at everything and asked how can we simplify this and make it more powerful at the same time.
Ø  We're cautious. We'd rather exceed expectations than miss but I think it's going to be a continued difficult economy. Apple is trying a different way to navigate out of this? we're trying to innovate.
Ø  We're the last guys left in this industry who can do it, and that's what we're about.
Ø  Apple is leading the digital music revolution, but at its core, it's all about the music.
Ø  Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
Ø  Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Ø  That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.
Ø  Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
Ø  .. almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Ø  Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.
Ø  In most people's vocabularies, design means veneer. It's interior decorating. It's the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.
Ø  You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new.
Ø  Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
Ø  The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay
Ø  I want to put a ding in the universe
Ø  I'm the only person I know that's lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year.... It's very character-building.
Ø  It took us three years to build the NeXT computer. If we'd given customers what they said they wanted, we'd have built a computer they'd have been happy with a year after we spoke to them - not something they'd want now
Ø  Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
Ø  Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world? [Steve is said to have used this line to lure John Sculley into becoming Apple's CEO, according to Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple]
Ø  Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.
Ø  This is not a one-man show. What’s reinvigorating this company is two things: One, there’s a lot of really talented people in this company who listened to the world tell them they were losers for a couple of years, and some of them were on the verge of starting to believe it themselves. But they’re not losers. What they didn’t have was a good set of coaches, a good plan. A good senior management team. But they have that now. (On his Role at Apple)
Ø  I’ll always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I’ll sort of have the thread of my life and the thread of Apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There may be a few years when I’m not there, but I’ll always come back. ( in Feb, 1985)
Ø  You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. (June 2005)
Ø  the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle. (June, 2005)
Ø  No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. ( June,2005)
Ø  I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next. (May,2006)
Ø  I would trade all of my technology for an afternoon with Socrates.
Ø  We think basically you watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on.
Ø  I feel like somebody just punched me in the stomach and knocked all my wind out. I'm only 30 years old and I want to have a chance to continue creating things. I know I've got at least one more great computer in me. And Apple is not going to give me a chance to do that. (On his expulsion from any position of authority at Apple, after having invited John Sculley to become CEO, as quoted in Playboy (September 1987)
Ø  My opinion is that the only two computer companies that are software-driven are Apple and NeXT, and I wonder about Apple.( Fortune -26 August 1991)
Ø  We made the buttons on the screen look so good you'll want to lick them. (On Mac OS X's Aqua user interface- Fortune – 04.01. 2000)
Ø  The system is that there is no system. That doesn't mean we don't have process. Apple is a very disciplined company, and we have great processes. But that's not what it's about. Process makes you more efficient. But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we've been thinking about a problem. It's ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea. And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We're always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it's only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important. ( BusinessWeek – 12.10.2004)
Ø  Because I'm the CEO, and I think it can be done. (On why he chose to override engineers who thought the iMac wasn't feasible - in TIME magazine – 24.10.2005)
Ø  When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Ø  Picasso had a saying: 'Good artists copy, great artists steal.' We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas … I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians, poets, artists, zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world." (1994).

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