Steve Jobs has now stepped down as CEO of Apple Computers. He filed his letter of resignation (through email) stating that he cannot fulfill his full-time duties as CEO, but would still like to serve as Chairman of the Board, Director and Apple employee. Though this is tragic news for Apple consumers and share holders, it could be much worse if he actually decided to leave Apple infinitely. He also suggested in this email to Apple that Tim Cook (current COO of Apple) should take over his position As CEO.
Some might ask, why is the stepping down of Steve Jobs so important? What made him so great? These questions can easily be explained from his history, so here is a brief overview of Mr. Jobs’ effect on apple and the rest of the computer industry.
As a young, college drop-out entrepreneur, Steve and his very close friend (and partner in business) Steve Wozniak started out working in Mr. Jobs’ parents garage. From the Apple 1 that Steve Wozniak hand made to the Apple 2 that received national attention, the Steve’s worked together and built the foundation of the “all-in-one” Personal Computer and began the revolution. Thus Apple was born.
The beginning though, was not all smooth sailing for Steve Jobs. Shortly after Apple introduced the Macintosh computer, Apple Fired Steve Jobs, mainly because they felt he was too young and too inexperienced to run such a company of Apple’s caliber. Looking back, Steve Job’s says that it was probably one of the best things to happen to him (Being fired from Apple). He stated at his Stanford Commencement Address that being fired put things in perspective for him. That it sent him into one of the most creative times of his life, he felt as if he was a beginner again, less sure about everything. During this Period, Steve created PIXAR studios, which is now the most successful animated movie producer in the world and NeXT Computing. Apple during this time was struggling to keep up with with other companies such as Microsoft which was dominating the PC market at the time with the latest launch of their new Windows 95 operating system. In an attempt to get back on track, Apple purchased NeXT Computing and brings back Steve Jobs as an advisor.
When Steve Jobs came back, he would not make the same mistakes that he made before. In July 1997, Steve signs as intern CEO for an annual income of only $1. With a two word slogan, “Think Different”, Steve tells the world from a Macworld Boston gathering that Apple is going to get back on track with bright things in the companies future. Steve announces that Apple and Microsoft have a new partnership to work together on new various software including Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office. Steve also released OS X 8 along with a brand new iMac computer. In four months, the “Funky” iMac with various color options became the number one selling computer in America, soaring Apples stock back into life. Steve and his ideas did not stop there though, Steve launched 25 Apple stores throughout the United States in an attempt to make a convenient place for consumers to experience Apple. This was an attempt by Steve to “woo over” Microsoft users and provide them a passageway to a different way of computing, and it worked. Sales went through the roof with the introduction of these convenient neighborhood stores.
Many of the products that Steve Jobs innovated have lead the industry in their respective classes. Some of the best examples are, the iPod along with iTunes which reshaped the music industry. The iPhone which redefined smartphones. The Apple TV which has changed the way that we view television and the internet while still exploiting the large screen size. The Macbook Air which launched a new revolution of extra-portable laptops. And Lets not forget about the iPad which has just simply redefined the entire way we look at mobile computing and what technology is capable of doing. How many companies can say that they have produced as many industry leading products as Apple has been able of doing.
The success of Apple really isn’t a mystery. Bill Gates might have summarized Steve’s talents best when he quoted, ” I think in terms of intuitive taste for people and products, the way he (Steve Jobs) does things is truly different, and I think its magical.” Steve just knew what the people wanted, it was that simple. But at the same time, he always wanted perfection from his employees. He wants himself and his employees to do the best work that they possibly can and say that they are truly proud of their finished product. His strive for the best possible truly is reflected onto the products Apple releases time and again. The products are beautifully put together pieces of art inside and out while still meeting the power and work demands of the general public and even power users. Jobs knew how to speak the peoples language and knows how to win others over with his ideas.
Sadly though, the time has come that because of his fight against cancer, Steve no longer commit full time to his company that he put so much time and effort into. He built a dynasty that had just recently become the most valuable company in the world in terms of market capitalization. Though they lost the top spot to Exxon Mobile these past two days due to Steve’s announcement and fear by investors, it shouldn’t take long until the company is once again back on top. Just like its meant to be!
As for now, Steve will still serve a key role in the company. But, when he does indeed leave for good, he sure has left his mark hasn’t he?
“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.”
- Steven N. Jobs