If you live each day like it was your last, someday almost certainly you’ll be right”. This was Steve Jobs in his famous commencement speech to Stanford University in 2005 and on Oct. 5, 2011 at 56 it did turn out right for the world-class showman.
Steven P. Jobs, the man who was considered as synonym to motivation and genius; a true icon was taken away from us leaving the world cold and Job-less. We looked upto him. Some loved him for the master he was. Many considered him as a futurist. None will ever forget his aura.
Consider a scenario, a Job-less world which had no existence of Steve Jobs whatsoever. There would have been computers consisting of just spreadsheets with monotonous user interfaces. There would have been slick laptops, no doubt, but no fun on the go where you can indulge in work and play by touching and controlling your device. There wouldn’t have been a better way to buy and hear music. There would have been smartphones as good as bricks. He was the one without which, we wouldn’t have had a choice of fonts and it would have been a monotonous technology devoid of expressing our emotions and clarity of thoughts. The man in his trademark Levi’s Jeans and black mock turtleneck indeed gave us a luxurious technology; the machines which were simple and user-pleasing. Without Jobs, none of these were seemingly a probability.
The Journey towards Fame
Born in San Francisco on February 24, 1955, Jobs was adopted shortly after his birth by the family of Paul Jobs and Clara Jobs who resided in Mountain View, California. Paul was a machinist for a laser company whereas Clara was an accountant. Being a college dropout, it’s hard to believe that Steve was the man behind the world’s most valuable brand. He enrolled in Reed College in 1972 and soon after discovered that the sky high costs of his tuition were proving a burden on his parents and just after one semester he dropped out. During his commencement speech to Stanford University, Jobs explained that it wasn’t easy at all as he didn’t have a dorm of his own which meant he had to sleep on the floor in his friend’s rooms. He returned coke bottles which would fetch him 5 cents which he used to buy some food. On every Sunday night, he would walk seven miles all the way to Hare Krishna temple, just to have one good meal a week. He also quit his regular classes which didn’t interest him and started attending calligraphy course in college, one that would interest him. This is one thing that the entire world owes to him as Jobs said that had it not been calligraphy classes, the Mac would have been devoid of multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.
Steve took a job at Atari where he worked as a technician. He saved all he earned and travelled to India to visit Kainchi Ashram in search of spiritual enlightenment. In 1975, he again worked with Atari, to create Breakout, one of the best known video games of all-time. He was offered $750 for his development work at Atari with the scope of an additional $100 for every chip eliminated from the final design of the game. In 1976, Jobs along with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne laid the foundation of Apple in his parents’ garage. Who knew that the company founded by a then 20 year old Jobs will grow to 4,000 employees in the next 10 years with a value of around $2 billion.
Under Steve Jobs, Apple has enjoyed an overwhelming success, one which cannot be measured by numbers or employees or any parameter. It can only be judged by the cult status it has created amongst Apple enthusiasts which is unfathomable. It’s not an unknown fact that every time there are speculations about Apple working on a product; and the news spreads like wild fire. There are huge discussions about the ‘speculations’ itself and the world is just fervent over any minor details about what’s cooking. The launch of any Apple product is a festival or a celebration in itself with thousands of people lined up to be the first one’s to lay their hands on the most illustrious technological gadgets. With Jobs under the helm, Apple saw no failures at all. No products which can be tagged as disappointment. They have always been successful in making the entire world marvel at their processes and products.
Despite being the CEO of the most successful and valuable brand, Jobs was paid an astonishing and unheard annual salary of $1. Jobs was paid a mere dollar every year since 1997 and he joked regarding his salary breakup as 50 cents for showing up and the rest 50 cents was based on his performance.
Keeping his salary apart, Jobs possessed 5.5 million shares of Apple (according to early 2011 statistics) with each share valued at 43 times more as compared to 10 years back and the company is still going strong. In 2011, he was named as the 110th richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $8.3 billion.
Persona of his own
Every product launch of Apple was a major ‘global’ event as we can put it. The days of Apple product launches in itself can be termed as “Days that shook the World.” And the center of attraction of each launch would be the master himself ruling the stage with a wide grin on his face which really said it all. The smile itself portrayed how good of a product he possesses, to unleash it to the global audience. He was a charmer, a persona which would attract people towards him. He exactly knew how to reveal it, when to say it all, when to hide it all, the things to highlight and when to stop. And of course, the trademark Steve Jobs movement off the stage, only to stop and produce “one more thing” from under his sleeve.
Steve Jobs did not make movies nor was he involved in the re-engineering process. He was a visionary, a monumental figure who is simply irreplaceable. He was a magician who knew the trick of redefining the digital age time and again. He was a charismatic central figure around which the most stunning and pioneer technologies were weaved together. He was Foolish. He was Hungry.
Rest in Peace Steve Jobs. You have not just left behind an Apple for the world to cherish but you have shown the path to the young entrepreneurs to follow their hearts and to accomplish happiness by doing what they love. iSalute for the greatest innovator and leader of our times!