+1sundaymorningstaple wrote:Steve Jobs is dead. Sad day for Apple but I don't think it was unexpected. While I'm not a fan of Apple, I respect him for his vision and determination to do it his way. R.I.P.
source: all over the internet.Team,
I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.
Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.
We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email [email protected].
No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.
@nakatago: That's just the first generation. Later on, the design will become more polished. :pnakatago wrote:The corners should be rounded. Fail. Anyway, it's the lawyers a lot of people hate, not Jobs.sundaymorningstaple wrote:Is it too soon for this?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituar ... tuary.htmlSteve Jobs: obituary
Steve Jobs, who has died aged 56, was the visionary co-founder, and later chief executive, of Apple, makers of the Macintosh computer, the iMac, the iPod, iPad, and iPhone, and the man behind the astonishing success of the computer animation firm Pixar, makers of Toy Story and Finding Nemo; in consequence he did more to determine what films we watch, how we listen to music, and how we work and play than any other person on the planet.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs gives the keynote address at Apple MacWorld Conference Apple CEO Steve Jobs gives the keynote address at Apple MacWorld Conference in 2008 Photo: AP
Jobs never designed a computer in his life, but it was because of him that Apple products, even when they do largely what other products do, are perceived to be different and infinitely more cool. The Macintosh introduced the world to the computer mouse; the iPod became famous for its click wheel, and the iPhone for its "user-interface" – a sophisticated touch-screen that responds to the flick of a finger.
Jobs emphasised the difference between Macs and the PCs that ran Microsoft software, managing to preserve Apple's image as a plucky, creative, insurgent against the bland Microsoft behemoth even as Apple itself became the biggest company on the planet. "I wish Bill Gates well," he once claimed. "I only wish that at some time in his life he had dropped acid or spent time at an ashram."
It was a marketing trick that Jobs worked on consumers too, convincing them that purchasing Apple products somehow conferred membership of an exclusive and visionary club, even when it was transparently obvious that the company's devices were utterly ubiquitous. This corporate reputation for seer-like trailblazing lay completely with Jobs. "I skate to where the puck is going to be," he explained, using an ice hockey metaphor, "not where it has been."
This inspired almost evangelical devotion among techno-geeks. Jobs was not just the brains behind Apple, he was high-priest of the "Mac" religion. His eagerly anticipated "MacWorld" shows were adulatory affairs akin to revivalist rallies, with Jobs, in black turtleneck, jeans and trainers, preaching the message that salvation lay in Apple's latest gadget.
The Jobs story – humble birth, rise and fall, miraculous comeback – was even likened by Apple fanatics to the life of Christ. For the less blasphemously-inclined it proved that the American Dream is alive and well.
He was born on February 24 1955 to an Egyptian Arab father and an American mother in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and adopted soon after his birth by a blue-collar California couple, Paul and Clara Jobs, who named him Steven Paul.
After completing high school in Cupertino, northern California, Jobs went north to study at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, but dropped out after a term. Returning to California, he took a job at Atari, the video games manufacturer, in order to save money for a "spiritual quest" to India. There he was converted to Zen Buddhism and vegetarianism and dabbled in hallucinogenic drugs.
On his return to America Jobs resumed his work with Atari and was given the task of creating a more compact circuit board for the game Breakout. He had little interest in the intricacies of circuit board design and persuaded his 16-year old friend, Steve Wozniak, to do the job for him, offering to split any bonus fifty-fifty. Jobs was given $5,000 by a delighted Atari, but Wozniak only got $300, under the impression the payout was $600.
In 1976 Wozniak showed Jobs a computer he had designed for his own use. Jobs was impressed and suggested marketing it. They had no capital, but Jobs had a brilliant idea. By persuading a local store to order 50 of the computers, then asking an electrical store for 30 days credit on the parts to build them, they set up business without a single investor. They called it Apple Computers (which would lead to protracted legal battles with the company behind the Beatles' record label, Apple Corps) and launched their first product, the Apple 1. A year later the more sophisticated Apple 2 hit the jackpot, and by 1980, when the company went public, the pair were multimillionaires.
The success of Apple launched Jobs into the celebrity circuit. He dated Joan Baez and became a personal friend of California Governor Jerry Brown. But his ruthless streak became apparent aged 23 when his then girlfriend gave birth to his daughter. For two years, though already wealthy, he denied paternity while the baby's mother went on welfare. At one point he even swore an affidavit to the effect that he was "sterile and infertile", so could not be the father.
The strain of running a successful company soon began to tell. Employees complained of Jobs's "Management By Walking Around Frightening Everyone" technique and even he realised that more seasoned business experience was required. In 1983 he lured John Sculley, president of PepsiCo, to serve as Apple's chief executive, saying: "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water to children, or do you want a chance to change the world?" Two years later the company launched the Macintosh, the first commercially successful small computer with a mouse-driven "graphical user interface".
But the clash of business cultures proved irreconcilable, and in 1985 Jobs (whom Sculley likened to Leon Trotsky) was forced out by his own board. It was 12 years before he returned.
During those years Jobs started Next Computing and bought what became Pixar from George Lucas, the director of Star Wars. Next was a techie's dream – Tim Berners-Lee wrote the software for the web on a Next computer – but a business failure. Pixar struggled for years until 1995, when it contracted with Disney to produce a number of computer-animated feature films. The first of these, Toy Story, broke box-office records and Pixar's flotation in 1996 made Jobs a billionaire. Over the next 10 years the studio went on to produce a string of hits including A Bug's Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003) and The Incredibles (2004).
In 2006 Disney bought the company in a $7.4 billion deal under which Jobs became Disney's largest single shareholder with approximately 7 per cent of the company's stock.
Jobs's triumph at Pixar reminded people of his ability to divine the technological future, and in 1997 he persuaded Apple to buy Next – to acquire its forward-looking operating system Nextstep, and, more importantly, Jobs himself.
In his memoirs, published in 1987, John Sculley dismissed Jobs's vision for Apple to become a high tech consumer products company as a "lunatic plan".
"High tech could not be designed and sold as a consumer product," he opined.
But by rejecting this vision, Apple, by 1997, was a basket case, losing $736 million in one quarter. Management by committee had blunted its innovative flair and the corporate atmosphere was more that of a student bar than a thrusting business in a highly competitive market.
Jobs's instinctive feel for the consumer zeitgeist soon turned things around. Within a year the company was once more posting handsome profits.
The iMac computer was launched in 1998, followed in 2001 by the iPod, a digital music player of strikingly minimalist design. Then came iTunes digital music software, and the iTunes online digital music Store. In 2007, Apple entered the cellular phone business with the iPhone, a clever and expensive product combining cell phone, iPod, and internet device in one streamlined casing. It was followed by the iPad, a tablet device without a physical keyboard. Some wondered if there was really demand for the iPad in a crowded marketplace that was being buffeted by the severest economic downturn in decades; once again Jobs showed his ability to confound the sceptics, and it became a bestseller too.
But Jobs was not a universally popular figure. He oozed arrogance, was vicious about business rivals, and in contrast to, say, Bill Gates, refused to have any truck with notions of corporate responsibility. He habitually parked his Mercedes in the disabled parking slot at Apple headquarters and one of his first acts on returning to the company in 1997 was to terminate all of its corporate philanthropy programmes.
Jobs's management style owed less to Zen Buddhism than to George Orwell. No aspect of corporate life was immune from his authority and he was almost pathologically controlling when it came to dealing with the press.
Journalists found that he would try to stifle even anodyne stories if they had not received his blessing. One described getting an interview with Jobs as about as easy as getting an interview with Saddam Hussein, "except Saddam would probably be more helpful and certainly more polite".
He ruled Apple with a combination of foul-mouthed tantrums and charm, withering scorn and carefully judged flattery. People were either geniuses or "bozos", and those in his regular orbit found that they could flip with no warning from one category to the other, in what became known as the "hero-shithead roller coaster". Employees worried about getting trapped with Jobs in a lift, afraid that they might not have a job when the doors opened.
One senior executive admitted that before heading into a meeting with Jobs, she embraced the mindset of a bullfighter entering the ring: "I pretend I'm already dead."
Yet members of Jobs's inner circle, many of whom came with him from Next, found working with him an exhilarating experience. To keep them on board, Jobs eliminated most cash bonuses from executive compensation and started handing out stock options instead. But here as elsewhere Jobs played by his own rules.
In 2001 he was granted stock options amounting to 7.5 million Apple shares, allegedly without the required authorisation from the company's board of directors. Furthermore, the option came with an exercise price of $18.30.
But this price allegedly should have been $21.10, thereby incurring a taxable charge of $20 million that Jobs did not report as income.
In 2006 an internal company inquiry found that this grant was "improperly recorded" as having been made at a special board meeting that never took place, but largely exonerated Jobs over the matter, saying that the options had been returned without being exercised and that he was "unaware of the accounting implications". In 2007 the US Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it would not file charges against Apple, but had filed charges against two former executives for their alleged roles in backdating Apple options.
The inquiry did not stall Apple's extraordinary ascent. By 2006 the company had a market value of $108 billion – more than Goldman Sachs. By August 2011, after it reported yet another quarter of record breaking profits, it had become the biggest company in the world, with a market value of $337 billion.
Within days of reaching that corporate milestone, however, Jobs announced his resignation on health grounds. Few were surprised. In 2004 he disclosed that he had been diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer that had been "cured" by surgery. Questions about his health resurfaced in December 2008 when it was announced that, for the first time in 12 years, he was pulling out of delivering his annual address at Macworld.
Feverish speculation over his well-being was only fuelled by Apple's fanatical devotion to secrecy. When Jobs went on medical leave in January 2009, the company would not say what why. Inevitably, suspicions arose that the cancer had returned. In fact in June that year the Wall Street Journal revealed that he had undergone a liver transplant. Even when the news broke Apple remained tight-lipped: "Steve continues to look forward to returning at the end of June, and there's nothing further to say," noted a spokeswoman tersely.
His devoted fans began to scrutinise every public appearance for clues to Jobs's physical fitness. On the stockmarkets, which considered his presence vital to Apple's own health, the company's shares fell if he looked particularly gaunt. In the first half of 2011 he was seen only a handful of times. Then, on August 24 he announced he was stepping down, to be replaced as CEO by Tim Cook, who had run the company during Jobs's previous absences.
Apple's shares immediately dropped 5 per cent.
Jobs married Laurene Powell in a Buddhist ceremony in 1991. They had three children who survive him along with the daughter by his early girlfriend, whose paternity he eventually acknowledged.
Don't worry; a lot of us in the tech world too don't really like the guy and the company. Most of the admiration is for his vision, not his personality. He was an asshole but he's one damned charismatic and brilliant asshole.JR8 wrote:I feel suddenly vindicated in my feelings towards this man and his company.
Find a CEO who isn't a complete twat off-camera.......they have to be strong personalities to do a job like that and get buy-in from their staffnakatago wrote:Don't worry; a lot of us in the tech world too don't really like the guy and the company. Most of the admiration is for his vision, not his personality. He was an asshole but he's one damned charismatic and brilliant asshole.JR8 wrote:I feel suddenly vindicated in my feelings towards this man and his company.
The media like someone 'fresh, vibrant and different'........and then they find ways to humiliate them after a few monthsJR8 wrote:The thing I didn't get was that the media treated him like he walked on water. His disciples worshipped the man. These sandal-wearing lentil munchers eschew 'big corporate' America, and yet turned Apple into the biggest corp of them all.
I'm not just saying this with hindsight, I gave the same views an airing in the discussion re: Ben & Jerry's a few weeks back, also asking 'Which is more evil, Exxon Mobil or Apple'?
I realise you have to be a complete shit to make a Forbes 100 succeed. The disconnect seems to have been that the media portrayed Jobs as different, until now.
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