How Steve Jobs Changed the World

free essaySteve Jobs is the name of a man who does not require presentation. For people interested in the latest technology and those having nothing to do with it, his name represents success, both professional and financial, innovation, and, last but not least, an enormous impact on social and cultural aspects of people’s lives. Tens of books, documentaries, and feature films have attempted to reveal the secret of the person, who raised the bar in every domain he worked in and reshaped the conceptual vision of things. The adopted child and college dropout, he had nothing that in general understanding is essential for succeeding in the international business.

However, Jobs had a unique combination of qualities that allowed him to venture where no one dared. Besides being a talented engineer and manager, Jobs was always eager to learn in both of the above. Throughout his life, he continued acquiring skills and gaining knowledge from every source possible. Finally, he had an exceptional talent for ‘foreseeing the future’ – in the sea of new technology and innovation, Jobs unmistakably found ideas that would serve as the foundations for future development and success. Thus, even four years after his death, with everyone still trying to transform his experience into a set of ‘success rules,’ Steve Jobs remains a charismatic pioneer above all in the domains of computing and telecommunication as well as the co-founder and brilliant CEO of the most valuable enterprise in the global market.

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Innovative Engineer

Numerous revolutionary inventions are associated with the name of Steve Jobs. It is astonishing that one person could be at the root of so many different products. Consequently, Jobs is not infrequently criticized for being the inventor of none. Despite the fact that no product was invented by him individually, it was his unmistakable sense of what would rise in demand that allowed Jobs to co-father so many innovations.
Four landmark computers were created with Jobs’ participation. Apple II, produced in 1977, became the first successful attempt of launching a consumer-oriented personal computer. The next step in the development of PCs was the introduction of graphical user interface, which was realized in Lisa in 1983, and a year later in the Macintosh or Mac as the whole world knows it now (“See Steve Jobs’ legacy,” 2014). Striving for perfection, Jobs insisted on creating a computer that was faster and cheaper than its predecessors. Finally, in 1998, Jobs introduced iMac – a one-piece computer revolutionary in its design, which made computers fashionable. iMac became a best-seller within a year (Levy, 2015), and its invention sufficed to save Apple from ruin.

Two more i-products launched became icons. The iPod, which aimed to satisfy the appearing demand for portable players that supported the popular MP3 format, came first. The new gadget became instantly popular, selling by millions (Tetzeli, 2015, p. 76). iPhone that became, as Jobs himself put it, a product “that changes everything” (as cited in Grossman & McCracken, 2011) came next. Its numerous functions, the black glass surface, and the touchscreen technology made everything else on the market obsolete. The introduction of this one product made the whole market turn in a conceptually new direction. All the smartphones and tablets that came afterwards were inevitably inspired by the little black screen phone that Jobs presented in 2007.

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Successful Manager

Jobs’ career as a businessman started in 1976 when, together with his friend Stephen Wozniak, he created Apple that was to become “the planet’s most valuable company” (Grossman & McCracken, 2011). At the root of Apple’s future grandeur was the fact that Jobs saw, before most other entrepreneurs, the glorious future of personal computers. Starting with Apple II and throughout his professional career, Jobs distinguished himself as the person who knew what the consumers wanted before they themselves understood it. He created the demand by offering people the gadgets they could not resist. He liked to quote Wayne Gretzky: “You don’t skate to where the puck is, you skate to where it’s going to be” (as cited in Grossman & McCracken, 2011). Thus, Jobs did not meet the already existing demand but immediately recognized what would occupy the minds of the consumers in the years to come.
After Apple, Jobs’ next entrepreneurial achievement was the creation of NeXT Inc. and subsequent acquisition of Pixar. Apple’s executives could not have been more wrong about firing Jobs. Not only his new company was a success, it was also he who saved Apple when, in 1996, the enterprise was on the verge of financial failure (Levy, 2015). His return marked the new era in the history of the company and the triumph of everything Jobs launched.
Jobs’ “astute technological vision” allowed him to innovate in various domains (Cusumano, 2011, p.27). The projects launched in Apple not only changed computing and telecommunications but also reinvented music and software distribution through the app store concept (Gobble, 2012, p. 63). Since his return to the steering wheel of the company, Jobs’ work was a complete success. The introduction of all i-products was profitable and took a special place in the popular culture. Whatever the company produced immediately attracted consumer interest. Thousands of gadgets were preordered because people knew that anything that Apple produced was ahead of anything else existing on the market.

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Jobs managed the company, led research groups, and made spectacular public presentations of new products. Apple became synonymous with Jobs. The importance of his personality became even more evident when Jobs started having health problems. The company’s stock market share price depended directly on Jobs’ medical condition, and any rumors regarding his health immediately impacted the company’s standing (Levy, 2015). Consequently, when his health forced Jobs to resign, many experts predicted the end of the company. However, even after Jobs’ death in 2011, Apple managed to save its position on the market, proving that Jobs created a stable enterprise that could navigate safely in the troubled waters of the financial markets.

The Making of the Legend

Although Jobs is publicly admired, the image that one gets from the media is predominantly one-sided. Admiring his genius, journalists enjoy obsessing about his terrible character. Quoting his subordinates, they paint the portrait of a cruel tyrant who listened to nobody and demanded obedience. What they disregard, however, is both professional and personal development that Jobs underwent. Throughout his life, he distinguished himself by his “deep hunger for learning” (Tetzeli, 2015, p. 72).

How It Works


In the professional growth, his openness to innovation and willingness to learn is clear from his attitude to new things. Jobs’ former colleague, Robert Thibadeau, shared a story back from the early 1990s when they both worked in the NeXT. At that time, Thibadeau purchased the first IBM workstations. Having learned about it, Jobs arrived with a screwdriver to disassemble the workstation and see for himself how it was made (Thibadeau, 2012, p. 6). This seemingly insignificant episode demonstrates how eager Jobs was to learn and to get to the core of things. It was that hunger for learning that made Jobs be the engineer.

Furthermore, despite the accusations of being authoritarian, Jobs was well aware of the fact that running a company required much skill. That is why, in 1983, he hired the former president of PepsiCo Inc. to be his mentor in management (Levy, 2015). Looking at Jobs in the twenty-first century, one sees that, even though he remained the company’s driving force, he also worked well in a team. It was by learning from his own mistakes that he changed from a lonely genius to a team player. During his years at Pixar, Jobs witnessed the success that the collaborative culture could bring to the company. His further career is marked with being open and inspired by the talent of others (Tetzeli, 2015, p. 73).

Conclusion

All in all, Steve Jobs reshaped the world in a way that influenced the lives and ideas of thousands of people. Having neither qualifications nor a college degree, he proved himself to be a creative innovator and a celebrated executive of a multinational corporation, which he himself co-established. With no regard to people’s opinions, wishes or criticism, Jobs opened new horizons and introduced fundamentally new products to the market. At the core of his exceptional success lay the ability to foresee unmistakably the customer future demand and to be in the front line of all new developments. Whatever the trend, Jobs was a step ahead of his competitors. Although some argue that Jobs was not ‘a kind man,’ he remains exceptional both in the extent of his business success and in the amount of work that he undertook as a person. His lifelong learning and development distinguished him and became one the pillars of his accomplishments.

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Even after his death, Jobs remains an icon for people of various ages and professions. The ideas that he put forward forced the competitors to follow his steps abandoning their previous plans and developments. The legacy that Jobs left behind spreads to numerous domains. His entrepreneurial genius not only benefited the US economy but also made the Americans proud of the self-made man who made a difference. No matter how one may feel about him as a person, one thing is undeniable – Steve Jobs exerted a lasting impact on the domains, in which he introduced his innovative ideas, and on the way people communicate, live and even think.