Are you looking for someone that can define the computer and technology revolution? You don’t have to look that far.
Without any arguments accepted here, Steve Jobs was the most important person during this era, and the word “genius” doesn’t give him enough respect for his contribution to the industry and the world in general.
You just need to think about it for a few seconds, and you will notice that despite the existence of Bill Gates and other entrepreneurs in the personal computer and technology niche, none of them can overcome the results Jobs left behind with his innovations and a brand that remains at the top of the market cap worldwide.
We can share so much information about this successful man that also happens to be the epitome of motivation and never giving up that we don’t even know where to start.
Thus, we won’t be wasting more time in this brief introduction when the real one is yet to come, and don’t worry; we will make sure to clear all the questions and doubts you might have about this pioneer.
Who Is Steve Jobs? – Childhood & Early Years
Let’s be real, you pretty much know who he was, but we know you are not that well-versed in everything he went through over the years since he was very young.
This is why we believe he really deserves an article that covers, at least, the essential parts from the very beginning.
Legally known as Steven Paul Jobs, he was born in San Francisco, California, on February 24, 1955.
His biological parents were Abdulfattah Jandali and Joanne Schieble. However, he was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, who raised him.
His adoptive father was a coast guard mechanic who married Clara Hagopian after he had left the Coast Guard.
On the other hand, his adoptive mother Clara was born in San Francisco to Armenian immigrants.
Paul worked as a “repo man” after his job in the Coast Guard. This occupation was aimed at repairing cars for anyone who approached him.
During this time, Clara suffered from an ectopic pregnancy which led them to consider adoption to avoid any risks to her life and the possible future child.
This is how they came to adopt Steven, and in 1957, they decided to also adopt Steve’s sister, Patricia.
The now complete family moved to Mountain View in California in 1959. There, Paul built a garage workbench on sharing his passion for mechanics with his son Steven who showed great interest in engineering when he was only ten years old and connected quite easily with other engineers living nearby.
However, not everything was colorful in Jobs’s childhood since he struggled to function in traditional classrooms.
He was a rebel against authority and misbehaved more frequently than his parents and teachers could even count. As a result, he also struggled to make friends with his peers in his age group.
Despite his rebel phase and personality, he excelled in school and skipped fifth grade as a result. For 6th grade, Jobs enrolled at Crittenden Middle School Mountain View.
One of the mentions during his interviews and later biography is the fact he was bullied in middle school and called himself a “loner” during this period of his life.
Since he was sick of school bullying, he decided to make a deal with his parents to change schools or drop out without second thoughts. Well, more than a deal, it was a threat.
Unfortunately, the Jobs family wasn’t very wealthy, but they used all their savings to purchase a new house in order for Steve to change schools in 1967.
The new Jobs family house was located in the better Cupertino School District, where Jobs found himself more comfortable.
During his period of life, he was only 13 years old, but Bill Hewlett of Hewlett-Packard hired him as a summer worker after Steve cold-called him to request parts for an electronic project he was involved in.
In 1968, Jobs began his high school journey when he was enrolled at Homestead High.
When entering high school, Steve got the chance to meet Bill Fernandez, who later introduced Jobs to Steve Wozniak, who later became his best friend along with his girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan.
While spending time with his new friends, Jobs was interested in literature and electronics.
Wozniak was a senior in high school, which is why he left to study at the University of California, where Jobs visited him several times per week in 1971.
Besides the frequent visits to Wozniak, Jobs was in his senior year at high school and was taking college freshman-level English classes at Stanford.
Things would change during this time when Woz created a “blue box,” which was a cheap digital device that could make sounds and manipulate the phone network to enable long-distance free calls.
Wozniak and Jobs were both able to sell the devices and share the profits since they first developed them, but Steve was the one who knew how to market them. With this sudden success, they realized that electronics careers could be profitable and enjoyable at the same time.
Starting His Career: Finding a Job & Bringing Apple to the Pic
There’s a lot of history behind his life or more like a lot to cover since he isn’t someone we only know about the basic details.
Thus, we still have a lot to share, and this part will be the interesting one.
In February 1974, Jobs went back to Los Altos and stayed in his parents’ house to look for a job in the area.
Atari, Inc. hired him as a technician at their Los Gatos, California, office. Nolan Bushnell, Atari’s cofounder, later mentioned how difficult it was to work with him, but his presence was so valuable that he couldn’t just give up on him.
After all, Steve had an egocentric personality since he knew he was smart and constantly made sure to show it to others.
While Jobs was working with Atari, Wozniak had completed the design for the Apple I computer by March 1976 and showed it off to Jobs, who later suggested selling it.
But from where did the actual name “Apple” come from? After all, Wozniak had yet to give the computer a name.
At the time, Steve was spending a 10-day stint on a fruit farm where he only ate apples to survive. Thus, he found the name quite “fun and spirited, but not intimidating,” which, according to him, was perfect for something new being introduced to the world.
Unlike Jobs, Wozniak had planned to give everything away free of charge, which means he didn’t plan to sell the model to computer enthusiasts but just provide the technology without any type of revenue.
However, with Jobs’ idea, he, Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, the administrative overseer, founded Apple Computer Company (now Apple Inc.). It was established in Jobs’ parents’ home on April 1, 1976.
Fun enough, Jobs’s bedroom was the original location but later moved to the garage. Wayne was only there for a brief time, and Jobs and Wozniak were left as active cofounders.
The company and its early years weren’t that poor as most people believe. Paul Terrell, a computer retailer, purchased 50 Apple I fully assembled units from them in 1976 for $500 each, which brought a huge success to the brains behind the brand at the time and a jackpot for their inception.
Apple I was a huge success in the market and opened the doors to the Apple II, which was even more successful.
At the time, Apple’s 1976 revenues were $175,000, but then rose to $2.7 million in 1977.
With success coming their way, they decided to go public after a $117 million sales year in 1980. Apple’s public offering made more than 300 employees instant millionaires.
Moving on with the company’s growth, Jobs and the other executives had great ideas; these included Apple’s Super Bowl commercial, titled “1984,” aired on January 22, 1984.
The commercial ended with the words, “On January 24, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like 1984.”
On January 24, 1984, the Macintosh was finally introduced, and this was one of the Jobs’ favorite launches.
With strong sales at the beginning, the Macintosh was well-received by the media. However, the computer’s slow processing speed, limited software selection, and rapid decline in sales caused it to be discontinued in the second half of 1984.
Following the decline in sales and failure, the executives in Apple forced Jobs out in 1985.
He Wasn’t Over: Getting Back His Empire
Following his exit from the company Jobs founded himself along with Wozniak; Jobs spent the next few years creating the computer company NeXT, which Apple would eventually have to purchase for its operating system, and made sure to acquire Pixar Animation Studio.
With the purchase of NeXT in 1997 for $427million, Jobs was brought back to the company, especially after a decline in the business during previous years after his exit.
Apple was in a very sore spot due to the poor success in new releases and how sales declined for previous products, leading the company to almost bankrupt before Jobs came in and decided to introduce what would change everything: the iMac.
Following the big success of this new computer, Jobs continued bringing new innovations with the creation of the popular iPod, iTunes and iPhone, iPad, iPad Watch, AppleTV, and many other Apple products that were later released after Jobs’ death.
But going back for a bit, let’s get to 1986 again. During his time out of business, he bought Pixar from George Lucas and became its chief executive officer and largest shareholder.
One of the studio’s biggest hits, “Toy Story,” would be the main reason why Steve Jobs got popular for his work with it to the point of being necessary for a company like Disney to buy Pixar in 2006.
Disney bought all the company’s stock for $7.5 billion in 2006, making Jobs even richer than he already was at the time.
Finally, before jumping to Steve’s death, his wife Laurene Powell met him in 1991 when he was giving a lecture at Standford University.
Today, Powell is a businesswoman who founded the Emerson Collective foundation that provides help and assistance for several social causes, especially children.
Jobs also had four children, one of them being Lisa Brennan-Jobs, who is a writer and her mother is Steve’s former girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan.
To end it, Jobs died on October 5, 2011, of pancreatic cancer after resigning from Apple in August of that year and was replaced by the long-time Apple employee Tim Cook, who served as the COO.
Inside His Fortune: How Much Was Steve Jobs Worth?
With all that story and details provided, you can notice it can be a bit hard to track his fortune. However, we did our best to come up with the most accurate details, and don’t worry; we made sure to check them twice.
Going back in time, in 1978, Jobs was only 23 years old and when he was worth over $1 million thanks to Apple alone. However, if you remember right, this was only two years before the company went public.
Thus, when they finally added to the public option, he was valued at $250 million in 1978.
Now, we need to take a pause here and include the controversy with Apple and his exit.
When Steve died, most of his net worth didn’t come from the first company he founded but rather from other business ventures.
Most of his net worth came from his Disney stock after Pixar was purchased by the entertainment empire.
But how was he able to invest in purchasing the initial company from George Lucas? Well, Steve was quite bitter when he was forced to quit Apple in 1985, which is why he sold 99.999% of his 20% stake within the next few days, making around $100 million without including the current inflation.
According to reports, he kept one share so that he could continue to receive annual reports and attend shareholder meetings to understand what was happening at the company, which would later play him great considering what happened with NeXT.
When he returned, he was named Apple’s CEO again a year, and the company started to follow his lead, but for this, the Apple board offered Steve stock options packages that were extremely generous to encourage him back to the job.
As a result, he eventually owned 5.5 million Apple shares. This stake grew to 38.5 million shares after the stock split 7-1, three years after his death.
That stake was 154 million shares when the stock split at 4-1 in August 2020, and this has only increased over the years.
But translating these shares into actual money, how much would it be? Simple, those are equal to $22+ billion when writing this.
Thanks to this, these shares produce over $160 million annually in dividends to Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve’s widow.
However, we are talking about the current state, but Steve’s Apple stake was valued at $2 billion at the time of his death in 2011.
Meanwhile, his Disney stake was over $8 billion, which is why no, he wasn’t a billionaire thanks to Apple first.
While he was alive, he was the major shareholder in Disney, and this was passed down to his widow, who sold 50% of the shares in 2017 for over $7 billion.
If we included the thousands missing in this calculation and how much he had from Apple and Disney in 2011, Jobs would be worth about $11 billion by the time of his death.
Social Work: Anonymous Philanthropist
It isn’t weird for entrepreneurs, especially those who fall into the category of billionaires, to support charities and foundations.
Usually, many of them make their efforts and social work public to encourage others to do the same. However, for Jobs, this wasn’t the case.
Instead of donating through public claims and statements, his social work is known for being very private, and most of the money provided to charities and foundations was through Apple and Disney, not under his name.
What we can tell you about Jobs’ charity work is the fact that he contributed to projects to fight AIDS and help children more than anything else.
Steve also had a focus on health and education, which is why he donated over $50 million to Standford hospitals and many others throughout the country.
Although we just mentioned this information, many people believe Jobs didn’t donate to charity due to Lisa’s (his daughter) book and work.
During some of her work, she recalls that he was always a man who didn’t want to spend more than what a regular familiar could afford and was a strong believer in letting people earn money (in this case) through their own efforts.
However, Apple confirmed in very few reports that Steve, indeed, contributed to some charities even when it wasn’t that frequent.
It is impossible, whatsoever, to know in detail whether he or not contributed greatly to specific charities but what we know is that he was always a motivator and role model for people.
Earning Your Own Money Through Business
If we focus on Jobs’ mindset, it is indeed a good principle to focus on earning your money through your own efforts. However, we also agree with the fact that some people just need a little push, be it financially or emotionally.
Of course, this still means we consider Steve Jobs a role model for many, but he can be often misunderstood when going back to his sayings, teachings, and some mentions during interviews.
But when you focus on his life and how hard it must have been, you can also get the point.
Now, this isn’t the actual focus we want to get from this article about Jobs but rather go over something different: Starting your business just like he did.
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