1. What does an inventor do? Name some famous inventors.
2. What is Apple famous for?
3. What Apple products do you use?
1. Why do you think Apple’s stock value declined every time it was announced Jobs had a health problem or was stepping back from the company?
2. Why do you think Apple products are so popular? How have they changed the way people interact with technology?
3. Can you think of other iconic leaders business leaders who have had similar impacts on their industries?
Who was Steve Jobs?
The technology world lost a visionary on October 5, 2011 when Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer.
The 56-year-old innovator had stepped down as the company’s leader after going on medical leave for an undisclosed condition on Jan. 17.
Born to Joanne Carole Schieble and Abdulfattah Jandali in Green Bay, Wis., Jobs was later adopted by the Jobs family of Mountain View, Calif.
At age 12, he befriended William Hewlett, president of Hewlett-Packard at the time. Reports say the two hit it off, and Hewlett offered the young Jobs a summer position at the company.
In 1975, Jobs went on to work for Atari, the gaming pioneer. During his two-year stint with the company, he brought on Steve Wozniak, a close friend, to help with video game design efforts.
The two would go on to work out of the Jobs’ family garage on a new project. On April 1, 1976, their hard work led to the founding of Apple Computer. Three months later, Apple introduced its first computer, the Apple 1, which went on sale for $666.66.
Jobs was eventually pushed out of his position at the head of Apple and went on to work at Pixar, the digital animation studio behind movie hits such as Toy Story, Cars, Finding Nemo and Up. After selling Pixar to Disney, Jobs returned to the struggling Apple in the late 1990s and began its turnaround.
In the next few years, Apple would go on to release the Macintosh computer, the Macintosh II and the PowerBook.
Although the company is now one of the largest and most successful in the world, it was also met with challenges and controversy.
Apple released an early model of a personal digital assistant, the Apple Newton, which didn't catch on. Apple also came under criticism for the low wages and labor practices of its suppliers in China. In another incident, the company was accused of being slow to respond when workers building iPhones were poisoned by toxic chemicals.
Still, the company and Jobs continue to be remembered for their high-tech game-changers: the iPod, iTunes, iPhone, and, more recently, the fastest-selling tech device ever ---the iPad.
The world reacts to Jobs' death
President Obama offered a statement on Jobs' passing:
The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.
His longtime rival in the tech business, Microsoft's Bill Gates, released a statement to media organizations saying:
The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.
And Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posted:
Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.
Eric E. Schmidt, the chairman of Google, whose company has become a competitor to Apple in the phone business, said:
“Steve defined a generation of style and technology that’s unlikely to be matched again.”
Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak said:
"People sometimes have goals in life. Steve Jobs exceeded every goal he ever set for himself."
Disney CEO Bob Iger:
“Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed and the culture he defined. Steve was such an 'original,' with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started. With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend.”
News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch:
“Today, we lost one of the most influential thinkers, creators and entrepreneurs of all time. Steve Jobs was simply the greatest CEO of his generation. While I am deeply saddened by his passing, I'm reminded of the stunning impact he had in revolutionizing the way people consume media and entertainment. My heart goes out to his family and to everyone who had the opportunity to work beside him in bringing his many visions to life.”