Everything Behind the Steve Jobs Success Story

Friday, April 12, 2019

Have you ever thought how Apple achieved its massive success? Read the story behind the Steve Jobs success and perfection. Well, no one can exaggerate the contributions of Steve Jobs to Apple. This perfectionist changed the world through technology.

The computers and smartphones we know today were partially born in Steve Jobs’ imagination with the help of Apple’s performance.

Steve Jobs was brought up in Silicon Valley and was a perfect amalgam of arts and technology. He was spiritual, and he took drugs, but his friendship with Steve Wozniak initiated the computer revolution which stormed the world. And the Steve Jobs book chronicles his adventurous and rebellious life and many interesting facts about Steve Jobs.

Written by Walter Isaacson, this book describes:

  • the leadership traits of Steve Jobs
  • his ventures
  • the battles he fought

Walter is a biographer who earlier wrote biographies of Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin. He also held the office of an editor at TIME and CEO at CNN. Steve Jobs success has largely been because of his ability to take risks and prosper, but there is more.

Listen to the summary at Blinkist or listen to the book at Audible.

Love for Technology, Spirituality, and Arts

Young Steve Jobs was a technology enthusiast from a young age. Image courtesy of The Star.
Young Steve Jobs was a technology enthusiast from a young age. Image courtesy of The Star.

Paul and Clara Jobs adopted Steve after his biological parents couldn’t take him in. Paul was an engine technician, and it was from him, that Steve started loving engineering and design. He would allow Steve to assist in his work and Steve admired Paul’s craftsmanship. So, you can say, his dad had a significant role in Steve Jobs accomplishments.

Then he met Wozniak, in high school. Apart from the pranks together, they both had an interest in electronics. And in 1971, they launched “Blue Box”, a device to make distance calls for free. They sold almost 100 boxes. Wozniak’s skills and Jobs vision started paving the way to Apple.

Apart from electronics, Jobs also had a keen interest in LSD. He experimented along with his friends at Reed and said that those experiences were the reason behind his extreme focus. LSD, however, also led him towards self-realization. He even traveled to India to explore Eastern spirituality, Zen Buddhism in particular.

LSD and spirituality carved his focus, which people term as a reality distortion field of Steve Jobs.

If he decided something, he would make it happen.

Passion for perfection

Steve Jobs success simply skyrocketed after launching the Macintosh. Image courtesy of Qlouder.
Steve Jobs success simply skyrocketed after launching the Macintosh. Image courtesy of Qlouder.

In the meantime, Steve Wozniak joined a club of computer nerds. There he got the idea of making a personal computer and Jobs decided to set up a business around it. Jobs happened to visit an apple farm when they had to determine a name for their company, and thus, the Apple Computer started.

Only after 30 days and 100 computers, Apple I started bringing in profits.

Empathy, by the way, wasn’t among the Steve Jobs' personality traits. If some particular work isn’t perfect, he would go furious.

Even the tiniest imperfection and the work is ‘shit’.

And he kept becoming more erratic. So, Mike Scott came in as Apple’s president, just to keep Steve in control. Steve was so obsessed with perfection that he couldn’t finalize how rounded the corners of the computer case should be or which shade of beige it should be. Mike had to take the command in those situations.

Steve Jobs success, however, skyrocketed after the launch of Macintosh – a computer with a graphical user interface. But, his care for perfectionism led the board of directors to let him leave.

A life away from Apple

After leaving Apple, Steve Jobs founded his new company, Next, that he sold to Apple in 1996. Image courtesy of Awkward Media.
After leaving Apple, Steve Jobs founded his new company, Next, that he sold to Apple in 1996. Image courtesy of Awkward Media.

Next, Steve created NeXT. But Jobs perfectionism made the project quite costly. First, he got the logo designed for $100,000. And then the perfect cube design which he needed was possible using molds which cost $650,000. The project ran out of money and was delayed.

Moreover, the end product was so costly that it couldn’t find customers. NeXT flopped, but his investment in Pixar produced returns. The studio released Tin Toy, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Soon, Pixar partnered with Disney to release Toy Story in 1996. It was the top-grossing movie of the year.

Read more: How Does Google Work as a Company?

While being away from Apple, Steve also started connecting the dots to find his biological family. He found his mother and also learned about his sister, Mona Simpson. Also, Jobs got married to Lisa Powell in 1991. They had a kid together.

And before coming back to Apple, Jobs even spent time with Lisa Brennan, his daughter from an earlier relationship.

Back to guide a sinking ship

Steve Jobs unveiling the iMac in 1998, the desktop computer that would become the fastest selling computer in Apple's history. Image courtesy of ABC.
Steve Jobs unveiling the iMac in 1998, the desktop computer that would become the fastest selling computer in Apple's history. Image courtesy of ABC.

In the meantime, Apple started failing. The then CEO, Gil Amelio acquired NeXT’s software to get some fresh ideas in the company. He also made Jobs, an advisor to Apple. And Jobs started bringing his team to the top ranks in Apple.

By that time, the board offered Steve to be the CEO. He, instead, chose to be an advisor and established a partnership with Microsoft for their Office software. Steve even fired the board. He accepted to be the CEO afterward and decided to focus only on desktops and laptops. And Apple was yet again profitable just after a year of him taking the command.

Jobs then partnered with designer Jony Ive and came up with iMac. It was a desktop computer with a playful appearance which became the fastest selling computer in Apple’s history. Then, came the Apple Store in May 2001, adding a new milestone to Steve Jobs success.

Compulsion for control

The iconic photo of Steve Jobs unveiling the iPhone in 2010, which would set the stage for the new, smartphone market.
The iconic photo of Steve Jobs unveiling the iPhone in 2010, which would set the stage for the new, smartphone market.

With the Apple Store, Job’s design pushed the brand image to a whole new level. And then, came his digital hub strategy.

His idea was to make the personal computer a control center to which you can connect all your portable devices. And the first step was the release of iPod – a portable music player – in 2001.

Then came the iPhone – a touchscreen cell phone – in 2007 and iPad – a tablet computer – in 2010. And we all know how these products transformed the consumer technology market. The desire for control and perfection was a Steve Jobs personality type which kept Apple ahead of his competitors.

Read more: The Success Story of Airbnb

But it kept leading to clashes within the company. It even led to Steve’s premature death in 2011. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 but retained his belief in vegan diets instead of medical procedures, and the tumor grew.

Still, you can learn a lot from Steve Jobs success –

  • Keep things simple, clean and minimal.
  • Pay attention to details.
  • Be focused… intensely focused on what you do.

Be crazy. Not everyone is YOU.

So, if you have a vision, work towards it. Make it successful!

Abhijeet Kumar a freelance content writer for aSabbatical.com
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.