“I’ll always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I’ll sort of have the thread of my life and the thread of Apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There may be a few years when I’m not there, but I’ll always come back”
– Steve Jobs, 1985
That’s a quote from a Playboy interview Steve Jobs gave back in 1985. February of 1985, to be specific, right before Steve would be ousted from the company that he co-founded with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in 1976. Apple of course famously grew out of a garage, the brains of Woz, the drive of Jobs building the company over the next nine years into a powerhouse in the burgeoning home computer market.
Join us for a look back at the life of Steve Jobs.
Steve has always had his own way of doing things, a famous temper that left many engineers crying. When things were going well, he was worshipped. But, when things started turning sour, that unique way didn’t earn him so many fans. In May of 1985 Jobs was effectively fired by John Sculley, who’d joined Apple from Pepsi as CEO. Steve Jobs was free to do his own thing.
“The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
– Steve Jobs, 2005
Steve went on to found NeXT Computer, a highly advanced (and highly expensive) desktop computer that won favor among developers for its object-oriented foundations. But, it never found financial success. His other main diversion, however, would find plenty.
“There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything. The most corrosive piece of technology that I’ve ever seen is called television – but then, again, television, at its best, is magnificent.”
– Steve Jobs, 2003
In 1986 Jobs
bought a company called Graphics Group, a small firm that was responsible for visuals like the Genesis effect in Star Trek II. Jobs paid $5 million for the company. In 2006, 20 years after Jobs acquired it, Disney purchased that company (now called Pixar) for $7.4 billion.
“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
– Steve Jobs, 1998
Apple acquired Steve’s NeXT in 1996, bringing the man back into the fold and, before long, bumping him back up to the CEO position. From here, Steve went on a spree of killing off unsuccessful projects (like Newton) before ushering in many of the changes that would, ultimately, turn Apple into the company we know today.
“When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions.”
– Steve Jobs, 2006
Steve would come up with many, many elegant solutions to problems that many people didn’t know they had over his next 15 years at Apple. The iMac would be released in 1998 under his watch, a device that he said marries “the excitement of the internet with the simplicity of Macintosh.” But, in 2001, Apple would really hit its stride.
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.”
– Steve Jobs
It would be in 2001 that Apple really turned into the company that we know today.