"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."Steve Jobs
— 2005 Stanford University Commencement Address
(February 24, 1955 — October 5, 2011) was an American inventor, film producer and business executive who pioneered much of the popular penetration of personal computers and their related applications in popular culture.
Although a post-secondary dropout, his flair for technology and how to design and market it combined with the technical mastery of his partner, Steve Wozniak, helped create Apple Computer in 1976. From that partnership, Apple grew to be a major player in the embryonic consumer market with innovative products like the Apple ][
and the Macintosh
. However, Jobs' abrasive personality and stubbornly selective acknowledgement of reality alienated much of the staff and management, and Apple's market difficulties in the mid-1980s gave a convenient rationale to dismiss him from the company. However, some accounts stated that he left the company on his own accord after he was technically made a puppet
- he is still the chairman of the company, but is stripped off all decision-making powers and assigned to an almost-empty building instead.
On his own, Jobs founded the NeXT computer company, which struggled under his exacting design specifications and slow sales of PCs that proved to be ahead of their time in many respects. Along the way, Jobs also purchased the computer graphics organization, The Graphics Group, from George Lucas
. This organization was later renamed Pixar
and would go under Jobs' corporate management to become a major innovator in computer animation and a dominant artistic force in Western Animation
, first in cooperation with Disney
in feature films like Toy Story
in 1995 and then as a purchased subsidiary of the film company in 2006 with its artist head, John Lasseter
, put in charge of all of the company's animation.
In 1996, NeXT was bought by Apple and Jobs returned to the company and soon resumed control. Under his leadership, the lagging company soon prospered with the iMac computer line, but also branched out into new products that made a deep impact in pop culture. Jobs oversaw the creation of the iPod MP3
player that became the pre-eminent example of a new music market, which was complemented by the iTunes store that redefined online media retail, while he also manipulated desperate companies in the sagging music industry to cooperate in an arrangement shamelessly stacked in Apple's favor.
After these successes, Jobs' prescient technology business sense and his almost obsessive commitment to innovative design led to further groundbreaking products. These included the iPhone, which opened the smartphone market from a business-oriented one to a general consumer item, and the iPad, which similarly kickstarted the tablet PC market largely by itself.
However, his stubborn personality and eccentricities also led to him not properly dealing with his declining health, and he died of cancer in 2011.
Steve Jobs has been hailed as one of the great American business innovators and leaders of modern times, with a popular culture impact at least as profound.
In 2013, a Biopic
was released, starring Ashton Kutcher in the title role.