In this section you will be able to learn about the millionaires and billionaires which is made up of our world and their road to success.
Known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time.
His Berkshire Hathaway owns more than 60 companies, including Geico, Duracell and Dairy Queen.
The son of a U.S. congressman, he first bought stock at age 11 and first filed taxes at age 13.
He has committed to giving more than 99% of his fortune to charity. So far he has given $28.5 billion.
With friend Bill Gates, he launched The Giving Pledge, asking billionaires to donate their wealth.
Known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffett is an investment guru and one of the richest and most respected businessmen in the world.
“You can’t make a baby in a month if you get nine women pregnant.”
Warren Buffet was Born in Nebraska in 1930, He demonstrated keen business abilities at a young age. He formed Buffett Partnership Ltd. in 1956, and by 1965 he had assumed control of Berkshire Hathaway. Overseeing the growth of a conglomerate with holdings in the media, insurance, energy and food and beverage industries, Buffett became one of the world’s richest men and a celebrated philanthropist.
Buffett’s father, Howard, Businessman and investor Born Warren Edward Buffett on August 30, 1930, in Omaha, Nebraska.,worked as stockbroker and served as a U.S. congressman. His mother, Leila Stahl Buffett, was a homemaker. Buffett was the second of three children and the only boy.
Buffett demonstrated a knack for financial and business matters early in his childhood. Friends and acquaintances have said the young boy was a mathematical prodigy who could add large columns of numbers in his head, a talent he occasionally demonstrated in his later years.
Warren often visited his father’s stockbrokerage shop as a child, and chalked in the stock prices on the blackboard in the office. At 11 years old he made his first investment, buying three shares of Cities Service Preferred at $38 per share. The stock quickly dropped to only $27, but Buffett held on tenaciously until they reached $40. He sold his shares at a small profit, but regretted the decision when Cities Service shot up to nearly $200 a share. He later cited this experience as an early lesson in patience in investing.
First Entrepreneurial Venture
By the age of 13, Buffett was running his own businesses as a paperboy and selling his own horseracing tip sheet. That same year, he filed his first tax return, claiming his bike as a $35 tax deduction.
In 1942, Buffett’s father was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and his family moved to Fredricksburg, Virginia, to be closer to the congressman’s new post. Buffett attended Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C., where he continued plotting new ways to make money. During his high school tenure, he and a friend purchased a used pinball machine for $25. They installed it in a barbershop, and within a few months the profits enabled them to buy other machines. Buffett owned machines in three different locations before he sold the business for $1,200.
Higher Education and Early Career
Buffett enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania at the age of 16 to study business. He stayed two years, moved to the University of Nebraska to finish up his degree, and emerged from college at age 20 with nearly $10,000 from his childhood businesses.
Influenced by Benjamin Graham’s 1949 book, The Intelligent Investor, Buffett enrolled at Columbia Business School to study under the acclaimed economist and investor. After earning his master’s degree in 1951, he sold securities for Buffett-Falk & Company for three years, then worked for his mentor for two years as an analyst at Graham-Newman Corp.
In 1956, Buffet formed the firm Buffett Partnership Ltd. in his hometown of Omaha. Utilizing the techniques learned from Graham, he was successful in identifying undervauled companies and became a millionaire. One such enterprise Buffett valued was a textile company named Berkshire Hathaway. He began accumulating stock in the early 1960s, and by 1965 he had assumed control of the company.
Despite the success of Buffett Partnership, its founder dissolved the firm in 1969 to focus on the development of Berkshire Hathaway. He phased out its textile manufacturing division, instead expanding the company by buying assets in media (The Washington Post), insurance (GEICO) and oil (Exxon). Immensely successful, the “Oracle of Omaha” even managed to spin seemingly poor investments into gold, most notably with his purchase of scandal-plagued Salomon Brothers in 1987.
Following Berkshire Hathaway’s significant investment in Coca-Cola, Buffett became director of the company from 1989 until 2006. He has also served as director of Citigroup Global Markets Holdings, Graham Holdings Company and The Gillette Company.
Recent Activity and Philanthropy
In June 2006, Buffett made an announcement that he would be giving his entire fortune away to charity, committing 85 percent of it to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This donation became the largest act of charitable giving in United States history. In 2010, Buffett and Gates announced they had formed The Giving Pledge campaign to recruit more wealthy individuals for philanthropic causes.
In 2012, Buffett disclosed that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He began undergoing radiation treatment in July, and successfully completed his treatment in November.
The health scare did little to slow the octogenarian, who annually ranks near the top of the Forbes world billionaires list. In February 2013, Buffett purchased H. J. Heinz with private equity group 3G Capital for $28 billion. Later additions to the Berkshire Hathaway stable included battery maker Duracell and Kraft Foods Group, which merged with Heinz in 2015 to form the third-largest food and beverage company in North America.
In 2016, Buffett launched Drive2Vote, a web site aimed at encouraging people in his Nebraska community to exercise their right to vote – and to assist in registering and driving voters to a polling location if they needed a ride.
Bill Gates is the man who together with Paul Allen founded the world’s largest software business, Microsoft, and subsequently became one of the richest men in the world.
“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
Bill Gates was Born in Seattle, Washington, in 1955. At an early age he began to show an interest in computer programming at only age 13. Through technological innovation, keen business strategy and aggressive business tactics, he and partner Paul Allen built the world’s largest software business, Microsoft. In the process, Gates became one of the richest men in the world. In February 2014, Gates announced that he was stepping down as Microsoft’s chairman.
When Bill Gates was at the the Lakeside School he began to show an interest in computing. Through sheer determination and passion together with his friend John Allen Gates found himself at the right place at the right time. Through technological innovation, keen business strategy and aggressive business tactics, he built the world’s largest software business, Microsoft. In the process, Gates became one of the richest men in the world.
Bill Gates was born in an upper middle-class family with two sisters: Kristianne, who is older, and Libby, who is younger. Their father, William H. Gates Sr., was a promising, if somewhat shy, law student when he met his future wife, Mary Maxwell. She was an athletic, outgoing student at the University of Washington, actively involved in student affairs and leadership. The Gates family atmosphere was warm and close, and all three children were encouraged to be competitive and strive for excellence. Bill showed early signs of competitiveness when he coordinated family athletic games at their summer house on Puget Sound. He also relished in playing board games (Risk was his favorite) and excelled at Monopoly.
Bill had a very close relationship with his mother, Mary, who after a brief career as a teacher devoted her time to helping raise the children and working on civic affairs and with charities. She also served on several corporate boards, including those of the First Interstate Bank in Seattle (founded by her grandfather), the United Way and International Business Machines (IBM). She would often take Bill along when she volunteered in schools and at community organizations.
As a child Bill was a voracious reader , spending many hours poring over reference books such as the encyclopedia. Around the age of 11 or 12, Bill’s parents began to have concerns about his behavior. He was doing well in school, but he seemed bored and withdrawn at times, and his parents worried he might become a loner. Though they were strong believers in public education, when Bill turned 13, they enrolled him at Seattle’s exclusive preparatory Lakeside School. He blossomed in nearly all his subjects, excelling in math and science, but also doing very well in drama and English.
When he was at Lakeside School, a Seattle computer company offered to provide computer time for the students. The Mother’s Club used proceeds from the school’s rummage sale to purchase a teletype terminal for students to use. Bill Gates became entranced with what a computer could do and spent much of his free time working on the terminal. He wrote a tic-tac-toe program in BASIC computer language that allowed users to play against the computer.
It was at Lakeside School that Bill met Paul Allen, who was two years his senior. The two became fast friends, bonding over their common enthusiasm for computers, even though they were very different people. Allen was more reserved and shy. Bill was feisty and at times combative. This did not prevent them from spending their free time together working on programs. Occasionally, they disagreed and would clash over who was right or who should run the computer lab. On one occasion, their argument escalated to the point where Allen banned Gates from the computer lab. On another occasion, Gates and Allen had their school computer privileges revoked for taking advantage of software glitches to obtain free computer time from the company that provided the computers. After their probation, they were allowed back in the computer lab when they offered to debug the program. During this time, Gates developed a payroll program for the computer company the boys hacked into and a scheduling program for the school.
It was In 1970, at the age of 15, Bill Gates went into business with his pal, Paul Allen. They developed “Traf-o-Data,” a computer program that monitored traffic patterns in Seattle, and netted $20,000 for their efforts. Gates and Allen wanted to start their own company, but Gates’s parents wanted him to finish school and go on to college where they hoped he would work to become a lawyer.
Bill Gates graduated from Lakeside in 1973. He scored 1590 out of 1600 on the college SAT test, a feat of intellectual achievement that for several years he boasted about when introducing himself to new people.
Gates joined the Harvard University in the fall, originally thinking of a career in law. But his freshman year saw him spend more of his time in the computer lab than in class. Gates did not really have a study regimen. Instead, he could get by on a few hours of sleep, cram for a test, and pass with a reasonable grade.
Gates remained in contact with Paul Allen, who, after attending Washington State University for two years, dropped out and moved to Boston, Massachusetts, to work for Honeywell. Around this time, Allen showed Gates an edition of Popular Electronics magazine featuring an article on the Altair 8800 mini-computer kit. Both boys were fascinated with the possibilities that this computer could create in the world of personal computing. The Altair was made by a small company in Albuquerque, New Mexico, called Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS). Gates and Allen contacted the company, proclaiming that they were working on a BASIC software program that would run the Altair computer. In reality, they didn’t have an Altair to work with or the code to run it, but they wanted to know if MITS was interested in someone developing such software. MITS was, and its president, Ed Roberts, asked the boys for a demonstration. Gates and Allen scrambled, spending the next two months writing the software at Harvard’s computer lab. Allen traveled to Albuquerque for a test run at MITS, never having tried it out on an Altair computer. It worked perfectly. Allen was hired at MITS, and Gates soon left Harvard to work with him, much to his parents’ dismay. In 1975, Gates and Allen formed a partnership they called Micro-Soft, a blend of “micro-computer” and “software.”
Microsoft (Gates and Allen dropped the hyphen in less than a year) started off on shaky footing. Though their BASIC software program for the Altair computer netted the company a fee and royalties, it wasn’t meeting their overhead. Microsoft’s BASIC software was popular with computer hobbyists, who obtained pre-market copies and were reproducing and distributing them for free. According to Gates’s later account, only about 10 percent of the people using BASIC in the Altair computer had actually paid for it. At this time, much of the personal computer enthusiasts were people not in it for the money. They felt the ease of reproduction and distribution allowed them to share software with friends and fellow computer enthusiasts. Bill Gates thought differently. He saw the free distribution of software as stealing, especially when it involved software that was created to be sold.
It was In February 1976, that Gates wrote an open letter to computer hobbyists, saying that continued distribution and use of software without paying for it would “prevent good software from being written.” In essence, pirating software would discourage developers from investing time and money into creating quality software. The letter was unpopular with computer enthusiasts, but Gates stuck to his beliefs and would use the threat of innovation as a defense when faced with charges of unfair business practices.
Gates had a more acrimonious relationship with MITS president Ed Roberts, often resulting in shouting matches. The combative Gates clashed with Roberts on software development and the direction of the business. Roberts considered Gates spoiled and obnoxious. In 1977, Roberts sold MITS to another computer company and went back to Georgia to enter medical school and become a country doctor. Gates and Allen were on their own. The pair had to sue the new owner of MITS to retain the software rights they had developed for Altair.
Microsoft wrote software in different formats for other computer companies, and, at the beginning of 1979, Gates moved the company’s operations to Bellevue, Washington, just east of Seattle. Gates was glad to be home again in the Pacific Northwest, and threw himself into his work. All 25 employees of the young company had broad responsibilities for all aspects of the operation, product development, business development and marketing. With his acumen for software development and a keen business sense, Gates placed himself as the head of Microsoft, which grossed approximately $2.5 million in 1979. Gates was only 23.
The Rise of Microsoft
Gates’s acumen for not only software development but also business operations put him in the position of leading the company and working as its spokesperson. He personally reviewed every line of code the company shipped, often rewriting code himself when he saw it necessary. As the computer industry began to grow with companies like Apple, Intel and IBM developing hardware and components, Bill was continuously out on the road touting the merits of Microsoft software applications. He often took his mother with him. Mary was highly respected and well connected with her membership on several corporate boards, including IBM’s. It was through Mary that Bill Gates met the CEO of IBM.
In November 1980, IBM was looking for software that would operate their upcoming personal computer (PC) and approached Microsoft. Legend has it that at the first meeting with Bill Gates someone at IBM mistook him for an office assistant and asked him to serve coffee. Gates did look very young, but he quickly impressed IBM, convincing them that he and his company could meet their needs. The only problem was that Microsoft had not developed the basic operating system that would run IBM’s new computers. Not to be stopped, Gates bought an operating system that was developed to run on computers similar to IBM’s PC. He made a deal with the software’s developer, making Microsoft the exclusive licensing agent and later full owner of the software but not telling them of the IBM deal. The company later sued Microsoft and Gates for withholding important information. Microsoft settled out of court for an undisclosed amount, but neither Gates nor Microsoft admitted to any wrongdoing.
Gates had to adapt the newly purchased software to work for the IBM PC. He delivered it for a $50,000 fee, the same price he had paid for the software in its original form. IBM wanted to buy the source code, which would have given them the information to the operating system. Gates refused, instead proposing that IBM pay a licensing fee for copies of the software sold with their computers. Doing this allowed Microsoft to license the software they called MS-DOS to any other PC manufacturer, should other computer companies clone the IBM PC, which they soon did. Microsoft also released software called Softcard, which allowed Microsoft BASIC to operate on Apple II machines.
Between 1979 and 1981, Microsoft’s growth exploded, and staff increased from 25 to 128. Revenue also shot up from $2.5 million to $16 million. In mid-1981 Gates and Allen incorporated Microsoft, and Gates was appointed president and chairman of the board. Allen was named executive vice president.
By 1983, Microsoft was going global with offices in Great Britain and Japan, and with 30 percent of the world’s computers running on its software. But 1983 also brought news that rocked Microsoft to its very foundation. Paul Allen was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. Though his cancer went into remission a year later with intensive treatment, Allen resigned from company that same year. Rumors abound as to why Allen left Microsoft. Some say Bill Gates pushed him out, but many say it was a life-changing experience for Allen and he saw there were other opportunities that he could invest his time in.
The Invention of Microsoft Windows
Though their rivalry is legend, Microsoft and Apple shared many of their early innovations. In 1981 Apple invited Microsoft to help develop software for Macintosh computers. Some developers were involved in both Microsoft development and the development of Microsoft applications for Macintosh. The collaboration could be seen in some shared names between the Microsoft and Macintosh systems.
It was through this knowledge sharing that Microsoft was to develop Windows, a system that used a mouse to drive a graphic interface, displaying text and images on the screen. This differed greatly from the text-and-keyboard driven MS-DOS system where all text formatting showed on the screen as code and not what actually would be printed. Bill Gates quickly recognized the threat this kind of software might pose for MS-DOS and Microsoft overall. For the unsophisticated user—which was most of the buying public—the graphic imagery of the competing VisiCorp software used in a Macintosh system would be so much easier to use. Gates announced in an advertising campaign that a new Microsoft operating system was about to be developed that would use a graphic interface. It was to be called “Windows,” and would be compatible with all PC software products developed on the MS-DOS system. The announcement was a bluff, in that Microsoft had no such program under development. But as a marketing tactic it was sheer genius as nearly 30 percent of the computer market was using the MS-DOS system and would wait for Windows software rather than change to a new system. Without people willing to change formats, software developers were unwilling to write programs for the VisiCorp system and it lost momentum by early 1985.
In November 1985, Bill Gates and Microsoft launched Windows; nearly two years after his announcement. Visually the Windows system looked very similar to the Macintosh system Apple Computer Corporation had introduced nearly two years earlier. Apple had earlier given Microsoft full access to their technology while it was working on making Microsoft products compatible for Apple computers. Gates had advised Apple to license their software but they ignored the advice, being more interested in selling computers. Once again, Gates took full advantage of the situation and created a software format that was strikingly similar to the Macintosh. Apple threatened to sue, and Microsoft retaliated, saying it would delay shipment of its Microsoft-compatible software for Macintosh users. In the end, Microsoft prevailed in the courts because it could prove that while there were similarities in how the two software systems operated, each individual function was distinctly different.
In March 1986, Bill Gates took Microsoft public with an initial public offering (IPO) of $21 per share. Gates held 45 percent of the company’s 24.7 million shares and became an instant millionaire at age 31. Gates’s stake at that time was $234 million of Microsoft’s $520 million. Over time, the company’s stock increased in value and split numerous times. In 1987, Bill Gates became a billionaire when the stock raised to $90.75 a share. Since then, Gates has been at the top, or at least near the top, of Forbes’s annual list of the top 400 wealthiest people in America. In 1999, with stock prices at an all time high and the stock splitting eight-fold since its IPO, Gates’s wealth briefly topped $101 billion.
Yet, Bill Gates never felt totally secure about the status of his company. Always having to look over his shoulder to see where the competition was, he developed a white-hot drive and competitive spirit. Gates expected everyone in the company to have the same dedication. One story of Gates’s assistant coming to work early to find someone sleeping under a desk. She considered calling security or the police, until she discovered it was Gates.
Bill Gates’s was capable of seeing in the future and all sides of the software industry—product development and corporate strategy. When analyzing any corporate move, he would develop a profile of all the possible cases and run through them, asking questions about anything that could possibly happen. His confrontational management style became legend as he would challenge employees and their ideas to keep the creative process going. An unprepared presenter could hear, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!” from Gates. But this was as much a test of the rigor of the employee as it was Gates’s passion for his company. He was constantly checking the people around him to see if they were really convinced of their ideas.
Outside the company, Bill Gates was gaining a reputation as a ruthless competitor. Several tech companies, led by IBM, began to develop their own operating system, called OS/2, to replace MS-DOS. Rather than give in to the pressure, Gates pushed ahead with the Windows software, improving its operation and expanding its uses. In 1989, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Office, which bundled office productivity applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel into one system that was compatible with all Microsoft products. The applications were not as easily compatible with OS/2. Microsoft’s new version of Windows sold 100,000 copies in just two weeks, and OS/2 soon faded away. This left Microsoft with a virtual monopoly on operating systems for PCs. Soon the Federal Trade Commission began to investigate Microsoft for unfair marketing practices.
Throughout the 1990s, Microsoft faced a string of Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department investigations. Some related allegations that Microsoft made unfair deals with computer manufactures who installed the Windows operating system on their computers. Other charges involved Microsoft forcing computer manufactures to sell Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as a condition for selling the Windows operating system with their computers.
At one point, Microsoft faced a possible break up of its two divisions—operating systems and software development. Microsoft defended itself, harking back to Bill Gates’s earlier battles with software piracy and proclaiming that such restrictions were a threat to innovation. Eventually, Microsoft was able to find a settlement with the federal government to avoid a breakup. Through it all, Gates found some inventive ways to deflect the pressure with lighthearted commercials and public appearances at computer trade shows during which he posed as Star Trek’s Mr. Spock. Gates continued to run the company and weather the federal investigations through the 1990s.
In 1987, a 23-year-old Microsoft product manager named Melinda French caught the eye of Bill Gates, then 32. The very bright and organized Melinda was a perfect match for Gates. In time, their relationship grew as they discovered an intimate and intellectual connection. On January 1, 1994, Melinda and Bill were married in Hawaii. But only a few months later heartbreak struck Bill Gates as his mother succumbed to breast cancer, passing away that June. Gates was devastated.
Bill and Melinda took some time off in 1995 to travel to several countries and get a new perspective on life and the world. In 1996, their first daughter, Jennifer, was born. A year later, Gates moved his family into a 55,000-square-foot, $54-million house on the shore of Lake Washington. Though the house serves as a business center, it is said to be a very cozy home for the couple and their three children. (Their son, Rory, was born in 1999, and a second daughter, Phoebe, arrived in 2002.)
With Melinda’s influence, Gates took an interest in filling his mother’s role as a civic leader. He began to realize that he had an obligation to give more of his wealth to charity. Being the consummate student he was, Gates studied the philanthropic work of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, titans of the American industrial revolution. In 1994, Gates and his wife established the William H. Gates Foundation, which was dedicated to supporting education, world health and investment in low-income communities. In 2000, the couple combined several family foundations to form the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They started out by making a $28 billion contribution to set up the foundation.
Bill Gates stepped down from the day-to-day operations of Microsoft in 2000, turning over the job of CEO to college friend Steve Ballmer, who had been with Microsoft since 1980. He positioned himself as chief software architect so he could concentrate on what was for him the more passionate side of the business, though he remained chairman of the board.
Over the next few years, his involvement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation occupied much of his time and even more of his interest. In 2006, Gates announced he was transitioning himself from full-time work at Microsoft to devote more quality time to the foundation. His last full day at Microsoft was June 27, 2008.
Some of great mentions for Bill Gates are: Time magazine named Gates one of the most influential people of the 20th century. The magazine also named Gates, his wife Melinda and rock band U2’s lead singer, Bono, as the 2005 Persons of the Year.
Gates also holds several honorary doctorates from universities throughout the world and an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II in 2005. In 2006, Gates and his wife were awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle by the Mexican government for their philanthropic work throughout the world in the areas of health and education.
It was In February 2014, that Gates announced that he would be stepping down as chairman of Microsoft in order to move into a new position as technology adviser. In addition to Gates’s transition, it was reported that longtime Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer would be replaced by 46-year-old Satya Nadella.
Gates continues to devote much of his time and energy to the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The organization tackles international and domestic issues, such as health and education. One aspect of its work in the United States is helping students become college ready. In 2015, Gates spoke out in favor of national Common Core standards in grades K through 12 and charter schools.
Gates also proved to be a groundbreaking employer around this time: The foundation announced that it would give its employees a year’s paid leave after the birth of a child or the adoption of a child.
In 2016, Gates and his wife Melinda were recognized for their philanthropic work when they were named recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented by former President Barack Obama.
When we think about Apple the only name that comes to our mind is Steve Jobs. He co-founded Apple Computers with Steve Wozniak. Under Jobs’ guidance, the company pioneered a series of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone and iPad.
“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world? [Jobs inviting an executive to join Apple]”
Steve Jobs was born in San Francisco, California, on February 24, 1955, to two University of Wisconsin graduate students who gave him up for adoption. Steve was Smart but directionless, he experimented with different pursuits before starting Apple Computer with Steve Wozniak in 1976. Apple’s revolutionary products, which include the iPod, iPhone and iPad, are now seen as dictating the evolution of modern technology, with Jobs having left the company in 1985 and returning more than a decade later. He died in 2011, following a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Steven Paul Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco, California, to Joanne Schieble (later Joanne Simpson) and Abdulfattah “John” Jandali, two University of Wisconsin graduate students who gave their unnamed son up for adoption. His father, Jandali, was a Syrian political science professor, and his mother, Schieble, worked as a speech therapist. Shortly after Steve was placed for adoption, his biological parents married and had another child, Mona Simpson. It was not until Jobs was 27 that he was able to uncover information on his biological parents.
The baby was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs and named Steven Paul Jobs. His mother worked as an accountant and the father was a Coast Guard veteran and machinist. They lived in Mountain View, California, within the area that would later become known as Silicon Valley. As a boy, Jobs and his father worked on electronics in the family garage. Paul showed his son how to take apart and reconstruct electronics, a hobby that instilled confidence, tenacity and While Jobs was always an intelligent and innovative thinker, his youth was riddled with frustrations over formal schooling. Jobs was a prankster in elementary school due to boredom, and his fourth-grade teacher needed to bribe him to study. Jobs tested so well, however, that administrators wanted to skip him ahead to high school—a proposal that his parents declined.
Jobs was enrolled at Homestead High School, where he was introduced to his future partner Steve Wozniak, who was attending the University of California, Berkeley. In a 2007 interview with PC World, Wozniak spoke about why he and Jobs clicked so well: “We both loved electronics and the way we used to hook up digital chips,” Wozniak said. “Very few people, especially back then, had any idea what chips were, how they worked and what they could do. I had designed many computers, so I was way ahead of him in electronics and computer design, but we still had common interests. We both had pretty much sort of an independent attitude about things in the world. …”
After high school, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Lacking direction, he dropped out of college after six months and spent the next 18 months dropping in on creative classes at the school. Jobs later recounted how one course in calligraphy developed his love of typography.
It was in 1974, that Jobs took a position as a video game designer with Atari. Several months later he left the company to find spiritual enlightenment in India, traveling further and experimenting with psychedelic drugs. In 1976, when Jobs was just 21, he and Wozniak started Apple Computer. The duo started in the Jobs family garage, funding their entrepreneurial venture by Jobs selling his Volkswagen bus and Wozniak selling his beloved scientific calculator.
Jobs and Wozniak are credited with revolutionizing the computer industry by democratizing the technology and making machines smaller, cheaper, intuitive and accessible to everyday consumers. Wozniak conceived of a series of user-friendly personal computers, and—with Jobs in charge of marketing—Apple initially marketed the computers for $666.66 each. The Apple I earned the corporation around $774,000. Three years after the release of Apple’s second model, the Apple II, the company’s sales increased by 700 percent to $139 million. In 1980, Apple Computer became a publicly traded company, with a market value of $1.2 billion by the end of its very first day of trading. Jobs looked to marketing expert John Sculley of Pepsi-Cola to take over the role of CEO for Apple.
Departure from Company
However, the next several products from Apple suffered significant design flaws, resulting in recalls and consumer disappointment. IBM suddenly surpassed Apple in sales, and Apple had to compete with an IBM/PC-dominated business world. In 1984, Apple released the Macintosh, marketing the computer as a piece of a counterculture lifestyle: romantic, youthful, creative. But despite positive sales and performance superior to IBM’s PCs, the Macintosh was still not IBM-compatible. Sculley believed Jobs was hurting Apple, and the company’s executives began to phase him out.
Not actually having had an official title with the company he co-founded, Jobs was pushed into a more marginalized position and thus left Apple in 1985 to begin a new hardware and software enterprise called NeXT, Inc. The following year Jobs purchased an animation company from George Lucas, which later became Pixar Animation Studios. Believing in Pixar’s potential, Jobs initially invested $50 million of his own money in the company. The studio went on to produce wildly popular movies such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles; Pixar’s films have collectively netted $4 billion. The studio merged with Walt Disney in 2006, making Steve Jobs Disney’s largest shareholder.echanical prowess in young Jobs.
Despite Pixar’s success, NeXT, Inc. floundered in its attempts to sell its specialized operating system to mainstream America. Apple eventually bought the company in 1996 for $429 million. The following year, Jobs returned to his post as Apple’s CEO.
Just as Steve Jobs instigated Apple’s success in the 1970s, he is credited with revitalizing the company in the 1990s. With a new management team, altered stock options and a self-imposed annual salary of $1 a year, Jobs put Apple back on track. His ingenious products (like the iMac), effective branding campaigns and stylish designs caught the attention of consumers once again.
It was in 2003 that Jobs discovered that he had a neuroendocrine tumor, a rare but operable form of pancreatic cancer. Instead of immediately opting for surgery, Jobs chose to alter his pesco-vegetarian diet while weighing Eastern treatment options. For nine months, Jobs postponed surgery, making Apple’s board of directors nervous. Executives feared that shareholders would pull their stock if word got out that their CEO was ill. But in the end, Jobs’ confidentiality took precedence over shareholder disclosure. In 2004, he had a successful surgery to remove the pancreatic tumor. True to form, in subsequent years Jobs disclosed little about his health.
Keeping with the trend Apple introduced such revolutionary products as the Macbook Air, iPod and iPhone, all of which have dictated the evolution of modern technology. Almost immediately after Apple releases a new product, competitors scramble to produce comparable technologies. Apple’s quarterly reports improved significantly in 2007: Stocks were worth $199.99 a share—a record-breaking number at that time—and the company boasted a staggering $1.58 billion profit, an $18 billion surplus in the bank and zero debt.
It was In 2008, that iTunes became the second-biggest music retailer in America—second only to Walmart, fueled by iTunes and iPod sales. Apple has also been ranked No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s list of “America’s Most Admired Companies,” as well as No. 1 among Fortune 500 companies for returns to shareholders.
Now early in 2009, there were reports about Jobs’ weight loss, some predicting his health issues had returned, which included a liver transplant. Jobs had responded to these concerns by stating he was dealing with a hormone imbalance. After nearly a year out of the spotlight, Steve Jobs delivered a keynote address at an invite-only Apple event September 9, 2009.
In respect to his personal life, Steve Jobs remained a private man who rarely disclosed information about his family. What is known is Jobs fathered a daughter with girlfriend Chrisann Brennan when he was 23. Jobs denied paternity of his daughter Lisa in court documents, claiming he was sterile. With Chrisann struggling financially for much of her life, Jobs did not initiate a relationship with his daughter until she was 7, but when she was a teenager she came to live with her father.
Jobs met Laurene Powell at Stanford business school in the early 90’s, where she was an MBA student. They married on March 18, 1991, and lived together in Palo Alto, California, with their three children.
Steve died on October 5, 2011, and same was announced by Apple Inc. He was 56 years old.