Farewell to One of Technology’s Biggest Fans
Scotticus ORLYus | 05 Oct 2011 | 08:14 PM CST
It was revealed late today that Apple Inc. co-founder Steven P. Jobs has died at the age of 56. Details on the situation have been characteristically sparse. The official word came from Apple with no details on exactly what happened or when. Friends and family have not commented either. But, really, those details don’t matter that much anyway. Anyone who knows who Steve Jobs is already knows the value of what has been lost.
In 1976, at age 21, Steve Jobs started Apple Computer, Inc. with his best friend Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. All because Steve was so deeply convinced that computers were the wave of the future. More specifically their computers. In the following years, Apple came to be identified as the ultimate in consumer computing. As the company grew, their technology base grew as well. And likewise their counterparts and competition. In 1984, Apple unveiled the Macintosh, a project not even known about by all Apple staffers. At that same time came a very public dispute with longtime software partner Microsoft, accusing them of industrial espionage in stealing Macintosh design ideas to create the now omnipresent Windows operating system. With this whole spat, Steve Jobs was voted off the Board of Directors at Apple. But, he never stopped working with new technology.
While Apple continued on without him, in 1986, Steve bought George Lucas’ little known animation start-up, Pixar. During that same time, he also started a new computer company with tycoon and eventual presidential candidate Ross Perot, simply named NeXT. While most people in the general public didn’t hear Steve’s name, they saw his effect. Pixar had not only been working as a computer animation house, it also began selling their animation software, Renderman. As testament, Renderman has been a part of computer animation in blockbuster hits ranging from The Abyss to Apollo 13 and Starship Troopers to The Matrix and Lord of the Rings trilogies and of course the modern offerings of the Star Wars saga. While this already would amount to true success in any businessman’s definition, Steve Jobs was due for an encore or two.
In 1998, Steve was officially declared as the returning king at Apple, retaking the reigns as CEO, famously taking a $1 per year salary (stock offerings not withstanding) and rescuing his company from the edge of bankruptcy. In the following decade, Steve cleaned up Apple’s image and directional vision, establishing the concept of premium grade computing devices. With his vision, the world has seen the advent of OS-X, the iMac, the iPod in all it’s forms, iTunes, successful digital distribution of media as a business model, the iPhone and finally the iPad. And while all this was going on, Steve’s health was waning. He had contracted a rare form of pancreatic cancer severe enough to warrant an organ transplant. In Agust 2011, Steve Jobs finally declared he was no longer fit enough to serve as CEO at Apple. He resigned his seat and took up a Chairmanship on the Board of Directors. As this change was taking place, almost as a parting gift, Apple stock had escalated to over $400 per share, achieving the status of the biggest tech company in America─even briefly out-valuing Exxon.
And now, we close this chapter in Apple’s history, Steve Jobs’ life and the way we have viewed consumer computing and electronics. We at the TiltCast extend condolences to the friends and family of Steve Jobs.
May he rest in peace.