“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it by living other people’s lives. Do not get caught up by dogma, live by the results of other people’s thoughts. Don’t let the noise of other people’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, because they already know what you really want to be.“
The above sentence is a sentence spoken by Steve Jobs, the Founder of Apple, on June 12, 2005. That morning, Stanford University graduates had a special guest to fill out the graduation opening speech. To date, his speech has been viewed nearly 40 million times on Stanford’s YouTube. The 15-minute speech became themost watched graduation opening speech of all time. There is something unique about this speech. Why? Steve Jobs never graduated from university.
“I am honored to be with you today, at your graduation at one of the best universities in the world. This opportunity is the closest thing I can feel about college graduation, because I myself never graduated from college,”Jobs said as he opened the speech.
The Early Life of Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs said he never graduated from university. In fact, Jobs was a smart kid since childhood. He could even read before school. However, Jobs was often lazy to go to school. Jobs had the principle, “If I can solve a problem myself, why should I have the help of a teacher?”
So, he prefers to take classes that interest him. He also prefers to spend his time studying mechanics self-taught. Since childhood, Jobs was passionate about mechanics thanks to his adoptive father, Paul Jobs, who taught him how to disassemble cars. In addition, Jobs had a neighbor who had an electronics workshop that made Jobs fall in love with electronics.
Meeting with Steve Wozniak
One day, Steve Jobs’ schoolmate, Bill Fernandez, introduces him to his neighbor Steve Wozniak. Wozniak is an electronic engineer graduated from De Anza College who again makes personal computers (PC). In the garage of Fernandez’s house, they met.
When discussing, Jobs and Wozniak felt suitable to be partners. They then decided to make their first gadget, the Blue Box, in 1971. Blue Box is a device that allows people to phone remotely for free.
“Without the Blue Box, Apple wouldn’t have existed until now,” Jobs said, in Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs (2011).
Apple Company History
Before 1970, computers were still large, expensive, and difficult to use, and more often used for laboratory purposes. How it works, programmers encode instructions and data in punch cards that are still empty, a kind of perforated paper to store digital data and control the machine.
Figure 1. Computer Before 1970
(Source: Samm via Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)
Steve Jobs saw money opportunities from these conditions. Jobs knew that Wozniak had just made his PC design. The design brings together a keyboard, monitor, and computer in one package. By typingusing the keyboard, the writing will appear directly on the screen. Jobs also helped Wozniak make memory chips for PCs. Jobs offered Wozniak to sell his PC design. Wozniak also agreed to a proposal from Jobs. From here, Apple was born.
Figure 2. Apple II
(Source: Rama via Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)
One day, Steve Jobs went to All One Farm, his favorite apple picking place. Wozniak pickedup Jobs at the airport and went together to Los Altos. On the street, they thought of the name of their company. However, there is no suitable name. In fact, tomorrow they have to file the company’s founding papers.
Jobs had an idea. “Apple’s name sounds suitable, I just came from the apple orchard just now. Apple sounds fun, vibrant, and simple. Then, if in the phone book the name Apple must be in the order of the upper alphabet so that the name of our rival must be at the bottom” explained Jobs. Apple Computers became thename of their company on April 1, 1976. Jobs founded his own company at the age of 21.
The Soul of the Artist and the Leadership Style of Steve Jobs
However, Steve Jobs’ business life is not directly proportional to his lectures. As in Jobs’ speech earlier, he did not graduate from Reed College. Jobs didn’t take classes he didn’t like. He also dropped out of college.
At Reed College, there are the best known calligraphy classes in the U.S. Jobs was interested and took the class without having to be a student. He learned the art of writing letters and fell in love with calligraphy. His love of calligraphy made Apple Computers use the Macintosh, the first computer to have a font, 10 years later. In 10 years, Apple Computers became a $2 billion company with more than 4,000 employees. It was Steve Jobs’ leadership style that drove that success.
Jobs famously had a trick to convince his employees that something that seemed impossible would become a reality. Jobs was also a perfectionist and detail-oriented. Pthere was a moment, Jobs took two days to determine how much angle for the computer case and the cream color is suitable for plastic computer casing. Meanwhile, the president of Apple at that time needed a decision as soon as possible. In addition, Jobs could not rhyme assemblies that were not as he wished, even though it was the inside of the Macintosh that would not be visible to people. If the results are not satisfactory, he will speed up the assembly and even fire the employee who made it.
His attitude and differences in vision were the same as apple’s president got Jobs fired in 1985. Although it was down, Jobs got up and designed a computer called NeXT. Unfortunately, the release of NeXT took a long time and a long time. As a result, NeXT does not sell well in the market. However, Jobs still has other sources of money. In 1986, Jobs held a 70 percent stake in Pixar. Jobs instantly became a billionaire after Pixar released the film Toy Story (1995). From the capital of 10 million dollars, Jobs got 2 billion U.S. dollars.
The Persistence of Jobs, Despite Being Known As An Adopted Child
It is not easy for a child to know the fact that he is an adopted child, as steve jobs used to experience. In fact Steve Jobs was the adopted son of the adopted. Knowing this fact, Steve did not want to dissolve into negative thoughts for too long. Young Steve Jobs ultimately remained grateful for his life and loved both of his adoptive parents. His positive thinking he channeled in terms of technology and computers which became his biggest interest.
But it turns out that Steve Jobs’ career journey in the field of technology has not always been smooth without obstacles. Failure has also been felt in living his profession as a businessman. In 1984, Steve Jobs was fired from Apple over a leadership dispute. Steve’s overly ambitious attitude is the main cause behind the dispute. Jobs admitted that the heavy burden as a person of success on his shoulders, replaced with flexibility as a beginner. The incident became an introductory moment that made him even more creative.
Back to CEO of Apple
After Jobs left Apple, the company lost nearly $1 billion. In 1996, Gil Amelio was appointed CEO to create a company with new ideas. A year later, Apple bought NeXT and made Jobs return to Apple. However, he chose to be an advisor rather than a CEO. Increasingly, Apple’s board of directors felt that Amelio could notsave Apple. They gave Jobs another chance to become CEO. Jobs still did not want to be CEO and was more comfortable beingan advisor.
The presence of Jobs with his new ideas made Apple’s stock price rise again. Jobs invited Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, to create Microsoft Office for macintosh. However, Jobs and Gates’ relationship soured when Microsoft made a Macintosh-like Windows look. Jobs accused Gates of inventing the Macintosh idea.
Even, Apple’s stock has skyrocketed. This Apple success strengthened Jobs to become CEO again, and he had to accept it. The rest is history. With the efforts of Steve Jobs, Apple produces iMac, Apple Store, iPod, iPad, to iPhone. Apple is “the most valuable company in the world” that has revolutionized technology.
The End of Steve Jobs
In October 2003, Steve Jobs received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. For nine months, Jobs did not want surgery and preferred a vegan diet and acupuncture to prevent his cancer. Although Jobs eventually wanted surgery, his cancer appeared again in 2008. She returned to a vegan diet and traditional medicine, as well as undergoing a liver transplant. However, his health deteriorated until he died on October 5, 2011.
During his life, Jobs proved himself to be tireless in order to maintain his idealism. He has never been affected by other people’s words. If he thinks it is true, he will stick to his stance and fight as much as possible to realize what he wants. The principle makes Apple a solid company.
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”
By: Ilham Muhammad, Bali, Indonesia