The life and times of Steven P Jobs, by ZDNet UK
Created by cmclellan on 23/03/2011
Last updated: 15/11/11 at 08:20
Tags: Steve Jobs Apple biography
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Publication of the first authorised biography of Steve Jobs is brought forward from 21 November following Jobs's death on 5 October. A number of Jobs biographies have appeared over the years, but none with the co-operation of their subject. Author Walter Isaacson is the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute and has been the chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of Time magazine.
Three days after the private memorial service at Stanford University, Apple closes its retail stores worldwide for three hours while it holds a celebration of Steve Jobs's life and work at its Cupertino campus. The event includes speeches from CEO Tim Cook, former US Vice President and board member Al Gore, board member Bill Campbell and head of design Jonathan Ive. There are musical performances from Nora Jones and Coldplay. (see Apple's video of the event here.)
Designated 'Steve Jobs Day' by California governor Jerry Brown, Sunday October 16 sees an array of tech luminaries and celebrities attend a private memorial service at Stanford University's Memorial Church. Among those present are former US president Bill Clinton, former US vice-president Al Gore, Bill Gates, Oracle's Larry Ellison, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Adobe, Joan Baez, U2 singer Bono and Stephen Fry. Jay Y Lee, son of Samsung chairman Lee Kun-Hee, also attends — despite ongoing litigation between Samsung and Apple over intellectual property relating to smartphones and tablets.
Apple's statement on Steve Jobs's death, aged 56, reads:
"We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today. Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve. His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts."
Steve Jobs resigns as Apple's Chief Executive Officer, saying in a letter to the board and the Apple community:
"I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come".
Jobs offers to continue to serve as Chairman of the Board, and recommends that former COO Tim Cook succeed him as chief executive. He signs off:
"I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you".
The day after his WWDC 2011 keynote, in his final public appearance, Jobs presents Apple's plans for a 'spaceship' campus to a somewhat overawed Cupertino City Council.
Jobs introduces iOS 5, iCloud and Mac OS X Lion at the Moscone Center, San Francisco, despite being still on medical leave. Conspicuous by its absence is the unveiling of a new iPhone to go with the updated mobile OS. It turns out to be his last 'Stevenote'.
In a surprise appearance while on medical leave, Jobs reveals the second-generation iPad during a special media event at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Groups of Apple shareholders, led by the Central Laborers’ Pension Fund, submit proposals to the board at the annual meeting to make public the company's post-Jobs succession plan. Apple has previously said that disclosing the plan would hurt the company's ability to retain and recruit top executive talent. When it comes to the vote, the proposal is rejected.
Jobs and 11 other tech luminaries dine with President Obama at the San Francisco residence of venture capitalist John Doerr. Also present are: Carol Bartz (president and CEO, Yahoo!), John Chambers (CEO and chairman, Cisco Systems), Dick Costolo, (CEO, Twitter), Larry Ellison (co-founder and CEO, Oracle), Reed Hastings (CEO, NetFlix), John Hennessy (president, Stanford University), Art Levinson (chairman and former CEO, Genentech), Eric Schmidt (chairman and CEO, Google), Steve Westly (managing partner and founder, Westly Group) and Mark Zuckerberg (founder, president and CEO, Facebook).
Jobs's second medical leave comes two years after his first six-month layoff — during which time it later emerged that he had a liver transplant. As before, COO Tim Cook (pictured) takes over the day-to-day running of the company, while Jobs remains in position as CEO.
Jobs takes to the stage at Apple's Cupertino headquarters to defend the iPhone 4's two-piece external antenna design. He claims that the 'death grip' problem is not unique to the iPhone 4, but announces a bug-fix upgrade to iOS 4 and free bumper cases for all iPhone 4 users.
Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) at the Moscone Center in San Francisco is the venue for the unveiling of the iPhone 4. In his keynote, Jobs also announces the renaming of iPhone OS to iOS and shows off version 4.0, which for the first time will be a free upgrade.
Jobs sets out his opposition to Adobe's Flash in an open letter on Apple's web site:
"Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short."
Jobs's seventh Time cover feature, entitled 'The iPad Launch: Can Steve Jobs Do It Again?' is by the UK's very own national treasure Stephen Fry, whose opinion of Apple's CEO and co-founder could hardly be higher:
I do believe Jobs to be a truly great figure, one of the small group of innovators who have changed the world. He exists somewhere between showman, perfectionist overseer, visionary, enthusiast and opportunist, and his insistence upon design, detail, finish, quality, ease of use and reliability are a huge part of Apple's success.
Never meet your heroes, they say. Fortunately, Fry is not disappointed when he meets his, at Apple's Cupertino HQ.
Months of speculation over names and specifications are laid to rest as Jobs unveils the iPad during a special media event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. The web browsing experience on the iPad, says Jobs, is "unbelievably great — way better than a laptop, way better than a smartphone". Early reactions are for the most part cautiously positive, although joy among the Apple faithful is predictably unconfined.
This is a revised and updated edition of Michael Moritz's classic 1984 book documenting Apple's early days. Launching the second edition, which fills in the subsequent 25 years, the former Time journalist says he regrets failing to repair his relationship with Jobs after falling out over a 1983 Time profile.
Jobs takes up the day-to-day reins from COO Tim Cook, having been on medical leave since January and undergoing a liver transplant in April. "Steve is back to work," says an Apple spokesman; "We are very glad to have him back."
In a statement, Dr James Eason, professor of Surgery at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) and program director of the Methodist University Hospital (MUH) Transplant Institute, says:
"Mr. Jobs underwent a complete transplant evaluation and was listed for transplantation for an approved indication in accordance with the Transplant Institute policies and United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) policies,"... "He received a liver transplant because he was the patient with the highest MELD score (Model for End-Stage Liver Disease) of his blood type and, therefore, the sickest patient on the waiting list at the time a donor organ became available. Mr. Jobs is now recovering well and has an excellent prognosis."
Jobs receives a liver transplant at the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis, Tennessee. Although there is speculation, the operation is not officially confirmed until June, when the hospital issues a statement.
Jobs informs Apple employees that his health issues are "more complex than I originally thought" and that he will be taking medical leave of absence until June. Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook (pictured) will be in day-to-day charge, but Jobs vows to "remain involved in major strategic decisions" as CEO while on leave.
Speculation over Jobs's health following the December 16 2008 announcement that Phil Schiller is to deliver the MacWorld 2009 keynote prompts Apple's CEO to issue a press release on the eve of the show. In the release, Jobs ascribes his recent weight loss to "a hormone imbalance".
Apple announces that Phil Schiller (Senior Vice-President of Product Marketing) will deliver the 2009 MacWorld keynote rather than Steve Jobs. This sparks a renewed bout of speculation over the Apple CEO's health.
Apple's 'Spotlight Turns to Notebooks' event in Cupertino kicks off with appearances by COO Tim Cook (The State of the Mac) and design chief Jonathan Ive (A new way to build notebooks). Steve Jobs then introduces two new 'unibody' 15.4in. MacBook Pros, a pair of updated MacBook Airs, a 24in. LED-backlit Cinema Display and two unibody 13.3in. MacBooks. The new notebooks also introduce Nvidia's GeForce 9400M chipset/GPU combo, while the Pro models add the GeForce 9600M GT GPU.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this otherwise underwhelming music-themed event is Jobs's initial slide, which states: "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated". For the record, he goes on to introduce iTunes 8, a rainbow-coloured collection of iPod nanos, an updated iPod Touch and version 2.1 of iPhone OS.
Bloomberg, the financial news service, inadvertently publishes its obituary of Steve Jobs when only intending to update its ready-to-run article.
The New York Times journalist Joe Nocera (pictured) writes in a column that he has spoken to Steve Jobs about his health, an exchange that starts in a typically robust manner:
Mr. Jobs called me. "This is Steve Jobs," he began. "You think I’m an arrogant [expletive] who thinks he's above the law, and I think you’re a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong."
The subsequent conversation is off the record, so Nocera cannot disclose exactly what was said. His summary: "While his health problems amounted to a good deal more than 'a common bug', they were not life-threatening and he does not have a recurrence of cancer."
Apple's MobileMe service has a troubled rollout, with users experiencing difficulty logging on and even losing email. Jobs summons the team and reportedly demands:
"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?” Having received a satisfactory answer, he continues, "So why the f**k doesn’t it DO that?".
The existing MobileMe leadership is summarily dismissed and a new executive, Eddy Cue, placed in charge of Apple's internet services.
Three days after the launch of the iPhone App Store, a triumphant Jobs is quoted in an Apple press release:
"The App Store is a grand slam, with a staggering 10 million applications downloaded in just three days,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Developers have created some extraordinary applications, and the App Store can wirelessly deliver them to every iPhone and iPod touch user instantly.”
Jobs unveils the 3G-equipped iPhone at San Francisco's Moscone Center, along with the MobileMe online service for syncing calendar, contacts and email in the cloud. Jobs's gaunt appearance at this event prompts a renewed bout of press speculation over his health. An Apple spokesperson tells the Wall Street Journal that the CEO is suffering from "a common bug" for which he is taking antibiotics. This does little to dampen speculation.
Jobs is questioned by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over backdated stock options, a scandal dating back to 2006. Explaining why he persuaded the board to convert 20 million 'underwater' options to 7.5 million valuable ones, Jobs says he was feeling under-appreciated at the time:
"I was hurt, I suppose would be the most accurate word, and, you know, the board had given me some options, but they were all underwater. They weren’t underwater necessarily because of our performance, but, you know, the bubble had burst in the dot-coms, and here I had been working, you know, I don’t know, four years, five years of my life and not seeing my family very much and stuff, and I just felt like there is nobody looking out for me here, you know."
"Apple makes the best notebooks on the planet" says Steve Jobs, by way of understated introduction to "the world's thinnest notebook" at Macworld in San Francisco. In the keynote, Jobs also introduces the Time Capsule (for use with Time Machine software), iPod Touch and Apple TV updates, plus the iPhone OS SDK.
At the 2007 All Things Digital conference, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have a wide-ranging interview with the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. During the Q&A, the question of legacy is raised. Jobs says:
"I sort of look at us as two of the luckiest guys on the planet because we found what we loved to do and we were at the right place at the right time and we’ve gotten to go to work every day with super-bright people for 30 years and do what we love doing.
And so it’s hard to be happier than that. You know, your family and that. What more can you ask for? And so I don’t think about legacy much. I just think about being able to get up every day and go in and hang around these great people and hopefully create something that other people will love as much as we do. And if we can do that, that’s great."
Making his third appearance in Time's list of the world's most influential people, Steve Jobs is described thus:
"Jobs is still Jobs. He still projects a manic self-confidence in public. He still, at 52, wears his signature jeans-and-black-turtleneck outfit. And he still has his edge: prosperity hasn't robbed him of his disrespect for conventional wisdom, his spooky ability to see around corners, and his feral determination to make perfect products at all costs. All in all, success becomes him."
Jobs urges music labels to stop protecting content with DRM, which he says does not prevent piracy:
"Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music."
Apple Corps, the Beatles' holding company and owner of Apple Records, settles its long-standing trademark dispute with Apple Inc. Jobs, of course, is a lifelong Fab Four fan.
Steve Jobs takes to the stage at San Francisco's Moscone Center to announce the much-rumoured iPhone. Never one to undersell Apple's product, he begins by saying: "Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything". As it turns out, the iPhone will change the mobile phone industry forever.
Jobs also reveals that Apple will drop the 'Computer' from its name and just be Apple Inc, reflecting company's broader range of products.
Wired magazine tells the story of the birth of the iPhone, from the ill-fated collaboration with Motorola on the ROKR, to the negotiations with mobile operator Cingular, to the engineering challenges involved in building a smartphone from scratch. The article begins with a tense demo of a prototype iPhone some months before its proposed January 2007 announcement:
At the end of the demo, Jobs fixed the dozen or so people in the room with a level stare and said, "We don't have a product yet."
The effect was even more terrifying than one of Jobs' trademark tantrums. When the Apple chief screamed at his staff, it was scary but familiar. This time, his relative calm was unnerving. "It was one of the few times at Apple when I got a chill," says someone who was in the meeting.
Steve Jobs (pictured here with Disney CEO Robert Iger) becomes Disney's biggest shareholder after the $7.6bn all-stock sale of Pixar. Jobs also takes a seat on the Disney board.
At Macworld 2006, Jobs announces 17in. and 20in. Intel-based iMacs and the original 15in. MacBook Pro.
This cover feature ('How Apple Does It') examines how Apple manages to operate successfully in a range of spheres — hardware, operating systems, applications and consumer electronics. The reason? Steve Jobs, naturally:
"Jobs is into control. In itself, that is of no real importance, except that in a lot of ways, Apple is an expression of Jobs' personal ethos. One reason Apple makes its own hardware and software is that when Jobs goes to the trouble of creating a piece of software, he doesn't want it running on hardware built by a bunch of dudes he doesn't know and can't fire. He wants it on hardware he makes himself. How else can he be sure that every little thing integrates together the way he says — nay, insists — it should?"
Addressing Stanford University graduates about a year after his pancreatic cancer diagnosis and treatment, Jobs tells "three stories from my life". The first ('Joining the dots'), is about trusting in "your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever" and believing that in the end the threads of your life will come together. The second ('Love and loss') is about getting fired from Apple, starting NeXT and Pixar, returning to Apple, and getting married and starting a family: "You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers".
The final story is about death: "Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life"..." 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". Jobs signs off with a quote from The Whole Earth Catalog: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish".
At WWDC 2005, Jobs outlines Apple's plan to move the Macintosh from PowerPC to Intel processors, a transition he says will be complete by the end of 2007.
This unauthorised biography updates a 1986 book by one of the authors with information on Jobs's post-NeXT return to Apple, his success with Pixar, his pancreatic cancer and his marriage. Jobs disapproves and retaliates by banning all of publisher John Wiley's books from Apple stores.
Macworld in San Francisco sees Steve Jobs introduce the diminutive Mac mini, along with the iPod Shuffle and the iWork productivity suite.
Steve Jobs has his pancreatic tumour removed at the Stanford University Medical Clinic in Palo Alto. The operation is thought to have been a variation of the Whipple procedure. In an email to Apple staff shortly afterwards he says he expects to return to work in September.
Steve Jobs is diagnosed with a rare and treatable form of pancreatic cancer — an islet cell neuroendocrine tumour. He initially puts off surgery while pursuing alternative therapies.
Apple's online music store opens with 200,000 songs available from the 'Big Five' labels — BMG, EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal and Warner — for 99 cents each. Downloaded files are protected by Apple's FairPlay digital rights management. Steve Jobs comments:
“Consumers don’t want to be treated like criminals and artists don't want their valuable work stolen. The iTunes Music Store offers a groundbreaking solution for both."
Apple uses the WebKit rendering engine to create its own Mac OS X browser, called Safari. At Macworld, Steve Jobs unveils the product, which immediately becomes available in beta. It later replaces Internet Explorer as Apple's default browser.
Steve Jobs's fourth appearance on the cover of Time ('Apple's New Core') takes stock of the company as it launches the 'anglepoise' iMac G4. It describes Jobs and Jonathan Ive discussing the new iMac's design:
"Each element has to be true to itself," Jobs told Ive. "Why have a flat display if you're going to glom all this stuff on its back? Why stand a computer on its side when it really wants to be horizontal and on the ground? Let each element be what it is, be true to itself." Instead of looking like the old iMac, the thing should look more like the flowers in the garden. Jobs said, "It should look like a sunflower."