Steve Jobs was a visionary

Steve Jobs: The militant visionary

Steve Jobs dies on October 5, 2011 in Palo Alto, California. Two years later, director Joshua Michael Stern shot “Jobs”, a biopic about the Apple founder. Stern may be unknown, but Ashton Kutcher, one of the greatest stars from Hollywood of the time, embodies the man. Two years later, in 2015, the next film biography, “Steve Jobs”, is coming to the cinema. Michael Fassbender received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal, and Oscar winner Danny Boyle, known for successes such as “Slumdog Millionaire” and classics such as “Trainspotting”, sits on the director's chair. With David Fincher, the film is supposed to be made by someone else who has already taken on another tech billionaire with “The Social Network”: Mark Zuckerberg. Before Fassbender, Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio are in discussion to portray Steve Jobs.

Only a few years after his death, Hollywood feels compelled to tell twice about this Steve Jobs and wants to use the - then - biggest box office magnets that were available. From a man who built computers. By a nerd who was denied the necessary expertise by the real nerds to build good computers. But also from a man who has decisively changed the world because he placed simplicity and style above substance - against all odds. Jobs is still idolized by Apple fans today, even if he was never the most lovable person on the planet.

Gaps in the résumé

Steve Jobs was born Abdul Latif Jandali in San Francisco on February 24, 1955. His father is from Syria, his mother is of German and Swiss descent. You cannot provide for the child's maintenance and give it up for adoption as a social orphan. Paul Reinhold and Clara Jobs from Mountain View, California adopt the boy and give him the name Steven Paul Jobs. Jobs’s birth mother demands a promise from the adoptive parents that they will enable the boy to go to college. It wasn't until 20 years later that Jobs found out about his birth parents and the fact that he had a biological sister - the author Mona Simpson.

Jobs was a bright kid, learned to read quickly, later even skipped a class and got an early interest in the electronics industry. After graduating from high school in 1972, he went to Reed College in Portland, but dropped out after a semester. He only attends individual lectures that interest him. From the beginning, Jobs' résumé is not a straight line, the adopted, smart young man is not interested in studying, he lets his interests guide his life. In 1974 he worked for Atari for a few months because he was fascinated by the computer landscape that was evolving. He travels to India, studying Buddhism, Hinduism and primal screaming therapy. On his return he is involved in the Homebrew Computer Club, which will have a decisive influence on the development of the home computer. And he maintains his connections with Atari.

He ensures the development of the classic game Breakout for the company and entrusts a certain Steve Wozniak, whom he had met a few years before, with it. These months will decisively shape the future of Steve Jobs and also the development of Apple. Jobs is often characterized as driven, uncompromising when it comes to his ideas and his success. Wozniak develops Breakout and receives $ 350 from Jobs. He claims the fee is $ 700, in truth it is $ 5,000 including bonuses that Jobs negotiated. The 4-day period doesn't come from Atari, it comes from Jobs, Wozniak says later. And: “I was the designer, the engineer, and Steve was a test technician.” Wozniak will not complain about this distribution of roles for the last time.

Start in the garage

In 1976, he, Wozniak and Ronald Wayne founded the Apple Computer Company in Steve Jobs’s garage. Their first product is the Apple I, followed by the Apple II in 1977, which put the brand on the home computer map. The big breakthrough came in 1984 with the legendary Macintosh. The graphical user interface including the mouse as an input medium are groundbreaking. Its presentation or the preparation for it is shown in the first act of the Boyle film "Steve Jobs" - and not completely truthfully.

For example, there is the sequence in which Jobs asks his daughter to draw something on the Mac with the mouse. That never happened in that form, but - like the entire, by the way, excellent film - it is good as an insight into the character of Steve Jobs and describes his philosophy of technology, which is in the Apple products for which Jobs is responsible, to the end finds again. He always wanted to combine progress with simplicity and ease of use for beginners. At the launch of the iPhone in 2007, he said: “Nobody wants a pen. We will use a pointing device that we were all born with. "

The Macintosh becomes the blueprint for all upcoming Apple products and a decisive turning point for both the company and Steve Jobs personally. There is a power struggle with John Sculley, who came from Pepsi in 1983 as managing director. Differing views on strategy lead Steve Jobs to leave the company he started himself. While Apple is developing the Macintosh into the company's core product in the coming years, Jobs is founding a new company with NeXT.

Creative intermediate years

Jobs calls the coming years the most creative of his life and he will be responsible for developments that still shape us today. NeXT brings a workstation onto the market that is years ahead of the competition - but which is causing a sensation, especially in science, and is barely noticed by the public. On that workstation, a certain Tim Berners-Lee developed the Internet at CERN in Switzerland. In 1993, the company separated from hardware development and concentrated entirely on software. By the way, Jobs invested in the animation film studio Pixar, which made the animation film a success story in 1995 with “Toy Story”.

With NeXT, Jobs ended up at Apple again in 1996. The apple company, at that time a world away from today's cult status, takes over Jobs' company. Mac OS X will later emerge from its software. Steve Jobs becomes a member of the board of directors in 1997 and then a managing director, and he manages to get the troubled group back on track, even with some unpopular measures - primarily savings. But above all, he makes Apple the company we know today. The iMac comes on the market in 1998 and leads Apple into profitability. A functionally reduced computer that stays in people's heads with its idiosyncratic style. Jobs brings the Macintosh into the present. Apple revolutionized portable music players with the iPod in 2001, iTunes later gave the direction for music downloads, and Jobs and Apple 2007 delivered their masterpiece with the iPhone.

Controversial but unique

Apple devices stand for lifestyle and Apple devices should always bring complex technology down to the lowest common denominator so that it can be used and understood by everyone. At a time when computers were complex calculating machines, jobs with the Macintosh were about simple operation. He argued for a long time with Steve Wozniak about how compatible one wanted to make the device. Wozniak wanted to build a powerful computer, Jobs didn't want to complicate it. The chronic seclusion of all Apple products stems from that time and continues to this day. Purists love that, they often just don't care. Critics accuse the company of exactly that with every new release.

Steve Jobs himself was just as controversial as the Apple portfolio. He always had to be right and the last word anyway. Ridley Scott's famous Apple commercial was highly controversial because it wasn't even clear what Apple was doing. But Jobs wasn't about content, it was about attention - and Apple sure was.

The fact that Apple is not and was not the company without Steve Jobs that can bring revolutionary innovations to the world can only be seen from the fact that, after Jobs, the company became more of a manager of its own image. New products are more like updates of classics, real innovations such as the Apple Watch never ignited as the iPod or iPhone could. Jobs' successor Tim Cook made a name for himself more as an administrator than as a visionary.

Steve Jobs dies on October 5, 2011 in Palo Alto, California. He was an argumentative visionary who was not always loved, but without whom today's technology world would be different. And who, incidentally, was such an influential figure that conspiracy theories that he is still alive are causing a real sensation.


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