Previously on The GBOAT: we took a look at the early life of Steve Jobs, along with the founding of Apple and his later dismissal from Apple. Didn’t read it? I don’t blame you. But you can go back and start from the beginning by clicking this link or something I guess.
Sometimes, your bad decisions come back to decide you aren’t a good fit for you company and fire you. It happens all the time. In the case of Steve Jobs, it left him with a bunch of money and a thirst for blood. Business blood.
After being removed from Apple, Jobs responded the only way a bitter computer programmer could: he founded a rival computer company called NeXT and convinced Ross Perot to invest heavily.
NeXT didn’t do very well, which actually wasn’t a huge surprise because the computers Apple was making at the time weren’t selling well either. Both companies were producing products that were geared for the educational sector, but were too technologically advanced to be cost effective because apparently SOMEBODY didn’t tell the two companies that schools don’t exactly have huge budgets. Before being removed from ANOTHER company he founded, Jobs jumped on a more diversified opportunity. Sensing a great opportunity, he purchased the animation division of Lucasfilm and turned it into a company named Pixar. In case you’ve just completely checked out, Pixar went on to reinvent animated movies. More importantly, it made mad amounts of money, which is something Jobs hadn’t done in a while.
Meanwhile, Apple purchased NeXT because why not? They were taking juuuuuuust enough business from Apple that the fruit company decided to just purchase them and forget anything ever happened. In 1997, Jobs was technically brought back to the company he founded/was fired from after years in the wilderness. At this point in time, Apple was struggling quite a bit because as it turns out, a better way to help the education sector was probably not to build super expensive computers for it, but to donate millions upon millions of dollars to it.
Pulling from his Zen Buddhist beliefs, Jobs decided to branch away from educationally-inclined computers and reinvent Apple as a simpler company. Since Zen is all about the simplification and unity life, Jobs decided to simplify technology instead of making things bigger and fancier. Thus, the much simpler and friendlier iMac was introduced in 1998, followed in a few years by the iPod, which started introducing the concept of full connectivity between software and devices. All of this, of course prompted millions of people to start constructing alters to Jobs, the Trendsetter.
For the next many years, Jobs really did revolutionize technology and culture. iPods and Macbooks made computing and entertainment significantly simpler, and paved the way for inventions like the iPhone, which forever changed the way phones were built. Apple was even somehow able to make tablets popular, after years of attempts had failed.
What’s most impressive about the iPad, really, is that Apple was able to noticably turn a brand name into instant success. There wasn’t necessarily anything about the iPad that would have been revolutionary, compared to other early tablets, but because there had suddenly arise such a huge Cult of Apple, it was an instant success. In this day and age, Apple’s press conferences generate so much buzz that millions of people tune in from all over the internet. Jobs really had changed the world.
However, this also led to many companies building similar items, which enraged Jobs. Apparently, the man who built a company around a computer somebody else made (WOZ) didn’t like the idea of people borrowing ideas to make similar products. He hated the idea so much, he spent a great deal of energy over the last several years of his life trying to crush Android, the more affordable cell phone operating system that was starting to take some of the iPhone’s business.
Jobs had finally accomplished what he had always hoped to do: change the world. However, in his final years of life, a new enemy approached. A monster that he himself had created.