Whether you’re a Mac or a PC, it’s hard to deny that Steve Jobs is an inspirational entrepreneur. Jobs is often described as a ‘visionary’, someone who has always aimed big – to change the world through technology.
His story so far is one that supports the idea that ‘everything happens for a reason’ and that every experience leads to something in the future. He once said “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future”
When he was at high school, he often attended lectures after school hours at Hewlett-Packard (HP), where he was soon hired as a summer employee working alongside Apple Inc. co-founder-to-be, Steve Wozniak. He went off to college but left after the first semester, joining none other than Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on the list of dropouts-turned- tycoons.
Jobs says that dropping out of college gave him the opportunity to focus on the things he was interested in rather than required classes. He returned only for calligraphy classes, even though he admitted this had no hope of being useful in later life…
… or so he thought.
He puts the elegant Apple designs partly down to the smooth and graceful lettering he learnt and became accustomed to from calligraphy classes. Steve Jobs said: “I learned about serif and san serif typefaces. About varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great…
“None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do.”
He started Apple in his parents garage aged 20 with Steve Wozinak, growing to become a 4000 employee, 2 billion dollar company in 10 years. He was then publically fired from his own company in 1985 after a dispute, leading him to start a new company ‘NeXT’ followed by Pixar, the leader in computer animated film creation. Rejoining Apple, and taking NeXT with him, he has become an inspirational entrepreneur and grown himself quite a fanbase!
His decision to resign from his position as CEO of Apple, then, has been the topic of many conversations across the Internet today – asking and offering answers to questions such as ‘Has he made the right decision?’, ‘Will it make a difference to the company or the brand?’, ‘How will Apple survive without him?’
If everything does, in fact, happen for a reason, then this decision can only be a positive one, right?
Steve Jobs has been labelled many things: an entrepreneur, a technologist, an innovator, even a genius, but one thing is certain: his story is certainly an inspiration to anyone with a vision!