What We Can Learn From Steve Jobs

 

 

Millions of people today are paying their tributes to Steve Jobs, arguably one of the most important and influential CEOs of modern day history. It is hard to find a person like Jobs. He had laser-like focus and demanded the utmost quality of his employees. From starting Apple in his garage, to getting ousted in 1985 from the very company he built, to coming back in 1997 and taking Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL – News) from the brink of bankruptcy to the largest company in the world, Steve has changed the world in more ways than one. Steve Jobs clearly had a significant impact on people around the world and left us along with the business community a few lessons we can all share. (

 

Focus on Quality, Not Money
To Jobs, it was never about the money. At age 22 he had nothing; at age 23 his net worth was $1 million; at age 24, $10 million; and at the age of 25, over $100 million. Along the way, he was uncomfortable with his fortune. His focus was on creating life-improving products and making an impact on a person’s life. That’s what drove him, that’s what made him get up in the morning. Money was just a side effect that he didn’t care to think about.

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful – that’s what matters to me,” said Jobs.

The business community can take note. Put people first. Focus on quality.

Focus on the Future, Not the Present or Even the Past.
Always the visionary, Jobs was ahead of his time, time and time again. Too often companies can get trapped in the present, pumping out products with no inspiration. A few examples: In 1998 the first iMac came with no floppy disk drive whereas every other computer manufacturer had still included them at that time. The release of the iPhone did not have a keyboard whereas the Blackberry, the most popular smartphone at the time, had one. It also did not include flash as Jobs saw HTML 5 as the future. Now with the iPad, it promises to be the computer for everyone that the original Mac aspired to be. Through all of these decisions and more there was backlash, but in the end people eventually came around and benefited from this forward thinking. The world would be more innovative if more companies had the same focus.

Show People What They Want, Not What They Ask For
Never relying on focus groups, Jobs trusted one thing: himself.

“Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice,” he said.

People often think they want something until they get shown an alternative they never thought possible. Another quality about Steve was his ability to say no, even more often than he said yes to ideas.

“The secret to innovation is saying no to 1,000 things,” said Jobs.

Of course, no product was his idea alone, but he was the one that fostered the environment for ideas to be created and had the final say. The problem with focus groups is they can be influenced depending on the type of question asked, and the people involved have a preconceived notion of what they want based on the products that are out at the time. The business community should focus more on what they want, and focus on the future and less on the here and now.

The Bottom Line
There is no doubt the world has lost an amazing human being. A part of him will live on with the products we use and he will continue to be an inspiration to future leaders. No other CEO in recent memory has had rock stars and politicians show up at his door. Meanwhile, millions of people found out about his death on the very devices he helped create. The business community and future leaders should take note of his example: focus on quality, focus on the future and rely on your internal vision. The world will be a better place for it.

“The thing that drives me and my colleagues … is that you see something very compelling to you, and you don’t quite know how to get it, but you know, sometimes intuitively, it’s within your grasp. And it’s worth putting in years of your life to make it come into existence,” said Jobs.

For full article please visit: http://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/What-We-Can-Learn-From-Steve-investopedia-3181862304.html?x=0


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Top 14 Benefits of Social Media Marketing

 

 

 

There’s a lot of fuss surrounding social media these days. If you still haven’t jumped on the bandwagon and aren’t sure why so many people are making such a big deal about it, here are 14 benefits of social media for your business and you from Success magazine.

For Business:

Establish a Brand and Raise Awareness

Since the majority of the population is already visiting social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, getting your brand name all over those networks can help let people know that you’re around. If you have yet to create a company image online, social networks are the place to do it.

Create a fun YouTube video that entertains and informs. Funny videos tend to make their way around the Internet a lot faster than any other kind, so when making a video, keep in mind that you want it to be interesting enough for your target audience to want to share. Using Facebook and Twitter to create a fun online community that your customers will want to visit will boost brand loyalty and drive traffic to your Website, allowing you the chance to make more online sales.

 

Spy on the Competition

Follow your competitors on Twitter and Facebook and you’ll be able to see what they have up their sleeve. Just make sure to provide a better deal than whatever they have going on.

Pitch Products in a More Human, Interactive Way

Since people visit social media sites to get personal rather than be bombarded with ads, discuss your business in a fun way and engage your customers with questions. Ask their opinions and entice them to respond back. This way you’re making a valuable connection that will help grow your number of return customers.

Bring Attention to Your Products

Featuring a product on a social media site is one of the fastest ways to bring attention to it. Offer a promotion along with it for your online community members and watch your sales skyrocket.

Increase Customer Loyalty And Trust

Speaking to your customers in a personal way will make them feel like they are talking to a friend, not a company. This will help build their trust in you, which will make them do business with you rather than your competition. It will also improve the chances of customer recommendations.

Listen to Your Customer’s Opinion

Social media sites are an awesome way to see what your target audience is saying about your company or your products. Take their constructive criticism and use it to enhance your product to better meet their needs.

Conduct Market Research

Listen to what your customers say about your products and track what links they click on and you’ll begin to see what your customers like and respond to. People love to express their opinions on social media sites, which will allow you to hear the truth. Then you can use your new-found information to tweak your product or service to please them as well as continue to post more information and links that they will enjoy.

Strengthen Customer Service

Social media networks allow your company to answer your customers’ questions and concerns directly in a timely manner. This will improve customer satisfaction and also save you money on long distance customer service phone calls.

For You:

Build Your Personal Reputation

Social networks allow you to get your name out to the world and talk about things that matter to you. This will help you build a good online reputation, which is critical nowadays if you’re looking for a job or even a new business contact.

Display Your Resume

LinkedIn allows you to display your full resume online for any future employers or recruiters to see. This will help bring you new opportunities that never would have existed otherwise.

Find a Job

Jobs are posted every minute on social networks like LinkedIn and Twitter along with the links or information you need to apply for them.

Showcase Your Talents And Establish Yourself as an Expert

If you’re passionate about a certain subject, whether it’s work-related or a hobby, the Internet is a great place to show off your knowledge. Soon people will be coming to you for the breaking information on that topic, and talking about you to friends.

Enhance Your Business Contacts and Enhance Personal Relationships

Through professional sites like LinkedIn, you can build your number of business contacts and enhance your reputation as an expert in your industry. You can also connect with those long-lost high school and college classmates, old colleagues, and out-of-town family members.

Share Information with Like-Minded People

Connect with other professionals in your field to share information. Where else would you be able to connect with industry professionals across the globe to swap stories and advice?

Thinking of Re-Branding?

 

 

When should companies allow declining, aging brands to finish their lifecycles? When should they opt to revitalize them? These are hard questions for companies in view of fast-changing consumer demands, increasing global competition, and diminishing awareness of heritage brands among younger consumers.

Many CMOs feel that brands follow irrevocable life stages: they are born, mature, plateau, and eventually decline and die. Generally, companies that witness declining brands in their portfolios employ the “best business practice” of cutting marketing investments in them, and reallocating the dollars on growth brands instead. Without any marketing support, declining brands continue to wither away and die. Yet, with the heavy investment necessary to launch new brands and products, companies seem to be interested in the revitalization of diminishing brands more than ever.

How can companies determine whether to revitalize brands? Consumer research plays a vital role in this process. Mature brands have great heritage and might still be enjoyed by consumers who have had positive, longstanding relationships with them.

By surveying these consumers, you can mine the following data:

  • What are the points of differentiation, or unique selling proposition of the brand, per their perception?
  • What are the brand’s Enjoyment assets™? How many pleasant associations and experiences have consumers had with the brand?
  • What are the negatives, if any, associated with the brand?
  • What is the perceived value of the brand?
  • Is the perceived value of the brand still active, or is it dormant? How does it stack up against the brands in those same categories?
  • How relevant is the brand?
  • What, in the consumers’ perception, can the brand do for them to add value or more desirable attributes?
  • How much loyalty is there to the brand?

 

Mature brands tend to be supported by few marketing initiatives. Thus, these brands are “out of sight, out of mind” for many consumers. Consumer mind share translates to market share, thus companies that choose to revitalize brands must commit to developing comprehensive marketing programs. This will result in heritage customers’ recalling the brand, and getting them to purchase its products again. It will also begin to create brand awareness among new consumers.

Once a sound decision has been made to revitalize, brand managers can make subtle or sweeping changes to the corporate brand, products, packaging, or all three.

Three Kinds of Revitalization

  1. Revitalization can require the rebranding of a company from the inside out.
  2. Revitalization can involve updating the brand’s products and product attributes with better, demanded features.
  3. Revitalization can require repackaging for a more contemporary brand image to appeal to new generations of consumers.

 

A striking example of corporate and product revitalization is Cadillac. An iconic American automobile brand, Cadillac started dying a slow death in the past few decades with its stodgy image and lack of consumer relevance. Mature, affluent luxury cars buyers were buying Mercedes and BMWs. Enter in the Escalade—a powerful SUV loaded with plenty of edgy urban appeal—for an affluent, young, hip audience that is willing to shell out $60,000, on average, to drive one! Once a dying brand, Cadillac is now a 21st century, urban symbol.

Arm & Hammer cleverly rejuvenated its products and brand, when the slowdown in home baking adversely affected sales, by emphasizing its two greatest attributes: the cleaning, deodorizing properties of its core product. By demonstrating myriad uses for baking soda in the home, Arm & Hammer turned its business around, then it leveraged its brand into oral care and laundry care categories. The 150-year-old brand continues to enjoy great heritage, even as it attracts new and ever-younger generations of consumers.

Brand Revitalization and Packaging

Myriad CPG brands are constantly being revitalized, and repackaged, to contemporize them for new generations of consumers and to ensure companies’ continuing growth in equity. Food and HBA brands are masters at revitalization.

When sales slowed on the venerable 40-year-old Head & Shoulders shampoo brand, P&G decided to revitalize. Consumers can still purchase the classic formula, or meet more cosmetic-oriented needs with reformulated SKUs that guarantee extra fullness, dry scalp care, or intensive treatment. With its revitalization, P&G now says that Head & Shoulders has broader appeal among more consumers. The CPG giant also designed contemporary packaging, reduced package size, and set a higher price point for additional anti-dandruff ingredients to give the repositioned heritage brand the same presence as a salon formula line rather than that of a basic, utilitarian product.

Snack food giant Frito Lay revitalized its product line recently by eliminating trans fats (in the form of hydrogenated oils). The company then revitalized the packaging of its extensive line to make the “0 grams Trans Fats” very prominent on the upper right hand corner of every product package. Touting the use of whole grains in a number of its products helps the company fulfill its commitment to deliver tasty snacks that are more healthy and nutritious.

Contemporizing Packaging the Right Way

CPG companies feel the pressure to repackage with more frequency now than in years past. It’s important to keep product packaging contemporary to appeal to core customers, while attracting new ones:

  • It is vital to retain brand heritage and equity. The strengths of the mature brand should be leveraged when repackaging.
  • Consumer research uncovers the brand drivers, some of which are latent when products have been in the marketplace for decades.
  • Research enables the brand identity/package design expert to make certain the brand and product core assets and differentiators are firmly in place.

 

Since a brand’s packaging is its most enduring and accessible brand communication vehicle, it must convey the brand experience through the package design system. The brand’s packaging must be a synergistic part of the overall brand expression continuum. Recognizable, trusted brands in visually appealing, stimulating packaging have a distinct advantage in a sea of product sameness, in category after category.

Bottom line: Periodic corporate brand revitalization is an essential component of brand management. Product revitalization gives new relevance to what could have been perceived as tired, aging consumer goods. Finally, revitalized packaging allows a CPG company to communicate its realigned core brand, prioritize its communication hierarchies and share its core assets fully with customers, creating an emotional bond.

Nothing continues to build on the brand’s heritage and equity with more power than that.

Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2006/1812/brand-transformation-when-and-how-to-revitalize-a-brand#ixzz1a1WHaNWP

In Memory of Steve Jobs

Remembers and Salutes

Mr Steven Paul Jobs

1955 – 2011

President Barack Obama was among the many people who paid tribute to Steve Jobs, calling the Apple co-founder a visionary and great American innovator.

“Steve was among the greatest of American innovators — brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it,” Obama said of Jobs, who died on Wednesday.

“The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.”

The president was joined by political, technology, entertainment and business leaders around the world in paying tribute to Jobs. A selection:

BILL GATES, MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN

“Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives. The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor.”

STEPHEN ELOP, NOKIA CEO

“The world lost a true visionary today. Steve’s passion for simplicity and elegance leaves us all a legacy that will endure for generations. Today, my thoughts, and those of everyone at Nokia, are with the friends and family that he leaves behind.”

FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY ON FACEBOOK

“His capacity to revolutionize entire sectors of the economy by the power of imagination and technology is a source of inspiration for millions of engineers and entrepreneurs across the world. His efforts to render new technologies more attractive and simple to use have made a success of businesses that have changed the world of computing, the distribution of cultural content, telecommunications and even animated cinema.”

RUPERT MURDOCH, CEO OF NEWS CORP

“Today, we lost one of the most influential thinkers, creators and entrepreneurs of all time. Steve Jobs was simply the greatest CEO of his generation.”

MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK FOUNDER AND CEO, ON FACEBOOK

“Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.”

AMAZON CEO JEFF BEZOS

“Steve was a teacher to anyone paying attention, and today is a very sad day for everyone who cares about innovation and high standards.”

SONY CEO HOWARD STRINGER

“The digital age has lost its leading light, but Steve’s innovation and creativity will inspire dreamers and thinkers for generations.”

ALCATEL-LUCENT CEO BEN VERWAAYEN

“Steve Jobs was a man who demonstrated that vision and passion can create global change.”

CISCO SYSTEMS CEO JOHN CHAMBERS

“The world lost a true visionary and great man today. Steve Jobs did more than simply shape our concepts of technology and invention, he helped define our understanding of how great innovation and design can bring people closer together.”

AT&T CHAIRMAN AND CEO RANDALL STEPHENSON

“Steve was an iconic inventor, visionary, and entrepreneur, and we had the privilege to know him as partner and friend.”

INTEL CEO PAUL OTELLINI

“True genius is measured by the ability to touch every person on the planet. Steve did that, not just once, but many, many times over his amazing life.”

BOB IGER, CEO OF WALT DISNEY CO

“Steve was such an original, with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started.”

MASAYOSHI SON, FOUNDER OF SOFTBANK, JAPAN’S NO.3 MOBILE

PHONE SERVICE OPERATOR

“Steve was truly a genius of our time, a man with a rare ability to fuse art and technology. In centuries from now, he will be remembered alongside Leonardo da Vinci.”

MARK CUBAN, ENTREPRENEUR, ON TWITTER

“The PC era is officially over. #RIP #STEVEJOBS

INVESTOR MARC ANDREESSEN

“Steve was the best of the best. Like Mozart and Picasso, he may never be equaled.”

MICHAEL DELL, CEO OF DELL INC

“Today the world lost a visionary leader, the technology industry lost an iconic legend and I lost a friend and fellow founder. The legacy of Steve Jobs will be remembered for generations to come.”

LARRY PAGE, CEO OF GOOGLE, ON GOOGLE+

“He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it. His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me.”

JEFF BEWKES, CEO OF TIME WARNER

“The world is a better place because of Steve, and the stories our company tells have been made richer by the products he created.”

DICK COSTOLO, CEO OF TWITTER, ON TWITTER

“Once in a rare while, somebody comes along who doesn’t just raise the bar, they create an entirely new standard of measurement. #RIPSteveJobs”

ARTHUR SULZBERGER, CHAIRMAN OF THE NEW YORK TIMES CO

“Steve Jobs was a visionary and a wonderful friend of The New York Times. He pushed the boundaries of how all providers of news and information interact with our users.”

JOHN LASSETER AND ED CATMULL, CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER AND PRESIDENT, WALT DISNEY and PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

“Steve … saw the potential of what Pixar could be before the rest of us, and beyond what anyone ever imagined. Steve took a chance on us and believed in our crazy dream of making computer animated films; the one thing he always said was to simply ‘make it great.’ He is why Pixar turned out the way we did and his strength, integrity and love of life has made us all better people. He will forever be a part of Pixar’s DNA.”


A tribute to the ‘Crazy One’ – Steve Jobs

RIP Steve Jobs- Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011. Here’s to the crazy one… the one who dreamt, designed & created. The one who stayed hungry & stayed foolish. RIP

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, Dead.

 

Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs died on Wednesday. He was 56 years old. He had been battling cancer and other health issues for several years and had a rare form of pancreatic cancer. Apple announced his death late on Wednesday night without giving a specific cause.

The Silicon Valley icon, who gave the world the iPod and the iPhone, resigned as CEO of the world’s largest technology corporation in August this year, handing the reins to current chief executive Tim Cook.

The announcement of his death was made by Apple on Wednesday night. The company issued a brief statement saying, “We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today,” the company said in a brief statement.

“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,” they added.

Later, Jobs’ family issued a statement saying that the Apple founder died peacefully surrounded by the family.

“In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories. We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief,” the statement said.

There was an outpour of tributes as the news of his death spread across the world.

While US President Barack Obama called Jobs a visionary great innovator, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said he was a competitor and a friend.

They were joined by political, technology, entertainment and business leaders from around the world in paying tribute to Jobs.

Calling Jobs a mentor, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said, “Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.”

Republican Presidential Hopeful Mitt Romney said that Jobs was an inspiration. “Steve Jobs is an inspiration to American entrepreneurs. He will be missed.”

Steve Jobs, the Apple founder and former CEO, invented and masterfully marketed ever-sleeker gadgets that transformed everyday technology, from the personal computer to the iPod and iPhone.

“We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today,” the company said in a brief statement.

“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,” they added

Jobs had battled cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009 after taking a leave of absence for unspecified health problems. He took another leave of absence in January – his third since his health problems began – and officially resigned in August.

Jobs started Apple with a high school friend in a Silicon Valley garage in 1976, was forced out a decade later and returned in 1997 to rescue the company. During his second stint, it grew into the most valuable technology company in the world.

Cultivating Apple’s countercultural sensibility and a minimalist design ethic, Jobs rolled out one sensational product after another, even in the face of the late-2000s recession and his own failing health.

He helped change computers from a geeky hobbyist’s obsession to a necessity of modern life at work and home, and in the process he upended not just personal technology but the cellphone and music industries. For transformation of American industry, he has few rivals.

Perhaps most influentially, Jobs in 2001 launched the iPod, which offered “1,000 songs in your pocket.” Over the next 10 years, its white earphones and thumb-dial control seemed to become more ubiquitous than the wristwatch.

In 2007 came the touch-screen iPhone, joined a year later by Apple’s App Store, where developers could sell iPhone “apps” which made the phone a device not just for making calls but also for managing money, editing photos, playing games and social networking. And in 2010, Jobs introduced the iPad, a tablet-sized, all-touch computer that took off even though market analysts said no one really needed one.

By 2011, Apple had become the second-largest company of any kind in the United States by market value. In August, it briefly surpassed Exxon Mobil as the most valuable company.

Under Jobs, the company cloaked itself in secrecy to build frenzied anticipation for each of its new products. Jobs himself had a wizardly sense of what his customers wanted, and where demand didn’t exist, he leveraged a cult-like following to create it.

When he spoke at Apple presentations, almost always in faded blue jeans, sneakers and a black mock turtleneck, legions of Apple acolytes listened to every word. He often boasted about Apple successes, then coyly added a coda – “One more thing” – before introducing its latest ambitious idea.

In later years, Apple investors also watched these appearances for clues about his health. Jobs revealed in 2004 that he had been diagnosed with a very rare form of pancreatic cancer – an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. He underwent surgery and said he had been cured. In 2009, following weight loss he initially attributed to a hormonal imbalance, he abruptly took a six-month leave. During that time, he received a liver transplant that became public two months after it was performed.

He went on another medical leave in January 2011, this time for an unspecified duration. He never went back and resigned as CEO in August, though he stayed on as chairman. Consistent with his penchant for secrecy, he didn’t reference his illness in his resignation letter.

Steven Paul Jobs was born Feb. 24, 1955, in San Francisco to Joanne Simpson, then an unmarried graduate student, and Abdulfattah Jandali, a student from Syria. Simpson gave Jobs up for adoption, though she married Jandali and a few years later had a second child with him, Mona Simpson, who became a novelist.

Steven was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs of Los Altos, California, a working-class couple who nurtured his early interest in electronics. He saw his first computer terminal at NASA’s Ames Research Center when he was around 11 and landed a summer job at Hewlett-Packard before he had finished high school.

Jobs enrolled in Reed College in Portland, in 1972 but dropped out after six months.

“All of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it,” he said at a Stanford University commencement address in 2005. “I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out.”

When he returned to California in 1974, Jobs worked for video game maker Atari and attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club – a group of computer hobbyists – with Steve Wozniak, a high school friend who was a few years older.

Wozniak’s homemade computer drew attention from other enthusiasts, but Jobs saw its potential far beyond the geeky hobbyists of the time. The pair started Apple Computer Inc. in Jobs’ parents’ garage in 1976. According to Wozniak, Jobs suggested the name after visiting an “apple orchard” that Wozniak said was actually a commune.

Their first creation was the Apple I – essentially, the guts of a computer without a case, keyboard or monitor.

The Apple II, which hit the market in 1977, was their first machine for the masses. It became so popular that Jobs was worth $ 100 million by age 25.

During a 1979 visit to the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Jobs again spotted mass potential in a niche invention: a computer that allowed people to control computers with the click of a mouse, not typed commands. He returned to Apple and ordered the team to copy what he had seen.

It foreshadowed a propensity to take other people’s concepts, improve on them and spin them into wildly successful products. Under Jobs, Apple didn’t invent computers, digital music players or smartphones – it reinvented them for people who didn’t want to learn computer programming or negotiate the technical hassles of keeping their gadgets working.

“We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas,” Jobs said in an interview for the 1996 PBS series “Triumph of the Nerds.”

The engineers responded with two computers. The pricier Lisa – the same name as his daughter – launched to a cool reception in 1983. The less-expensive Macintosh, named for an employee’s favorite apple, exploded onto the scene in 1984.

The Mac was heralded by an epic Super Bowl commercial that referenced George Orwell’s “1984” and captured Apple’s iconoclastic style. In the ad, expressionless drones marched through dark halls to an auditorium where a Big Brother-like figure lectures on a big screen. A woman in a bright track uniform burst into the hall and launched a hammer into the screen, which exploded, stunning the drones, as a narrator announced the arrival of the Mac.

There were early stumbles at Apple. Jobs clashed with colleagues and even the CEO he had hired away from Pepsi, John Sculley. And after an initial spike, Mac sales slowed, in part because few programs had been written for it.

With Apple’s stock price sinking, conflicts between Jobs and Sculley mounted. Sculley won over the board in 1985 and pushed Jobs out of his day-to-day role leading the Macintosh team. Jobs resigned his post as chairman of the board and left Apple within months.

“What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating,” Jobs said in his Stanford speech. “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

He got into two other companies: Next, a computer maker, and Pixar, a computer-animation studio that he bought from George Lucas for $ 10 million.

Pixar, ultimately the more successful venture, seemed at first a bottomless money pit. Then in 1995 came “Toy Story,” the first computer-animated full-length feature. Jobs used its success to negotiate a sweeter deal with Disney for Pixar’s next two films, “A Bug’s Life” and “Toy Story 2.” In 2006, Jobs sold Pixar to The Walt Disney Co. for $ 7.4 billion in stock, making him Disney’s largest individual shareholder and securing a seat on the board.

With Next, Jobs came up with a cube-shaped computer. He was said to be obsessive about the tiniest details, insisting on design perfection even for the machine’s guts. The machine cost a pricey $ 6,500 to $ 10,000, and he never managed to spark much demand for it.

Ultimately, he shifted the focus to software – a move that paid off later when Apple bought Next for its operating system technology, the basis for the software still used in Mac computers.

By 1996, when Apple bought Next, Apple was in dire financial straits. It had lost more than $ 800 million in a year, dragged its heels in licensing Mac software for other computers and surrendered most of its market share to PCs that ran Windows.

Larry Ellison, Jobs’ close friend and fellow Silicon Valley billionaire and the CEO of Oracle Corp, publicly contemplated buying Apple in early 1997 and ousting its leadership. The idea fizzled, but Jobs stepped in as interim chief later that year.

He slashed unprofitable projects, narrowed the company’s focus and presided over a new marketing push to set the Mac apart from Windows, starting with a campaign encouraging computer users to “Think different.”

Apple’s first new product under his direction, the brightly colored, plastic iMac, launched in 1998 and sold about 2 million in its first year. Apple returned to profitability that year. Jobs dropped the “interim” from his title in 2000.

He changed his style, too, said Tim Bajarin, who met Jobs several times while covering the company for Creative Strategies.

“In the early days, he was in charge of every detail. The only way you could say it is, he was kind of a control freak,” he said. In his second stint, “he clearly was much more mellow and more mature.”

In the decade that followed, Jobs kept Apple profitable while pushing out an impressive roster of new products.

Apple’s popularity exploded in the 2000s. The iPod, smaller and sleeker with each generation, introduced many lifelong Windows users to their first Apple gadget.

The arrival of the iTunes music store in 2003 gave people a convenient way to buy music legally online, song by song. For the music industry, it was a mixed blessing. The industry got a way to reach Internet-savvy people who, in the age of Napster, were growing accustomed to downloading music free. But online sales also hastened the demise of CDs and established Apple as a gatekeeper, resulting in battles between Jobs and music executives over pricing and other issues.

Jobs’ command over gadget lovers and pop culture swelled to the point that, on the eve of the iPhone’s launch in 2007, faithful followers slept on sidewalks outside posh Apple stores for the chance to buy one. Three years later, at the iPad’s debut, the lines snaked around blocks and out through parking lots, even though people had the option to order one in advance.

The decade was not without its glitches. In the mid-2000s, Apple was swept up in a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into stock options backdating, a practice that artificially raised the value of options grants. But Jobs and Apple emerged unscathed after two former executives took the fall and eventually settled with the SEC.

Jobs’ personal ethos – a natural food lover who embraced Buddhism and New Age philosophy – was closely linked to the public persona he shaped for Apple. Apple itself became a statement against the commoditization of technology – a cynical view, to be sure, from a company whose computers can cost three or more times as much as those of its rivals.

For technology lovers, buying Apple products has meant gaining entrance to an exclusive club. At the top was a complicated and contradictory figure who was endlessly fascinating – even to his detractors, of which Jobs had many. Jobs was a hero to techno-geeks and a villain to partners he bullied and to workers whose projects he unceremoniously killed or claimed as his own.

Unauthorized biographer Alan Deutschman described him as “deeply moody and maddeningly erratic.” In his personal life, Jobs denied for two years that he was the father of Lisa, the baby born to his longtime girlfriend Chrisann Brennan in 1978.

Few seemed immune to Jobs’ charisma and will. He could adeptly convince those in his presence of just about anything – even if they disagreed again when he left the room and his magic wore off.

“He always has an aura around his persona,” said Bajarin, who met Jobs several times while covering the company for more than 20 years as a Creative Strategies analyst. “When you talk to him, you know you’re really talking to a brilliant mind.”

But Bajarin also remembers Jobs lashing out with profanity at an employee who interrupted their meeting. Jobs, the perfectionist, demanded greatness from everyone at Apple.

Jobs valued his privacy, but some details of his romantic and family life have been uncovered. In the early 1980s, Jobs dated the folk singer Joan Baez, according to Deutschman.

In 1989, Jobs spoke at Stanford’s graduate business school and met his wife, Laurene Powell, who was then a student. When she became pregnant, Jobs at first refused to marry her. It was a near-repeat of what had happened more than a decade earlier with then-girlfriend Brennan, Deutschman said, but eventually Jobs relented.

Jobs started looking for his biological family in his teens, according to an interview he gave to The New York Times in 1997. He found his biological sister when he was 27. They became friends, and through her Jobs met his biological mother. Few details of those relationships have been made public.

But the extent of Apple secrecy didn’t become clear until Jobs revealed in 2004 that he had been diagonosed with – and “cured” of – a rare form of operable pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. The company had sat on the news of his diagnosis for nine months while Jobs tried trumping the disease with a special diet, Fortune magazine reported in 2008.

In the years after his cancer was revealed, rumors about Jobs’ health would spark runs on Apple stock as investors worried the company, with no clear succession plan, would fall apart without him. Apple did little to ease those concerns. It kept the state of Jobs’ health a secret for as long as it could, then disclosed vague details when, in early 2009, it became clear he was again ill.

Jobs took a half-year medical leave of absence starting in January 2009, during which he had a liver transplant. Apple did not disclose the procedure at the time; two months later, The Wall Street Journal reported the fact and a doctor at the transplant hospital confirmed it.

In January 2011, Jobs announced another medical leave, his third, with no set duration. He returned to the spotlight briefly in March to personally unveil a second-generation iPad and again in June, when he showed off Apple’s iCloud music synching service. At both events, he looked frail in his signature jeans and mock turtleneck.

Less than three months later, Jobs resigned as CEO. In a letter addressed to Apple’s board and the “Apple community” Jobs said he “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.”

In 2005, following the bout with cancer, Jobs delivered Stanford University’s commencement speech.

“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,” he said. “Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”

Jobs is survived by his biological mother, sister Mona Simpson; Lisa Brennan-Jobs, his daughter with Brennan; wife Laurene, and their three children, Erin, Reed and Eve.


Iphone 4S in Singapore

 

Good news Singaporeans. You may have heard it mentioned during Apple’s keynote that Singapore will be the first Southeast Asian country to get the iPhone 4S, but that there was no mention on which telco will be launching the handset.

We’ve contacted the three Singapore telcos for availability and pricing, but spokespersons from the companies have declined to comment on the above. However, they did confirm that they will be bringing in the handset.

SingTel’s spokesperson was confident, stating that the company “will be offering the iPhone 4S”. M1 was more direct, stating that it will be “carrying the device as soon as it arrives in Singapore”. StarHub added that it “looks forward to launching the (iPhone) 4S in Singapore”. Seeing as how Apple has announced an October 28 launch, it looks like the telcos have all but indirectly confirmed a launch date.

 

Reporting by CNET ASIA

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