We first meet Steve Jobs in the eponymous film “Jobs” after he has dropped out of college in 1974 to travel to India. Upon his return, he teams up with his close friend Steve Wozniak, both of whom are interested in electronics. His friend Woz had to caution him against walking barefoot and not bathing. He did get the message.
Steve Jobs - Wikimedia
I thought that Ashton Kutcher did an admirable job of portraying Steve Jobs even though he was nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor for his performance.
The Beginning of Apple
When Steve Wozniak (portrayed by Josh Gad) showed Jobs his prototype of a circuit board whose workings could be attached to and shown on a television monitor, Jobs realized that they had the beginnings of a spectacular innovation. Through the kindness of Jobs’ father, they were able to set up shop in the Jobs garage, hiring three other people to put together these boards. After several failures to get backing, an investor who worked for Intel came forward. Mike Markkula (played by Dermot Mulroney) offered an initial investment of $90,000 to begin the venture. Jobs and Wozniak worked feverishly with their three young employees to create the boards.
When they showed the stacks to Mike Markkula, he indicated that he thought they would present him with the boards already attached to a keyboard and monitor, the full package of a computer. He continued his allegiance to them, however, and they came through with his vision and remained with their company for twenty years.
Apple Computer Logo - Wikimedia
Steve’s Personal Life
Steve Jobs’ high school girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan, was a big part of Steve’s life for many, many years. She became pregnant in 1978 and Steve initially denied that he was the father of the baby. In later years, DNA revealed that he was indeed Lisa’s father, and he began a close relationship with her. In fact, he named the “Apple Lisa” after her, which was the precursor to the MacIntosh. Steve eventually married Laureen Powell in 1991, with whom he had three more children, and welcomed Lisa into his family also, while establishing a co-parenting relationship with Chrisann Brennan.
Steve Jobs, as portrayed by Ashton Kutcher, is seen in many scenes as throwing tantrums, yelling and screaming, and bullying his workers. I do not doubt that it is an accurate portrayal of Jobs. He was known as a cold introvert bent only on his own project, disregarding the advice of those around him. He and Steve Wozniak became millionaires because of their inventions of Apple I, Apple II, Apple Lisa, and the MacIntosh, in addition to supplementary products which came later. These include: the iMac, iTunes, the Apple Stores, the iPod, the iTunes Store, the iPhone, the App Store, and the iPad.
Steve Wozniak - Wikimedia
Apple II was actually the creation of Steve Wozniak alone, but Steve Jobs developed the case for it, and a third member of the company, Rod Holt, came up with a solution for including the power supply within the case. It was the first successful mass-produced personal computer.
Internal Tensions at Apple
Steve Jobs tapped John Sculley (Matthew Modine), an executive at Pepsi-Cola, to serve as Apple’s CEO. Unfortunately, they never came to a meeting of the minds, as Sculley recognized that Jobs paid little attention to the costs that were incurred by producing the MacIntosh, which could easily have forced the company into bankruptcy. Sculley was able to convince the Board to force Jobs out of his position at Apple, the company he had founded, and Jobs left in 1985. His millionaire status allowed him to found the company he named NeXT, which specialized in expensive higher end computers.
Apple II Computer - Wikimedia
In 1997, Apple purchased Jobs’ company, NeXT, which opened the door for him to return to Apple. He became the CEO when the previous CEO was fired due to a consistent loss in profits during his tenure. As we all know, the company became profitable once again under Steve Jobs’ watch.
There is a lot of sadness to this story. We witness Steve Wozniak telling his life-long friend that he is leaving their company because he cannot tolerate the attitude and workings of his co-founder. Also, Mike Markkula, their initial investor, was eased out of his position after twenty years. So too was John Sculley. Yes, Steve Jobs was a genius; but it is difficult to acknowledge him as a fine, loving, and personable character after viewing this film.
Apple Computer Headquarters - Cupertino, California
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