Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

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Steve Jobs was born on the 24th February, 1955 in San Francisco, California. His unwed mother actually was expecting a baby girl and hence decided to give him up for adoption. His mother has called up Paul and Clara Jobs in the middle of the night and asked if they would want to adopt her baby.

His mother’s wish is that Steve will be able to one day graduate from college. When she found out the Steve’s future parents were not college graduates themselves, she has refused to sign on the adoption documents. She later agreed to sign on it after Steve’s future parents gave her the assurance that they will send Steve to college.

Steve completed his high school in 1972 and attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He has decided to drop out from college because it was too expensive. Steve later joined a group called the Homebrew Computer Club in 1975. There, he met with Steve Wozniak who was trying to build a small computer. They later decided to form a computer company in 1976 which they called the Apple Computer Company. To raise the funds necessary to kick-start the company, they have sold their personal belongings to finance the initial start-up. The Apple Computer Company’s sales quickly grew to US$200Million in the first 3 years – a really amazing achievement for a start-up company!

Steve launched the highly user friendly Macintosh computer in 1984. Despite some of the great ease of use features that comes with the Macintosh, it did not do as well compared to their biggest competitor at that time, IBM. IBM computers are packed with more features for commercial use. This has also signaled the downfall of his career at Apple. After some disagreements over the vision and direction of the company with the board of directors of Apple, Steve Jobs was pressured to resigned as the CEO of the company that he has co-founded in 1985.

After leaving Apple, Steve has hired some of his ex-employees to start-up another company called NEXT in 1985. A year later, Steve has bought a small company called Pixar from George Lucas. Pixar is a computer animation company. 9 years after it was acquired by Steve, Pixar went on to launch a mega box office hit, Toy Story. Since then, Pixar has produced many more box office hits including A bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monster Inc, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Toy Story 3, Up and many more.

Steve Jobs later sold the company Pixar to Disney and became one of the largest shareholder in Disney as well as a member of their board in 2006. In December 2006, Steve returned to Apple after Apple acquired Next Software. He then became the part time consultant to their CEO. In September 2007, he was named the interim CEO of Apple. In year 2000, the word “interim”  was officially removed from his title.

Since returning to Apple, Steve has launched the highly successful iPod, iMac, iTunes Store, iPhone, Macbook, iPad and many more.

Some of the major Milestones or Achievements that Apple has gained after his return are:-

1.  Becoming the largest seller of Music via its iTunes Store

2.  Becoming the largest Application seller via its iTunes AppStore

3.  Becoming one of the largest smartphone seller via its highly popular iPhone. Apple became the largest smartphone seller after it sold 20.34 million iPhones in the 2nd Quarter of 2011.

All these are certainly no small feat. He has also revolutionized the Tablet PC when he introduced the iPad. Many companies have launched the Tablet PC but failed in the past. But not Steve Jobs…..the iPads are one of the most successful Tablet PC launch after many failures. Now, everyone seems to be going into the Tablet PC market.

For all that he has done, we believe that he really deserves the title of Fortune Magazine’s “CEO of the Decade”.

This is his Stanford University Commencement Address in 2005 where he shared about his life, his career and his battle with cancer. There are many lessons to be learnt from this Marketing Genius……Enjoy.

To lead a successful life, always remember to “Stay Hungry Stay Foolish”

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