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Steve Jobs, Stephen Wozniak, Ronald Wayne, and later with the financial help form A.C. "Mike" Markkulla Jr. founded Apple in 1976. Before working for Apple, Wozniak was a electronics hacker. Him and Jobs had been good friends. Jobs convinced Wozniak to build a computer and sell it. As Apple expanded they needed experienced executives, so Jobs convinced John Sculley to join Apple and become its CEO by asking him "Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?". A year later, that is what Apple did with its "1984" commercial during the Super Bowl. The very persuasive and charismatic Jobs was seem by his employees as erratic and temperamental manager. With a industry-wide sales bump near the end of 1984 came a shattering in the relations between Jobs and Sculley. At the end of May in 1985, after an internal power struggle and announcements of many layoffs, Sculley fired Jobs from his position as head of the Macintosh division.

In 1996, Apple decided that it will buy Jobs' pet company NeXT for $429 million. The deal was finished at the end of 1996 and it brought Jobs back to his old company. He rapidly became Apple's interim CEO after the board of directors lost confidence in Gil Amelio which was the CEO at the time. Trying to bring Apple back to profitability, Jobs terminated a lot of projects such as the Newton, Cyberdog, and OpenDoc. He fired a couple of employees just to keep everyone in their rows. Jobs also changed the licensing program so that manufactures would stop making Macintosh clones because it would not be cost-effective.

With the purchase of NeXT, the company's technologies found theor way into Apple products, such as the NeXTSTEP which developed into Mac OS X. In 2000 at the Macworld Expo, Jobs became the permanent CEO. In the last couple of years, Apple has introduced and improved many digital appliances. With the iPod, came iTunes digital music software and the iTunes store.


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Sometime during Jobs' last days at Apple, he founded another computer company, NeXT. It's product was similar's to Apple's Lisa because they were both technologically ahead of everything else. Unfortunately it was let go because it was viewed as very expensive. However those who could afford it had a very powerful and rather stable workstation which had many technical strengths, especially its object-oriented software development system. NeXT roducts were mainly marketed towards scientific and academic fields because of the innovative and experimental technologies (like the Mach Kernel, digital processor chip, and built-in Ethernet port).

Jobs described the NeXTcube as "interpersonal". It was his belief that "interpersonal" was the step after "personal" computing. If computers could allow people to communicate and collaborate together in an easy was, then so may problems of "personal" computing could be easily solved. When most people had plain text e-mail, Jobs loved to demonstrate NeXT's email system (NeXTMail), which was a perfect example of developing towards "interpersonal" computing. NeXTMail was one of the first system to easily manipulate visible and click-able embedded graphics and audio inside an email.

Jobs pushed NeXT to aesthetic perfection, an example was the NeXTcube's magnesium case. This strained NeXT's hardware division considerably. By 1993, after only selling about 50,000 machines, NeXT transitioned from a computer company to a software development company with their release of NeXTSTEP/Intel.


Steven Jobs purchased "The Graphics Group" (named Pixar later) from Lucasfilm for $10 million. The company was a high-end graphics developer, but their product, the Pixar Image Computer, was not profitable. They contracted with Disney to make many computer-animated feature films, which Disney distributed.

The first film produced by their partnership was Toy Story, which brought fame and attention to the studio when the movie came out in 1995. Over the next years Pixar, with their creative chief John Lasseter, produced many box-office hits like Bug's Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Monsters Inc. (2001) etc. Many of these movies received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, which was introduced in 2001.

By 2004, the partnership between Disney and Pixar was expiring. Steve Jobs and Micheal Eisner, which was the chief executive of Disney, tried to renew their contracts but without much success. Early in 2004 Jobs announced that Pixar was looking for new partners when their contracts with Disney expire. On October 2005, Eisner was replaced by Bob Iger as chief executive at Disney. Iger tried to patch relations with Pixar quickly.

At the end of January 2006, Jobs and Iger stated that Disney will be buying Pixar in an all-stock transaction for $7.4 billion. With the closing of the deal, Jobs owned the largest number for a single shareholder of Walt Disney's stock, about 7%, and joined Disney's board of directors. Jobs also had more stocks than Eisner, with 1.7%, and a Disney family member Roy E. Disney, with 1%.


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