World, Meet Macintosh
Swagger, vision, and CEO presence—Steve Jobs seemed to have it all from his first appearance on the world stage. In 1984, the Apple chief introduced the first personal Macintosh computer before a breathless audience. That Mac would go on to revolutionize technology, and Jobs’s presentation, naturally, had all the flair that would go on to define the world’s most valuable company.
Jobs: ‘I Was Lucky’
How can you get fired from a company you started? That’s the question Jobs pondered in his 2005 Stanford University commencement speech, as he recounted his tumultuous beginnings with the technology giant. Ten years after creating the company with Steve Wozniak in his parents’ garage, the Reed College dropout was fired—which turned out to be “best thing that could have ever happened.” Jobs would go on to found NeXT and Pixar during his hiatus from Apple, before returning to lead the company into the 21st century. And, as they say, the rest is history.
Jobs and Gates Go ‘Mano A Mano’
Is there enough room on one stage for Jobs and Bill Gates? At 2007’s All Things D conference, there was more than enough space for the tech visionaries to share a rare conversation—and even compliment each other. Despite alleged fighting in the blogosphere, Jobs complimented the Microsoft founder on his innovation. “I think [Bill] built the first software company before anybody really in our industry knew what a software company was … And that was huge,” Jobs said. But Gates had something he had to get off his chest. “First, I want to clarify I’m not fake Steve Jobs,” he quipped.
Apple Won’t Ship ‘Junk’
Much has been written about Jobs’s leadership style, but there’s no debating that the former Apple CEO put a premium on the quality of the company’s products. When he was asked about the price of Apple’s goods and his goals for the company, he went straight to the point. “There’s some stuff in our industry that we wouldn’t be proud to ship—that we wouldn’t be proud to recommend to our family and friends—and we can’t do it,” Jobs said, adding, “We just can’t ship junk.” So there.
Behold: the iPod
Remember the world before the iPod? We don’t want to. With Jobs at the helm, Apple expanded its empire from personal computers to music with the advent of the iPod in 2001. One tiny—and, in some cases, Nano-size—device would revolutionize how the world listened to music. Watch Jobs introduce the iPod for the first time: “Music’s a part of everyone’s life. Everyone. Music’s been around forever. It will always be around.”
The ‘Really Hot’ iPhone
Before stepping down in August 2011, Jobs introduced upgrades and new software to very enthusiastic audiences. In 2010, a noticeably thinner CEO emerged to introduce the iPhone 4G, with more than 100 new features. Jobs, whose first tumor was removed in 2004, said of the upgraded phone, “You’ve got to see this thing in person. It is one of the most beautiful designs you’ve ever seen. This is, beyond a doubt, the most precise thing—one of the most beautiful things—we’ve ever made.” Most recently, the company’s new CEO, Tim Cook, introduced the newest generation of the device, the iPhone 4S, expected to make its debut during the holiday season.