October the 5th marks the death anniversary of Steve Jobs, a corporate and tech visionary known for a number of things and idiosyncrasies apart from his leadership qualities and turning Apple’s personal computing business around during the 90s. In the honor of the life and times of Steve Jobs, here are some of the little-known facts about him, and the company he started and turned to a multi-billion-dollar business during his lifetime.
1. Jobs wasn’t particularly shy when it came to reaching out, right from the start
The marketing and networking genius was embedded in Jobs’ DNA. At the young age of 12, Jobs called up none other than the HP co-founder William Hewlett himself to ask for some components he required to assemble an electronics project. Hewlett was impressed with the young lad’s confidence and not only arranged to furnish the required components but also offered him a summer internship at HP.
2. Apple Computer Co. was named so because…
It came before ‘Atari’—the game development firm where Jobs worked earlier, in the phone-book. At least that was the official answer that Steve jobs gave as a response to the media queries, but there are several versions of how the company came to be called so. According to Steve Wozniak, the real genius behind Apple’s original products, Jobs had once humorously stated that they’ll call the company Apple if they couldn’t come up with a better name. Long story short: they didn’t, hence Apple Computer Co. was born.
3. Apple’s original Apple I computer was technically HP property
In the early days of Jobs-Wozniak partnership, Woz was working for HP and he wanted to make a long-term career out of it too. Being a nerd in its real sense, Woz owned and had access to some high-profile and expensive equipment like the HP 65 calculator which cost a fortune back then. Wozniak, however, sold that calculator for $500 to raise capital for their newly-founded company and buy parts to build the first prototypes of Apple I after Jobs convinced him and sold his own Volkswagen van in order to contribute to the $1,000 they raised together.
Moreover, some fine print in Wozniak’s job agreement with HP bound him to submit any of his work to HP’s board first. Woz did just that, but interestingly enough, HP didn’t see any real potential in Apple I and turned it down. It might have been a blow for Woz but worked as a blessing for Jobs who immediately started to find links and ways to market it, and before long he had 50 orders lined up for Apple I.
4. Jobs’ high school GPA was 2.65 out of 4
Grades aren’t everything, and Jobs’ educational career is a prime example of this adage. Some historical digging done by TheAtlantic revealed an FBI file related to Steve Jobs which pointed out that he wasn’t exactly an exceptional student. Moreover, Jobs dropped out of college after the very first semester of regular studies in order to follow a lifestyle that he believed would later shape the future of both himself and Apple.
5. Jobs served as a mentor to Google co-founders Page and Brin
Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin reportedly considered Jobs as a CEO for their fledgling company who initially turned the offer down, however, noticing the potential of the company and the promise its co-founders showed, Steve Jobs agreed to mentor the duo in the end.
Jobs also took in Eric Schmidt, Google’s eventual CEO choice, as a member of Apple’s board of directors.
6. Jobs was partially responsible for Pixar’s tremendous success in animated film business
Steve Jobs was credited as the Executive Producer of the wildly-successful 1995 animated film Toy Story. Jobs had bought Pixar (known as The Graphics Group back in the day) from George Lucas for $10 million in 1986. The company was losing money in its initial ventures until Jobs took a stronger stance on running things and appointed himself the CEO.
Jobs’ (and consequently Pixar’s) all hopes lingered on the film Toy Story, which went on to be extremely successful, earning the studio both financial and critical acclaim; 7 of the animated feature films produced by Pixar thereafter would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
7. Steve Jobs’ last words were…
“Oh wow! Oh wow!” while looking over the shoulders of his family, as he succumbed to respiratory arrest related to a neuroendocrine tumor.
—Image credits: Flickr/marcopako