Steve Jobs was one of the most influential CEOs in the consumer electronic industry. His biography is one that is filled with some of the most riveting events of his life. Steve Jobs, together with Steve Wozniak, dropped out of college in order to form Apple Computers in 1976. In order to start their company, the two sold some of their most valued possessions that included a van and two calculators to raise $1,300 from which they started the business. The company became the first to reach annual sales of $1 billion in 1982, making it the best personal computer-selling company. The company continued to diversify into other consumer electronic markets and eventually changed its name to Apple Inc. on January 9, 2007. Currently, it is among the best technological and innovative companies that offer the best consumer electronics ranging from personal computers, iPhone and other products. The company offered new products in the market that no other company had offered before, making it a leader in innovation. However, many people have attributed the success of this company to leadership style of Steve Jobs.
Entrepreneurs have several characteristics that differentiate them from other people. The main characteristic evident in all entrepreneurs is a willingness to take on risks, which would be costly if the business does not work out well. Other characteristics include being inspirational, confidence, innovativeness, authoritative, strong willed, self-motivated and intuitive. Steve Jobs was known as being hardworking, and he loved his job. He did not require anybody to push him nor to report to a person in order to work hard towards achieving his goals. This portrays his characteristics as self-motivated, hardworking and energetic entrepreneur.
Additionally, Jobs had mastered his skills quite early and has been skilled within the IT business. This provided him with a technical understanding of how the work was to be done as well as what works best for the business. For a CEO of an innovative company such as this, such skills come in handy in managing and directing the organization. It is extremely crucial for an entrepreneur to have technical knowledge of the business, for not only managing it but also inspiring those below him. With such skills, he understood what quality meant, ensuring that customers got the best of their products, with this being the main way for a CEO to connect with consumers. His other trait that helped in entering new ventures is being a good sale man. Steve Jobs convinced people that his products were the best, and he established an emotional connection with the consumers. This made him an exceptional sales person.
Entrepreneurial Journey and challenges
One of the challenges that Steve Jobs faced consistently was challenging the status quo that many people did not want to do. For instance, he challenged the status quo of how phones should look like. Today, many people are going for cell phones with the touch capability, a feature that was not there before. However, his main challenge in life came after returning to America from India, which was transforming his vision into what it is today from just a single computer that Wozniak was making. For Wozniak, he was designing the computer as a hobby while Steve saw a vision. He convinced his friend Wozniak to enter into business with him. It is then that they opened up a shop in Jobs parents’ garage. The business was called venture Apple and they started working on their first product, Apple 1. It is during this time that they had to sell some of their items in order to make $1,350 for starting the company. He had to sell his van while his friend had to sell his Hewlett Packard calculator. Although the first product sold to hobbyists only, it generated enough to improve the computer and make the first personal computer with colored graphic design and a keyboard, Apple II. It was user friendly and for beginners, which made it quite a monumental success. In three years, it made $200 million.
Another challenge came when he differed with the board of directors and the CEO he had picked to help him run the company. With much disappointment, he was forced out of the board and later sold all his shares. This was after the mackintosh computer designed for use at home with a mouse for easy use failed to sell due to its high prices and flowed marketing. Although he was out of Apple, it did not mean he stopped becoming an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs never give up and risk everything they have. Jobs did the same with the money he had left to found NEXT Computer Co with a vision of building a computer that would be a breakthrough to change how research and higher education was conducted. Although he made one with several innovations, it was too expensive and hardly sold. Undeterred, he entered the software market. He also concentrated on this other business, Pixar Animation Studios.
With his other business, he made a deal Disney where Jobs set out the first computer-animated film. It was a massive hit. This company went public in 1996. Further, Apple bought NEXT at a price of $400 million after Jobs had sold his 80% shares of Pixar at $1 billion after going public. At this time, Apple was not doing well and out of desperation brought jobs back to board as an adviser and later become the CEO. The new challenge at Apple was developing a Macintosh computer that would compete competitively in the market. Immediately after returning to Apple, he made a deal with Microsoft that would see the survival of Apple. He then put G3 Power Processors in all the Apple computers to make them faster than the other computers using Pentium. This gave the company a competitive advantage. Further, he oversaw the development of the iMac, another line of affordable computers for homes. Under Jobs, apple was able to make sales of $5.9 billion at the end of 1998, demonstrating his entrepreneurial skills in driving change as well as innovative.
To continue with further success that we know today of Apple, Jobs did not stop there. His entrepreneurial skills of innovation went ahead to see other products innovated, many that have never been developed by any other company. The following decade after 1998, Steve jobs spearheaded radical innovations in a series of other products that include iPod, online market place known as the Apple iTune store, iPhone handset and the iPad tablet. From these products, the company has made billions of revenues. These exceptional products have been new to the market at the time of their launching, making Apple a leading company in innovations.
In dealing with the challenges that have been around his entrepreneurial life, Jobs demonstrated many characteristics of entrepreneur through out his life. One of the principal characters that made him successful was being innovative. Looking at Apple Inc. today, it has a reputation for innovation, which was the first goal of the company when he was founding it. This was his vision. Another character that he has used in dealing with the challenges is taking risks. Throughout his life, he took many risks including risking the only money ha had from Apple after selling his shares to form NEXT Computer Co. when he came back to apple, he went ahead to take up risks such as development of newer computers hat would be superior to others. The result can be seen today with the difference between Apple products and other products such as the computer industry. While almost all other computer manufacturers use Microsoft as their operating systems, Apple is the only one with its own operating systems. This shows the unique features of Apple products that are not easily copied.
The entrepreneurial journey of Steve Jobs has not been an easy one. Rather it has had many challenges that he dealt with effectively. Surprisingly, he always managed to rise to the top of his work, and results are clearly seen. One of his most valuable entrepreneurial traits in my view is his insistence on innovations. He was quite innovative, which is what Apple today is associated. The other equally prominent trait is the ability to take on risks without fear. Very few people could have sold a vehicle to start a business that one never knows whether it would bear any fruits. Other traits include hard working, self-motivation, intuitive and strong-willed, considering that he never gave up in anything, and even in poor health, he still worked hard.