Steve Jobs, American Dream, and Wall Street

Steve Jobs, 1955 – 2011, died in California at age 56, on October 5, 2011, seven years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Steve Jobs was very rich. Forbes estimated his net wealth at $8.3 billion in 2010, making him the 42nd wealthiest American. In September 2011, Jobs was ranked No.17 on Forbes: The World’s Most Powerful People. In these days, the mass media talk about Jobs and his life. But despite the media hype, some say: “Jobs was a Napoleon”. A former colleague, once said that Jobs “would have made an excellent king of France
” ! And Fortune once wrote that he was “considered one of Silicon Valley’s leading egomaniacs”. In fact, Jobs had many fans, and many critics. Many love him, and many hate him. Many thought he is a great man, and many thought he and Bill Gates have become evil forces. Steve Jobs did not have only one face, and even his pictures show this fact ! Jobs was a successful salesman with many dreadful mistakes (moral, commercial, etc), but he also was a co-inventor in dozens US patents related to a range of technologies from actual computer and portable devices to user interfaces (including touch-based), speakers, keyboards, etc. And we should not forget that Steven Paul (Steve Jobs), was an orphan adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain View, California in February 1955 . In fact, Steven Paul (Steve Jobs), lived the American dream and finally reached the Wall Street ! It can be important for “Occupy Wall Street” protesters.


Steve Jobs, that his pictures show him as gangster, businessman, evil man, ordinary man, man of science, pioneer, etc, was born in San Francisco. He was adopted after being born to Abdulfattah John Jandali, a Syrian man, and graduate student Joanne Schieble. The couple were not married at the time and keeping him would have been deemed shameful by their communities. Jobs was brought up by Paul and Clara Jobs (In the recent years, Jandali, a casino boss, said he wanted to meet his son but Jobs thought he was after money). After school, Jobs attended lectures at the Hewlett-Packard electronics firm in Palo Alto, California. There he was hired as a summer employee. Another employee at Hewlett-Packard was Stephen Wozniak a recent dropout from the University of California at Berkeley. An engineering whiz with a passion for inventing electronic gadgets, Wozniak was an electronics hacker that was perfecting his “blue box,” an illegal pocket-size telephone attachment that would allow the user to make free
long-distance calls. Jobs helped Wozniak sell a number of the devices to customers. Following high school graduation in 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Although he dropped out after only one semester, he continued auditing classes at Reed, while sleeping on the floor in friends’ rooms, returning Coke bottles for food money, and getting weekly free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple. In the fall of 1974, He took a job as a technician at Atari, a manufacturer of popular video games. Jobs then traveled to India, in search of spiritual enlightenment. At that time, he was a drug addict. He came back a Buddhist with his head shaved and wearing traditional Indian clothing. And in 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and others founded Apple.


Wozniak and Jobs designed the Apple I computer in Jobs’s bedroom and they built the prototype in the Jobs’ garage. Jobs showed the machine to a local electronics equipment retailer, who ordered twenty-five. Jobs received marketing advice from a friend, who was a retired CEO from Intel, and he helped them with marketing strategies for selling their new product. Jobs and Wozniak put together their first computer, called the Apple I. They marketed it in 1976 at a price of $666. The Apple I was the first single-board computer with built-in video interface, and on-board ROM, which told the machine how to load other programs from an external source. In the late 1970s, Jobs and Wozniak, and others -designed, developed, and marketed one of the first commercially successful lines of personal computers, the Apple II series. Jobs encouraged independent programmers to invent applications for Apple II. The result was a library of some 16,000 software programs. Over the past seven years of Apple’s creation, Jobs had created a strong productive company with a growth curve like a straight line North with no serious competitors. From 1978 to 1983, its compound growth rate was over 150% a year. Jobs in 1981 introduced the Apple III, that was a total failure. Then they designed the Macintosh to compete with the PC. Some say: ” the Macintosh introduced in 1984 !! Orwell knew Big Brother and Steve Jobs very well !!”. After losing a power struggle with the board of directors in 1985, Jobs resigned from Apple and founded NeXT. In fact, Jobs had become a Wall Street’s man.


Yesterday, Richard Stallman wrote: “Steve Jobs, the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed to sever fools from their freedom, has died. As Chicago Mayor Harold Washington said of the corrupt former Mayor Daley, “I’m not glad he’s dead, but I’m glad he’s gone .” Nobody deserves to have to die –not Jobs, not Mr. Bill, not even people guilty of bigger evils than theirs. But we all deserve the end of Jobs’ malign influence on people’s computing. Unfortunately, that influence continues despite his absence. We can only hope his successors, as they attempt to carry on his legacy, will be less effective”. But some said: “Great man, great ideas, who made himself from nothing”, while some added: “And again he became nothing; nothing except a greedy businessman, a greedy man of Wall Street”. BusinessWeek magazine once had written that “Jobs isn’t widely known for his association with philanthropic causes”, compared to Bill Gates’ efforts. After resuming control of Apple in 1997, Jobs eliminated all corporate philanthropy programs. Some also added: “Jobs’s drive for perfection often lead him to be ignorant to other people’s ideas. One ex-employee recalls how Jobs was demanding that, on principle, he would often reject anyone’s work the first time it was shown to him. To cope with this unreasonableness, workers deliberately presented their worst work first [!!], saving their best for a subsequent presentation, when it could have a better chance of satisfying the boss’s expectations [!]” In fact, at that time Jobs seemed more like a Big Brother !


After leaving Apple, Jobs founded NeXT Computer in 1985 with $7 million. A year later, Jobs was running out of money, and with no product on the horizon, he appealed for venture capital. Eventually, he attracted the attention of billionaire Ross Perot who invested heavily in the company. In 1986, Jobs acquired the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm Ltd, which was spun off as Pixar Animation Studios. He remained CEO and majority shareholder at 50.1 percent until its acquisition by The Walt Disney Company in 2006. Consequently Jobs became Disney’s largest individual shareholder at 7 percent and a member of Disney’s Board of Directors. NeXT workstations were first released in 1990, priced at $9,999. In 1996, Apple announced that it would buy NeXT for $429 million. The deal was finalized in late 1996, bringing Jobs back to the company he had co-founded, and he served as its CEO from 1997 until August 2011. Jobs was an ambitious businessman. In 1983, Steve Jobs lured John Sculley away from Pepsi-Cola to serve as Apple’s CEO, asking, “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?” It fact, the men of Wall Street are not like each other. Some of them are more stupid and sell sugar or salt water for the rest of their life, but some of them are less stupid and more dangerous and sell Big Brother’s tools like iPhone to change the world and realize the Orwellian nightmares.


In mid-2004, Jobs announced to his employees that he had been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his pancreas. In April 2009, Jobs underwent a liver transplant at Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis, Tennessee. Jobs had a wife, Laurene, to whom he was married for 20 years, three children (form her), Reed (born 1991), Erin (born 1995), and Eve (born 1998); and a fourth child, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, from a previous relationship. Jobs was unique, like many other humans. He had his own strong and weak points, like other humans. He had his own great mistakes, like many others. He lived the American dream, but unfortunately, he was like many others who lived the American dream, and gradually became the evil forces, the evil men of Wall Street. It’s a good question, if we ask : ‘If the majority of those who live the American dream, finally reach the Wall Street, then it’s ‘American nightmare’, not ‘American dream’, isn’t it ?!!’ In these days, it’s not bad that ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests think about this matter, i.e. about American dream and Wall Street. There are many interesting questions like how the ordinary men can become the evil men of Wall street, or how an ordinary man can become a Big Brother. Jobs was a very successful salesman, but what the mass media say about him (or Bill Gates), is really media hype. The younger generations can learn from his strong points, but they should avoid from his dreadful weak points that can make them new evil men, new Big Brothers.

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