Apple CEO Steve Jobs: Architect of the most remarkable comeback in modern business history

Apple Online Store“When Steve Jobs walked on to the stage at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center in January, it capped the most remarkable comeback in modern business history,” Richard Waters and Joseph Menn report for The Financial Times.

“It wasn’t simply a matter of the illness that had sidelined him for half the year before, leaving him severely emaciated and eventually requiring a liver transplant,” Waters and Menn report. “Little more than a decade earlier, both Mr Jobs’ career and Apple, the company he had co-founded, were widely considered washed up, their relevance to the future of technology written off both in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street. By the start of this year, however, the rebound was complete.”

Waters and Menn report, “Now, three decades on, he has secured his place in the foremost ranks of the West Coast tech titans who have done so much to shape the world around the turn of the millennium.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “JES42” and “GetMeOnTop ” for the heads up.]

42 Comments

  1. I love talking to people every day who have no idea what’s going on. They see apple as the company they knew back in 1995 in the MacOS days before OSX. A quaint company, but bothered by the large amount of credit they seem to be getting in the press. When the iTunes store came out these people were asleep at the wheel- who would want to buy a single song for $.99? Then came iPhone- who would buy a phone without a physical keyboard? Then iPad, just a big iPhone, right? Struggling to understand the future those fools are.

  2. My first computer was a SE30. Back in those days it was all new. My other new Mac buddies and those in the Mac user groups (miss those) had to be reminded to get up take a walk, eat and drink something, take a break, SLEEP. 5 minutes in Mac time = about an hour. Couldnt get enough of it all. So much to learn and do. Then came the WWW. Those were heady new horizoned times indeed. It changed my life. I love be an Apple user and evangelist. Now I have an iPad and it has changed my life similarly. I no lnger even have a laptop. Just my Mac Pro and iPad. The iPhone will be next when Verizon gets it. Next? An AppleTV. And then cutting my cable for TV. Can’t wait.

    Thank you Steve. I’ve enjoyed every nano-second with my Apple hardware and software! I’m even thinking of applying for work at an Apple store so I can get paid for my evangelizing ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. My friends always had Apple machines. I grew up using II’s and IIGS’s. But I had cheap DOS then Windows machines at home because computers frightened my parents (it was years before I taught them that they had that cause/effect backwards). In 1995 I went to work for PhotoDisc (which would become Getty Images) and started using Macs full time, daily. Those days were dark times, my friends. Not easy years to be a brand new Mac freak. PhotoDisc provided me with a pair of 8100s, and it took about 2 weeks to turn me into the slobering zealot I’ve been ever since. My personal first Mac was the very first Bondi iMac which I still have safely in cryo-sleep.
    Thanks for coming back and straightening things out, Steve. And thanks to everyone else at Apple for continually making such fantastic stuff. Here’s to a brand new decade of changing the world.

  4. I’m always sort of curious as the motives behind an article like this. Even as a mac fan – these get sort of redundant. And page filler for this guy. It’s akin to saying “Disney World is a fun place for kids.” Or McDonalds sells hamburgers. I think a vast majority of people realize this fact. big duh.

  5. What Steve Jobs has done to lead Apple is remarkable enough. However, what he did (and continues to do) more covertly to manipulate the rest of the industry in Apple’s favor is equally remarkable.

    One obvious example is how Apple gained control of e-content distribution for music, through the iTunes Store. And through that entry, Apple is now the top music retailer, period. It’s amazing how Steve Jobs out-manuevered an entire entrenched industry, to gain an advantage for Apple that is incredibly powerful.

    Another example is the careful “manipulation” of Microsoft. A decade ago, Microsoft was a huge threat to Apple. Yet (after Apple was no longer in danger of bankruptcy or acquisition) it was Apple that goaded Microsoft with the “Get a Mac” marketing. I’m sure Microsoft’s execs were annoyed, and they were embarrassed that the latest version of Windows (XP) was so “antiquated.” So Microsoft abandons the overly-ambitious “Longhorn” project and does a rush job to release Window Vista. When Vista itself became embarrassing, Microsoft throws “everything” at Windows 7.

    While Microsoft practically ignores Windows Mobile (because they are focused on Windows Vista and the Windows 7), Apple secretly works on iPhone. When Apple releases iPhone in 2007, Microsoft first goes into denial mode, but then panics and fixates on what became Windows Phone 7. But while Microsoft is (again) misdirected and focused (this time) on Windows Phone 7, Apple secretly works on iPad, which is the REAL prize of this new decade.

    So after a decade of work, Microsoft has a “good enough” PC OS and an incomplete first-edition smartphone OS, with nothing in between that is suitable for an iPad competitor. Tablets (as re-defined by Apple) will be the fastest growing segment for personal computing, and Microsoft has NO answer. That’s amazing… And what’s even more amazing is that Microsoft has been working on the “tablet PC” for the past decade, and was initially a leader in smartphone software too.

    The latest example may be Android. Common sense says that Android gaining market share is bad for Apple. But I think Steve Jobs actually wants Android to take over as the “other” smartphone OS. When iPhone was released in 2007, Apple had to contend with Palm, RIM, Nokia, those using Windows Mobile, and others; Android was not even in the picture. Today, it’s basically iPhone and Android; everyone else is gone or fading. By staying off Verizon and still selling as many iPhones as it could make, Apple let Android to do the “dirty work” to marginalize the rest of the competition. Soon, Android will be the only viable way to compete with iPhone.

    And I think Apple feels pretty confident it can successfully manage competition with a single fragmented platform where the primary software developer (Google) makes no direct profit from sales of Android devices, and the many hardware developers are mostly fighting each other (and not iPhone). It’ll be just like Apple’s recent Mac success, except NO Microsoft with double (Windows and Office) cash cow, and NO real pricing advantage for the other hardware makers. Advantage to Apple.

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