BEING APPLE CASE STUDY

Topics: Apple Inc., Steve Jobs, Pixar Pages: 6 (1665 words) Published: October 20, 2013
CASE STUDY

Steve Jobs is currently CEO of Apple and one of the
world’s best-known business leaders. The many
biographies of Jobs on the internet agree on the
basic details. He was born in 1955 in California.
In 1976, he and Steve Wozniak founded the Apple
Computer Company. The next year saw the launch
of the company’s second computer – the Apple II –
whose success established Apple as one of the
main brands in the fledgling personal computer
(PC) industry. Apple went public in 1980 and by
1983 Jobs was looking for an experienced
corporate manager to oversee the company’s
continuing expansion; he hired John Sculley from
Pepsi Cola. In 1984, Apple launched the
Macintosh, whose innovative design was surely
one of the key steps forward in the development of
today’s user-friendly PCs.
In 1985, Jobs fell out with the Apple board and with
Sculley and resigned from the company. He went on to
found the computer company NeXT, whose workstation
products were seen as innovative and influential, but
which were too expensive for mass market success. By
the early 1990s, NeXT was concentrating on software
rather than hardware, and Apple was experiencing
significant financial problems as the PC market started
to mature. In 1996, Apple bought NeXT and installed
Jobs as interim CEO in 1997. Jobs was back and set
about some radical surgery to improve Apple’s
profitability. The technology that arrived with the NeXT
purchase allowed a new operating system to be
developed and Jobs was closely associated with the
development and launch of the brightly-coloured and
inspirational iMac in 1998.
The ‘i’ prefix was adopted by Apple for a series
of further innovations as its renaissance under Jobs
continued, including the launch in 2001 of the
spectacularly successful iPod music player and the
iTunes service to support it. This success has provided
the company with a whole new set of strategic options
in music and entertainment. Then came the the iPhone
in 2007 and the Macbook Air, produced from an A4
envelope at its launch in 2008. Steve Jobs, however,
is not someone to concentrate his efforts on just a single
industry. In 1986, he bought a computer graphics
operation from Lucasfilm and renamed it Pixar, which
became one of the leading players in computer
animation. In partnership with Disney it produced a
stream of immensely successful animation movies from
Toy Story (1995) to the surprising, multi-award-winning
box-office hit Wall-e (2008) whose character Eve owes
more than a little to Apple design principles. In 2006,
Disney and Pixar merged, leaving Jobs as a significant
shareholder in Disney and a member of the Disney
board.
Cool entrepreneurship
At one level, Steve Jobs can be seen as one of the group
of successful young men who made the information
revolution happen over the last three decades. These
new entrepreneurs didn’t fit the traditional model of
the buttoned-down businessman – they weren’t always
academically successful (like Michael Dell, Jobs
dropped out of college), they dressed casually and
thought unconventionally. While they may differ greatly
in leadership style and manner, they share a dedicated,
driven, even obsessive approach to work coupled to
a strong vision of the change they want to create. There
has always, however, been something distinctive about
the Apple way of doing things, resulting in the fierce
loyalty that often inspires Apple users. As one
commentator put it:
Lodged in the DNA of Silicon Valley, there is a rebel gene
known as Apple Computer. Most of the other ingredients
are the generally uniform, inoffensive elements you would
expect to find in the soul of an engineer . . . The Apple
gene comes from an altogether different place. Its essence
is one part design flair, two parts marketing hype. It
carries elements of risk-taking and inventiveness. It is
closely intertwined with the technical drive that pervades
Silicon Valley and is...
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