The Path He Blazed

Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes…the ones who see things differently—they're not fond of rules…You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things…they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

— Steve Jobs

He is an American icon, a blazer of paths, a rebel whose very existence defied the rules of his day. He was born out of wedlock on February 24, 1955. Although many in his mother's position would have had an abortion given the way that “illegitimate” children were viewed back then, Joanne Simpson certainly did the world a favor by giving birth to her son, and allowing another couple to experience the joy of parenthood.

Jobs's mother, Simpson, was a graduate student from America, and his biological father was a Syrian Muslim. His biological mother had just one requirement of the people who were to raise her son…she wanted him to get a college education. Although both she and the father were graduate students who went on to further their education, her marital status made keeping the boy too difficult. The adoptive parents, Paul and Clara Jobs ironically did not have a college education. Despite his biological mother's wishes, in another renegade act, Steve Jobs refused to make good on his adoptive parents' promise, and dropped out of college after one semester.

With no college education, making it big in the business world seemed an impossible task for Steve Jobs. But Jobs is known for making the impossible happen. During high school, he was often seen sitting in on lectures which were given at the Hewlett-Packard Company, located in Palto-Alto, California. His efforts soon paid off, and he was hired to work along with Steve Wosniak during his Summer months. After graduating from high school, Jobs took his one semester at Reed College in Portland Oregon. Although he dropped out after that first semester, he continued staying at the school, sleeping in the dorm rooms of friends, and auditing various classes. In 1974, Jobs moved back to California, and began to visit the meetings of the “Homebrew Computer Club” with Steve Wosniak. While Jobs went on to work for Atari, Wosniak became an employee of Hewlett-Packard. Jobs once admitted that his only reason for taking the job at Atari was to save the money for a spiritual journey to India. After making that journey, however, Jobs did come back to Atari.

The story is very well known from there. In his usual, renegade fashion, Steve Jobs became one of the most well-known entrepreneurs in the world. Along with Steve Wosniak, Jobs decided to create their own computer company. Despite the well-known mantra for entrepreneurial success, “location, location, location,” they had no location, and no money. On April Fool's Day in 1976, the two men founded Apple Inc in the garage of Steve Jobs's parent's home, with the help of Ron Wayne from Atari. They funded their project with money they got from the sale of Jobs's Volkswagon, and Wosniak's electronis calculator. Apple is now said to be the second largest business in the world, in terms of market value. The largest, Exxon Mobile, was even surpassed by Apple for a brief period in August of last year (2011). How ironic that a computer company which was founded in the garage of a college drop-outs' parents' home could rise to such heights!

Steve Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011 after a battle with cancer. Since then, he has been called a rebel by many. ‘Big Wheel Magazine' called him the “Rebel With a Cause.” The site shares how Jobs's drive changed the world, “Steve Jobs along with his development team helped push the envelope which in turned helped push others in the technology arena regardless of if it was Windows based or not. No matter what brand you speak of, it is that competitive challenge that creates innovation in the devices that we all use everyday as we go about our lives.”

The article goes on to say, “He is a symbol of how anyone can come from humble beginnings and create an impact on the world around them. The world we live in will never be the same with regards to how we communicate, the way we work with technology to create and how we enjoy our music on various devices. So with the passing of Steve, sure it is sad that a talent like this has to exit, stop for moment and realize that his life’s work is truly something to be celebrated.”

So an illegitimate, adopted child, whose biological parents' only rule for him was to finish college, drops out of college, starts a business in the home of his adoptive parents garage on April Fool's Day, names it “Apple,” (which had nothing to do with computers at the time) and turns that business into the second largest company in the entire world. Then uses that business to blaze the path by which everyone else struggled to travel. Well, played, Steve Jobs, well played.

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