Steve Jobs’ narrative is one of big failures and even greater redemptions. The Reed-college dropout started Apple Computer in his parents’ garage in Palo Alto, Calif. with engineering buddy Steve Wozniak in 1976. Their mission? Build a personal, portable computer that everyone could use. They achieved that with their second model of personal computer, the Apple IIc.
In 1980, Apple went public with a market value of $1.2 billion by the end of its first day of trading. However within five years, following a series of disappointing products and sales, Jobs was forced out of the company.
Undeterred, he started NeXT, a computer and software company. Around this time, he invested $5 million in Pixar, the animation arm of George Lucas’s film company. He continued to increase his investment, until he controlled the company. It proved a smart decision: Pixar went on to develop multiple smash hit franchises, including Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles.
Job’s stock was looking up and continued to rise. In 1996, NeXT was purchased by Apple and the following year, Jobs was asked to return to the beleaguered Apple and acts as its interim CEO -- a position he held until shortly before his death in 2011.
During his tenure as chief executive, Jobs broadened the scope of Apple’s products, transforming the company to one of the most successful companies in the world valued at upwards of $300 billion, thanks to the success of the iPhone and iPad.