OF GODS(DESSES) AND (WO)MEN 3

People aren’t inconsistent, but their behavior is.

Mark McCormack

 In this third and last episode of, “Of gods and men” we focus on a man whose legacy in life was not diminished even in death.

He was the adopted son of parents that were not even college graduates. As a child he took interest in repairing electronics a hobby that his adopted father had exposed him to early in life. In elementary school his test scores were so outstanding that his teachers recommended that he skip two grades. Graduating from high school he applied and got admission into college but spent only six months before dropping out on account of financial constraints.

After he dropped out of college he went into business with his friend who was an engineer and helped him market his electronic product to a major video game company. The video game company offered him a job based on the product he sold to them.

He will eventually form a company with this engineer friend when he was 21years old. . Making him one of the youngest entrepreneurs at the time in what will eventually become Silicon Valley. He was worth over a million dollars when he was 23 and over ten million dollars when he was 24, and over a hundred million dollars when he was 25.

The company he cofounded will go on to become a multibillion dollar company producing personal computers and other consumer electronics. In 2011 the company became the most valuable publicly traded company in the world and has more cash at hand than most countries. As of 2014 the company had 147billion USD cash at hand.

In 1989 he was named “Entrepreneur of the decade” by Inc. magazine, he was named the “Most powerful person in business” by Fortune magazine in 2007, in 2009 he was selected as the “Most admired entrepreneur” among teenagers, in the same year he was named “CEO of the decade” by Fortune magazine. In 2010 he was ranked no. 17 on Forbes: “The world’s most powerful people” and was named “Person of the year” by the financial times in the same year.

He is Steve Jobs, entrepreneur, consummate marketer, inventor and cofounder Apple Inc who died in 2011 at the age of 55.

He was adopted at birth and was named Steven Paul Jobs by his adoptive parents. His father was a carpenter and a mechanic while his mother was an accountant. He was taught how to read before he started school and had excellent grades throughout the time he spent in school. The cash crunch in the family will make him quit college after only six months though he kept dropping in on creative classes for about18 months. A calligraphy class he dropped in on will later play a great role in the typefaces used by the Mac computer that Apple makes.

Irrespective of his genius he has been described by co-workers and friends as being an egomaniac and ill tempered. He is said to be rude and has an aggressive personality.

Probably these shortcomings contributed to his ousting from the company he cofounded after only 9 years at the helm of affairs.

When asked why he gets so mad, he reportedly said “But I don’t stay mad” giving an insight into the mind of one who understands his flaws. Steve Jobs was a perfectionist in all things but was not perfect in Character, he was a designer who contributed immensely to electronic aesthetics but his character was a flawed design.

He knew it and he tried to be better following his exit from Apple. He acknowledged this in a speech at Stanford University in 2005, saying he wouldn’t have become who he is if he wasn’t fired from Apple, going further he said, “It was an awful tasting medicine but I guess the patient needed it”.

Steve Jobs was a god among gods, having been described as a visionary, pioneer and genius in the way he revolutionized at least 6 different industries. He was likened to Thomas Edison and Henry Ford of his time.

But Jobs was a man with flaws who achieved and remained successful because he learned from experience and labored to win his character battle.

This week we have seen the desire to be better in character motivate a man to be the best, we have seen bad character cloud the legendary successes of an athlete and today we see character make a genius almost lose it all.

Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better.

Richard Hooker

You don’t need to get to the edge of the cliff before you step back, you can make a choice not to get to that edge, make that choice and grow your life to be profitable having made wonderful investments in it.

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