Steve Jobs: CNBC Titans

A comprehensive look into the life and accomplishments of the undisputed king of Silicon Valley. 


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Irrepressible, irascible, and iconic, Steve Jobs reigned as the undisputed king of Silicon Valley for the better part of three decades. From his parents’ California garage he launched the personal computer revolution and built Apple into the most envied and valuable technology company in the world.

From the Macintosh and the iPod to the iPhone and iPad, Jobs personally presided over the creation of dozens of transformational devices—while battling hostile corporate boards, cutthroat competitors, and a serious illness along the way. CNBC offers a retrospective of Jobs’s career—including the creation of Apple, its ascent under his visionary direction, and the evolution of his management style, which, although famous for its confrontational nature, secured his legacy as one who dared to “Think Different.”

Video Segments

1. Introduction: Thoughts on Steve Jobs A montage of mostly admiring comments on Steve Jobs.

2. Success at Apple Jobs resigned as Apple CEO Aug. 24 due to poor health. He started the company in 1975, and returned in 1997, engineering the turnaround of a company that had been in shambles.

3. Jobs' Early Life Jobs was born in 1955 in San Francisco and adopted. His precocious technological reputation got Steve Wozniak's attention, resulting in friendship; Jobs cheated Wozniak out of a bonus on a collaborative project for Atari.

4. Apple Wozniak created his own circuit board; Jobs persuaded him to go into business together to simplify technology for mass use. Jobs brought marketing skills to the partnership; they created the Apple I and Apple II.

5. Graphics-Based Computing The success of the Apple II, introduced in 1977, launched personal computing. Jobs then made a deal with Xerox for access to its development on its graphics-based computer, inspiring the Lisa project

6. Jobs Demoted Apple went public in 1980. Jobs was often mean and the Board decided he was too volatile to run the company, reducing his role and pulling him from Lisa. He took over the MacIntosh project.

7. Apple's Struggles A 1982 Time cover story uncovered the dark side of Jobs' personality. In 1983, the $10,000 Lisa was a flop. IBM overtook Apple in personal computing; Jobs recruited Pepsi CEO John Sculley to turn the company around.

8. Creating and Promoting Macintosh Jobs pushed the Macintosh team hard. The company's 1984 Super Bowl ad promised the Mac would save the world from IBM's Orwellian future.

9. Jobs Pushed Out 1984 was a big year, but sales fell off in 1985 as fanfare subsided and critics considered the computer a toy. Jobs left the company after conflict with Sculley over direction.

10. Next Computer Struggles Jobs started "Next Computer" with seed money from his Apple stock wealth. Its powerful computer was targeted at universities, but most could not afford it; Jobs lost much of his fortune.

11. Pixar Jobs lost much of his fortune with Next and Pixar until Pixar broke Disney's stranglehold on animation with Toy Story in 1995. Jobs took the company public and made billions, eventually selling to Disney.

12. Return to Apple Jobs got married, discovered his biological sister and reconnected with his daughter. Apple lost ground to Microsoft after Windows '95, having stopped innovating, and brought back Jobs.

13. Think Different When Jobs returned as interim CEO in 1997, Apple had 5% of the PC market. Jobs launched the slogan "Think Different" to return the company to his values.

14. Jobs' Early Moves Jobs launched an unthinkable collaboration with Microsoft, whose investment provided much-needed cash, consolidated power with a Board purge, and cut projects to return the company to profits within 6 months.

15. iMac and iPod Jobs created the iMac, designed for the Internet age and given bright, attractive colors. Next was the IPod, whose scroll wheel made it easier to use than other MP3 players; Jobs then created better and better IPods.

16. Apple Store Despite the iMac, Apple had weak PC market share. Jobs opened Apple stores, a risky move since the industry as a whole was declining, but the stores were popular with first-time buyers and boosted Apple's market share.

17. iTunes File Sharing Apple wasn't in the file-sharing market, while file-sharing sites were devastating the recording industry. Jobs proposed to the industry to sell songs individually through iTunes and win customers with convenience and reliability.

18. iTunes Success Jobs persuaded the industry, winning over crucial artists to gain legitimacy. iTunes sold 100 million song in about a year.

19. IPhone and Apple's Hype Machine Always a master of using secrecy and celebrity to create build-up, Jobs created huge buzz for the iPhone, introduced Jan. 2007. The IPhone and iPad helped Apple surpass Microsoft as the world's most valuable technology company.

20. Declining Health and Resignation Jobs revealed that he had pancreatic cancer in 2004; rumors about his deteriorating health clouded the company's future. In 2009, Jobs acknowledged he had undergone a liver transplant, then resigned as CEO Aug. 2011.

21. Jobs's Legacy Jobs inflexibly demanded perfect products. We see footage of Gates and Jobs discussing their history at an event. Jobs saw his work as changing culture, not just building machines.


Grade: 9-12

Steve Jobs: CNBC Titans (DVD)
© 2011
Time: 44 Minutes

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