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Fortune the Legacy of Steve Jobs 1955-2011: A Tribute from the Pages of Fortune Magazine

Steve Jobs leaves behind an extraordinary legacy, putting him in a class with America’s greatest industrialists. He was the most innovative business leader of our time, the man FORTUNE named CEO of the Decade in 2009. Now from FORTUNE comes the richly illustrated story of his life at the helm of Apple, based in part on three decades of FORTUNE stories about the cultural icon who revolutionized computing, telephones, movies, music, retailing, and product design. FORTUNE was with him every step of the way, describing in unparalleled detail the career of a man with relentless drive and a single underlying passion-to carry out his vision of how all of us would use technology. In the end he was proved right a billion times over, and his company became one of the most successful enterprises on the planet. All of these chapters are the product of deep reporting. In many cases FORTUNE’s writers spent hours interviewing Jobs and delving into his mind. The result is a singular journalistic collection, which will leave you with a comprehensive picture of a man who changed the world, a picture that is complex in the making yet simple in its triumph.

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Tags: Fortune, Jobs, Magazine, Steve, 19552011


  1. Loyd E. Eskildson "Pragmatist" says:

    Helps Understand Apple’s Strategic Thinking ‘Fortune’ named Jobs CEO of the decade in 2009; this book contains a number of articles about Jobs/Apple from prior issues over a three decade period. His innovations began with the Apple II, and also included his insistence from the beginning that computers could be sold to consumers, Macintosh’s GUI (copied from Xerox’s PARC) changing the way people interacted with computers, opening the first Apple store (Gateway’s failed – but it lacked Apple’s range of innovative and popular products), creating the iPod and iTunes, and convincing recording studios to sell music by the song through iTunes, the iPhone that battered RIM and Nokia, the iPad (others said consumers would not carry more than one device), and Apple’s recent provision of iCloud services. En route, Jobs co-founded a 34,000 employee company and then took it from near bankruptcy in 1997 after a 12-year hiatus to world-leading $350 billion valuation in 2011 – after first replacing most of Apple’s Board of Directors and some of its management team, Apple’s then outdated operating system, eliminating most of its then product line, and implementing drastic cost-cutting. Jobs also eschewed focus groups (“If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘A faster horse.’” – Henry Ford), and championed vertical integration – hardware, software, operating system, and retail stores all under Apple’s control, micromanagement, simple, stylish design, and high hiring standards. Failure was quickly ‘rewarded’ – eg. ‘MobileMe’ project leaders were immediately replaced after Jobs became aware of its problems.Reality, however, is that Jobs invented nothing, despite a number of patents – his real contribution was creating an environment in which carefully targeted creativity succeeded. Another Jobs’ contribution to Apple and its followers was his ability to maximize interest in new product introductions and to also deliver masterful presentations at those introductions. Obviously Apple’s track record in introducing stylish and innovative products was a key component. In addition, all public statements by Apple workers had to be approved by its P.R. department – which reported directly to Jobs. Further, Apple never commented ahead of time on plans or new products in its pipeline. The result – one Harvard professor estimated Apple obtained $400 million in free iPhone advertising in 2007 as part of the frenzied speculation over what it would be like.Jobs also initiated ‘Apple University,’ with HBS-type case studies that covered past major Apple management decisions. The intent was to help train future managers in how Apple, under Jobs’ leadership, had functioned. Also includes lessons such as ‘The Difference Between the Janitor and the V.P.’The book, as well as others, asserts that Apple was structured around products instead of functions, with only a single bottom-line, no matrix or dotted-line organization characteristics, and no responsibilities assigned to committees. On the other hand, this book and others clearly contradicts some of those statements with their examples – eg. its retail chief doesn’t control store inventory – that responsibility belonged to COO Tim Cook, its supply-chain expert. Another example – the photographs used on its on-line store site are not managed by the executive in charge of the on-line stores; instead those are the purview of the central graphic arts department. Clearly, there is more to the story – ; regardless of how it was accomplished, Apple also became known for fast decision-making.After Jobs 1997 return, the company’s focus evolved from computers to Internet access devices. Probably the first step in this evolution was recognizing that Apple was not going to become a major PC producer, given the widespread dissemination of IBM-clone design and construction, standardization around Microsoft, and near commoditization of the market. Jobs adds that at one point he was seriously thinking of Apple becoming an ISP, but dropped that after they realized greater opportunities awaited through providing devices accessing the Internet that took advantage of Apple’s existing competitive advantage – its OS X.The iPod was an early new device following that logic. Universal and Sony had created a joint venture called Pressplay, while AOL/TimeWarner, EMI, RealNetworks, and Bertelsmann launched MusicNet – both to market their music over the Internet. Instead of cooperating by licensing each other to sell their separate products, thereby attracting more customers (especially if they’d merged), they each withheld their songs from each other. Users were also unable to ‘own’ songs, and to continue accessing those songs had to continuing ‘renting’ them by paying a monthly subscription fee. Further, songs could only be downloaded to one computer – the intent was to protect the music companies from piracy. Cross-licensing eventually occurred, but downloading restrictions…

  2. Andrew Schonbek says:

    The Way It Was Contrary to many commemorative editions, this tribute to the life of Steve Jobs from the pages of Fortune Magazine is truly valuable.It’s an instructive and enjoyable read that includes 17 Fortune articles dating all the way back to 1983. These are organized into five chapters: What Made Steve Tick, The Early Years, The Return to Apple, The “i” Years, and Epilogue.The result is a riveting amalgam of history and analysis that Apple aficionados will not want to be without.It’s a stylish presentation with great illustrations – one that Steve himself would likely have approved of.Were that the case it would be a high recommendation indeed.

  3. malini says:

    Unforgettable Steve Jobs Reading “Fortune the Legacy of Steve Jobs 1955-2011″ is one of the most fascinating stories I’ve ever read in my life. The unconventional life he has led seems to be one of a kind. He has connected the best of the east and the west. In my opinion, he has contributed more to the world than any of the religions currently on this earth. Steve, I wish you were here longer, because you would have created more sophisticated and beneficial gadgets for mankind. You tapped the best in the people you selected, and THANK YOU for making our lives better!!! Hope your kids will start from where you left…:o)!!! You have made full use of your 56 years on this earth; and thanks for setting such a great example!!! One of your grateful fans wishing you a world of happiness wherever you are… :o )

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