In the last few decades, entrepreneurship has been an imperative subject to study in the management of businesses. Indeed, it has been a subject of much teaching, thoughts, and writings. There are various definitions of entrepreneurship around the globe, as there is the number of businesses. Therefore, there is no one agreed definition of entrepreneurship although its subject is voluminous. Entrepreneurship is practiced broadly in different organizations and studied in almost every institution (Bell 2011). Leading an organization as the entrepreneur is dependent on very many factors, including the culture of organization, attitude, behaviors of the subordinate staff, and personal traits associated with the entrepreneur. Most of the entrepreneurs who succeed in running the organization are multi-dimensional. The current paper will present a bibliography of Steve Jobs and identify his contribution to the modern entrepreneurship. The study done is based on the literature review. The example of Steve Jobs shows how an entrepreneur with transformational traits can be a significant factor in an organization. Steve Jobs used his transformational leadership to transform various companies, such as Apple (Elliot 2012). The paper will also provide an insight into the current leadership with much emphasis on Steve Jobs. It will also offer a platform, on which researchers can build further study.
Nevertheless, despite many studies done in the past about entrepreneurship, there is still much to be researched on. The study of entrepreneurship and leadership has been started towards the end of the 19th century with most focus being on the lives of great people who had changed the world then. Some of the people used in the studies were Thomas Jefferson, Moses, and other who had shaped the world for evil or good. Based on those early studies, theorists and researchers of the 20th century established the traits and characteristics that distinguished them from an average individual. Unfortunately, empirical evidence showed that the list of traits was not conclusive (Elliot 2012). It did not offer a solid framework to establish entrepreneurship and leaders who were effective.
Therefore, throughout the 20th century and up to date studies are ongoing and different researchers have come up with different theories. The theories show how leadership and entrepreneurship work. They also show the differentiating factors between entrepreneurs who are effective and those who are not. Most of the theories addressed the behaviors of leaders, their relationship with the followers and the effect their leadership had on the people. Among the traits were those based on the entrepreneurs and their effects on the organization.
Bibliography of Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs was born by Abdulfattah ‘John’ Jandali, a Syrian immigrant, who was also a Muslim, and Joanne Carole Schieble, who was German-American. He was born in San Francisco in 1955. Since the family could not support the marriage, his biological mother moved to San Francisco to give birth there. The baby was placed for adoption. As a result, Paul Jobs and Clara, who later shifted to the sub-urban city along the Mountain View, adopted him and gave him the name Steven Paul Jobs. Around 1950s, Santa Clara County changed to Silicon Valley after many semiconductor companies sprout out of the area. Therefore, Steven Jobs grew up in the area surrounded by electronic industries (Elliot 2012).
The high-tech surrounding shaped or else changed his interest and passion in the field of electronics as he grew up. Indeed, at the age of 13, Jobs met with Stephen Wozniak, a computer wizard, who turned out to be the most significant person in Jobs’ life. Stephen Wozniak was older that Steven Jobs by 5 years. Stephen Jobs felt passion for electronics and spent most his time constructing different electronic components. In addition, in 1975 he could attend meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club on regular basis. The club members were the forerunners of personal computing during those times.
During the same year, Jobs got a summer job at Hewlett-Packard factory. Later, Wozniak joined the Hewlett-Packard factory and started working for the company. He was mostly involved in designing circuits of calculators. Wozniak and Jobs shared two common things, pranks and electronics.
At the age of 18, Jobs entered Reed College because he had reached the college age. Reed College was very expensive. It is private and offers liberal arts. To Jobs, it was an opportunity to separate himself from the normal chores of home (Dykstra-Erickson et al. 2011). At the college he met Daniel Kottke. They became friends and enjoyed reading books together due to the attraction that came with psychedelic experience. Together, they were discussing issues about Zen, Yoga, and meditation. The aforementioned facets were subjects described in spiritual books like the book written by Baba Ram Dass, Be Here Now.
Later, they both worked as volunteers at the apple farm that is about 40 miles from Portland (Cusumano 2011). During this time, the book of Frances Moore Lappe Diet of a small planet influenced them and friends decided to become vegetarian. Therefore, throughout the rest of his life, Jobs embraced the vegetarian way of life and became fond of fresh fruits.
Unfortunately, Jobs dropped out of Reed College after he completed only one semester. He went back home, where he started looking for a new job. He later acquired a job at Atari, where he got wages to visit India in 1974 to seek enlightenment. He later returned home disillusioned. He remained a vehement practitioner of Buddhism and he wore Indian clothes.
At the same time, Wozniak finished building his computer board. It was at the moment when Jobs realized that the computer board could make them money. Therefore, in 1976, Stephen Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Ronal Wayne started Apple Computer. In the same year, they assembled their first Apple computers in the garage of Jobs’s parents and made sales to independent dealers of computers in the area. Though Wozniak was a genius at making computers, he lacked the capability to market what they produced. Therefore, he was not able to operate the business or make money from their products, but Jobs could. That was then a combination of two skills, which were perfect.
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Since Wozniak had manufactured computers of better specifications, the Apple II that had the capability to support color graphics, Jobs decided to venture in capital. Using their products, he convinced the former Intel product-marketing manager and engineer Mike Markulla to invest in their company an amount of $92,000. In 1977, Jobs and Markkula hired Mike Scott from National Semiconductor as the CEO of the company. These acts brought Intel’s professional management to Apple Company.
With time, Apple became the champions of personal computers’ revolution. The company was constantly redefining standards of its products and made Apple II one of the best marketing companies selling personal computers in the United States of America due to its impressive sales.
It was surprising how their sales increased from $2.7 million in the year 1977 to $200 million in 1980. Indeed, the company expected the sales to increase to $600 million in 1982 (Elliot 2012).
By the start of 1981, Jobs became famous and could be covered in most of the American news and publications. In 1983, Jobs made the former CEO of Pepsi-Cola the chief executive officer of Apple Company. Unfortunately, in 1985, the Apple’s board of directors removed Jobs from all executive positions, except of chairman. This made him resign from the company to form the other company known as NeXT (Jobs et al. 2011).
Jobs combined with other people who left Apple. In 1986, he came up with a notion of buying Lucasfilm’s Computer graphics division ILM for the price of $10M. He later incorporated it and called Pixar. The company benefited widely from a machine known as DMM. Pixar made a hit in the market with its Toy Story (Koch et al. 2011). This made Steve Jobs to be named the Entrepreneur of the Decade because of his work.
In 1996, Apple bought NeXT Company for $427 million. As a result, Jobs returned to the Apple. A few months later, Jobs took the offer of becoming the interim CEO of the company (Isaacson et al. 2011). In 2001, he developed and designed the Digital Hub Strategy. The designed Mac emerged the digital lifestyle for most of the consumers globally. As a result, iPod, which was the first digital device to play music, became a success from when it was debuted.
Between the years 2005 and 2011, Jobs helped Apple rebuild its image. He resigned from the role of CEO in the company and passed away at his home surrounded by the family members on the 5th of October 2011 (Dykstra-Erickson, Hoddie & Wasko, 2011).
Steve Jobs, an Entrepreneur in Current Times
According to many experts of management, Steve Jobs was an entrepreneur who had the insight for future of PCs. He was a genius who had visions and can be used as a perfect example of entrepreneurs who are quirky, individualistic, and filled with a combination of product design that has pleasing aesthetic and functional performance. His entrepreneurial skills were demanding. In fact, they implemented an aggressive style of management (Bell, 2011).
From an entrepreneurial point of view, it can be argued that Steve Jobs knew exactly what he wanted from the beginning and ended up transforming his dreams into real things and achievements. He left a legacy of an entrepreneur who made Apple the most valuable company in the world by promoting Apple II, which left the company a computer giant (Jobs, Beahm, Zefat, & Studio Imago, 2011). He also developed the Window Platform composed of Mac, which was the first make in the industry of computing. In addition, Jobs came up with the mouse and made sure that he promoted it to become popular. Jobs also funded Pixar Company, which later emerged the biggest computer animation film studio globally. Pixar has been the largest animation film studio ever in history (Goldsworthy 2012).
Most importantly, Steve Jobs beat cancer for a considerable period. Irrespective of his many failures, he always emerged the winner. He also came up with various blockbuster movies in rows during his lifetime.
Either way, Jobs was a visionary and complex entrepreneur. He had distinctive personal traits, which depicted major aspects of how he led Apple. Some of the traits that made him a distinctive entrepreneur are:
- Passion – Jobs was passionate in everything he did. He did not do anything because he was supposed to do but did it because he had the innermost desire to do it.
- Flexibility – he could do anything he deemed fit for his good. For instance, he shifted from Apple to form NeXT (Jobs & Silicon Valley Historical Association, 2013).
- Impulsiveness – he did things without a second thought. He showed that he was always ready to take risks.
- Overly critical – Jobs could criticize everything and he wanted everything to be done his way.
- Obsessive perfectionist – he wanted everything to be done the right way. He could not compromise on quality.
- Steve Jobs was also highly intuitive. Other entrepreneurial characteristics of Jobs were the following: charismatic, open-minded, persuasive, egotistic, and an inspiring individual who could be emulated by every individual (Elliot, 2012).
Therefore, companies, such as Apple, have to make sure that they remain competitive in the market. Their competitive nature does not necessarily come from the processes and products but the entrepreneurial skills put in place (Elliot, 2012). Jobs left the company with successful and strong corporate culture that made the employees of the company understand what they are required to do in order to compete with other companies producing similar products. The company is founded on his DNA. Apple was profoundly influenced by Steve Jobs who was its founder. Indeed, up to today, the company bears the features and characteristics that ground back on what Jobs instilled in the company (Jobs & Revolver Entertainment, 2012).
Entrepreneurship and Change
People and customers had always been inspired by Steve Jobs’s personality and stories. In fact, Business World will never forget him because of his capability and intelligence in telling stories (Gallo, 2011).
Conversely, Apple’s success and greatness has been achieved on Jobs’s inspirational logic that ensured that everything was done rightly and perfectly. Steve Jobs was a perfectionist. The latter placed him the pantheon of the greatest leaders in America. It was because of the variety of his fundamental ways of leading (Jobs et al., 2011).
According to Jobs and Thomas (2011), his character, personality, and traits were part of how he did his businesses. Nonetheless, despite the fact that he was tough with people, he had a lot of friends who have been inspired by him for a long time.
Due to his personality as a perfectionist, he made sure that he accomplished everything and he never gave up any project. In fact, he made sure he attained everything as long as it was in line with his dreams (Goldsworthy, 2012).
Due to his abilities and passion, he ended up making Apple an impressive company by coming up with strategies, which were creative enough. The implemented strategies were always based on the leadership, innovation, entrepreneurship, and organization. Focus was part of his philosophy, something he had gained from his friend Zen. He believed in the principle of deciding what to do before doing it (Isaacson & Baker, 2011).
He also advocated for simplicity as a way of achieving the sophisticated outcome. He always took his responsibility from the start to the end and never gave up. He had also put the quality of products before revenues or profits made by the company. Revenue would later be created after the product made the best appeal to the customers (Koch, Fenili, & Cebula, 2011).
He had the ability of pushing the employees of Apple to do what seemed impossible. He also strongly believed in meeting people face-to-face at meetings rather than conversing about imperative matters at a distance. This personal trait ensured that he got the best response from individuals (Cusumano, 2011).
Another concept of Jobs was the ability to create small and efficient teams. He would express and explain his ideas to the small groups to brainstorm and come up with a solution. He really proved to be a successful entrepreneur in an environment that had a lot of competition. He has proved to be among the transformational leaders and entrepreneurs who have the capability to inspire people and make them do things they had never imagined they would ever do (Jobs & Thomas 2011).
Leadership and entrepreneurship depict one of the most debated and observed ideas, notions, and phenomena in the world. Entrepreneurship is a concept that is multidimensional and is imperative in every organization. Steve Jobs is a good example of how entrepreneurs can play a big role in ensuring success in a business. Entrepreneurial skills can turn round the fortune of an organization. Steve Jobs was the determinant factor in Apple because he provided the company with a future that was not only attractive but also inspiring. Indeed, he was different from other entrepreneurs who mostly succeeded once, when he succeeded many times. The paper has covered Steve Jobs’s contribution to Apple and modern entrepreneurship. It has also provided basis for further studies pertaining the same topic.