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Ben Garside: How you can achieve greatness like Steve Jobs

Time 6 years ago

SO… with the Steve Jobs film recently hitting the big screen, I thought it would be good to talk about his successes, failures and innovative outlook.

The founder of Apple achieved so much in his lifetime and did it through hard work, determination, ‘tuned friendships’ and vision.

Some may not know that Steve Jobs’ first job was as a 13-year-old, working during the summer at HP (Hewlett-Packard) in their factory. Talk about starting early!


His love was for electronics and that is where he focused his time and energy, building many electronic pieces, some great and some not so great. Some were even illegal. His first device (the illegal one) was a box that provided you with free phone calls. Let’s not spend too much time on this, however – I don’t want to advocate law-breaking!

His second invention/production was the personal computer ‘Apple I’. This had so many ups and downs in production and was sold pretty much just as a 0106e6emotherboard, a far cry from today’s iMacs. It is the ups and downs to this product that matter.

Steve Jobs overcame every failure by trying over and over again and was always searching for perfection. This may seem a little extreme, but by taking this approach his team managed to then produce the ‘Apple II’ – the first mass-market personal computer, a lot more than just a motherboard.

It was mainly Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs’ best friend at the time, who designed and built the most innovative computer (at the time).


However, to the best of my knowledge, it was Steve Jobs who pushed for the simple design and wanted to make the Apple II accessible to the general public, not just for computer hobbyists, unlike the original Apple.

I think I may have used this terminology in a previous article, but as Leonardo da Vinci said: ‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.’ Well, Steve Jobs loved this and focused on it, even using it as the headline of Apple’s first marketing brochure in 1977.

I may be biased but the iPhone is, in my opinion, one of the most simple yet sophisticated inventions I have ever used, and the interaction between the iPhone and other Apple products has seen me purchase a number of other products. Searching for perfection and making the products accessible for the general public means even today’s grandparents are using them.

If this seems like a sales pitch for Apple products, I’m sorry, it is not meant to be, I’m just a keen enthusiast of what Jobs did and the company that is now Apple Inc.

Pixar is one of Jobs’ so-called mistakes. Steve bought Pixar graphics as he believed that it was going to be the next great hardware company.

However, this wasn’t to be but he supported a number of the employees, backed their plans to make a fully animated feature film and they came up with Toy Story – what a success!

It’s worth remembering that with a vision, guts and support, you can achieve great things.

Who is Ben Garside? Ben is marketing manager for First Response Finance. Call him on 07817 518739 or email [email protected].co.uk

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