Steven Paul Jobs, better known as Steve Jobs, is perhaps aptly described as one of the finest innovator-cum-entrepreneurs of the 20th and 21st centuries. His contributions to the technology and music industries are most than just a passing comment. Of all the mantles he has donned in his long and illustrious career, he is best known as the father of the iconic Apple brand. He is also credited with pulling off one of the greatest turnarounds in modern business history, taking Apple from a struggling company to the world’s most valuable publicly traded company by 2011.
Steve Jobs: Early Life and Career Curve
Steve Jobs was born to a Syrian-American father, Abdul Fattah Jandali, and a Swiss-American mother, Joanne Carole Schieble, in 1955. They gave him away for adoption at birth to Paul Reinhold Jobs and Clara Jobs.
Throughout his schooling days, Jobs was seen as a brilliant student, but a prankster all the same. Perhaps due to his restless nature, Jobs dropped out of college and instead spent over 18 months attending creative classes, one of which was a course in calligraphy, which came in handy during the development of typefaces for the first Macintosh computer.
Despite his on-and-off equation with Apple’s co-founder, Steve Wozniak; their partnership is credited for contributing significantly to the personal computer revolution. Jobs is also recognized for turning around the failing Graphics Group of Lucas Films and creating a formidable animation powerhouse by the name of Pixar. Today, Pixar is a name that you see in the credit reels of most animation films.
What Jobs’ Career Preaches about the Free Market
Much has been already said about the success of Apple Inc. So, it warrants no further elaboration. However, the visionary behind the company teaches us a great deal.
Steve Jobs may have been an extremely successful entrepreneur, but that does not do justice to what he represents. He perhaps is a text book example of the boundless opportunities that a free market represents to those who are willing to pursue their vision. More importantly, it shows that innovators like Jobs can best function in a free market economy, since there are no restrictions on the avenues in which innovation takes place.
Contrary to the myth that there is no place for individual innovators and start-ups in a free market economy; Steve Job’s career abundantly demonstrates that only in a free market economy, is it possible for start-ups to take on behemoths much bigger than themselves.
A Learning Example
The success of Apple and Steve Jobs can be largely attributed to the innovative products that encouraged and facilitated individual expression. Through this, the company opened a wide range of possibilities in the realm of innovation. In fact, this has contributed to shattering the negative stereotype of mass production and standardisation, which is associated with free market capitalism.
Simply put, individual empowerment is perhaps better achieved in a free market. The fact that the two are not mutually exclusive is a valuable lesson to be drawn from Jobs’ life. The proof of this proposition lies in the reality that there exist very few comparably influential and iconic examples in regulated markets.
How the Economy should Function
The free market has proven its worth on umpteen occasions. However, the governments believe that public interest is best served in spending the tax payer’s money to draft complicated regulations. These create several hurdles for entrepreneurs, which is true even for the “so-called” advanced economies.
The way Jobs chose to work did not mean that his contribution was solely driven by a humanitarian intention directed at the economy. However, when he, like other entrepreneurs went on to create bustling business models for companies like Apple and Walmart; they did benefit the society and the economy.
Their pursuit of wealth creation led to a rising tide, which lifted the economy as a single unit. Philosopher and economist Adam Smith termed this as “Moral Vanity,” which is one of the principles behind the free market ideology.