The Life And Success Story Of Michael Jackson

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“I’ve been in the entertainment industry since I was six-years-old, and as Charles Dickens would say, “It’s been the best of times, the worst of times.” But I would not change my career… While some have made deliberate attempts to hurt me, I take it in stride because I have a loving family, a strong faith and wonderful friends and fans who have, and continue, to support me.”
—Michael Jackson

Short Bio Michael Jackson Biography

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Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, dancer, entertainer, and recording artist. Michael Jackson epitomised the era of pop in the 70s, 80s and 90s, earning himself the title the King of Pop. He remained a global icon until his untimely death in 2009.

Michael Jackson began his music career alongside his fellow brothers and family members in the Jackson Five. His career began in 1964, aged only six. The group, led by Jackson’s father, worked hard touring many clubs and bars performing their mix of motown hits. They gained the attention of record labels and in 1968 signed with Motown records. It was the youngest, baby faced Jackson, that really caught the eye of reviewers. Rolling Stone magazine wrote that Michael was a ‘prodigy’ with ‘overwhelming musical gifts’. Michael stood out for his exceptional enthusiasm and soft, infectious musical voice. The group produced four number one hit singles, including “I Want You Back“, ABC and “

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the Lover You Save”

Despite achieving his goal to be a music performer, Michael’s childhood was far from happy. He was regularly beaten and threatened by his authoritarian father. This legacy of abuse left Michael scarred throughout his adult life.

Solo Career Michael Jackson

By the late 1970s, Michael was increasingly looking to pursue a solo career. With the help of music producer, Quincy Jones, Michael produced the solo album ‘Off The Wall‘. The album was a great success, eventually selling over 20 million copies. The album gained much critical acclaim and Michael secured the highest royalty rate in the music industry (37% of album profit)

His second solo album, Thriller, launched Michael Jackson into a position as the most famous pop singer in the world. With little commercial advertising and promotion, Thriller rose to number one on album sales and remained at the number one spot for a total of 37 weeks. It gained one of many Guinness World Records for Michael Jackson, gaining 110 million global sales and 29 million sales in the US. Thriller included number one hits such as Beat It, Billie Jean.

In March 1983, Michael Jackson performed live on Motown 25, ‘Yesterday, today, forever’, -a TV special. He performed his distinctive and memorable dance move – the Moonwalk. In the dance routine, he effortlessly moves backwards with seemingly keeping one leg perfectly straight. His performance made him a global icon of not just music, but dance. Michael Jackson pioneered the importance of music video in promoting a pop artist. This performance has been put in the same category as the Beatles’ appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

His next big albums were Bad (1987) and Dangerous (1991). His final album was Invincible (2001).

By the late 80s, there was an increasing number of stories speculating on Jackson’s personal life, health and physical appearance. Michael Jackson underwent numerous operations of plastic surgery to fix his nose and add a dimple in his chin. During the 1980s, his skin started to lighten; this was due to a rare skin pigment disease, but it didn’t stop a wave of speculative press stories that he was bleaching his skin colour. The press covered a range of speculative stories over Michael Jackson, including imaginary stories Michael had invented himself (such as sleeping in an oxygen tent to avoid ageing process)

The press attention made Michael increasingly reclusive, spending much of his time in his ‘Never land’ ranch.

He married Lisa Marie Presley in 1994; it lasted two years though they remained friendly after the divorce. In 1996 he married Deborah Rowe in Sydney. Together they had two children. They divorced in 1999 and Rowe gave full custody of children to Jackson.

Allegations of child abuse were first raised in the 1980s and re-appeared in the 1990s. This led to the trial of The People v Jackson on Jan 31, 2005 in Sante Maria, California. After five months of high publicity, Jackson was acquitted. Though the experience left his physically weak and emotionally stressed. He left America for the Persian gulf island of Bahrain.

Towards the end of his life, he was increasingly plagued by money troubles and ill health. He increasingly became dependent on a variety of drugs, which was said to have contributed to his ill health and premature death. Despite concerns over finance, he is said to have made career earnings of $500m and had assets in Sony/ATV Music Publishing catalog worth over $300m alone.

Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 at a rented mansion in the district of Los Angeles.

Charity Work of Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson supported many charities. This included a burns charity in Culver City, California. This followed an incident where Michael Jackson was burnt in filming a Pepsi commercial in 1984.
He also supported HIV / AIDS charities at a time when it was still unfashionable.
In 1984, he received an award from President Ronald Reagan for his support of charities which help overcome alcohol and drug abuse.
From his 1984, Victory Tour he donated all funds (around $8million to charity)
In 1985, he also co-wrote the charity single “We are the World” with Lionel Richie. It sold over 30 million copies and the proceeds were sent to poor in the US and Africa.
He continued his charity work to the end of his life supporting charity concerts such as Aid for victims of Kosovo war.

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The Life And Success Of Usain Bolt

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What Babe Ruth was to baseball and Wilt Chamberlain was to basketball, Usain Bolt is to sprinting. His body, mind and skills function on a level that seems superhuman at times. The numbers are there to back it up—Usain has demolished the record books at the 100-meter and 200-meter distances, and he wins races so convincingly that it seems at times that he is running against junior high runners. His return to the Olympic stage in 2012 was one of the year’s most anticipated cultural events. Indeed, Usain has truly transcended sport. This is his story…

GROWING UP

Usain Bolt was born on August 21, 1986 in Sherwood Content in the Trelawny section of Jamaica. (Click here for a complete listing of today’s sports birthdays.) His parents, Jennifer and Wellesley, owned a small grocery store. Usain, his brother Sadeeki and sister Shrine helped them run the business.

Usain was obsessed with sports. He showed great promise as a sprinter at an early age. As a primary school student, he began entering regional races. By his 12th brithday, he had established himself as one of the fastest sprinters in the area.

Usain continued his develoment under the tutelage of Pablo McNeil and Dwayne Narrett. After enrolling at Knibb High School, he won his first prep medal at the age of 14, taking silver in the 200 meters in 22.04 seconds. Although Usain was not always serious about his training, his size, speed and strength kept him moving up the ranks of the nation’s elite sprinting prospects.

Usain was at the right place in Knibb. The school had a reputation for channeling gifted athletes into national programs. Sprinter Michael Green was among the school’s more illustrious grads.

But the fact that Usain was even mentioned in the same sentence as a sprinter like Green was surprising to many. As a young child, he had passed the warm days playing soccer and cricket. Usain was an especially good bowler. One of his first sports idols was Waqar Younis, an internationally renowned Pakistani cricket star. Even as he started his sprinting career at Knibb, Usain still focused his athletic attention on cricket. Recognizing the teenager’s blinding speed, his cricket coach encouraged him to give track a serious look.

In 2001, Usain competed in his first major event, representing Jamaica in a Caribbean regional meet called the CARIFTA Games. He ran the 400 meters in a personal-best 48.28 seconds and the 200 meters in 21.81. He finished second in both races. Later that year, Usain appeared in his first true international meet, the IAAF World Youth Championships. He and his teammates traveled to Hungary, where he set a new personal best in the 200 of 21.73 seconds.

As Usain’s star grew brighter so did the controversy surrounding him. Known as a practical joker, he disappeared during trials for the 2002 CARIFTA Games, hiding in the back of a van. He was eventually discovered by police. Sports fans howled that McNeil couldn’t control the boy. In time, Usain would be moved to Kingston so he could train under the more watchful eye of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA) at the University of Technology. The request came directly from Prime Minister P. J. Patterson.

In the interim, Usain smashed CARIFTA’s championship records in the 200 meters and 400 meters. He then bettered those marks at the 2002 Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships. At the 2002 World Junior Championships in Kingston, Usain lowered his personal-best 200 time to 20.61 seconds, becoming history’s youngest world junior champion in that event. He was also part of teams that set national records in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays.

Usain was only 15, but he was already close to his adult height of 6-5. He literally stood out among the other boys, long before the starter’s gun sounded. Though still a precocious teenager, he was now his country’s most recognized superstar athlete.

At the 2003 World Youth Championships, Usain continued to smash records, including a time of 20.40 seconds in the 200 meters—in the face of a headwind. At the Pan-American Junior Championships, he tied the world junior record of 20.13 in the 200, equaling the mark set by Roy Martin. In his final meet as a high schooler, he shattered the national prep marks for the 200 and 400 by a half-second and second, respectively.

ON THE RISE

Usain’s prowess as a sprinter started garnering comparisons to Americans Michael Johnson and Maurice Green. Johnson himself predicted great things for Usain. Like many in the sport, however, he was concerned about the teenager’s wavering focus. The move to Kingston had helped Usain ’s times, but the temptations of the capital city often divided his attention. His coaches were apoplectic when they spotted him playing pickup basketball or stuffing his face with fast food. And stories of his high-spirited nightclub romps were regular items in the local papers.

Usain looked to move up to senior competition toward the end of the 2003 season, qualifying for the World Track & Field Championships in Paris in the 200 meters. However, he developed conjunctivitis and was pulled by the Jamaican team. Next on his radar was a trip to the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Though technically still a “junior,” Usain declared himself a professional in ’04 at the age of 17. At the CARIFTA Games in Bermuda, he ran the 200 meters in under 20 seconds. That performance earned him a spot on the Jamaican Olympic Team, despite a balky hamstring. He was eliminated in the first round of the 200 when he failed to break 21 seconds.

Waqar Younis poster

Usain continued to train at the relatively primitive University of Technology facility. He switched coaches from Fitz Coleman to Glen Mills. His manager was Norman Peart. With Mills overseeing his training and the sting of Olympic failure still fresh in his mind, Usain started to become more serious about his craft. He worked out with accomplished sprinters Kim Collins and Dwain Chambers, saw their level of professionalism and got greater insight into the mindset of a champion.

Heading into the 2005 World Championships, Usain was looking sharp. He had just broken 20 second in the 200 meters in London. But in the finals in Helsinki, he pulled up with an injury and finished in last place. As the season concluded, Usain was ranked among the top sprinters in the world, yet questions about his dedication lingered. Now his durability was in question, too. It was a lot for a teenager to process. A November car accident added another blemish to his record.

As the calendar turned to 2006, Usain’s team decided to stretch him out and begin running more distance sprints. They hoped to make the 400 meters his specialty by the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Those plans were put on hold when Usain’s hamstring started bothering him. Focusing solely on the 200 meters in 2006, he set a new personal best with a 19.88 at the Grand Prix in Lausanne. Even so, he finished third.

A short time later, Usain won his first major international medal—a bronze—at the IAAF World Athletics final in Stuttgart. He then took silver at the IAAF World Cup in Athens with a time of 19.96 seconds.

After 2006, plans to tackle the 400 meters resumed, but Usain also wanted to try the 100 meters. Mills made a deal with his young pupil. If he could break the Jamaican record in the 200, he would let him run the 100. It was a trick, of course. That record had been set by Don Quarrie in 1971 and remained unbroken through several generations of sprinters. Usain shocked his coach by beating Quarrie’s record early in 2007 by more than a tenth of a second with a 19.75.

The first time Usain competed against an international field in the 100 meters, he won a gold medal at a meet in Crete with a time of 10.03. The long, powerful strides that propelled him through the 200 made him a great finisher in the 100. Usain was also showing better balance, which helped in the 200.

At the World Championships in Japan, Usain won a silver medal in the 200 meters. He also teamed with Asafa Powell, Marvin Anderson, and Nesta Carter in the 4 x100 relay and shattered the Jamaican record witha time of 37.89 seconds. The Jamaicans, however, were nipped at the finish by the Americans. Usain had come as close as he would to gold in the ’07 season’s major events.

The 2008 season began with an eye-opening time of 9.76 seconds by Usain in the 100 meters during a meet in Jamaica. Only one other human—his teammate Powell—had ever recorded a faster time. Michael Johnson was in the stands and stated that Usain’s improvement from the previous was incredible. Tyson Gay, one of Usain’s rivals in this event, concurred.

A few weeks later, Usain shocked the track world again. This time the venue was in New York City, at the Reebok Grand Prix. He ran a 9.72 in the 100 meters to establish a new world record in just his fifth event at this distance. Right before the race there was a violent thunderstorm. Some began calling Usain “Lightning Bolt.” His sponsor, Puma, built a whole marketing campaign around this idea.

Gay, who finished second in New York, marveled at Usain’s stride and size. Track fans started buzzing about an Olympic showdown between the two sprinters, but it was not to be. Gay injured his hamstring during the Olympic trials and did not race in Beijing.

With his sudden success in the 100 meters, Usain abandoned plans to compete in the 400 in Beijing. As for the 200, he was reaching for the stars. At a June meet in Athens, he won with a time of 19.67 seconds.

MAKING HIS MARK

Usain Bolt, Innografiks poster

The 2008 Olympics turned out to be the Usain’s coming-out party While Michael Phelps ruled the pool and drew more than a billion viewers to their TVs, it was Usain who truly electrified audiences. Even before his races started, there was something otherworldly about him. He towered over his opponents—it almost seemed unfair that they should race with him.

In the 100 meters qualifying, Usain ran 9.92 in the quarterfinals and 9.85 in the semis. In the final, he blew everyone away, racing to a new world record of 9.69 seconds. The silver medalist, Richard Thompson, was two-tenths of a second behind. Usain actually slowed down before breaking the tape and started celebrating by thumping his chest. IOC President Jacques Rogge wasn’t thrilled by the move, stating that it was disrespectful.

Some say Usain could have cracked the 9.5 barrier had he continued to accelerate through the finish line—9.6 would have been more likely. Nevertheless, it was a truly dominant performance in every way.

Usain next set his sight on equaling Carl Lewis’s feat of winning gold in the 100 meters and 200 mters in the same Olympics. He also hoped to crack Michael Johnson’s world record of 19.32 in the 200, set during the 1996 Summer Games. Usain was so good in the preliminaries that he jogged across the finish line. In the final, he broke the tape at 19.30 to become the new world record-holder. Afterward the PA system played “Happy Birthday.” Usain would turn 22 the following day.

Two days later, Usain ran the third leg of the 4 x 100. The Jamaicans sprinted to victory, and Usain copped his third gold of the Summer Games. He, Carter, Michael Frater, and Powell set a new Olympic record with a time of 37.10 seconds.

Usain put an exclamation point on his historic 2008 season by turning in time of a 19.63 seconds in the 200 meters at the Super Grand Prix final in Lausanne. At the Golden League final in Brussels a few days later, he faced Powell in a 100 final for the first time since the Olympics. Both smashed the track record, with Usain barely edging his countryman with a 9.77. The win was doubly impressive because of a sluggish start. Usain had to make up a lot of ground under less-than-ideal temperature conditions to overtake Powell. A few weeks later, Usain was named IAAF Male Athlete of the Year.

Usain Bolt, autographed photo

In 2009, Usain began rethinking his stance on the 400 meters. He won two races at this distance in Jamaica, logging a very respectable 45.54 seconds in one of the victories. Later in the year, Usain won an unusual 150-meter event at the Manchester Great City Games. His time of 14.35 seconds set a new world record. Afterward, he met with one of his favorite soccer players, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Usain also qualified for the World Championships in the 100 meters and 200 meters by winning both events at the Jamaican National Championships. His time in the 100 was a sparkling 9.86. In the run-up to the season’s grand event, Usain turned in times of 19.59 in the 200 (on a wet track) and a 9.79 in the 100. Later he claimed to be only 85 percent of where he thought he could be in Berlin.

Usain proved prophetic. Running through the tape in the 100 meters in the World Championships, he obliterated the word record at 9.58 seconds. Usain’s time was nearly impossible to comprehend. It reflected the biggest change in the world record since electronic timing was introduced in 1968. Gay finished a distant second, while third place went to Powell, who said simply, “Awesome.” A week later, Usain was at it again, this time setting a new record in the 200. He finished in 19.19 seconds, shaving 0.11 seconds of his previous mark.

Usain appeared to pick up in 2010 where he had left off. Early in the year, he ran a 19.15 in the 200 at an event in Jamaica, logging one of the fastest times in history. That May in Ostrava, Usain decided to make a run at Michael Johnson’s 10-year-old record in the 300 meters, an event that is not typically part of big international meets. Running on a wet track, he strained his Achilles tendon. The injury basically precluded his competing in anything longer than a 100-meter race for the remainder of the season.

After taking a month off, Usain returned to competition. He had good races and great races during the summer, with a lowlight being just his second loss in the 100 (to Gay). A sore back convinced him to cut his year short in August.

Usain returned to form in 2011, but he ended the season with a bit of disappointment when he was disqualified in the 100-meter finals for a false start at the World Athletics Championships. He did blow away the field in the 200, coming just shy of his own world record with a time of 19.4. Usain also competed as part of Jamaica’s 4 x 100 relay team and helped set a new record of 37.04. His teammates included Michael Frater, Nesta Carter and Yohan Blake.

Cristiano Ronaldo wallpaper

Heading into the 2012 summer games, the consensus was that Usain would be the main headline-maker. He was expected to shred the record books once again, thanks to a newly installed Mondo synthetic track at the venue in Stratford. Of course, first he had to make the Jamaican team. In June, he seemed to be in top form, especially after running 9.79 in the 100 to beat Asafa Powell in Oslo. However, the national team finals would yield different results. His friend and training partner, Johan Blake, edged him in both the 100 and 200. Nevertheless, Usain arrived in London as the favorite in both races.

In the 100-meter final, Usain blew away the field. He set a new Olympic record with a time of 9.63, more than a full one-tenth second ahead of Blake, who took the silver. Usain followed that up with a time of 19.84 in the 200 meters, again finishing ahead of Blake. He was so far ahead at the finish he slowed down, turned to the crowd and put his finger to his lips, as if to say, “Stop all the whispering.”

Usain went after his sixth career gold medal a few days later in the 4 x 100 relay. He joined Blake, Michael Frater and Nesta Carter to smash Jamaica’s year-old world record with a time of 36.84 seconds. Afterward, Usain and distance runner Mo Farah swapped their singature celebration poses, with Farah doing the “To the World” and Usain doing the “Mobot.”

The life of a sprinter can be painfully short or surprisingly long. No two are alike. That is especially true for Usain, who breaks the mold for runners in so many ways. For a sport that has suffered repeated body blows over the past decade, track has welcomed Usain as a breath of fresh air. He is a magnificent athlete with a soaring spirit who has made track fans rethink the limits of human achievement.

USAIN THE RUNNER

Usain Bolt, 2012 Sports Illustrated

Usain is not the first sprinter to use a long, lean body to propel him forward. What makes him different is that he moves his ample frame at a rate more suited to a much smaller runner. He takes a startling number of strides between the starting blocks and the finish line. He also has the ability to make up ground after a slow start, which is typical for a sprinter that tall.

Usain has become more and more serious and dedicated about refining his technique. He is meticulous about stride length, head position, breathing and other minute details that can save or cost him hundredths of a second. At the longer distances, Usain’s excellent balance makes him a threat to win any race. If he can steer clear of the run of the mill injuries that sometimes plague sprinters—that includes avoiding car crashes; he’s had two so far—he may keep shaving seconds off his 100 and 200 times.

With the younger Johan Blake pushing him hard, Usain might just make a run at the superhuman 9.5 mark in the 100 before he’s done.

The Life And Success Of Mahatma Gandhi

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Gandhiji’s life, ideas and work are of crucial importance to all those who want a better life for humankind. The political map of the world has changed dramatically since his time, the economic scenario has witnessed unleashing of some disturbing forces, and the social set-up has undergone a tremendous change. The importance of moral and ethical issues raised by him, however, remain central to the future of individuals and nations. We can still derive inspiration from the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi who wanted us to remember the age old saying, “In spite of death, life persists, and in spite of hatred, love persists.” Rabindranath Tagore addressed him as ‘Mahatma’ and the latter called the poet “Gurudev’. Subhash Chandra Bose had called him ‘Father of the Nation’ in his message on Hind Azad Radio.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, at Porbandar, a small town in Gujarat, on the sea coast of Western India. He was born in the distinguished family of administrators. His grandfather had risen to be the Dewan or Prime Minister of Porbandar and was succeeded by his father Karamchand Gandhiji .His mother Putlibai, a religious person, had a major contribution in moulding the character of young Mohan.

He studied initially at an elementary school in Porbandar and then at primary and high schools in Rajkot, one of the important cities of Gujarat. Though he called himself a ‘mediocre student’, he gave evidence of his reasoning, intelligence, deep faith in the principles of truth and discipline at very young age. He was married, at the age of thirteen, when still in high school, to Kasturbai who was of the same age, and had four sons named Harilal, Ramdas, Manilal and Devdas. His father died in 1885. At that time Gandhiji was studying at Samaldas College in Bhavnagar. It was hoped that his (Mohandas’s) going to England and qualifying as a barrister would help his family to lead more comfortable life.

He sailed to England on September 4, 1888 at the age of 18, and was enrolled in The Inner Temple. It was a new world for young Mohan and offered immense opportunities to explore new ideas and to reflect on the philosophy and religion of his own country. He got deeply interested in vegetarianism and study of different religions. His stay in England provided opportunities for widening horizons and better understanding of religions and cultures. He passed his examinations and was called to Bar on June 10, 1891. After two days he sailed for India.

He made unsuccessful attempts to establish his legal practice at Rajkot and Bombay. An offer from Dada Abdulla & Company to go to South Africa to instruct their consul in a law suit opened up a new chapter in his life. In South Africa, Mohandas tasted bitter experience of racial discrimination during his journey from Durban to Pretoria, where his presence was required in connection with a lawsuit. At Maritzburg station he was pushed out from first class compartment of the train because he was ‘coloured’ Shivering in cold and sitting in the waiting room of Maritzburg station, he decided that it was cowardice to run away instead he would fight for his rights. With this incident evolved the concept of Satyagraha. He united the Indians settled in South Africa of different communities, languages and religions, and founded Natal Indian Congress in 1893. He founded Indian Opinion, his first journal, in 1904 to promote the interests of Indians in South Africa. Influenced by John Ruskin’s Unto This Last, he set up Phoenix Ashram near Durban, where inmates did manual labour and lived a community living.

Gandhiji organized a protest in 1906 against unfair Asiatic Regulation Bill of 1906. Again in 1908, he mobilsed Indian community in South Africa against the discriminatory law requiring Asians to apply for the registration by burning 2000 official certificates of domicile at a public meeting at Johannesburg and courting jail. He established in May 1910 Tolstoy Farm, near Johannesburg on the similar ideals of Phoenix Ashram.

In 1913, to protest against the imposition of 3 Pound tax and passing immigration Bill adversely affecting the status of married women, he inspired Kasturbai and Indian women to join the struggle. Gandhi organized a march from New Castle to Transvaal without permit and courting arrest. Gandhi had sailed to South Africa as a young inexperienced barrister in search of fortune. But he returned to India in 1915 as Mahatma.

As advised by Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Gandhiji spent one year travelling in India and studying India and her people. In 1915 when Gandhiji returned from South Africa he had established his ashram at Kochrab near Ahmedabad. Now after year’s travel, Gandhiji moved his ashram on the banks of Sabarmati River near Ahmedabad and called it Satyagraha Ashram.

His first Satyagraha in India was at Champaran, Bihar in 1917 for the rights of peasants on indigo plantations. When British Government ordered Gandhiji to leave Champaran, he defied the order by declaring that “British could not order me about in my own country”. The magistrate postponed the trial and released him without bail and the case against him was withdrawn. In Champaran, he taught the poor and illiterate people the principles of Satyagraha. Gandhiji and his volunteers instructed the peasants in elementary hygiene and ran schools for their children.

In Ahmedabad, there was a dispute between mill workers and mill owners. The legitimate demands of workers were refused by mill owners. Gandhiji asked the workers to strike work, on condition that they took pledge to remain non-violent. Gandhiji fasted in support of workers. At the end of 3 days both the parties agreed on arbitration. Same year in 1918, Gandhiji led a Satyagraha for the peasants of Kheda in Gujarat.

In 1919, he called for Civil Disobedience against Rowlatt Bill. This non-cooperation movement was the first nationwide movement on national scale. However, the violence broke out; Gandhiji had to suspend the movement as people were not disciplined enough. He realized that people had to be trained for non violent agitation. Same year he started his weeklies Young India in English and Navajivan in Gujarati.

In 1921, Gandhiji took to wearing loin cloth to identify himself with poor masses and to propagate khadi, hand spun cloth. He also started Swadeshi movement, advocating the use of commodities made in the country. He asked the Indians to boycott foreign cloth and promote hand spun khadi thus creating work for the villagers. He devoted himself to the propagation of Hindu-Muslim unity, removal of untouchablity, equality of women and men, and khadi. These were important issues in his agenda of constructive work – essential programmes to go with Satyagraha.

On March 12 1930, Gandhiji set out with 78 volunteers on historic Salt March from Sabarmati Ashram; Ahmedabad to Dandi, a village on the sea coast .This was an important non violent movement of Indian freedom struggle. At Dandi Gandhiji picked up handful of salt thus technically ‘producing’ the salt. He broke the law, which had deprived the poor man of his right to make salt .This simple act was immediately followed by a nation-wide defiance of the law. Gandhiji was arrested on May 4. Within weeks thousands of men and women were imprisoned, challenging the authority of the colonial rulers.

In March 1931, Gandhi-Irwin Pact was signed to solve some constitutional issues, and this ended the Civil Disobedience. On August 29, 1931 Gandhiji sailed to London to attend Round Table Conference to have a discussion with the British. The talks however were unsuccessful. In September 1932, Gandhiji faced the complex issue of the British rulers agreeing for the separate electorates for untouchables. He went on fast to death in protest and concluded only after the British accepted Poona Pact.

In 1933, he started weekly publication of Harijan replacing Young India. Aspirations of the people for freedom under Gandhi’s leadership were rising high. In 1942 Gandhiji launched an individual Satyagraha. Nearly 23 thousand people were imprisoned that year. The British mission, headed by Sir Stafford Cripps came with new proposals but it did not meet with any success.

The historic Quit India resolution was passed by the Congress on 8th August 1942. Gandhiji’s message of ‘Do or Die’ engulfed millions of Indians. Gandhiji and other Congress leaders were imprisoned in Aga Khan Palace near Pune. This period in prison was of bereavement for Gandhiji. He first lost his trusted secretary and companion Mahadev Desai on 15th August 1942. Destiny gave another cruel blow to Gandhiji, when Kasturbai, his wife and companion for 62 years, died on 22 February 1944.

Gandhiji was released from prison as his health was on decline. Unfortunately, political developments had moved favouring the partition of the country resulting in communal riots on a frightful scale. Gandhiji was against the partition and chose to be with the victims of riots in East Bengal and Bihar. On 15 August 1947, when India became independent, free from the British rule, Gandhiji fasted and prayed in Calcutta.

On 30th January 1948, Gandhiji, on his way to the prayer meeting at Birla House, New Delhi, fell to the bullets fired by Nathuram Vinayak Godse.

As observed by Louis Fischer, “Millions in all countries mourned Gandhi’s death as a personal loss. They did not quite know why; they did not quite know what he stood for. But he was ‘a good man’ and good men are rare. “

How Your Thinking May Be Holding You Back

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As a man was passing where  elephants were being kept,  he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime can break away from their bonds but for some reason, it did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals  just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were. image

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?
Failure is a part of learning. We should never give up the struggle in life. You Fail not because you are destined to fail, but because there are lessons which you need to learn as you move on with your life.

7 Steps To Wealth Creation

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Through out history, those who have succeeded in accumulating massive wealth are known to have followed and applied certain rules and techniques. For you to be among these set of people , you must also do what they are doing. The following are what the super wealthy do to accumulate wealth.

1.  Develop a “Wealthy” Mindset

Without doubt, your mindset is the single most important factor that will determine whether you will be wealthy or not. True wealth and abundance come from having an affluent psychology. You gotta remove any disempowering beliefs you have about yourself or money. Buy yourself a copy of Napolean Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” if you want to understand how your thinking will make you wealthy (or not!). Whatever you think about, you bring about i.e.Law of Attraction .

2. Spend Less than you Earn, Invest the Remainder Wisely.
The average person is spending 105% of their earnings i.e. they are in debt. Debt is only good if it’s for building assets. This is good debt! You must have a spending plan for your life to make sure you only spend what you have and then save and/or invest what remains. It is recommended that you save at least 10% of your earnings. Finally, when investing , only take investment advice from someone who is as wealthy as you want to be.

3. Learn the Language and Mechanics of Money
Making money and becoming wealthy can be a bit like learning a foreign language . There’s lots of terms like: Assets, Liabilities, Liquidity, Net Worth, Gearing, Leverage, etc and you must know what they mean in order to become a good investor. The mechanics (tools, strategies, investment vehicles, etc.), also need to be learnt so you put them into practice knowledgeably.

4. Pay off Your Debts…Fast!
You can literally get rich by getting out of debt ! Start by paying off the loan with the highest interest rate first. It could very well be your credit card debt . Then start on the debtwith the next highest interest rate. Do this by laying down a payment schedule month by month until that debt is gone. If you think you haven’t got enough left out of your monthly pay packet to start paying off those debts…think again. Everyone can buy one less daily cappuccino, make a sandwich for lunch, walk instead of grabbing a cab etc. Simple stuff but it makes a difference to your net position at the end of each month.

5. Acquire Assets
There are two ways to increase your net worth….1. Reducing your liabilities (debts) which we spoke about in Rule 4. The second way is by increasing your equity (assets). There are essentially 3 types of assets: Paper Assets (Shares, Bonds, Pensions etc); Real Estate (Residential, Commercial, Development) & Business (Start, Buy, Rent). You absolutely must acquire the knowledge about investing in these asset classes in order to build wealth. Work within your own boundaries. Only acquire assets you can afford to pay for or learn how to use Other Peoples Money (see Rule 7).

6. Know the Power of Compounding
Did you know that if you invested just $5,000 per year at an average return of 7% from the age of 25 you’d be a millionaire by the time you hit 65. Ok, so many of you want to be millionaires at a younger age but it illustrates the point. It’s vital that you decide on an absolute dollar amount you will invest each and every month no matter what and stick to this to see your wealth grow through compounding.

7. Use Other Peoples Money, Other Peoples Time
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say “I don’t have the money to do that”. Listen, no one does. But saying this is a nice excuse that allows you to stay within your comfort zone. The answer to any problem always lies outside your comfort zone. One of the keys to getting out of the rat race and creating financial independence is knowing the secret of leveraging other people´s time (OPT) and other people’s money (OPM). The ability to raise and use OPM and OPT is crucial to obtaining the financial freedomyou desire.

The Most Remarkable Thing In History

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You are the best

Think what a remarkable, unduplicatable, and miraculous thing it is to be you! Of all the people who have come and gone on the earth, since the beginning of time, not ONE of them is like YOU!
No one who has ever lived or is to come has had your combination of abilities, talents, appearance, friends, acquaintances, burdens, sorrows and opportunities.

No, one’s hair grows exactly the way yours does. No one’s finger prints are like yours. No one has the same combination of secret inside jokes and family expressions that you know.

The few people who laugh at all the same things you do, don’t sneeze the way you do. No one prays about exactly the same concerns as you do. No one is loved by the same combination of people that love you – NO ONE!

No one before, no one to come. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE!

Enjoy that uniqueness. You do not have to pretend in order to seem more like someone else. You weren’t meant to be like someone else. You do not have to lie to conceal the parts of you that are not like what you see in anyone else.

You were meant to be different. Nowhere ever in all of history will the same things be going on in anyone’s mind, soul and spirit as are going on in yours right now.

If you did not exist, there would be a hole in creation, a gap in history, something missing from the plan for humankind.

Treasure your uniqueness. It is a gift given only to you. Enjoy it and share it!

No one can reach out to others in the same way that you can. No one can speak your words. No one can convey your meanings. No one can comfort with your kind of comfort. No one can bring your kind of understanding to another person.

No one can be cheerful and lighthearted and joyous in your way. No one can smile your smile. No one else can bring the whole unique impact of you to another human being.

Share your uniqueness. Let it be free to flow out among your family and friends and people you meet in the rush and clutter of living wherever you are. That gift of yourself was given you to enjoy and share. Give yourself away!

How To Turn Obstacles Into Opportunities….

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One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him.
They all grabbed a shovel and begin to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw.
With every shovel of dirt that fell on his back, the donkey was doing some thing amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.
Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and totted off!
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick is too not to get bogged down by it. We can get out of the deepest wells by not stopping. And by never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up!

The Life And Success Story Of Henry Ford

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Henry Ford became an icon of a self-made man. He began life as a farmer’s son and quickly became rich and famous. Although an industrialist, Ford remembered the common man. He designed the Model T for the masses, installed a mechanized assembly line to make production cheaper and faster, and instituted the $5 per day pay rate for his workers.
Dates:

July 30, 1863 — April 7, 1947
Henry Ford’s Childhood

Henry Ford spent his childhood on his family’s farm, located just outside of Detroit, MI. When Henry was twelve, his mother died during childbirth. For the rest of his life, Henry tried to live his life as he believed his mother would have wanted, often citing lessons she had taught him before her death. Although close to his mother, Henry had a strained relationship with his father. While his father hoped Henry would someday take over the family farm, Henry preferred to tinker.
Ford, the Tinkerer

Read:How To Turn Obstacles Into Opportunities….

From an early age, Henry loved to take things apart and put them back together again just to see how they worked. Especially adept at doing this with watches, neighbors and friends would bring him their broken watches to fix. Although good with watches, Henry’s passion was machines. Henry believed that machines could ease the life of a farmer by replacing farm animals. At age 17, Henry Ford left the farm and headed to Detroit to become an apprentice.
Steam Engines

In 1882, Henry finished his apprenticeship and was thus a full-fledged machinist. Westinghouse hired Henry to demonstrate and operate their steam engines on nearby farms during the summers. During the winters, Henry stayed on his father’s farm, diligently working on building a lighter steam engine.
It was during this time that Henry met Clara Bryant. When they married in 1888, Henry’s father gave him a large piece of land on which Henry built a small house, a sawmill, and a shop to tinker in.

Ford’s Quadricycle

Henry gave up farm life for good when he and Clara moved back to Detroit in 1891 so that Henry could learn more about electricity by working at the Edison Illuminating Company. In his free time, Ford worked on building a gasoline engine ignited by electricity. On June 4, 1896, Henry Ford, at age 32, completed his first successful horseless carriage, which he called the Quadricycle.
Founding the Ford Motor Company

After the Quadricycle, Henry started working on making even better automobiles and making them for sale. Twice, Ford joined with investors to establish a company that would manufacturer automobiles, but both the Detroit Automobile Company and the Henry Ford Corporation disbanded after only a year in existence.
Believing that publicity would encourage people to by cars, Henry started building and driving his own racecars. It was at racetracks that Henry Ford’s name first became well known.

Related:How An Adopted Son Became A Tech Giant….

However, the average person didn’t need a racecar, they wanted something reliable. While Ford worked on designing a reliable car, investors organized a factory. It was this third attempt at a company to make automobiles, the Ford Motor Company, that succeeded. On July 15, 1903, the Ford Motor Company sold its first car, a Model A, to Dr. E. Pfennig, a dentist, for $850. Ford continually worked to improve the cars’ design and soon created Models B, C, and F.

The Model T

In 1908, Ford designed the Model T, specifically designed to appeal to the masses. It was light, fast, and strong. Henry had found and used Vanadium steel within the Model T which was much stronger than any other steel available at the time. Also, all Model T’s were painted black because that paint color dried the fastest.
Since the Model T quickly became so popular that it was selling faster than Ford could manufacture them, Ford began looking for ways to speed up the manufacturing.

In 1913, Ford added a motorized assembly line in the plant. The motorized conveyor belts moved the car to the workers, who would now each add one part to the car as the car passed them.

The motorized assembly line significantly cut the time, and thus cost, of manufacturing each car. Ford passed on this savings to the customer. Although the first Model T was sold for $850, the price eventually dropped to under $300. Ford produced the Model T from 1908 until 1927, building 15 million cars.

Ford Advocates for His Workers

Although the Model T had made Henry Ford rich and famous, he continued to advocate for the masses. In 1914, Ford instituted a $5 a day pay rate for his workers, which was nearly double what workers were paid in other auto factories. Ford believed that by raising the workers’ pay, the workers would be happier (and faster) on the job, their wives could stay home to care for the family, and the workers were more likely to stay with the Ford Motor Company (leading to less down-time for training new workers).
Ford also created a sociological department in the factory that would examine workers’ lives and try to make it better. Since he believed he knew what was best for his workers, Henry was very much against unions.

Anti-Semitism

Henry Ford became an icon of the self-made man, an industrialist who continued to care for the common man. However, Henry Ford was also anti-Semitic. From 1919 to 1927, his newspaper, the Dearborn Independent, published about a hundred anti-Semitic articles in addition to an anti-Semitic pamphlet called “The International Jew.”
The Death of Henry Ford

For decades, Henry Ford and his only child, Edsel, worked together at the Ford Motor Company. However, friction between them steadily grew, based nearly entirely on differences of opinion over how the Ford Motor Company should be run. In the end, Edsel died from stomach cancer in 1943, at age 49. In 1938 and again in 1941, Henry Ford suffered strokes. On April 7, 1947, four years after Edsel’s death, Henry Ford passed away at age 83.

The Life And Success Success Story Of A Great Industrialist

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Scottish-American industrialist Andrew Carnegie led the American steel industry at the turn of the century, eventually becoming the richest man in the world. Carnegie then turned around and gave most of his wealth away. Focusing on global education and world peace, Carnegie ultimately donated a staggering $350 million.

Dates: November 25, 1835 – August 11, 1919

Also Known As: King of Steel

Growing Up

Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, on November 25, 1835, to Margaret (nee Morrison) and William Carnegie, a handloom weaver. For extra family income, Margaret sewed soles on the bottoms of boots, having learned it from her father, who was a shoemaker. William had a kind nature and Margaret gave wise counsel to anyone coming by her door seeking advice. Carnegie claimed his lifelong optimistic nature came from his paternal grandfather, whom he was named after.

In 1840, Carnegie’s sister, Ann, was born; however, she died in infancy. In 1843, Carnegie’s brother, Thomas (Tom), was born. That same year, eight-year-old Carnegie attended Mr. Martin’s school, demonstrating an uncanny knack for memorization. He attributed his love of history to his uncle, George Lauder, who told him stories about the legendary Robert the Bruce and William Wallace.

Emigrating to the U.S.

With the introduction of steam-loom weaving in 1847, William’s handloom business declined and the family experienced a sharp economic downturn. Margaret wrote to her sister in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, to inquire if she could move her family there since her sister had a weaving business. The response was positive.

Money for the trip was loaned from Mrs. Henderson, a family friend in Dunfermline, and Uncle Lauder guaranteed the payback. Carnegie was 13 when his family sailed the seven-week-long voyage to America, which began on May 17, 1848, aboard the S.V. Wiscasset.

On the subsequent three-week journey from New York to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which included a canal boat on Lake Eerie and a steamboat down the Ohio River, Carnegie witnessed men laying railroad track that would soon shorten the trip to only ten hours. This greatly impressed Carnegie as he arrived in “Slabtown,” an immigrant neighborhood in Allegheny.

When William failed to sell the tablecloths he had made, he went to work in a cotton factory; Margaret repaired shoes for extra family income. Carnegie, who did not attend school in the U.S., was paid $1.20 per week working full-time as a bobbin-boy in a cotton factory. Carnegie ran a steam engine that fired the boiler in the basement, helped out with the bookkeeping (having a keen mind for math), and bathed the new spools in vats of oil, the smell of which made him terribly nauseous.

Entering the Telegraph Business

In 1850, 15-year-old Andrew Carnegie acquired a job as a telegraph messenger for the Eastern Telegraph Line in Pittsburgh for $2.50 per week. With his uncanny knack for memorization, Carnegie quickly memorized the street names, the firms, and the businessmen in the Pittsburgh business district.

One of these businessmen was Colonel James Anderson, founder of free libraries in western Pennsylvania, who opened his 400-volume library to all the working boys. This made a major impression on Carnegie, who became an avid reader. About this time, Carnegie and his parents repaid Mrs. Henderson all the money she had loaned them for their trip to the U.S.

By age 17, Carnegie had learned the telegraph business well enough to be able to fill in for his boss and at other telegraph offices. He became a telegraph operator by sound rather than printing, a rare accomplishment, and was promoted from the messenger’s station to the operating room as an assistant operator at $25 per month.

Entering the Railroad Business

In 1853, Andrew Carnegie, now age 18, was hired as the personal telegrapher and assistant to Thomas Scott, the superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s western division in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Paid $35 per month, Carnegie learned the railroad industry. Two years later, Carnegie’s father died, leaving 20-year-old Carnegie as the family’s breadwinner.

After his father died, Carnegie branched out in the hopes of earning more money for his family. He took out a bank loan for $217.50 to invest in a new invention called sleeping cars by the Woodruff Sleeping Car Company. After two years, Carnegie received a return on investment (ROI) of $5,000 annually — a hefty amount considering his annual income was less than a thousand dollars.

In 1859, when Thomas Scott was promoted to general superintendent, 24-year-old Carnegie was promoted to superintendent of the Pittsburgh Division. His brother Tom, who had also learned telegraphy, became Carnegie’s secretary.

Civil War and Investments

In 1861, the Civil War brought challenges to the railroads. Thomas Scott, who was appointed Assistant Secretary of War in charge of military railroads and telegraphs, summoned Andrew Carnegie to Washington D.C. to once again be his assistant. Carnegie assisted Scott in supervising railroad line repairs, wrecks, sabotaged telegraph lines (President Lincoln was the first president to communicate with the battlefield via telegraph), and transporting wounded soldiers and supplies.

After one year, and no end in sight to the war, the military created the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps, and Scott and Carnegie returned to their former positions. Carnegie invested in the Piper and Schiffler Company, the Adams Express Company, and the Central Transportation Company. In 1863, Carnegie’s additional investments paid him over $13,000 annually.

In 1864, Carnegie was drafted into the Union Army; however, he opted to pay a substitute $850 to serve in his place, feeling that his patriotic duty had been satisfied. The Enrollment Act of 1863, which allowed Carnegie to do this, garnered public resentment and led to the slogan: ”rich man’s war, poor man’s fight.” The Act had another flaw– many substitutes deserted, only to collect money from additional replacement finders and enlist again and again. The U.S. government eventually issued an amendment: reoccurring enlistees would lose their citizenship if caught.

Carnegie the Entrepreneur

Once back home, a neighbor of his, William Coleman, invited Carnegie to invest in his new oil company, which hoped to strike it rich within the newly emerging oil industry. After taking a personal tour of the oil region north of Pittsburgh, Carnegie agreed. Within three years, this investment would make him rich.

Looking for ways to reinvest this wealth and remembering the numerous wooden bridges that had been damaged during the Civil War, Carnegie retired from the railroad in 1865 and founded Keystone Bridge Works. The company (named for Pennsylvania, the Keystone State) built cast-iron bridges with the upper cord made of wrought iron. Iron bridges were safer and more permanent than wood ones, which could easily rot or burn.

Scott went in on the venture, so did the Piper and Schiffler Company, who were engineers and mechanics. The company was the first of its kind in the U.S., and the bridges proved extremely strong.

Two years later, in 1867, Carnegie founded another business – the Keystone Telegraph Company. Keystone soon merged with the Pacific and Atlantic Telegraph Company, allowing Keystone’s investors to triple their ROIs.

Carnegie continued to invest and continued to make a lot of money. By the age of 33, Andrew Carnegie was a very wealthy man with a net worth of about $400,000 (about $75 million today).

The Note

In December 1868, 33-year-old Andrew Carnegie wrote himself a note that questioned his life as a businessman, worrying about falling into the trap of idolizing money.

In this note, Carnegie decided that he would work for two more years and then resign from business forever. He was determined to get an education at Oxford, something he felt he was lacking. He would live on an annual investment income of $50,000 and donate the surplus.

It was an interesting piece of introspection and a turning point in his life. Although Carnegie did not retire from business, he did broaden his life to include more books and education, and made philanthropy a huge part of his life.

Carnegie and Steel

Everything was going well for Carnegie, so much so that he decided to venture into an entirely new field – steel. Backed by his knowledge and experience with his Freedom Iron Company (created to supply iron for his bridges), Carnegie considered branching into stronger metals. When the U.S. government put a huge tariff on incoming steel, Carnegie seized the opportunity.

Due to the financial panic of 1873, Carnegie and his brother Tom did not open the first steel plant in the U.S. until 1874. When the plant opened, which they named the Edgar Thomson Steel Company Ltd. (in honor of the Pennsylvania Railroad president) the first order was for 2,000 steel rails to replace iron tracks for the Pennsylvania Railroad to accommodate heavier, faster trains.

In 1880, Carnegie met 21-year-old Louise Whitfield through a mutual friend. Louise was the daughter of a wealthy New York City merchant and a semi-invalid mother, whom she cared for. Carnegie called on Louise from time to time for the next seven years, but was urged by his mother not to marry Louise, saying no woman was good enough for her son. Carnegie, devoted to his mother, took her advice.

In 1881, Carnegie merged with Henry Clay Frick of the Frick Coke Company, his main supplier of coke coal, in order to maximize profits through ownership of raw materials. Two years later, Carnegie bought a rival steel mill, the Homestead Steel Works, making the tough Henry Clay Frick the general manager.

The Carnegie family experienced plenty of illness in 1886. Andrew Carnegie contracted typhoid fever, but recovered. However, Carnegie’s brother and mother were not so lucky — both died of pneumonia that November. Tom left behind his wife Lucy and their nine children. Margaret left behind a lonely son who was now free to marry Louise.

Marriage

Five months after the death of his mother, Andrew Carnegie married Louise Whitfield on April 22, 1887, in a small, private wedding at the Whitfield home. Carnegie was 51; Louise was 30.

Although it was reported that Margaret had been jealous of Louise, wanting her son all to herself, Louise named their only child Margaret, who was born March 30, 1897. The Carnegies then bought the dilapidated Skibo Castle in the northern highlands of Scotland, restoring it into a sporting estate with a golf course, where the couple entertained the captains of industry.

Becoming the Richest Man in the World

Publicly revealing his feelings about the idolization of money, Andrew Carnegie published “Wealth,” an article in an 1889 issue of North American Review. He stated in his essay that the wealthy were merely stewards of money with a moral obligation to better society; dying a rich man was a disgrace. He felt that the rich had made their money because of other people and in the end ought to reimburse the public to better civilization.

Despite Carnegie’s philanthropic feelings, Carnegie had become rich by driving down costs and underselling his competition. This made steel affordable, thus fueling the building of skyscrapers and bridges, but it also meant a hard and often dangerous life for his workers. Carnegie worked his steel workers 12-hours a day, seven days a week, amidst noise and flames for little pay. Many workmen lost limbs or were burned in accidents as a result.

In 1892, his workmen had had enough. While Carnegie was vacationing in Scotland, union workers protested his company’s wage cuts. In response, General Manager Henry Clay Frick locked the workers out and called in 300 Pinkerton armed guards to protect the plant. A bloody battle ensued and ten men died, seven of whom were steel workers. State militia eventually took control of the chaos, union leaders were arrested, and Frick hired replacement workers. The strike ended five months later with the union’s defeat, branding Frick a cold-hearted, relentless mercenary.

Frick was so disliked that shortly after the Homestead Strike he was shot and stabbed in an assassination attempt by an anarchist (Frick survived the attack). Carnegie’s role in the strike is still debated, but at the time he was engulfed in negative publicity from the incident. Frick and Carnegie’s relationship soured because of the strike.

In 1899, Carnegie organized his several steel companies into Carnegie Steel, with an annual profit of $40 million. The U.S. now dominated the steel industry.

On December 5, 1899, Frick resigned from the board of Carnegie Steel, regaining control over his coke works, the largest in the world. Carnegie and Frick soon fought over the price of coke that Frick was again supplying to Carnegie Steel. In 1901, Carnegie, tired of partner quarrels and union disputes, sold his steel business to J.P. Morgan for $480 million, making 65-year-old Andrew Carnegie the richest man in the world.

Carnegie the Philanthropist

Andrew Carnegie had always enjoyed giving back to Dunfermline, Scotland. In 1873, he had sent the town money to build a swimming pool — his first major donation. In 1881, Carnegie had sent the town money to build Carnegie Library. However, after selling his steel company in 1901, Carnegie devoted himself to philanthropy and went on to build over 2,500 libraries throughout the world, remembering the generosity of Colonel James Anderson, who had opened his 400-volume library to all the working boys.

In 1891, Carnegie built Carnegie Hall, a concert hall in New York City. In 1902, he founded the Carnegie Institution to provide research for American colleges and universities. Carnegie endowed the Teachers’ Pension Fund with $10,000,000 in 1905. In 1910 he established the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and built the Central American Court of Justice in Costa Rica, which, unfortunately, was destroyed by an earthquake shortly afterward.

In 1911, Carnegie gave $125,000,000 to establish the Carnegie Corporation, which donated grant money to education and research. His philanthropy to global education and world peace was ultimately over $350 million (90% of his fortune).

Death of Andrew Carnegie

In 1916, the Carnegies bought Shadow Brook, a 100-room mansion in Massachusetts; Carnegie lived there for the rest of his life. When he developed pneumonia, Carnegie summoned Henry Clay Frick to come to Shadow Brook so they could bury their differences. Frick sent a note back to Carnegie that he would see him in hell.

On August 11, 1919, Andrew Carnegie died from bronchial pneumonia at age 84. Unexpectedly, Frick died of a heart attack four months later at the age of 69.

Carnegie is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York. His gravestone is made of stone taken from Skibo Castle. The headstone merely reads: “Andrew Carnegie Born in Dunfermline, Scotland, 25 November 1835. Died in Lenox, Massachusetts, 11 August 1919.”

Louise died 27 years after her husband, at the age of 89. Skibo Castle is now a private members-only hotel and sporting paradise. Carnegie’s 5th Avenue mansion is now Cooper Hewitt Museum. Louise gave Shadow Brook to the Jesuits in 1922; it burned down in 1956.

How An Adopted Son Became A Tech Giant….

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Steven Paul Jobs was born on February 24, 1955 in San Francisco, California. His unwed biological parents, Joanne Schieble and Abdulfattah Jandali, put him up for adoption. Steve was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, a lower-middle-class couple, who moved to the suburban city of Mountain View a couple of years later.

Paul Jobs and his son
The Santa Clara county, south of the Bay Area, became known as Silicon Valley in the early 1950s after the sprouting of a myriad of semi-conductor companies. As a result, young Steve Jobs grew up in a neighborhood of engineers working on electronics and other gizmos in their garages on weekends. This shaped his interest in the field as he grew up. At age 13, he met one the most important persons in his life: 18-year-old Stephen Wozniak, an electronics wiz kid, and, like Steve, an incorrigible prankster.

Five years later, when Steve Jobs reached college age, he told his parents he wanted to enroll in Reed College — an expensive liberal arts college up in Oregon. Even though the tuition fees were astronomical for the poor couple, they had promised their son’s biological parents he would get a college education, so they relented. Steve spent only one semester at Reed, then dropped out, as he was more interested in eastern philosophy, fruitarian diets, and LSD than in the classes he took. He moved to a hippie commune in Oregon where his main activity was cultivating apples.

A few months later, Steve returned to California to look for a job. He was hired at the young video game maker Atari, and used his wages to make a trip to India with one of his college friends, in order to ‘seek enlightenment’. He came back a little disillusioned and started to take interest in his friend Woz’s new activities.

Apple’s origins

The Jobses garage
Woz, whose interest in electronics had grown stronger, was regularly attending meetings of a group of early computer hobbyists called the Homebrew Computer Club. They were the real pioneers of personal computing, a collection of radio jammers, computer professionals and enlightened amateurs who gathered to show off their latest prowess in building their own personal computer or writing software. The club started to gain popularity after the Altair 8800 personal computer kit came out in 1975.

The knowledge that Woz gathered at the Homebrew meetings, as well as his exceptional talent, allowed him to build his own computer board — simply because he wanted a personal computer for himself. Steve Jobs took interest, and he quickly understood that his friend’s brilliant invention could be sold to software hobbyists, who wanted to write software without the hassle of assembling a computer kit. Jobs convinced Wozniak to start a company for that purpose: Apple Computer was born on April 1, 1976.

The following months were spent assembling boards of Apple I computers in the Jobses’ garage, and selling them to independent computer dealers in the area. However, Wozniak had started work on a much better computer, the Apple II — an expandable, much more powerful system that supported color graphics. Jobs and Wozniak knew deep down it could be hugely successful, and therefore Jobs started to seek venture capital. He eventually convinced former Intel executive turned business angel Mike Markkula to invest $250,000 in Apple, in January 1977. Markkula was a big believer in the personal computing revolution, and he said to the young founders that, thanks to the Apple II, their company could be one of the Fortune 500 in less than two years.

Apple II Forever

Although Markkula was a bit too optimistic about Apple’s growth rate, he was right that the company quickly became an American success story. Because of its beautiful package, ease of use, and nifty features, the Apple II crushed most of its competition and its sales made the Apple founders millionaires. The biggest surge in sales came after the introduction of VisiCalc, the first commercially successful spreadsheet program: hundreds of thousands of Americans, whether they be accountants, small business owners, or just obsessed with money, bought Apple IIs to make calculations at home.

In the wake of Apple’s success, its investors decided it was time to go public. The IPO took place in December 1980, only four years after the company was started. Steve Jobs’s net worth increased to over $200 million, at age 25.

Apple’s success attracted the attention of the computer giant IBM, which until then was still only selling mainframe computers to large companies. A crash project was started and in August 1981, the IBM PC entered the personal computer market. It was the biggest threat yet to Apple, whose reputation was being put into question after the flop of the Apple III in 1980. Most hopes rested on a business computer project, called the Lisa.

Lisa & Xerox PARC

Steve Jobs was a big believer in the Lisa computer initially. It was he who came up with the name. Indeed, in 1978, his ex-girlfriend from high school Chrisann Brennan gave birth to a little girl, who she named Lisa. Steve denied paternity, although it was ovious to everyone who knew him that he was the father, given the on-and-off relationship he still had with Chrisann at the time. Jobs refused to give any money to Chrisann, despite the millions he had accumulated at Apple. While in denial, he came up with the name Lisa for the new computer Apple was building…

The following year, a tour of the computer research lab Xerox PARC made a huge impression on him. The scientists who worked there had invented a number of breakthrough technologies that would mark the industry for the coming decades, including the graphical user interface (GUI) and the mouse, Ethernet, laser printing and object oriented programming. Jobs became obsessed with the GUI which was a lot easier to use than the command-line interfaces of the day, which required any PC user to learn a computer language. He insisted the Lisa had a GUI and a mouse, too.

Macintosh

However, because of his hot temper and his relative inexperience in technology or management, Steve Jobs was thrown out of the Lisa project. He felt absolutely crushed by this decision. As a revenge, he took over a small project called Macintosh, a personal computer that was supposed to be a cheap appliance, ‘as easy to use as a toaster’. In 1981, Steve Jobs became head of the Macintosh project, and decided to make it a smaller and cheaper version of the Lisa, complete with a GUI of folders, icons and drop-down menus, and a mouse.

Photo by Norman Seef
The three years it took to develop Macintosh were some of the most productive and intense for Steve Jobs. He formed a small group of dedicated, young, brilliant engineers who stood fully behind his vision of a computer ‘for the rest of us’. They saw themselves as ‘pirates’ against the rest of Apple, ‘the Navy’. The team antagonized both the Apple II group and the Lisa group, because the Mac was competitive of both. Yet in 1983, after it became clear the Lisa was turning into another major flop for Apple, all of the company’s hope started to rest on the Macintosh. Steve was supported in his mission by John Sculley, Apple’s new CEO whom he hired in 1983 to help him run the company and groom him into a future chief executive.

Leaving Apple

On January 24 1984, after Apple had run a very memorable TV commercial for the SuperBowl (‘1984’), Steve Jobs introduced Macintosh at the company’s annual shareholders meeting. The product was launched in great fanfare and for the first few months, it was very successful.

Jobs and Sculley, 1984
However, by early 1985, sales were plummeting, but Steve Jobs refused to acknowledge it and continued to behave as if he had saved Apple. This created a lot of tension within the company, especially between Steve and the CEO, John Sculley, who used to be very close but now stopped talking to one another.

In May 1985, Steve Jobs started trying to convince some directors and top executives at Apple that Sculley should go. Instead, many of them talked to Sculley, who took the matter to the board of directors. The board sided with Sculley and a few days later, announced a reorganization of the company where Steve Jobs had no operational duties whatsoever — he was only to remain chairman of the board.

Steve was aghast: Apple was his life, and he was effectively kicked out of it. After four months spent traveling and trying out new ideas, he came back in September with a plan: he would start a new computer company aimed at higher education, with a small group of other ex-Apple employees. When Apple learned of the plan, they declared they would sue him as he was taking valuable information about the company to compete with it. As a result, Steve Jobs resigned in September 1985, and sold all but one of his Apple shares, in disgust. He went ahead with his plan anyway, and incorporated NeXT. Apple dropped its lawsuit a few months later.

The NeXT years

Steve aimed at the highest possible standards for his new NeXT machine: he wanted the best hardware, built in the world’s most automated factory, and running the most advanced software possible. He decided that the computer’s operating system, NeXTSTEP, would be based on UNIX, the most robust system in the world , used by the military and universities— but that it would also be as easy to use as a Macintosh,with its own GUI. NeXTSTEP would allow for object oriented programming, another breakthrough from Xerox PARC, that made writing software much faster and more reliably. These ambitious plans put off the release date of the computer — called the NeXT Cube — to October 1988.

Jobs unveils the NeXT Cube, 12 October 1988
When it came out, the NeXT Cube was indeed a great machine. But it didn’t sell — it was late, and way too overpriced: universities has asked for a $3,000 computer, and Steve Jobs had built a $10,000 workstation. After two years of very low sales, NeXT launched the cheaper NeXT Station, and expanded its target to businesses, in addition to higher ed. It didn’t work: the number of NeXT computers sold each month remained in the hundreds. The company was bleeding money and all its co-founders left one after the other, as well as its most prominent investor, Texan billionaire Ross Perot. By 1993, NeXT had to give up its entire hardware business to become a niche software company. Steve Jobs had failed, and he was devastated. He started focusing less on work, and more on his wife Laurene (who he married in 1991) and his newborn son, Reed.

Pixar

To understand how Steve Jobs got out of his nadir, let’s go back eight years earlier, in late 1985. At the time, George Lucas, who was in the middle of an expensive divorce, was selling the computer graphics division of his Lucasfilm empire. Steve Jobs had millions in the bank, after having sold all his Apple stock, and was interested. In early 1986, he bought the small group of computer scientists, and incorporated it as Pixar. The founders of Pixar, Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith, had gotten together in the late 1970s with a common vision of making films using computer animation only. But they also knew no computer was powerful enough at the time, and they would have to hold out for a couple decades before their dream could materialize.

Tin Toy
For the first five years of Pixar, Steve Jobs set a goal for the company to sell high-end computer graphics workstations for institutions, such as hospitals or even the army. The animations group led by John Lasseter was very small at the time, and only survived because it provided good publicity for the power of the Pixar rendering software. Steve Jobs understood this when the studio won an Academy Award for its short movie ‘Tin Toy’ in 1989. However, just like NeXT’s, sales of Pixar hardware were microscopic, and the company went software-only in 1990.

Pixar then became a software company, developing the RenderMan 3D rendering software. Its animation business was kept alive because it was the only one that brought some cash in, with various 3D TV commercials for consumer brands. However a decisive contract changed everything: in 1991, Disney signed with Pixar for making a full-feature computer-animated movie. The script had to be fully approved by both parties, and the very hands-on head of Disney animation Jeffrey Katzenberg halted the production several times out of creative disagreements with John Lasseter and his team. But in 1995, the movie was finally starting to take form, and Steve Jobs became increasingly enthused by it.

Steve as Woodie
Although he had used his personal money to fund Pixar for nine years, Jobs had never been implicated that much in the company, which was always more of a ‘hobby’ to him compared to NeXT. But by 1995, NeXT had more or less tanked, whereas Pixar was obviously going to benefit widely from the Disney marketing machine and make a hit with Toy Story. Steve understood this new momentum full well: he planned to take Pixar public the week following the release of the movie, in November 1995. He was right, and Toy Story’s box-office success was only surpassed by the Pixar stock’s success on Wall Street. Steve Jobs, who owned 80% of the company, saw his net worth rise to over $1.5 billion — five times the money he had ever made at Apple in the 1980s!

Back to Apple

Business wasn’t all sunshine and roses at Apple. In the decade following Steve’s departure, the computer maker had milked all the cash it could from the Macintosh and its successors, surfing on the wave of the desktop publishing revolution that the Mac and the laser printer had made possible. But in 1995, after Microsoft had released Windows 95, which was a pale but working copy of the Mac OS, sales of Macintosh computers started plummeting.

A new CEO, Gil Amelio, arrived in early 1996 to save the company. He cut costs, got rid of a third of the workforce, and decided that instead of writing a new, modern operating system from scratch to compete with Window, it was better for Apple to acquire one. Eventually, Amelio chose to buy NeXTSTEP, NeXT’s operating system — and Steve Jobs convinced him to buy the whole company, for a whopping $400 million. The deal was made in December 1996: Steve Jobs was back at the company he founded.

Steve Jobs and Gil Amelio, December 1996
The Amelio-Jobs cooperation didn’t last long, though: Apple lost $700 million in the first quarter of 1997, and the board decided to get rid of its CEO. Jobs effectively organized a board coup with the complicity of his billionaire friend Larry Ellison, and after a tenure that lasted exactly 500 days, Amelio was gone. In August 1997, Jobs took the stage at Macworld Boston to explain his plan for Apple: he had gotten rid of the old board of directors, and made a deal with Microsoft to settle patent disputes and invest $150 million in the struggling Silicon Valley icon. One month later, on September 16, 1997, Jobs accepted to become Apple’s interim CEO.

For the loser now will be later to win

The few months after Steve Jobs came back at Apple were among the hardest-working in his life. He later told his biographer Walter Isaacson that he was so exhausted, he couldn’t speak when he came home at night (remember he was also running a thriving Pixar simultaneously). He reviewed every team at Apple and asked them to justify why they were important to the future of the company. If they couldn’t, their product would get canceled, and there was a high probability they’d have to leave, too. Jobs also brought with him his executive team from NeXT, and installed them in key positions.

iMac introduction, May 1998
Critics started to believe in Steve Jobs’s ability to run Apple when he unveiled his first great product, the iMac. Introduced in May 1998, it was Apple’s first truly innovative product since the original Macintosh of 1984. Its translucent design blew away the whole PC industry, which had failed to produce anything but black or beige boxes for over a decade. Moreover, it was a hot seller, and played a key role in bringing back tons of developers to the Mac platform. Design innovations continued throughout 1998 and 1999 with the colored iMacs and the iBook, Apple’s consumer notebook. After three years in charge, Steve Jobs had brought Apple back to its status of cool tech icon.

At Macworld in January 2000, Steve Jobs made two significant announcements: first, he demoed Aqua, the graphics-intensive user interface that Apple would use in its next-generation operating system derived from NeXTSTEP, Mac OS X. Second, he announced he had accepted the Apple board’s offer, and became the company’s CEO, dropping the ‘interim’ from his title. It was not an obvious choice because he remained CEO of Pixar, too. Mac OS X had not shipped yet, though, and would take another year to ship.

The simple fact that such a massive OS transition happened is a technical feat in itself. The Mac OS X team worked very hard and released six major version of the system every year or so, between 2001 and 2007, each time with more stability, rapidity, and features. Although Steve Jobs buried Mac OS 9 on stage in 2002, most observers acknowledge that the transition from the old Mac OS to OS X was really finished only in 2005, with the release of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. The continuous improvement of Mac OS X and the powerful core technologies and development tools it provided proved key in the Digital Hub strategy that Steve Jobs described in January 2001.

The Digital Hub strategy

Once Apple had been resurrected by the iMac, Steve Jobs started focusing on ways to make the company’s shrinking marketshare (around 5% of PCs) grow. He decided to use Apple’s unique knowledge of making both the hardware and the software to do just that: not only would Macs be very powerful and attractive machines, but they would also run software that no Windows PCs could. His first move was to bet on what he called ‘desktop video’, the ability to shoot and edit personal movies on your Mac. He was convinced that desktop video would be as big a deal as desktop publishing had been in the 1980s, and in 1999, he introduced the iMac DV and a digital movie editing software, iMovie, to pioneer that concept.

The iMac DV was a hit, but desktop video failed to catch on as Jobs had hoped. After a much introspection, in 2000, the Apple executive team came up with a new paradigm for the Mac that would set the company’s destinies for the coming decade. They took the idea of desktop video and decided to expand it to the other consumer digital devices that were rapidly becoming mainstream at the time. Apple would write software for the Mac to edit and store all the new digital content that consumers created — and these apps would be so powerful, delightful and easy to use, that they would entice PC users to switch to the Mac. The Digital Hub strategy was born. Steve Jobs explained it to the Apple community at Macworld in January 2001, the same day he unveiled the 2nd and 3rd of the iApps: iDVD, to shares iMovies with family and friends on DVDs; and iTunes, a digital jukebox software. Other iApps would follow: iPhoto in 2002, GarageBand in 2004, and iWeb in 2006.

2001: An Apple Odyssey

In many ways, the juggernaut that Apple became was shaped by very smart decisions that Jobs and his executive team took in the crucial 2000-2001 timeframe. We’ve talked of Mac OS X and the Digital Hub strategy, a crucial product and a crucial strategy that were both unveiled in January 2001.

A third key decision was taken in 2000 and unveiled in mid-2001: that of creating a fully-owned retail channel, the famous Apple retail stores. Although it is easy to approve of this strategy in retrospect, it was far from an obvious choice back in May 2001, when the first two retail stores were inaugurated. PC maker Gateway was shutting down its own retail stores one after the other, and the analysts consensus at the time was that niche player Apple would burn precious money in this economic downturn on a foolish and dated idea. On the other hand, Steve Jobs explained that only in an environment fully controlled by Apple, with Apple-trained staff and only Apple-compatible products, could the superiority of Macs be fully appreciated by consumers.

iPod, October 2001
Finally, it was in 2000 that Jobs started realizing his mistake of betting only on digital movies, and reoriented the company’s efforts to another media: music. Digital music file-sharing service Napster was at the peak of its popularity, and all the young people were not spending their time shooting movies, but rather downloading and listening to MP3 music files. iTunes was born out of that realization, but there was a problem: although there were great digital camcorders to run in conjunction with iMovie, and awesome digital cameras too, digital music players mostly sucked — not to mention their universal ugliness.

That’s why, in March 2001, Steve Jobs started a crash development program to develop an Apple-branded MP3 player before that year’s holiday season: the iPod was born. On October 23, 2001, he introduced this cute white digital device to a small group of journalists in the company’s campus auditorium. The tagline was ‘1,000 songs in your pocket’, and there was great emphasis on its symbiosis with the iTunes app. But no one in the room, Jobs included, had any clue how important it would turn out to the company’s future.

iPod nation

The first digital music player that people loved, iPod was a commercial success from the day it debuted. It was released, of course, as Mac-compatible only, because its goal, just like iMovie or iDVD, was to help sales of Macs. But it came at a time when a lot of people needed a good MP3 player, and despite its rather high price tag, a lot of PC users ended up buying it too, hacking it so they could use it on their machines. This had Steve Jobs and his team think a great deal: should they keep making a Mac-only iPod, or should they open it to Windows, too? Although Jobs was opposed to the latter idea, he eventually relented, and the first Windows iPods were introduced in July 2002 at Macworld New York.

However, it was soon becoming clear that iPod benefited from music piracy, and that its sales could go even higher if there was a legal way to download music. Steve Jobs didn’t wait for the music industry to reinvent itself. He went to all record labels to negotiate landmark deals that would lead to the introduction of the iTunes Music Store in April 2003. Ironically, one of the arguments he used was that the risk to music labels was quite low, because of the Mac’s small market share (iTunes was still Mac-only). The first compelling legal alternative to illegal music file-sharing, the iTunes Store was an instant success, selling one million songs in its first week. It not only helped the sales of iPods, but it eventually reshaped the whole music industry. It was introduced to Windows as well six months later, in October 2003.

Despite this great success, Apple didn’t rest on its laurels. In January 2004, it introduced the iPod mini, a more compact version of iPod that sold at $249, only $50 less than the full featured iPod. It is really after iPod mini came out that iPod became the cultural icon it is now known as. The phrase ‘Walkman of the digital age’ became commonplace to describe it, and in July 2004, Steven Levy of Newsweek wrote an emblematic cover story entitled ‘iPod nation’. The iPod adventure was far from over, since Apple introduced the $99 iPod shuffle and the ‘impossibly small’ iPod nano in 2005, and the iPod video in 2006. By that time, iPod had become synonymous with music player, and the iTunes Store had sold over one billion songs.

Steve posing with iPod minis, 2004
Although iPod changed the music industry and the way everybody listen to music, the most important change it carried was probably that of Apple. The wild success of iPod proved to all the company’s employees, starting with Jobs himself, that they were right to strive for perfection and ease of use — unlike the Mac, which still didn’t make it past the 5% marketshare, iPod garnered Microsoft-like numbers of 80% of sales of MP3 players. It was iPod that revealed the future of Apple, not only as a PC manufacturer, but as a consumer electronics powerhouse. It was also iPod that broadened the company’s expertise in the manufacturing, logistics and distribution of a mainstream digital device in gigantic proportions. Finally, it was iPod which, through the crowds it attracted to the company’s retail stores, finally helped the Mac business of Apple, whose growth rate outpaced that of Windows PCs starting in 2005.

When Pixar met Disney

Steve Jobs and Michael Eisner, 1995
iPod also played an indirect role in shaping the future of Steve’s ‘other’ company, Pixar. After having released hit after hit (A Bug’s Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Monsters Inc. (2001) and Finding Nemo (2003)), the animation studio had decided to let go of its distribution deal with Disney, mainly because of increasing tensions between Steve Jobs and Disney CEO Michael Eisner. Steve Jobs openly said he would not make another deal with the Magic Kingdom company until Eisner was out. Turns out his opinion was shared by many an executive at Disney — including Walt’s own nephew, Roy Disney, who started a public campaign to oust the company’s CEO in late 2003. Th led to the nomination of Bob Iger as new CEO in September 2005.

Ed Catmull, Steve Jobs, Disney CEO Bob Iger and John Lasseter on Jan 24, 2006
Rumor has it that one of the first phone calls Iger made after he became CEO was to Pixar CEO Steve Jobs. He was willing to show his good will in ending the Pixar-Disney dispute. Steve Jobs took the opportunity to pitch him his new Apple plan. He was going to introduced an iPod with video capabilities soon, and he wanted a movie store to go along with it. Iger accepted, and both men appeared on stage in October to announce that Disney would sell music videos and TV shows on iTunes. The audience of journalists was pleasantly surprised to see the CEO of Disney appear so friendly with Steve Jobs, and suspected there would soon be news on the Pixar side.

Indeed, on January 24, 2006, Disney announced its friendly acquisition of Pixar, putting $7.4 billion in stock on the table. Jobs became a Disney board member and its largest individual shareholder (owning 7% of the company’s stock), while Pixar executives Ed Catmull and John Lasseter were both given critical roles in the new studio.

Momentum

Meanwhile, Apple was seeing unprecedented success in all its businesses, not only iPod and iTunes. The retail stores were hugely popular, and a milestone was reached when Steve Jobs inaugurated the impressive 5th Avenue store in New York CIty, a glass cube facing Central Park. As for the Mac, it was gaining momentum on the market, benefiting from both the aura of the iPod, and the switch to Intel.

Indeed, in June 2005, at WWDC, Jobs made a surprise announcement that after over a decade using the PowerPC microprocessor architecture in Macs, Apple would start using the more power-efficient Intel platform. In the late 1990s, Apple had run several ads to make fun of Intel’s Pentium processors, which were commonplace in the Windows world. As a matter of fact, the expression ‘Wintel machines’ (Windows + Intel) was often used to describe PCs. That move to Intel was thus pretty bold, but in the long run turned out to be another wise decision. Not only did it make Macs more efficient, and pave the way for the super slim MacBook Air notebooks, but it also opened up a whole new set of customers of Apple. Intel Macs could run both Mac OS X (and its UNIX terminal) and Windows, and became the platform of choice for the majority of developers. All Macs were running Intel less than a year after the announcement.

Steve Jobs and Intel CEO Paul Otellini at Macworld 2006
Apple Inc.

iPod made Steve Jobs realize that Apple could become the greatest consumer electronics company on the planet. Around 2003, he started a secret project to develop a tablet. But in 2004-2005, he realized that the technology that this group had developed, including a revolutionary touch-screen technology, could be used in a phone rather than a tablet. After two more years of development, including a harsh internal competition to prove that it was possible to make Mac OS X run on the phone, iPhone was introduced at Macworld on January 9, 2007. This keynote is often considered the best and most memorable of all of Steve Jobs’s career.

iPhone was not only a breakthrough digital convergence device (“an iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator” all in one), it was also a force of disruption of the traditional phone business. Just like for the iTunes Store, Steve Jobs had negotiated landmark deals with wireless carrier AT&T before he introduced iPhone — without ever showing it to them! In exchange for exclusivity, the carrier would pay Apple a share of all their iPhone subscription revenues. And of course, AT&T could not put any software on the iPhone, and no logo either. This was an inversion of the traditional master-slave relationship that carriers entertained with phone manufacturers. In the long run, it really put the phone industry upside down.

Unlike iPod, all of Apple understood that iPhone would be a successful and rules-changing device, starting with their own company. That’s why Steve Jobs announced that its name would change from Apple Computer Inc. to Apple Inc. Macs still mattered, but accounted for a minority of Apple’s revenues already, and this decline would not stop any time soon. Apple had become the most prominent digital device company.

The original iPhone was successful already: despite its $399 price tag, Apple sold 6 million of them during its existence. But sales really started to skyrocket in 2008, after Apple introduced the cheaper iPhone 3G (at a subsidized $199 price) and the App Store. Just like the Windows-compatible iPod, Steve Jobs was originally opposed to letting third-party software on the iPhone. But the demand was so high that he eventually relented, and introduced the iPhone SDK and the App Store in March 2008.

It is impossible to overestimate the impact of the iPhone App Store, which ushered in a new era in mobile software. Thousands of developers started writing apps for the iPhone platform, which became a competitive advantage for Apple that no other company has been able to catch up with to this day. Apple proudly showed off this rich choice of software in its TV ad campaign ‘There’s an app for that’ that ran for over two years.

Health concerns

Unfortunately, while he had never been so successful professionally, Steve Jobs had to start fighting cancer with renewed intensity.

In late 2003, he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer of a rare kind, that could potentially be cured by surgery. However, against everyone’s advice, he refused to have the surgery for nine long months. Instead, true to the ideals of his youth, he tried alternative diets and treatments, including acupuncture and seeing a psychic. Only in July 2004 did he agree to have the surgery. He looked healthy for the next five years, and spoke publicly of being ‘cured’ of cancer at his famous Stanford speech in 2005.

Yet at the WWDC keynote in June 2008, few observers failed to notice how thin he appeared on stage, and concerns about his health started popping up again. They became increasingly frequent until December 2008, when Apple made a shocking announcement that Jobs would not be the keynote speaker at Macworld 2009, and that he was taking a medical leave of absence for six months. Although he publicly denied it, the truth was of course that his cancer had come back. He was actually weeks away from death when he received a liver transplant in April 2009. But he came back to Apple, as planned, in late summer 2009, healthier though still very frail in appearance. He was eager to bring the finishing touches to a new project very dear to his heart.

Ushering in the Post-PC era

WWDC 2011
The iPhone had spun off the idea for a tablet device back in 2005, and it was time to restart that project, which of course led to the introduction of iPad. Although some speculated it would run Mac OS X, it was decided that iPad would in fact run the same operating system as iPhone, now called iOS. It would therefore benefit from the rich variety of apps already present in the iPhone App Store.

Although iPad was welcomed by mixed reviews when it was introduced in January 2010 (some dubbed it a “larger iPod touch”), it was always clear to Steve Jobs that it was ‘the biggest thing [he’d] ever done’ — the ultimate post-PC device, an eventual replacement of PCs for the average user. He laid out his vision clearly at the D8 conference in May 2010, where he compared PCs to trucks, which still existed after cars were invented but were only for professional, niche use. This perspective on iPad was reiterated in a series of TV commercials where the narrator, the ‘Apple voice’, explained how revolutionary iPad was and how the revolution had ‘only just begun’.

Unfortunately, Steve Jobs’ health, which had seem to recover throughout 2010, started declining again. In January 2011, he announced he was taking a new medical leave of absence, this time without saying when it would end. Everybody started talking about his upcoming departure. However, he deemed iPad and iOS so important that he still made two major public presentations at Apple event. The first one was the introduction of iPad 2 in March 2011, and the second one was WWDC, in June 2011, where he introduced iCloud.

In many ways, the iCloud announcement was of similar importance as the Digital Hub Strategy introduction ten years before. It was not only a product, but a master plan to get consumers to adopt iOS devices and lock them into the Apple ecosystem. The iCloud introduced in 2011, which allowed users to sync email, documents, and media across their Macs, iPhones, iPod touches, iPads and Apple TVs, was only the first step in that direction. It was crucial to Steve Jobs who clearly put iOS as the most important part of Apple and the key to its future.

Building his legacy

The resurgence of Steve’s cancer was a painful reminder that it was time to ‘put his affairs in order’ before his passing — and he did.

He made sure that Apple was ready to operate without him: in late 2008, he hired the dean of the Yale School of Management to create ‘Apple University’, a sort of internal business track to groom future Apple executives by exposing them to the Apple ways of doing business, through actual case studies in the history of the company. He also consolidated his executive team and agreed with the board that his natural successor would be his second in command, COO Tim Cook. Finally, at his last public appearance in June 2011, he unveiled his plans for the future Apple campus in Cupertino, a huge spaceship-sized building in the shape of a perfect circle. All of this was in place when, because of his increasingly deteriorating health, he resigned as Apple CEO on August 24, 2011.

Jobs also prepared his personal legacy. In 2009, he finally started giving interviews to journalist Walter Isaacson to prepare for his first and only authorized biography, giving him his perspective on his life and career. He also spent his last days designing a boat for his family on which he hoped to travel the world. Unfortunately, death took him too soon, and he died peacefully at home on October 5, 2011, surrounded by his family — the day following the introduction of the iPhone 4S, an Apple event that he watched from his deathbed.