Forget Silicon Valley and Wall Street, the resignation of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple will have its most significant impact on the next generation – Generation Z. While his public persona fades in the transition to Chairman of the Board, the story of Steve Jobs should be retold at dinner tables, classrooms and playgrounds. His pursuits outside of the classroom, creativity with entertainment and his innovation in technology leave a legacy worthy of a fairytale.
(1) The After-School Steve: Adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, Steve grew up in Cupertino, California. Instead of focusing exclusively on homework, he attended after-school presentations at Hewlett-Packard where he eventually worked and met his future business partner, Steve Wozniak. After graduating from high school, he attended Reed College for one semester, returned to California, worked for Atari to save money for a spiritual retreat to India, explored the world and reconnected with Wozniak to start a small company called Apple Computers.
(2) The Pixar Steve: Jobs was a co-founder and CEO of Pixar Animation Studios, which created a handful of the most successful animated films for Generation Z. At Pixar, he helped restore Disney as the most beloved children’s brand. His efforts reignited the next generation’s imagination, dreams and laughter with Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars and Ratatouille.
(3) The Apple Steve: Under his leadership, Apple developed computers that are smaller, affordable and easier for everyone. The IPad, IPhone and Macbook set industry benchmarks for today’s technology. While he was CEO, Apple was voted the Most Admired Company in America, and rated #1 of Fortune 500 companies for returns to shareholders.
As Steve Jobs steps in the background, we hope that Generation Z (and their parents!) appreciate the products that he innovated, replay the movies that he produced and recognize that the opportunities he pursued outside of school served as the catalyst for his success.