Apple’s new privacy is worrying authorities

When Tim Cook made this statement about the new iOs8 and it’s new encrypted software, it got authorities all worried about the criminals and safeguarding them.

Our commitment to customer privacy doesn’t stop because of a government information request.

Government information requests are a consequence of doing business in the digital age. We believe in being as transparent as the law allows about what information is requested from us. In addition, Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a “back door” in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed any government access to our servers. And we never will.

What we’re most commonly asked for and how we respond.

The most common requests we receive for information come from law enforcement in the form of either a Device Request or an Account Request. Our legal team carefully reviews each request, ensuring it is accompanied by valid legal process. All content requests require a search warrant. If we are legally compelled to divulge any information and it is not counterproductive to the facts of the case, we provide notice to the customer when allowed and deliver the narrowest set of information possible in response. National security-related requests are not considered Device Requests or Account Requests and are reported in a separate category altogether.

On devices running iOS 8, your personal data such as photos, messages (including attachments), email, contacts, call history, iTunes content, notes, and reminders is placed under the protection of your passcode. Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data. So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.

More info http://www.apple.com/privacy

Steve Jobs and the Seven rules to success

 

Steve Jobs’ impact on your life cannot be overestimated. His innovations have likely touched nearly every aspect — computers, movies, music and mobile. As a communications coach, I learned from Jobs that a presentation can, indeed, inspire. For entrepreneurs, Jobs’ greatest legacy is the set of principles that drove his success.

Over the years, I’ve become a student of sorts of Jobs’ career and life. Here’s my take on the rules and values underpinning his success. Any of us can adopt them to unleash our “inner Steve Jobs.”

1. Do what you love. Jobs once said, “People with passion can change the world for the better.” Asked about the advice he would offer would-be entrepreneurs, he said, “I’d get a job as a busboy or something until I figured out what I was really passionate about.” That’s how much it meant to him. Passion is everything.

2. Put a dent in the universe. Jobs believed in the power of vision. He once asked then-Pepsi President, John Sculley, “Do you want to spend your life selling sugar water or do you want to change the world?” Don’t lose sight of the big vision.

Related: Why Entrepreneurs Love Steve Jobs

3. Make connections. Jobs once said creativity is connecting things. He meant that people with a broad set of life experiences can often see things that others miss. He took calligraphy classes that didn’t have any practical use in his life — until he built the Macintosh. Jobs traveled to India and Asia. He studied design and hospitality. Don’t live in a bubble. Connect ideas from different fields.

4. Say no to 1,000 things. Jobs was as proud of what Apple chose not to do as he was of what Apple did. When he returned in Apple in 1997, he took a company with 350 products and reduced them to 10 products in a two-year period. Why? So he could put the “A-Team” on each product. What are you saying “no” to?   

5. Create insanely different experiences. Jobs also sought innovation in the customer-service experience. When he first came up with the concept for the Apple Stores, he said they would be different because instead of just moving boxes, the stores would enrich lives. Everything about the experience you have when you walk into an Apple store is intended to enrich your life and to create an emotional connection between you and the Apple brand. What are you doing to enrich the lives of your customers?

Related: 10 Things to Thank Steve Jobs For

6. Master the message. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can’t communicate your ideas, it doesn’t matter. Jobs was the world’s greatest corporate storyteller. Instead of simply delivering a presentation like most people do, he informed, he educated, he inspired and he entertained, all in one presentation.

7. Sell dreams, not products. Jobs captured our imagination because he really understood his customer. He knew that tablets would not capture our imaginations if they were too complicated. The result? One button on the front of an iPad. It’s so simple, a 2-year-old can use it. Your customers don’t care about your product. They care about themselves, their hopes, their ambitions. Jobs taught us that if you help your customers reach their dreams, you’ll win them over.

There’s one story that I think sums up Jobs’ career at Apple. An executive who had the job of reinventing the Disney Store once called up Jobs and asked for advice. His counsel? Dream bigger. I think that’s the best advice he could leave us with. See genius in your craziness, believe in yourself, believe in your vision, and be constantly prepared to defend those ideas.

iCame, iSaw, iConquered

By understanding human desire, Steve Jobs changed the world

capress

 

CUPERTINO, Calif. – In dark suit and bowtie, he is a computing-era carnival barker — eyebrows bouncing, hands gesturing, smile seductive and coy and a bit annoying. It’s as if he’s on his first date with an entire generation of consumers. And, in a way, he is.

It is Jan. 24, 1984, and a young Steve Jobs is standing at centre stage, introducing to shareholders of Apple Computer Inc. the “insanely great” machine that he’s certain will change the world: a beige plastic box called the Macintosh.

Here is the Wizard of Cupertino at the threshold of it all, years before the black mock turtleneck and blue jeans. He is utterly in command — of his audience and of his performance. All of the Jobs storytelling staples are emerging.

The hyperbole: “You have to see this display to believe it. It’s incredible.”

The villain: “And all of this power fits in a box that is one-third the size and weight of an IBM PC.”

The tease: “Now I’d like to show you Macintosh in person. All of the images you are about to see on the large screen will be generated by what’s in that bag.”

He retreats into the shadows, pulls the inaugural Mac out of its satchel. He inserts a disk and boots up. Suddenly, on the screen — roughly pixelated by today’s standards but, for 1984, stunning — a typeface rolls by to the theme from “Chariots of Fire.” A picture of a geisha appears. Then a spreadsheet. Architectural renderings. A game of video chess. A bitmapped drawing of Steve Jobs dreaming of a Mac.

The computer speaks. “Hello. I’m Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag,” it says. “It is with considerable pride that I introduce a man who’s been like a father to me: Steve Jobs .”

Applause shakes the place. Steven Paul Jobs, basking in it, tries not to grin. He fails. The future, at this moment, is his.

___(equals)

It is 27 years later now, and Steve Jobs has exited the stage he managed so well. We are left with the talismans of his talent, a tech diaspora: the descendants of that original Mac. The iPod and iTunes , Nanos and Shuffles and Classics and Touches. The Apple Store. The iPhone and the App Store and the iPad 2. They are part of the cultural fabric — tools that make our lives easier and, some insist, sexier and more streamlined.

But taken together, what do they mean? Are they merely gadgets and services that sold well, that answered the market’s needs for humans of the late 20th and early 21st centuries? Did Jobs’ prickly perfectionism — born, some said, of outsized ego — merely create a whole run of really useful tools? Or is something more elemental at play here?

Jobs the CEO, Jobs the technologist and futurist, Jobs the inventor and innovator and refiner of others’ ideas: All of them, in the end, relied upon another Steve Jobs who sewed the others together and bottled their lightning: Steve Jobs the storyteller, spinning the tale of our age and of his own success, and making it happen as he went.

From his earliest days with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak , he was a half step ahead of the rest of us, innovating and inventing and creating and doggedly marketing it all by building a lifestyle around it. From Apple’s personal computers, he harnessed the new and repackaged the existing to create something fresh, something more.

Beyond his measurable successes, though, Steve Jobs claims one spot in history above all others: He realized what we wanted before we understood it ourselves.

We wanted easy to use. We wanted to lose ourselves in what our gadgets did. We wanted sleek, cool, streamlined — things that weren’t always associated with consumer electronics. We wanted the relationship between object fetish and functionality to be indistinguishable. We wanted to touch the future without seams that would yank us out of our communion with our machines. We wanted, in short, intricate simplicity.

To Jobs, the above sentences might have been commandments. They were used to denounce — in a friendly manner, but always pointed — what Apple cast as the corporate, bland chaos of the PC culture that IBM and Microsoft were creating.

In Jobs’ hands those principles were potent weapons. Apple’s successes and missteps are well known, but things seemed to accumulate voltage when they passed through the switching station of Jobs’ brain.

“There are two sides of it. One is the interface design side. The other is his ability to persuade major media outlets and others to work with him,” says Edward Tenner, a technology historian and author of “Our Own Devices: How Technology Remakes Humanity.”

“His personal mystique,” Tenner says, “became a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Some of it is the American penchant for big personalities. Microsoft had Bill Gates, Facebook Marc Zuckerberg. A dominant human face focuses things. Think of IBM, one of the 20th century’s most influential companies: It dominated as the computer age dawned but lacked a defining figure; does it hold the same place in popular culture as an Apple or a Facebook ? The Hollywood storytelling tradition, built on the American cult of individual achievement, feeds the belief in a national history of invention and innovation.

Progress by committee? Not so compelling a script, even though Apple succeeds on the hard work of thousands. But the American inventor mystique — the notion that one guy armed with a combination of a good idea, hard work, challenging conditions and a bit of snake oil, can still change the world? That’s been a big seller since Eli Whitney and the cotton gin.

When it comes to Jobs, comparisons are legion. Like Edison? A little, but not really; Edison didn’t understand the elegance of interfaces. Like Barnum, selling the sizzle? Except that Jobs had the steak, too. Perhaps more like broadcast pioneers David Sarnoff and Bill Paley, who realized they must harness the pipeline — the airwaves, in their case — so that the content could flow through.

In a world of corporations and committees and consultation and collaboration, Jobs personified the power of the individual to effect an outcome — or at least the appearance of it. He was nothing if not cinematic. He projected his own image onto giant screens behind him as he rolled out product after product like some microchip Merlin. He was not merely a technologist; he was a stylemaker.

Jobs “saw there was this personal quality to computing,” says Paul Levinson, author of “Cellphone: The Story of the World’s Most Mobile Medium and How It Has Transformed Everything.”

“The attractiveness of the product . They’re gleaming, beautiful objects that are physically attractive,” Levinson says. “iPods are almost worn as jewelry. Who would have imagined it would have been cool to see wires coming out of somebody’s ear?”

___(equals)

Every medium, of course, needs messages. Every container needs content. Every gadget, to endure, needs to transcend itself and become what the people who use it dream it could be.

Imagine, in the Foghat and Starland Vocal Band days of 1976 when Apple came into existence, if someone said you could acquire all the music you could listen to in a lifetime, from the best bands, in a matter of moments — and not by ordering 10 eight-track tapes for a penny from Columbia House . Unthinkable.

Imagine if, on the day Jobs introduced the Mac, someone said: Hey, wanna watch “Risky Business” on this screen that looks like a thick piece of paper? And we can read magazines and newspapers AND play Missile Command while we’re waiting for it to — what’s the word? — “download.” Preposterous.

Sure, we had downloaded music and even movies before iTunes ; yes, we had been digital when it came to reading before the App Store. But again Apple stood in the intersection of utility and desire. Those services helped free content from physical format and let it go where people were.

When Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007, his sexy-beast patter made a great point of identifying the three fundamental gadgets that people sought out: the music player, the cellphone and the Internet-access device. The iPhone , he made great hay of saying, was all three.

Apple didn’t just want to make money from things it made; it wanted to make money from things others made — to be a distributor of content through its devices. So if you want The New York Times on your iPad, Apple gets a cut. If you want premium Weather Channel maps, Apple gets a cut. If you want the Beatles or “Harry Potter” and you get ’em on iTunes , Apple gets a cut.

Put another way: Jobs built a tech company, then left. When he came back, the landscape had changed enough that he decided, hey— this should be a media company, too. The Internet era had arrived and the two notions had grown together. And there Steve Jobs stood in the middle, getting it — and controlling the conditions of distribution to benefit Apple, much to content companies’ irritation.

“Asking if something is a media company or a tech company is now irrelevant. Media is technology. Technology is media,” says Dale Peskin, a principal at We Media, a Virginia firm that studies how media, technology and society are changing each other.

“The distinction,” he says, “has become nonsensical.”

___(equals)

In one episode of ” Mad Men ,” the ad-exec main character, Don Draper, builds a campaign around Kodak’s slide projector, which the company calls the “photo wheel.” Draper understands that what resonates is not what the gadget does; it’s what it means that’s important.

“There’s the rare occasion,” he says, “when the public can be engaged beyond flash — if they have a sentimental bond with the product.” And lo: Draper rechristens the photo wheel the Carousel — because, he says, “it lets us travel the way a child travels — round and round and back home again, to a place where we know we are loved.”

What Don Draper did with the slide projector in fiction, Steve Jobs did with technology in the real world. He constructed meaning from desire.

“What are we, anyway? Most of what we think we are is just a collection of likes and dislikes, habits, patterns. At the core of what we are is our values, and what decisions and actions we make reflect those values,” Jobs said in a Playboy interview in 1985.

For Jobs, it was about harnessing the here and now with devices that propelled you into the future — the one ” Star Trek ” and “The Jetsons” promised, where gadgetry lived alongside us without devaluing humans in the process.

As eulogies pour in, it’s easy to conclude that Apple was Steve Jobs and Steve Jobs was Apple. The reality is far more complex. Teams upon teams of creative people built the company’s dreams and hid its seams.

But on the inside, dictatorship, however benevolent, tends to be more efficient than democracy. And looking from the outside, the charismatic front man trumps communal, incremental progress. Genius may indeed be 1 per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration, but selling genius to the masses — well, that ratio is probably far more balanced.

There is criticism that Jobs was an amplifier, a conduit of others’ originality. But he understood how to turn raw ideas into applied, coveted tech. “People always knock him for building off other people. But he knew what to do with it,” says Leander Kahney, editor and publisher of the tech blog Cult of Mac.

He made people believe his reality was the one they desired. He convinced us of what we couldn’t live without, then packaged it and sold it to us. With a sales sensibility drawn from the 19th century, he sold us the 21st. Which did he do more of — nuts and bolts or smoke and mirrors? Does it matter? Aren’t both necessary for what he and Apple accomplished?

In the end, these things are true: a beige plastic cube with a grey screen and a slot in it changed computing. A tiny box that stored bits and bytes, helped along by a virtual store that sold digital files for 99 cents each, changed music. Another tiny one-button box that did hundreds of things changed phones and media. And a flat, paper-sized slate, a latter day tabula rasa, is still changing all of the above in ways we haven’t yet measured.

David Gelernter offers insight into the Jobsian personality in “Machine Beauty: Elegance and the Heart of Technology,” his 1998 book. “We believe implicitly that the scientist is one type, the artist a radically different one,” Gelernter writes. “In fact, the scientific and artistic personalities overlap more than they differ, and the higher we shimmy into the leafy canopy of talent, the closer the two enterprises seem.”

On a recent lunch hour in Cupertino, de Anza Boulevard, which runs right through the campus of Apple headquarters, is full of pedestrians — the acolytes of Jobs. Stop at a red light and watch as they cross. Invariably, each one carries a device. A woman is engrossed in what’s on her iPad. A young man is chatting on an iPhone . Three people wear earbuds with white cords snaking into various pockets. One is singing.

Here’s the funny thing. Three days later and 3,000 miles east, an urban crosswalk produces the same sight — human beings interacting with the fruits of the Apple tree, doing what they do with Jobs’ vision of progress, integrating his gadgets and their contents into everyday life.

Was he inventor? Salesman? Entertainer? Visionary? Those questions miss the point. Like his devices, Steve Jobs was a medium that led us to other destinations — the ones of our own choosing. That’s what made him different. He’s gone, but the future he saw is still, quite literally, in our hands.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs Dead at 56 from Cancer

Edison, DeVinci and Steve Jobs.

The man who changed the world, the future and our lives. It’s his innovations that have improved and enhanced people’s lives, especially mine when I swtiched from PC to MAC. Ever since using a Mac I will never go back to PC, only if I have to for work. Hopefully the brillance in creating amazing products by Apple will continue on now that he’s gone. I guess we will have to wait and see where Apple goes on from here. Only if I were as brillant as he was.

R.I.P

Steve Jobs, who sparked a revolution in the technology industry and then presided over it as Silicon Valley’s radiant Sun King, died Wednesday. The incandescent center of a tech universe around which all the other planets revolved, Jobs had a genius for stylish design and a boyish sense of what was “cool.” He was 56 when he died, ahead of his time to the very end.

According to a spokesman for Apple Inc.—the company Jobs co-founded when he was just 21, and turned into one of the world’s great industrial design houses—he suffered from a recurrence of the pancreatic cancer for which he had undergone surgery in 2004. Jobs had taken his third leave of absence from the company in January of this year, and made the final capitulation to his failing health on Aug. 24, when he resigned as Apple’s CEO. After 35 years as the soul of Silicon Valley’s new machine, that may have been a fate worse than death.

Jobs died only a few miles from the family garage in Los Altos, Calif., where he and fellow college dropout Steve Wozniak assembled the first Apple computer in 1976. Jobs transformed the computer from an intimidating piece of business machinery—its blinking lights often caged behind a glass wall—to a device people considered “personal,” and then indispensable.

Jobs was the undisputed “i” behind the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad, and there was very little about his personality that was lower-case. According to Fortune magazine he was considered “one of Silicon Valley’s leading egomaniacs,” but Jobs also cultivated a loyal coterie of ergomaniacs—ergonomic designers who created the sleek stable of iHits—whose devotion to him was the centrifugal force holding Apple together. Shares of the company’s stock plunged 22 points after Jobs announced his final medical leave on Jan. 17.

“A hundred years from now, when people talk about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, Gates is going to be remembered for his philanthropy, not technology,” said tech forecaster Paul Saffo, “the same way people remember Andrew Carnegie for the money he gave to education, not the fortune he made in steel. But what they’re going to say about Steve Jobs is that he led a revolution.”

It was a war waged on three fronts—computers, music and movies—and with each successive Apple triumph, Jobs altered the landscape of popular culture. With its user-friendly interface and anthropomorphic mouse, the Macintosh forever changed the relationship between humans and computers. After acquiring Pixar Animation Studios in 1986, Jobs became the most successful movie mogul of the past half-century, turning out 11 monster hits in succession. The 2001 smash “Monsters, Inc.” could just as easily have been the name of the company.

But it was with the iPod—originally released just six weeks after the cataclysmic events of Sept. 11, 2001—that Jobs engineered another tectonic shift in the digital world. The transistor radio had untethered music from the home, and Sony’s Walkman had made recorded music portable. With one of the world’s premier consumer electronics businesses, and a music label of its own, Sony was poised to dominate digital distribution for decades.

But it didn’t happen. Jobs took a digital compression format that had been around for a decade, synced it to Apple’s new digital download service, iTunes, and with the iPod changed a system for delivering music to consumers that had been in place since Edison invented the phonograph.

It was Jobs’ genius for simplicity that led to a pricing standard of 99 cents per song that remained unchanged for eight years, despite initial resistance from the music studios. And it was his irresistibility as a pitchman that brought the record labels so completely into line that iTunes now is the dominant player in the digital music business.

A man of sometimes confounding contradictions, Jobs once traveled to India and shaved his head seeking spiritual enlightenment. But he also brought a fierce urgency to his business dealings, often screaming at subordinates and belittling foes. Feared and revered, Jobs commanded the respect of his competitors, loyalty from the engineers he goaded relentlessly, and loathing from almost everyone.

“It’s not easy to like Steve close up—he does not suffer fools gladly,” said Bob Metcalfe, founder of the networking giant 3Com and an old friend of Jobs. “But I like him very much. His energy, and standards, and powers of persuasion are amazing. He is the epitome of a change agent.”

 

Apple’s product lines were a projection of his sense of style, transforming the boring, putty-colored boxes of computers sold by competitors like Dell Inc. and International Business Machines Corp. into a compote of fruit and berry-flavored iMacs. Yet Jobs himself rarely deviated from a single, Mao-like uniform of blue jeans, black turtleneck and sneakers, turning that into a kind of meta-fashion statement: Think different. Dress the same.

His first brush with pancreatic cancer did nothing to slow Jobs down during the final years of his life. If anything, he seemed more driven than ever. Speaking to the Stanford University graduating class of 2005, a year after surgery to treat his illness, Jobs said, “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

(EDITORS: STORY CAN END HERE)

In a curious way, Jobs started his own life by living someone else’s. He was given up for adoption by his biological parents—Joanne Schieble and Abdulfattah Jandali, a Syrian-born graduate student—shortly after his birth in San Francisco. His parents eventually married and had a daughter, but it was not until Jobs and his long-lost biological sister were both grown that he discovered she was the best-selling novelist, Mona Simpson.

Even growing up in the profoundly non-conformist ’60s, Steven Paul Jobs always seemed different than his peers. His adoptive parents—Paul and Clara Jobs, a machinist and an accountant in middle-class Mountain View—took every utterance of their restless son seriously. When Steve declared he wasn’t learning anything at his junior high school, and told them he refused to return the following year, the family abruptly moved to Los Altos so he could attend Homestead High.

It was there that he telephoned William Hewlett, president of the electronics manufacturing giant Hewlett-Packard Co., and asked him to donate parts for one of Steve’s engineering projects at school. Hewlett was so impressed that he offered the teenager a summer job.

If Jobs already had a sense of his own manifest destiny, he didn’t reveal it. After a single semester at Reed College in Portland, he dropped out of school, then spent the following year learning the I Ching—a Chinese system of symbols used to find order in chance events—while dropping acid and dropping in on Reed’s philosophy classes.

He took a job with the computer game maker Atari in 1974, but stuck around just long enough to save money for a pilgrimage to India. After tramping around in traditional Indian garb and a backpack—his shaved head and spectacles giving him a vaguely Gandhi-like appearance—Jobs returned to the San Francisco Bay Area, spiritually uplifted and flat broke.

He stumbled upon Wozniak in 1975, presiding over a geekfest called the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, Calif., and convinced the brilliant Woz to start a company with him. Jobs would remain the man behind the curtain, creating Apple’s razzle-dazzle, but unlike the Wizard of Oz, Jobs welcomed attention.

“Every time I designed something great … he would say, ‘Let’s sell it,’ “ Wozniak recalled once at an Intel Corp. conference. “It was always his idea to sell it.”

Jobs decided to name the startup Apple, after the Beatles’ record company. From the outset, he made no secret of his appetite, conspicuously taking a bite out of the Apple logo. He and Wozniak trumped Microsoft’s early operating system by adding a mouse and a pioneering graphical user interface that allowed users to stop typing commands in bewildering DOS code. It took Microsoft until 1985 to counter with its clunkier Windows operating system.

But in one of his rare miscalculations, Jobs refused to license Apple’s interface to other computer makers, and it quickly became a Microsoft world. As a business, Apple computers were a boom and bust operation. The sophistication—even artistry—of the engineering created a fanatical following for the company’s products, but the Apple faithful remained a small, if vocal, minority.

Jobs needed a businessman who could turn his ideas into gold, and found him in Pepsi CEO John Sculley. When Sculley wavered, Jobs reeled him in with his most famous seduction line: “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water to children,” he asked Sculley, “or do you want a chance to change the world?”

But it was Sculley who rocked Jobs’ world, outmaneuvering him in Apple’s boardroom, and forcing him out of the company in 1985. “What can I say?” Jobs admitted later. “I hired the wrong guy. He destroyed everything I spent 10 years working for. Starting with me.”

With the fortune he made on the sale of his Apple stock, Jobs immediately started another computer company. But NeXT—which started as a manufacturer of overpriced workstations, and ended as a designer of overpriced operating systems—represented for Jobs a decade of wandering through the wilderness.

He didn’t make the journey alone, marrying Laurene Powell in a Zen Buddhist ceremony in 1991. The couple had three children—Eve, Erin and Reed—and Jobs had a fourth child from a previous relationship with Chris-Ann Brennan. Lisa Brennan-Jobs, now 33, was born around the same time as Apple’s third-generation computer, which was marketed as the Lisa.

By 1995, NeXT still had not acquired the type of industry buzz that Jobs was accustomed to creating. The workstations had a sheen of technological sophistication, but were so expensive to produce that few companies could afford to buy them.

Apple, meanwhile, was faring even worse. Its share of the personal computer market had dwindled so alarmingly that the company was even considering a switch to Microsoft’s Windows NT operating system. Inside Apple, that was viewed as such a full blown retreat that when NeXT’s operating system was offered as an alternative to Apple CEO Gilbert Amelio, he grabbed it. Apple paid $429 million for NeXT, but taking Jobs back as an advisor turned out to be far costlier to Amelio than the price tag.

Jobs derided the CEO behind his back as a “bozo,” helping to set the stage for Amelio’s ouster a few months later. Insisting he had nothing to do with Amelio’s firing, even as he was installed as the company’s “interim” CEO, Jobs hand-picked a board of directors loyal to him, then set about returning Apple to profitability.

Apple was still teetering on the brink of extinction in 1997, with just a tiny fraction of the PC business, when Michael Dell, Jobs’ PC doppelganger at Dell Computers, sneered that if he ran Apple he would “shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

Never one to back away from a fight, or to forget a slight, on the day that his company’s market capitalization surpassed Dell’s in January of 2006, Jobs sent a congratulatory memo to Apple employees—though by that time, nine years later, he may have been the only one still keeping score. “It turned out that Michael Dell wasn’t perfect at predicting the future,” Jobs gloated. “Based on today’s stock market close, Apple is worth more than Dell.”

Jobs’ resurrection at Apple remains one of the most dramatic turnarounds in the annals of American business. Until his rebound was cut short by cancer, it stood as a near-perfect rejoinder to the F. Scott Fitzgerald aphorism, “There are no second acts in American lives.” As a young man, Jobs merely helped lead the world into the computer age. In the final years of his life, he turned Apple into a kind of beloved nation-state: a company whose reputation for innovation gives it a reach far exceeding any worth calculable on a balance sheet.

“Steve Jobs has a way of making people believe,” 3Com’s Metcalfe told the San Jose Mercury News in 1997. “It’s called the reality distortion field. Whenever you get near him, no matter how mean he might be, there’s this field that distorts reality. You are made to feel that if you disagree, you are a jerk.”

The iPhone was an example of the kind of upside down world Jobs could create with his distortion field. Long lines formed outside Apple stores before the first iPhones went on sale in 2007, and the device received endless—mostly rhapsodic—coverage in the press. Yet even after the fourth-generation iPhone was released in 2010, Apple’s share of the U.S. cell phone business stood at 22 percent, behind Android and RIM’s BlackBerry.

Even Apple stores, which were originally created to provide showplaces for the company’s product line, turned into tech temples, and became so popular they generated the most profit per square foot of any retail outlet in the country.

Though computers remain Apple’s most profitable product line, Jobs sought to lead the company away from what had become, increasingly, a commodity business. He made the transition from computer niche player to consumer electronics giant official in 2007, dropping the word “Computer” from what is now simply Apple Inc.