In an article published by Time Magazine, they describe the advent, downfall, and phoenix-like rise of Apple, Inc.:
In the Beginning
Three friends—Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne—started it all by hanging out in Jobs’s parents’ garage. For some, this is how a rock band is formed, but for this trio, technology history would be made.
The three men incorporated Apple Computer on April 1, 1976. While the two Steves went on to greatness with Apple’s revolutionary approach to personal computing, Wayne sold his share of the newly-created Apple for a mere $800 just three months after its inception.
The first Apple computer seems positively prehistoric by today’s standards. Hand-built in a garage and first introduced at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California in 1976, the Apple I was originally a do-it-yourself kit which didn’t even come with a case.
Fast forward to 1984 when Jobs introduced the Macintosh at the company’s annual shareholders meeting. At $2, 495, the Macintosh was the first affordable computer to offer a graphical user interface, replacing the fusty text-based operating systems with an intuitive layout of folders and icons. Pandemonium ensued.
“Back then he was uncontrollable, ” an early Apple board member said of Steve Jobs in explaining why, in 1985, the board voted to fire him. “He got ideas in his head, and the hell with what anybody else wanted to do.” He was compared to a relentless zealot. But in 1997, with the company operating at a loss and Microsoft’s Windows 95 flying off the shelves, Apple’s board decided that a zealot was just what the lagging company needed. “He had become a far better leader, less of a go-to-hell aesthete who cared only about making beautiful objects, ” wrote Fortune’s editor-at-large Peter Elkins in regards to the co-founder’s triumphant return. “Now he was a go-to-hell aesthete who cared about making beautiful objects that made money.”
The iMac was introduced in 1998 and had two characteristics that quickly made it the best-selling computer in America. First it required minimal setup and the usual tangle of cords was eliminated. This made the iMac attractive to users who didn’t know much about computers. Second, the iMac was pretty. The original teal colored iMac stood out against the beige computers of the day. Within the year, Jobs introduced a second generation that included five bright colors that captivated consumers. A week after the candy-colored iMacs were introduced, Apple announced its quarterly earnings were three times what they had been the year before.
Not a Mac
“Hint: It’s not a Mac, ” Apple teased in 2001 for the debut of its latest product, the revolutionary iPod. The $399 portable music player, with its own innovative interface, impressive storage capacity, and lightning-quick download capacity, quickly became one of its top-selling products. Jobs liked to say, “You can fit your whole music library in your pocket.” Since it’s debut, Apple has sold more than 350 million iPods around the world.
Invention of the Year
With the success of the iPod, pundits began to debate whether Apple would get into the smart phone market. In 2007, the company announced the iPhone. Its release prompted enormous lines outside of Apple stores along with high praise from its reviewers. It was also named Time Magazine’s “Invention of the Year.”
When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad in January 2010, some observers dismissed it as nothing more than a giant iPhone. It seemed that an awful lot of people loved the idea of a giant iPhone and became Apple’s fastest-selling new product ever.
You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby
To date, Apple is the world’s largest information technology company by revenue, the world’s largest technology company by total assets, and the world’s second-largest mobile phone manufacturer. In addition to being the largest publicly-traded corporation in the world by market capitalization, Apple became the first U.S. company to be valued at over $700 billion.
And to think that it all started in a garage.
Steve Jobs wanted Apple to change the world. In response to the sometimes bumpy path of Apple, Inc. write a poem about this history-making company. Has it changed the world as we know it for better or worse? Or, choose a favorite Apple product (new or old) and put it in an unexpected context (what would happen if you stuck Siri in the pantry?); alternately, you could write from the product’s perspective.
Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s poetry prompt. Here’s a poem from Andrew we enjoyed:
I stand along the bank, and have some thought
To blueness of the wave and shaded grotto
Where, so long ago, many a hand was dandled
Into the deep greenness. Here, Wordsworth held his pen
And shaded eyes that gleamed with unshed tears.
Here poets came in darker days, when full of fears
To gaze upon the greenness and the freshness,
The Eden of England, rugged and soft at once
With brooding height and shaded light.
Now here I come, with less a pen and more a thought
To hold in awe the blue-swept colour, magic in nature
Curve holding bluff and shard of rock, yet still
Enveloped in the gentle mists, softened and held
Gently, as with a child that needs but one soft tender touch
To know that it is loved. One can not help but sigh
To look into the waters and to breathe the air, to hike
The mountain trails of upland church, Yew and Oak
Towards the clearing deepness of the sky!
—by Andrew H
Photo by Carmen Eisbär, Creative Commons via Flickr.
How to Write a Poem uses images like the buzz, the switch, the wave—from the Billy Collins poem “Introduction to Poetry”—to guide writers into new ways of writing poems. Excellent teaching tool. Anthology and prompts included.
“How to Write a Poem is a classroom must-have.”
—Callie Feyen, English Teacher, Maryland