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Steve Jobs: Blueprint for Entrepreneurial Success

The passing of Apple founder Steve Jobs has led many to reflect on his life of innovation. There is no question that his work dramatically changed the world and improved our lives by making technology practical. EducationWorld takes a look back at Jobs’ triumphs and what they can teach educators and students alike. Use the following timeline to open discussion with students and celebrate the legacy of a remarkable entrepreneur. Included: Lesson planning and student discussion resources on entrepreneurship.

1970 - Jobs attended Homestead High School in Cupertino, California. He would often attend after-school lectures at the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto, California and was later hired there. It was in this capacity that he first met—and began working with—Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple.

What We Can Learn:  It was Jobs’ ambition that led to his first position in the tech field. While it’s possible that he would have landed the HP job otherwise, his regular attendance at the firm’s lectures made him recognizable. He had a love for technology and turned that love into early employment by taking initiative.

1976 – Jobs, Wozniak and Ronald Wayne convince an Intel marketing manager to front the money to found Apple. This was the very raw beginning (the group’s first computers were built in their garage) of one of the biggest and most profitable companies in the world.

What We Can Learn:  The teamwork of these young men had enormous impact. While the group certainly had its ups and downs, the members succeeded because they knew their strengths and weaknesses and sought out others with complementary skills.

1985 – Jobs is fired from Apple. An event he would later say was a relief, Jobs’ firing freed him to try his hand at a few other ventures. He created NeXT computers which would later be purchased by Apple and serve as the basis for the App Store and iTunes. He also purchased a graphical design arm of Lucasfilm, which he turned into Pixar. Pixar would go on to be the most successful animation film studio of all time leading to its acquisition by Disney.

What We Can Learn:  Jobs’ experience was the epitome of perseverance. He showed us the value of dusting yourself off and trying again after being knocked down.

1998 – “The king has returned.” Jobs’ return to Apple ushers in the “i” age. The iPod, iPad and iPhone all are born of Jobs’ vision. He also revolutionizes the computer industry with products like the iMac and the Macbook Air. His innovations set the standard in the industry and force literally every other tech firm to follow his lead.

What We Can Learn:  Success often grows out of failure. Jobs changed direction, learning from the mistakes he made during his first tenure with Apple. In fact, had he not made these mistakes, the Apple revolution may never have happened.

Related resources

Have Jobs’ accomplishments inspired your students to become entrepreneurs themselves? Explore these resources in your classroom.

Activity: Analyzing the Newspaper - Could You Become the Next Steve Jobs?
Lesson: Use Entrepreneurial Thinking to Solve a Problem
Student Discussion: What is Your Dream Job for your Children?
Lesson: What Makes an Entrepreneur?


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Also on the EdWorld Community, don't miss our collection of memorable quotes from Steve Jobs: Lessons from Steven Jobs for Educators.


Article by Jason Tomaszewski, EducationWorld Associate Editor
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