New York Magazine: Steve Jobs in a Box

The Steve Jobs story is one of the classic narratives””maybe the classic narrative””of American business life. Its structure has been rigorous, traditional, and symmetrical: three acts of ten years each. Act One (1975”“1985) is “The Rise,” in which Jobs goes into business with his pal, Steve Wozniak; starts Apple in his parents’ Silicon Valley garage; essentially invents the personal-computer industry with the Apple II; takes Apple public, making himself a multimillionaire at age 25; and changes the face of technology with the Macintosh. Act Two (1985”“1996) is “The Fall”: the expulsion from Apple, the wilderness years battling depression and struggling to keep afloat two floundering new businesses, NeXT and Pixar. Act Three (1997”“2007) is “The Resurrection”: the return to Apple and its restoration, the efflorescence of Pixar and its sale to Disney, the megabillionairehood, the sanctification as god of design and seer of the digital-media future.

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