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Steve Jobs resignation: India didn’t offer enlightenment but changed his outlook

Posted on August 27, 2011
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NEW DELHI: The year was 1973. The Vietnam War was still raging, the Watergate scandal had blown up, and angsty, disillusioned young Americans were hanging on to the counterculture movement for dear life.

That’s when an 18-year-old from San Francisco dropped out from college, took a psychedelic leaf out of the Beatles’ transcendental book and headed for the Himalayas, with friend Daniel Kottke, in search of ‘enlightenment’.

Steve Paul Jobs traversed the loopy roads of Uttarakhand and ended up at the ashram of Baba Neeb Karori, near Ranikhet. The mystic saint had just died. Jobs never got the enlightenment he was looking for, but did return to California in Indian clothes, and a Buddhist. Three years later, in 1976, a hippie startup took wing with the revolutionary idea of personal computing. Jobs co-founded Apple with fellow dropout Steve Wozniak.

Apple Started in a Garage

The duo set about creating a cult brand, think Mac, iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad that today has a cash pile larger than the forex reserves of developed countries such as Canada, Sweden, Norway and Spain.

Apple started up in a garage in Job’s home in Los Altos, California. The company was founded with a seed money of $1,300, which came from the sale of Jobs’ Volkswagen van and Wozniak’s scientific calculator. Wozniak wrote later in his biography that he joined Jobs because even if Apple closed down, both could boast to their grandchildren that they started a company.

They started a gold mine. Apple today has cash assets of more than $76 billion, and revenues of over $65 billion! This year the company is expected to gross over $100 billion, growing at 82% in a receding US economy.

Not bad for a man who had enrolled in a calligraphy class, used to eat free meals at the Hare Krishna Temple, and did odd jobs for pocket money. Jobs later said his dropping out of college allowed him to learn calligraphy, which helped users get better styled fonts in Apple computers.

Born to Abdulfattah Jandali, a Syrian professor at University of Wisconsin, Jobs was placed for adoption soon after his birth. He was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs, and discovered his biological parents only after he was 27. At the helm of Apple Inc, Jobs created products that have disrupted many sectors at the same time.

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