By 1982 Apple had been fairly successful. Mike Markkula, the then president of the company, wanted to retire but advised Steve Jobs not to take his place because the latter lacked the temperament and the discipline.
Jobs approached the president of Pepsi-Cola, John Sculley, and pitched him his famous line, “Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?“
Sculley was sold and took over as the president of Apple on April 8,1983. Things were fine between the founder and the new president for a while. But soon, infighting ensued culminating in Steve Jobs resignation on September 13, 1985.
Jobs, a born entrepreneur, put everything behind him and started afresh. He founded a new company, NeXT Computers, which would soon have a great impact on several developing technologies.
But before we get into that, here is a brief on what the company did.
The core of the business was to develop and manufacture computer workstations intended for higher education and business markets. The company later released NeXTSTEP which was a Unix-like operating system with a graphical user interface and object-oriented GUI toolkit.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee had two NeXT computers at CERN and that’s where he created the world’s first web server, the first web browser and hosted the world’s first web page! The World Wide Web was invented on Steve Jobs’ NeXT computers!
But thats not all! The world’s first app store was created on the NeXTSTEP platform. It was shown to Steve Jobs in 1993.
NeXTSTEP, later called OPENSTEP, also served as the basis of Apple’s next generation operation system, Mac OS X. And this happened in 1997 when Apple purchased NeXT for $429 million and $1.5 million shares of Apple stock. Steve Jobs returned to the company he had founded in 1976 and the rest, as we all know, is history.
In short, Steve Jobs quit Apple, founded a new firm, sold it back to his original company and joined back as the CEO!
By the way, the two NeXT computers on which the WWW was invented are now at display at CERN. It’s assumed that hard drive of these computers still have some of the original code that started the WWW.
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