February 24, 1955: Steve Jobs is born in San Francisco. He will go on to co-found Apple and become one of the most important figures in the history of consumer technology. He’s also probably a big part of why you’re reading this website right now.
Happy birthday, Steve! Let’s take a moment to reflect on your innovation, artistry and overall brilliance on what would have been your 66th birthday celebration.
February 23, 2010: The iTunes Store officially passes the 10 billion music downloads mark, reaching a major milestone. The 10 billionth purchase? “Guess Things Happen That Way” by Johnny Cash.
The buyer of the song in question is Louie Sulcer of Woodstock, Georgia. As part of a “Countdown to 10 Billion Songs” promotion by Apple, Sulcer wins a massive $10,000 iTunes Store gift card — and receives a personal phone call from Steve Jobs for good measure!
February 21, 2007: Apple comes to an agreement with Cisco over the iPhone trademark, which Cisco legally owns but Apple wants to use.
Under the agreement, both companies get to use the iPhone trademark on products throughout the world. The two businesses also dismiss outstanding lawsuits against one another, and agree to “explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, and consumer and enterprise communications.”
It’s a classic bit of Steve Jobs steamrolling the opposition.
February 15, 1982: Steve Jobs appears on the front cover of Time magazine for the first time, becoming the public face of successful tech entrepreneurship.
The first of many Time covers for Jobs, the article — titled “Striking It Rich: America’s Risk Takers” — casts him as the prototypical young upstart benefiting from the burgeoning personal computing revolution. It also identifies him as part of a surge of freshly minted millionaires running their own businesses.
February 9, 1993: NeXT Computers, the company Steve Jobs founded after being pushed out of Apple, quits making computers. The company changes its name to NeXT Software and focuses its efforts entirely on producing code for other platforms.
In a mass layoff, 330 of NeXT’s 500 employees are made redundant in an event known internally as “Black Tuesday.”
Cruelly, many people hear of their fate on the radio.
February 8, 2010: Steve Jobs reportedly flips out over a tweet sent from an iPad by a Wall Street Journal editor.
The reason? Apple showed the iPad to top staffers at the news outlet months ahead of its official release. While Jobs already had unveiled the device to the public, the suggestion that people outside Apple gained early access to the tablet was apparently enough to upset the CEO.
The deal costs Apple $429 million. It’s a massive price to pay for the failing NeXT, which already saw its hardware division crash and burn. The price is worth it when you consider what Apple gets as part of the deal, however: the return of Steve Jobs.
December 12, 1980: Apple goes public, floating 4.6 million shares on the stock market at $22 per share.
In the biggest tech IPO of its day, more than 40 out of 1,000 Apple employees become instant millionaires. As Apple’s biggest shareholder, 25-year-old Steve Jobs ends the day with a net worth of $217 million. However, the big payday triggers internal tensions as it highlights Cupertino’s class divide.