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The Apple Revolution

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Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were perhaps two of the biggest innovative thinkers the world has ever seen. Their vision was so futuristic, one could only stand in awe and watch them create history. Jobs and Wozniak were first introduced to each other way back in the year 1971, by Bill Fernandez, who went on to become one of the first Apple employees. They became really close because of their shared love for technology and of course, pranks.

In fact, the two did not join forces for technology, but for their shared love for out of the box pranks. They would create extraordinarily provocative art which ended up being displayed at a graduation ceremony. They went so far as to almost be able to call the Pope in Vatican.

Eventually, like everyone else, the two pranksters grew tired of their ways and decided to focus on their love for technology like they had planned. Their first groundbreaking entry into the world of innovation was by creating “blue boxes,” a system which enabled people to make long distance calls for free.

In 1975, the two Steves attended the Homebrew Computer Club together, a computer hobbyist group which gathered at California’s Menlo Park. It was here, Woz first saw the MITS Altair, which today looks like little more than a box of lights and circuit boards. The two were inspired by the build it yourself approach followed by MITS (the Altair came as a kit) to make something simpler for the rest of the world. This philosophy continues to shine through in Apple’s products even today.

The first Apple computer, Apple 1, was created by Woz as a means of competition to show off what he could do with such limited resources. However, little did Woz know that Jobs would like the archetype so much, he would use it for all future Apple products. Woz built everything at Apple with his own hands and he wanted to actually sell the devices for a little more than the products used to build the devices.

However, Jobs had a bigger (and better) plan for Apple altogether. Jobs cracked a deal with the Byte Shop in Mountain View to supply it with 50 computers priced at $ 500 each. This meant, once the store had taken its cut, the Apple 1 sold for $ 666.66. The legend is that Wozniak liked repeating numbers and was unaware of the ‘number of the beast’ connection.

The Byte Shop was going on a limb for Jobs and Wozniak. The fact was, neither did Apple Computers Inc., have the resources to fulfill the order, nor did they have enough Apple I computers. A bank turned down their request for a loan and even the $ 5,000 they received from a friend’s father was not enough to fund the project. In the end, it was Byte’s purchase order that sealed the deal for the Apple founders. Jobs was banking on this order to see them through the end of the project. While the project went through, this risk taking factor became the main reason for one of the first employees of Apple to quit.

Despite the fact that only 200 Apple 1 computers were produced, the success in itself was so high, the team was able to bankroll the Apple 2 project. Once developed, this piece of technology, worth a little over $ 100, was selling a piece of hardware worth ten times that much. This in itself was uncharted territory for Apple as a company. Unfortunately, even with the right software, the Apple 2 could not have been a huge success as it did not adhere to the Company’s already established high standards.

More importantly, Apple 2 was the first computer to use colour graphics in the right way. Apple had designed a computer which embodied what we came to expect of desktop machines through the 1980s, 1990s and the first few years of this century. This was the beginning of everything, before Apple turned things on its head again and moved increasingly toward sealed boxes without the option for internal expansion.

The Apple 1, 2 and 3 were text based machines. The stupendous success of these two brilliant geniuses had left everyone wondering about the future of the Company. They did not have to wait long. Jobs desperately wanted to do something innovative and he got his break when working with the Lisa. From there on, he went on to create the Macintosh, which in itself was a massive revolution.

However, the original Macintosh required a lot of renovations needed to make it a success. For instance, it did not have an internal hard drive and this was cited as a massive problem. After several tweaks and modifications, the Macintosh 2 came into being. This was a massive success instantly at the time of its launch, beating Microsoft, which was the best selling software at the time.

Apple progressed through the years in leaps and bounds. Despite having lost one of the original founders (Ronald Wayne,) Woz took forward the Apple tradition by creating something truly brilliant. From just being a contraption of sorts, Apple products progressed to something far more sophisticated and sleek. Each design was worth taking note of and keeping a watch on the market and the market trends. From the Apple 1 versions, to the iPods and the iMacs of the current world, Apple has come a long way.

Through the years, Apple grew to expand its range of products and with a primary focus on design and technology. Post the stupendous success of the iPods, apple realised a lot of its future success was riding on the kind of products it would launch next. Launching the first ever iPhone on 29th June 2007, Apple created a massive revolution that was considered not only the best by the rest of the world but also by Times, who called the iPhone “The World’s Greatest Invention.” From the first ever phone introduced, Apple had no turning back and since then, has introduced not one, but ten iPhones and through the years, became the first ever company in the world to be valued over a trillion dollars!

Take a moment to ponder about this fact. If Woz and Jobs had not joined the computer club back in the day, then we would not have the empowering technology we have today.

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Rupert Murdoch Unknown Facts

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Rupert Murdoch is an Australian born businessman and the founder of News Corp, who turned media into a lucrative business empire.  With holdings in The Wall Street Journal, HarperCollins, Fox News and 20th Century Fox, Murdoch is one of the richest people in the world.  Here are some unknown facts about the media mogul who is considered the inventor of the modern tabloid.

 

Unknown facts about Rupert Murdoch

1. As an ambitious 7 year old, Rupert Murdoch would hunt water rats for their skin and manure, which he would then sell for sixpence in his town.  He would use his earnings to gamble in school.

 

2. Murdoch was an excellent cricket player and led his school’s cricket team to National junior finals.

 

3. His journalism career began with the Adelaide News, which he took over after the death of his father at the age of 22. Rupert Murdoch transformed the failing business into a successful newspaper.

 

4. He once counter bid for a New Zealand local newspaper, The Dominion, at the spur of the moment during a vacation and ended up winning the bid.

 

5. He was once declared dead by his own newspaper, The Sun, after digital vigilante groups Anonymous and LulzSec hacked into the newspaper website and published an article, claiming Murdoch died because of drug overdose.

 

6. He has appeared in two episodes of the hit series The Simpsons and his entrance line was “I’m Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire tyrant, and this is my skybox.

7. Murdoch has a bad intuition towards social media, which was proven when Myspace, which Murdoch bought for $ 580 million, had to be sold due to its poor performance.  He also passed a chance to buy Twitter and warned investors against investing in it. 

 

8. He was awarded a papal honour award, Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great, by John Paul II in January 1998.

 

9. He once launched world’s first iPad only daily newspaper app, named The Daily.  Murdoch invested $ 30 million in building the app. The app eventually shut down as the company started losing money after the launch.

 

10. He was inducted into the TV Hall of Fame in 2014 for launching Fox Broadcasting Company and changing the television landscape with shows like The Simpsons and The X-Files

With a career spanning almost 6 decades, Rupert Murdoch saw many failures and controversies, but overcame them all and is now worth $ 21.9 billion.

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Women Scientists Turned Entrepreneurs

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There are hundreds of innovations and discoveries born in the field of science and engineering every year in universities around the world.  However, only a few of them are able to make it into commercial ventures. Today, we will be looking into women who turned their groundbreaking research into successful businesses.

 

1) Nina Tandon

Nina Tandon is a biomedical engineer and co founded the company Epibone.  The main aim of the Company is to develop technology to develop bone reconstruction solution through stem cells.  The Company creates bone tissues from a patient’s stem cells and grows them in vitro for use in bone grafts. Tandon serves as the CEO of Epibone and is also an adjunct professor of electrical engineering at the Cooper Union in New York.  Tandon was named a TED Fellow in 2011 and a senior TED Fellow in 2012.  In 2013, she received an award at the Marie Claire’s Women on Top Awards.

 

2) Anuradha Acharya

Anuradha Acharya is the founder and CEO of Mapmygenome, a company which focuses on preventive healthcare options through genome sequencing.  She also founded another company called Ocimum Biosolutions, a genomics outsourcing company for discovery, development and diagnostics. In 2015, Mapmygenome made news for raising funds worth $ 1.1 million from a group of investors.  Acharya was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year award by the magazine Biospectrum in 2008.  Her name was included in the 2018 W-power trailblazers by Forbes.

 

3) Sinead O’Sullivan

An aerospace engineer, Sinead O’Sullivan specialises in space technology and is currently  the CEO of Avioptix, a company which captures, stores and analyzes real time data from satellites, drones and ground robotics.  Her Company created the first ever platform to crowdsource drone data. Avioptix tailors their insights to the needs of their clients, supporting agriculture, oil and gas, insurance and NGOs.

4) Rana el Kaliouby

Rana el Kaliouby is a computer scientist and the co founder and CEO of Affectivia.  Affectivia is an emotion measurement technology company which develops software to recognize human emotions based on facial expressions and physiological responses.  As a research scientist at MIT, her initial focus was on ways to improve human-computer interaction, but she quickly realised the possibility of using the technology to improve human to human interaction, especially for those affected by autism.  She was inducted into the Women in Engineering Hall of Fame and was mentioned in Forbes America’s Top 50 Women in Tech 2018.

These women serve as perfect examples and inspiration for women working in the STEM field to grow their research into a business empire.  If we missed mentioning any such women scientists who turned into entrepreneurs, comment and let us know.

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Panasonic Founding Story – Journey of Konosuke Matsushita

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From starting his journey with an electric light bulb idea to creating a multinational electronics corporation, the rags to riches story of Konosuke Matsushita is truly inspirational.  Known as the “God of Management,” the founder of Panasonic was involved in many other business ventures, which, together, gave him a net worth of $ 3 billion.

 

Matsushita had humble beginnings.  Being born to a gambling father, Konosuke Matsushita started working at the age of 9 to support his family.  Eventually, he started working for the Osaka Electric Light Company, where he climbed the ladder of success very quickly, without any prior school education.  This is the company where he came up with the design of an improved light socket, which was far superior than the bulbs available at the time. After getting rejected by an unenthusiastic boss, Matsushita took it upon himself to sell the light bulbs and started his own company.

 

At the age of 23, in 1918, he founded the Matsushita Electric Industrial Company and began making light bulbs in his garage, with the support of his wife and 3 assistants.  The business was unsuccessful in the early years, but the sales picked up with time. By 1922, his Company, which now had a new factory and 50 employees, started introducing new products every single month, which were far superior than the competitors’.  Matsushita’s business strategy was to launch products which were lower in price by 30 % and better in quality by 30 %. 

The battery powered bicycle lamp is considered one of Matsushita’s  best inventions. Candles and oil lamps were used as bicycle lamps in the 1920s and only lasted a few hours.  With a keen eye to identify markets with non serviceable goods, Matsushita quickly realised, developing efficient bicycle lamps would be profitable for the Company.  He created oval shaped lamps, which had light bulbs for illumination and ran on battery. 

 

In 1930, when the Company’s sales dropped, Matsushita truly proved his leadership and  management skills. He cut the production in half without laying off any employees. He said, “We’ll halve production not by laying off workers, but having them work only half days. We will continue to pay the same wages they are getting now, but there will be no holidays. All employees should do their best to sell inventory.”  According to Panasonic, this strategy worked and the company survived.

 

In 1935, the Company, bearing in mind its various businesses, was incorporated as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.  The Company suffered greatly during World War II as Japan lost the War, but was saved due to Matsushita’s amazing skills as a leader.  In the post War era, the Company came out with devices like washing machines, rice cookers, air conditioners and the product for which Panasonic is most famous—monochrome televisions (TVs.)  The Company also started expanding globally during the 1950s and introduced its first colored TV set in 1960.

 

After Konosuke Matsushita retired in 1961, his son in law, Masaharu Matsushita, became the president of the Company.  Post Konosuke Matsushita’s retirement, the Company was faced with the 1970s oil crisis, but managed to overcome it and only continued to expand its business.  Konosuke Matsushita passed away in 1989, but his legacy continues even today.

 

The 101 year old Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., which changed its name to Panasonic Corporation in 2008, is now one of the top electronics companies in the world. 

 

Panasonic now has over 272,000 employees and at the completion of its 100th year (2018,) it reported an annual revenue of $ 72.32 billion.  The Company has been climbing the ladder of success continuously. This was all made possible because of Konosuke Matsushita’s determination to succeed and excellent management skills.

 

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