The Jobs Number

By Dzieza, Josh | Newsweek, October 10, 2011 | Go to article overview
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The Jobs Number

Dzieza, Josh, Newsweek

Byline: Josh Dzieza

He changed more than the computer business. Jobs transformed every industry he touched.


Jobs bought the computer division of George Lucas's company, initially for its software. After a rough beginning, which included Jobs's peddling the company to potential buyers, the division forged ahead with animated movies, eventually becoming Pixar and creating Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and Wall-E. The company has won 26 Academy Awards and has grossed more, per movie, than any other studio in Hollywood. In 2006, Disney bought Pixar from Jobs for $7.4 billion, making Jobs the largest shareholder in Disney.

Jobs also democratized movie-making, via the Mac, and changed the way movies are rented, bought, and watched via the iTunes store.


The Macintosh debuted in 1984 and created the model for every personal computer that would follow. It popularized the graphical user interface--windows, icons, and menus--and the mouse. So determined was Jobs that the mouse was the future that he refused to put arrow keys on the computer, frustrating established DOS users, but ensuring that novices understood immediately how the computer should be used.


The iPod and iPhone opened up new revenue for music just as CD sales were fading. The weekly online radio audience has doubled every five years since 2001, to 57 million Americans in 2011. One in four Americans has listened to a podcast, transforming radio networks like National Public Radio. Of NPR's 27 million podcast downloads each month, 55 percent are delivered through iTunes. Finally, a single, scary fact: the percentage of people who use their cellphones to listen to online radio in their cars has doubled in the last year, to 11 percent.


The iPhone and iPad have eaten into the market for handheld videogame consoles even as they expanded the market for handheld games. Suddenly millions of people found they already had a handheld device that could play games--and the games were far cheaper than what Nintendo and PlayStation were charging.

Nintendo saw its share of the handheld game market drop from 70 percent in 2009 to 57 percent in 2010, while Sony's PlayStation Portable went from 11 percent to 9 percent. Games for the iPhone and Android grew from 19 percent to 34 percent.

Even though the games are cheap, they can be tremendously profitable. Angry Birds, for instance, sells for a dollar, but its developer, Rovio, is reportedly seeking a $1.

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The Jobs Number


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