Friday, October 7, 2011

Abortion, Adoption, and Steve Jobs



With the death of Steve Jobs, many are posting notes about his life, business vision, etc. This article was printed last month, and makes a very salient point. You can see the original article here.


Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, is one of the most powerful figures in our society. In Jobs’ story, we see a man of humble roots starting a company in his garage and transforming it into the world’s most valuable company with a net worth of $337 billion. Frequently described as this generation’s leading visionary, Jobs led the creation of not only the Macintosh computer, but also the iPod, iPad and iTunes.

Apple has played a major role in society. Apple and Microsoft compete for the OS market. Apple and companies like Lenovo, HP, and Toshiba compete for the laptop market. Apple is also involved as the major player in the tablet and mp3 player market. In capitalism, competition creates benefits for everyone. Without Apple, competing companies wouldn’t have had as much incentive to develop the competitive technologically advanced products that we now enjoy. Apple created the first GUI (Graphical User Interface) for a personal computer, which led the way for all operating systems in use today, including major Microsoft products.

The world would truly have been a different place without Apple. The success of Apple stems directly from the successes and failures of Steve Jobs. Yes, failure is a good and necessary thing. If Jobs hadn’t failed as drastically as he did (in his multiple failed ventures), he wouldn’t have succeeded as much as he did with Apple.

This speaks volumes to our culture: We need to allow businesses and people to fail so that they can be resilient and succeed.

Jobs story normally begins with him attending Reed College for a semester before dropping out and subsequently auditing art classes that would later help him create fonts for Apple products. He worked briefly for Hewlett Packard and Atari before founding Apple with two of his friends. A few years later, he was fired from Apple following a disagreement with the CEO. Over the years he founded NeXT Computer, and owned PIXAR working with Disney. NeXT was later acquired by Apple, which brought him back into the company. He then transformed Apple into its present state.

However, his story actually begins before Reed College. In a 2005 Stanford University commencement address Steve Jobs painted a brief picture of his beginnings: “It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife.

Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.”

Jobs’ biological parents were Joanne Simpson and Abdulfattah John Jandali. Although the details of Simpson and Jandali’s relationship have not been made public, we do know a good deal about Mr. Jandali. A Syrian immigrant, he came to the United States to pursue his higher education in 1949. According to The Daily Mail, he is now vice president of a casino in Reno, Nevada. At the time, however, Joanne’s parents would not allow the two to get married.

For that reason, Jobs was given up for adoption to his parents Paul and Clara Jobs.

Eighteen years later saw the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which paved the way for hundreds of millions of legal abortions to take place in the United States over the following years. In 1955, abortion was nowhere near as prevalent as it is today. It was primarily rejected by society as the termination of innocent life.

Instead, adoptions were preferred. Adoptions ensure that children are given life. Jobs’ adoption was very beneficial, creating and shaping him into the leader that he would later become.

What would a world look like in which Steve Jobs had been aborted?

Out of the 52 million abortions in the US in the past 38 years, how many other Jobs’s have we extinguished?