Steve Jobs founded Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in April 1976. The rest, to put it one way, is history. The Apple I went on sale in July of that year and 37 years later, the company has a market value of over $410 billion, the largest of any publicly-traded company in the U.S., even superseding international oil and gas titan Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM).
By this point, Apple’s rags-to-riches story has become ubiquitous and its founders — Jobs, along with the legendary Steve Wozniak — have assumed a sort of mythic mantle of cultural relevance. They have been credited with a revolution in computer technology, and their innovations have defined the current technological landscape. Even before his passing in 2011, Jobs in particular was hailed as a once-in-a-generation visionary.
While investors and the public often have little interest in the origin stories behind a company, Apple’s narrative has become an integral part of the company’s profile. This has imbued it with a certain amount of good will from both consumers and investors — story and reputation are a part of brand value, and Apple’s brand value is among the largest in the world. A narrative as compelling as Apple’s is something that Exxon Mobil may never have.
There are a few companies, particularly in the technology sector, that enjoy a certain added value because of their storied origins and the people who founded them. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, although not in the media spotlight nearly as much as Jobs was — and still is — are still Internet icons. Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) was co-founded in 1977 by Larry Ellison, a mad genius with a mixed reputation, but who also commands enormous respect for his accomplishments.
But it’s Jobs that the tech world is focused on. In testament to this, a bio-pic produced by Mark Hulme called Jobs will be released on August 15. The movie is a biographical drama based on Jobs’s life from 1971 to 2000.