Steve Jobs Part 1 by Joseph Wise

To our generation, Steve Jobs may be called one of the greatest entrepreneurs and visionaries we will ever experience. His contributions to the world of technology are unparalleled and I don’t foresee anyone eclipsing his technology anytime soon. Looking at his story from the eyes of a technology enthusiast, you would think he was a genius. When you delve deeper into his life though, you may find a few skeletons in his closet.

Jobs was born Steven Paul Jobs, February 24, 1955, in San Francisco, California, and was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs. In 1961, the Jobs family moved to Silicon Valley, an area known for its high electronic use. The name “Silicon Valley” became popular because at that time most electronics used a substance called silicon, thus the name was spawned from that fact. Steve Jobs grew up as a loner. He spent a lot of his time doing things by himself. The one sport he attempted to participate in was swimming and he was only interested in the individual races. During his lonely days, he spent an ample amount of time in his neighbor’s garage, who worked at Hewlett-Packard, as an electronics manufacturer. This provided jobs with his first opportunity to explore the world of computers and from that point on he knew he wanted to work with this amazing technology.

Although this may seem like a defining moment in Jobs life, he still had some struggles he was determined to overcome. After graduating high school, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. This particular university was very expensive and his parents were spending their life saving attempting to put him through school. Jobs realized this and dropped out of college after a couple of semesters. Although this was a major setback for Jobs, he didn’t let that deter him from reaching his goal. He spent the next 18 months of his life taking a couple of different creative classes, including a course on calligraphy. Calligraphy was an odd class for a technological genius to have on his transcript, but Jobs said without his knowledge of calligraphy, his products wouldn’t have the typefaces they currently provide.

This is just part of his story. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion.

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From the Runaway…to the Banks Part II by Chrystina Wyatt

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Tyra Banks is also a woman of “firsts.”  At the age of 24, she was the first African American woman to grace the covers of GQ as well as the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.  This was a pivotal moment in her career. One year later she was the first African American woman on the Victoria’s Secret catalog.  Her successes landed her endorsement contracts with Cover Girl and Victoria’s Secret.  Another great achievement includes her 1997 Michael Award for Supermodel of the Year.

While modeling, Tyra was bit by the acting bug and appeared on movies including Higher Learning, Love & Basketball, and Coyote Ugly, as well as the popular 90’s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  This exposure helped open a new venture for Tyra, television. In 2003, Tyra created the show America’s Next Top Model.  This show was a competition for aspiring models and in the end one winner was selected as “America’s Next Top Model.”  America’s Next Top Model was the UPN network’s highest rated show during its first six seasons.  The show made a switch to the CW television network in 2006.  While working with her show America’s Next Top Model, Tyra continued to branch out. The Tyra Show emerged on the television scene in 2005.  I personally loved her shows as she continued to promote positive self body image and inspire women to embrace their looks. “I want power. The power to make change,” said Banks as her reason for making the switch from modeling to television.

Banks is still very active in entertainment today.  She continues to develop and produce shows, including America’s Next Top Model and newer project Stylista, has written two books and has even graduated from the Harvard Business School at 38 years old.  She also continues to give back to the community with a scholarship to help young black women attend her alma mater, Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles and founded TZONE.  The TZONE Foundation is devoted to helping teenage girls foster their independence and self-esteem. She has cultivated her name and image is worth approximately $90 million. Tyra Banks is not only an inspiration to African American community but also to many aspiring models and women of all sizes.

 

“I’m competitive with myself. I always try to push past my own borders.”

Tyra Banks

 

References

A+E Television Networks, LLC. (n.a.). (n.d.). Tyra Banks biography. Retrieved August 7, 2012 from http://www.biography.com/people/tyra-banks-16242328

AETN UK. (n.a.). (n.d.). TYRA BANKS BIOGRAPHY. Retrieved August 7, 2012 from http://www.thebiographychannel.co.uk/biographies/tyra-banks.html

AETN UK. (n.a.). 24 February 2012. TYRA BANKS SHOWS OFF BRAINS AS WELL AS BEAUTY. Retrieved from http://www.thebiographychannel.co.uk/news/february-2012/tyra-banks-shows-off-brains-as-well-as-beauty.html

TheRichest.org. (n.a.). (n.d.). Tyra Banks Net Worth. Retrieved August 7, 2012 from http://www.therichest.org/celebnetworth/celeb/model/tyra-banks-net-worth/

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From the Runaway…to the Banks Part I by Chrystina Wyatt

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One of my favorite people in high school was Tyra Banks.  She was the host of two of my favorite shows, America’s Next Top Model and The Tyra Banks Show.  Her shows aimed at empowering women of all ages and sizes to embrace their features and love themselves.  Tyra Banks was an inspiration to me, as a very tall, slender girl, going through those awkward growing stages of high school.  She was not always the supermodel turned entertainment star we see today. Banks is a Los Angeles native and began her modeling career shortly after graduating high school.  Much like my early life experiences, she was teased and taunted for being tall and skinny.  Banks would get the last laugh because it was those same “punch-lines” that landed her start to fame.

Her initial attempts at a modeling career were unsuccessful. She was faced with rejection and discrimination when she began looking for modeling agencies at 17 in 1989.  Banks recalled agencies saying you are “too ethnic” and that they “already had a black woman and didn’t want another.” With persistence, she landed a contract with Elite Model Management, the largest modeling agency in the world, while she was still in high school.  That same year in 1990, she landed her first print piece with Seventeen Magazine. After graduation in 1991, she backed out of attending Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles to pursue modeling in Paris.

In Paris, she did high fashion modeling and became one of the world’s top supermodels.  In the mid-1990s, Banks began gaining weight, which was taboo for the “stick thin” modeling world.  She refused to starve herself and pick up unhealthy eating practices, so returned to the U.S.  She embraced her curves and made the switch from high fashion to swimwear and lingerie modeling.  Banks said “I made my living being 20 or 30 pounds heavier than the average model,” which I believe is an attribute to her success.

 

 

References

A+E Television Networks, LLC. (n.a.). (n.d.). Tyra Banks biography. Retrieved August 7, 2012 from http://www.biography.com/people/tyra-banks-16242328

AETN UK. (n.a.). (n.d.). TYRA BANKS BIOGRAPHY. Retrieved August 7, 2012 from http://www.thebiographychannel.co.uk/biographies/tyra-banks.html

AETN UK. (n.a.). 24 February 2012. TYRA BANKS SHOWS OFF BRAINS AS WELL AS BEAUTY. Retrieved from http://www.thebiographychannel.co.uk/news/february-2012/tyra-banks-shows-off-brains-as-well-as-beauty.html

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Click! Click! Boom!:Instagram Part II by Chrystina Wyatt

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In 2010, Systrom and Krieger, inspired by old Polaroid photos, created the Instagram Application.  They decided to change the name from Burbn to Instagram to reflect the function of the app. In October 2010, Instagram was available for download on iPhone.  Its users could add photos to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr as well as edit them with cool features.  In a few hours, 10,000 users downloaded the app and 200,000 within the first week.

Instagram was not the first of its kind so what made it so successful? This application is similar to Facebook with the options to add friends and “Like” pictures.  It was originally only for iPhones, but became available to Androids in April of 2012.  When the app went to Android its user numbers increased significantly.  The Instagram Application was designed to work well with social networking sites and the powerhouse Facebook saw its growth and potential.  Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock.  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg allows Instagram to continue running independently with a close watch to ensure it is still growing.  Facebook also allows Instagram users the ability to still post on their other social accounts and only on Facebook if they choose to do so.

Today, Instagram has over 30 million users and averages five million uploads per day.  Kevin Systrom owns 40% of Instagram, approximately $400 million and Mike Krieger owns 10%, approximately $100 million. At a SXSW Conference, Systrom said “Over 100 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day. There are 3.5 billion camera phones in use around the world.” My generation is accustomed to sharing their thoughts and actions on social sites, like Instagram.  One thing is for certain; 28-year-old Systrom and 25-year-old Krieger are great entrepreneurs, under the age of 30, and are inspirations for generations to come.

 

“Is our photo madness creating mediocrity or magic?”- Kevin Systrom

References

BBC News. (n.a.). 10 April 2012. Facebook buys Instagram photo sharing network for $1bn. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17661976

Rushe, Dominic. 10 April 2012. Instagram founders turn two years of work into $1bn – only in Silicon Valley. The Guardian News. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/apr/10/instagram-founders-two-years-silicon-valley

Marston, Rebecca. 10 April 2012. Instagram’s founder Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. BBC News. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17661976

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Click! Click! Boom!:Instagram Part I by Chrystina Wyatt

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Instagram has quickly become a popular tool for photo sharing.  The Instagram Application allows its users to share their photos from their phone to Instagram and then to their other social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter.  This two year overnight success story, like Facebook, started as a small idea that has grown into a major pop culture icon.

Its founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger met at Stanford University.  Kevin Systrom was birthed into technology.  His mother worked for Monster.com when the Internet first became popular and now for the online car rental company, Zipcar.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford in 2006. After graduation, he worked for several famous companies including Twitter (orginially known as Odeo), Nextstop, and Google.  His partner Krieger is originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil and came to America to attend Stanford in 2004.  Krieger had an internship with Microsoft and his first job after graduation was for Meebo, an instant messaging firm.  At Meebo, Krieger was a user experience designer and engineer.  Both founders’ technological background is the foundation for the great idea they created.

Systrom first created the company Burbn. The Burbn Application included photo uploading and “check-in” capabilities, like FourSquare.  A good idea but with too many features it became excessive. After this initial failure, with the help of Krieger, the two worked to create a different application.  Systrom said “We decided that if we were going to build a company, we wanted to focus on being really good at one thing.”

References

BBC News. (n.a.). 10 April 2012. Facebook buys Instagram photo sharing network for $1bn. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17661976

Rushe, Dominic. 10 April 2012. Instagram founders turn two years of work into $1bn – only in Silicon Valley. The Guardian News. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/apr/10/instagram-founders-two-years-silicon-valley

Marston, Rebecca. 10 April 2012. Instagram’s founder Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. BBC News. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-

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Mary Kay Ash (Part 2)

By Amber Middleton

Mary Kay Cosmetics is not a traditional cosmetics company, as it sells its products directly to consumers through a sales force rather than in retail stores.  Each member of the Mary Kay sales force is an independent contractor with the company.  Mary Kay Cosmetics is a company known for providing women with exceptional opportunities for professional achievement and economic success and rewarding women for their success. Mary Kay Cosmetics uses several programs to motivate, recognize, and develop its beauty consultants, which include recognition in a monthly magazine, annual events, gifts, and prizes.

One of Mary Kay’s most effective strategies is incentives for consultants.  Mary Kay Ash realized in the early 1960s that that her female sales force was highly motivated by what she called “Cinderella gifts”, items they would not be likely to buy for themselves.  These gifts included vacations, fur coats, and jewelry.  The highest achievers received Mary Kay’s signature prize, a pink Cadillac. 

Mary Kay “Career Cars”, then and now.

Consultants earn rewards by selling products and recruiting other consultants.  To date, more than 130,000 consultants have qualified for a “Mary Kay career car”, and the company spends more than $50 million annually on rewards and prizes for the independent sales force.  Although recognizing employees in this manner is costly, Ash, who passed away in 2001, believed it was worth it.  “We treat our people like royalty.  If you honor and serve the people who work for you, they will honor and serve you.”

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Mary Kay Ash (Part 1)

By Amber Middleton

Mary Kay Ash worked for 25 years as a salesperson and training director.  She retired in 1963, but found “the boredom of retirement caused a deepening sense of discontent.”  Disappointed with the way she had been treated in the male-dominated business world, Mary Kay Ash began to make a list of all the positive and negative things she’d experienced with her previous employers.  After completing the list, she discovered that she had an excellent plan for a successful company.

Mary Kay Ash

With her life savings of $5,000 and the help of her 20-year-old son, Mary Kay Ash opened her first store in Dallas in 1963.  Mary Kay, Inc. started with just nine independent beauty consultants.  She based the company’s philosophy strongly on her Christian faith, and taught her consultants to prioritize their life with God first, family second, and work third.

Ash believed she had a better sales strategy than others peddling cosmetics door-to-door.  Instead of talking to prospective customers on their doorsteps, Mary Kay consultants offered skin care classes in customers’ homes.  Ash believed that although many women were not comfortable trying on lipstick or eye shadow at a department store counter, they would be willing to sample makeup in the privacy of their homes.   The company’s success proved her right.  Mary Kay Cosmetics are now sold in 35 markets worldwide, and the company’s sales force exceeds 2 million people.

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