Steve Jobs’ First Business Was Selling Illegal Blue Boxes That Gave People Free Phone Calls

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steve jobs first business

Steve Jobs’ first business was selling a device called a blue box. What exactly was a blue box? It was a device that allowed people to make phone calls for free. That’s right people, the late head of the largest company in the world started off his stellar career conducting an illegal activity. However, even though hat he was doing was illegal, we can all be thankful that he did what he did, or else the world would be a vastly different place today.

In the summer of 1968 a 13 year old Steve Jobs began his lifelong career in electronics by getting a summer job at the HP factory. Although he was still only young at the time, it was the first stepping stone on his path to greatness. But he was still a long way off forming Apple.

A year later Jobs met Steve Wozniak, and the pair hit it off as friends, this is despite the fact that Wozniak was five years older than Jobs. But age proved no boundary. They shared a love of electronics, Bob Dylan and practical jokes. This matching was going to prove to be a force to reckon with.

In 1972 Steve Wozniak and the then 17 year old Steve Jobs started work on their very first business. It was making and selling a device that technically stole from phone companies. The device was called a blue box, and had been around for about 20 years at the time. It worked by generating tones to manipulate the phone network, allowing free calls, especially long distance calls.

Wozniak, as an electronics genius, worked out a way to build the blue boxes cheaply. Initially it was only something for a bit of fun. The two even used it to phone the Vatican to call the Pope. Wozniak pretended to be Henry Kissinger by imitating his German accent. Unfortunately for the two, the Pope was sleeping at the time. Even though the two had fun with the blue box, Jobs realized that there was the potential to make money from it, so they started to make and sell the product, illegally.

They were never caught by authorities, and the following year Jobs attended Reed College, Oregon. It wasn’t long before he dropped out and moved into a hippie commune,

So what does the blue box and Apple have in common, aside from Jobs and Wozniak? The clandestine operation made the two realize that you could have fun and make money at the same time. Jobs himself said in 1994 that if it wasn’t for the blue box there would have been no Apple. He said that it showed them that they could take on big business, and win.

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steve jobs first business


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