NeXT, Inc. was founded in 1985 by Steve Jobs and a number of former Apple employees, after Jobs resigned from Apple. Jobs engaged Paul Rand to design a brand identity and a 100-page brochure promoting the brand for $100,000. Jobs hired frogdesign, to design the NeXT computer workstation, a black, 1ft X 1ft X 1ft magnesium case called “the cube.”
Frogdesign was a global innovation firm founded in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) by Harmut Esslinger and partners Andreas Haug and George Sprend, in Mutlangen, Germany in 1969 as Esslinger Design. Soon afterwards, the firm moved to Altensteig, Germany, and then to Palo Alto, California, where Jobs had invited Esslinger to collaborate with Apple design staff on the design of the Apple IIc computer case. Esslinger changed the name of his firm to frogdesign in 1982 and in 1984, the Apple IIc was introduced. In 2000, frogdesign’s name was changed to frog design.
Introduced with great fanfare in 1988, the NeXT computer was targeted at educational establishments only, and sold for $6,500. In 1989, it was commercialized with worldwide distribution, and sold at $9,999. Tim Berners-Lee used a NeXT computer in 1991 to create the first web browser and web server. In 1992, NeXT initiated the NeXTSTEP operating system. In 1993, NeXT withdrew from hardware and became a software company. In 1996, Apple acquired NeXT for $429 million and used the NeXTSTEP object-oriented operating system as a foundation to replace the dated Mac OS operating system, which led to the Mac OS X 10.0 in 2001. In 1997, Jobs returned to Apple and became interim CEO, and in 2000, became permanent CEO.