Do you know who’s the greatest entrepreneur of our time?
You bet, it’s Steve Jobs.
First, he revolutionized major industries: the personal computer, animated movies, music, smart phones and tablets.
But that’s not all.
He was also a visionary, a rebel, a Zen Buddhist that believed in beauty and a quote machine.
That’s why I’ve decided to create this article: 231 powerful (and useful) Steve Jobs quotes that will improve your life and business today.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
Table Of Contents
1. Intro. Steve Jobs Best Quotes
2. Steve Jobs Quotes To Improve Your Life
3. Steve Jobs Quotes To Improve Your Business
4. Steve Jobs Quotes To Be More Innovative
1. Intro. Steve Jobs Best Quotes
Most Famous Steve Jobs Quotes
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Now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you, ‘Stay hungry, stay foolish’.Source 39
It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the Navy.Source 8
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.
Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
Everything else is secondary.Source 39
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify and vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as crazy, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.Source 24
Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me…
Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.Source 11
Even if what you believe in is a bit weird, just do it.
The more you follow your heart, the more meaningful your life will be.
2 questions to improve your life
- Which activities bring more happiness and joy to your life?
- How can you create more space for those activities?
Most Inspiring Steve Jobs Quotes
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Let’s go invent tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened yesterday.Source 45
I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out ok.Source 39
So you have to believe that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever, because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even if it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference.Source 39
On building the blue box: We were young, and what we learned was that we could build something ourselves that could control billions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure in the world.
That was what we learned: was that us, too, we didn’t know much. We could build a little thing that could control a giant thing and that was an incredible lesson.Source 16, at 9m14s
We were really working fourteen-to-eighteen-hour days, seven days a week.
For like, two years, three years. That was our life. But we loved it, we were young, and we could do it.Source 33
Steve didn’t hold on to the past.
He believed in moving forward and learning along the way. So always remember that you’ll waste time if you think about what happened for too long.
The trick is to trust that where you are today is the perfect place for you right now.
I know it’s easier said than done but don’t forget that life will send you the same lesson until you learn it.
3 tips for more inspiration
- Forget the past. Think about where you’re going. Use vision boards and reminders for your goal.
- Put that vision board beside your bed, in your car, in your wallet, everywhere. The more you think about your goal the better.
- But most importantly, find the why. Why is this goal important to you? The stronger your ‘why’, the more inspired you’ll be.
Recommended book for more inspiration: As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
Stanford Commencement Speech 2005
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When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’
It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’
And whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Source 39
Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.
I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did.
You’ve got to find what you love.Source 39
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.
And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, don’t settle.
As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.
So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.Source 39
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.Source 39
Almost everything, all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure, these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.
You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.Source 39
You’ve heard this phrase a million times: life is tough.
But it’s even tougher when you don’t love what you do. So keep looking and keep your head up. You will encounter failures and challenges.
And here’s the deal:
The more you try new things, the more you learn about yourself. And the more you know yourself, the more you discover what you love doing.
3 ways to find a job you love
- You need to experience the world, travel, get out of your comfort zone. For example, I studied at Hong Kong Polytechnic University for 5 months. This trip has been the best learning experience I ever had. I learned about the world, a different culture, people, but most importantly, about myself.
- Don’t think ‘money’ first, go instead where your heart goes. This is exactly the mistake I made after college. I chose software engineering mainly because it paid a lot…bah! Great choice Maxime!
- If you don’t find a job you like in the corporate world, perhaps it’s time to create your own job.
2. Steve Jobs Quotes To Improve Your Life
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In the broadest context, the goal is to seek enlightenment – however you define it.Source 12
There was a constant flow of intellectual questioning about the truth of life.
That was a time when every college student in this country read Be Here Now and Diet for a Small Planet – there were about ten books.Source 6
When you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world.
Try not to bash into walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life.
Life can be much broader than that.
Once you discover one simple fact, and that is everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you.
And you can change it, you can influence it.
You can build your own things that other people can use. And once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.Source 13
On being fired from Apple and called back 12 years later: What a circle of life. You know?
Life is just always mysterious and surprising, and you never know what’s around the next corner.Source 28 at 4m18s
We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life.
Life is brief, and then you die, you know? So this is what we’ve chosen to do with our life.
We could be sitting in a monastery somewhere in Japan. We could be out sailing.
Some of the [executive team] could be playing golf. They could be running other companies. And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good.
It better be worth it. And we think it is.Source 47
But I think the things you most regret in life are things you didn’t do.
What you really regret was never asking that girl to dance.
In business, if I knew earlier what I know now, I’d have probably done some things a lot better than I did, but I also would’ve probably done some other things a lot worse. But so what?
It’s more important to be engaged in the present.Source 20
Steve believed in building things, connecting with people, improving their lives, making a dent in the universe.
And never forget that: you don’t HAVE to live the life others want you to live. It’s your life, and you can decide how you live it.
By the way, did you know that one of the most common regret for death bed patients is that they never pursued their dreams?
3 tips to improve your life
- A happy life is a life balanced with doing work you love AND doing no work at all: just having fun and relaxing.
- Remember that a happy life is 40% controlled by your thoughts and actions. So don’t try to control what you cannot. Do more of what makes you feel good. Avoid what makes you feel bad. And most importantly, remember that a constant state of happiness doesn’t exist. It’s normal if you have bad patches.
- A happy life is often found in action, moving forward and helping others. Like Martin Luther Jr said,
What are you doing for others?
Recommended book for a happier life: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
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I think death is the most wonderful invention of life. It purges the system of these old models that are obsolete.Source 6
No one wants to die.
Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it.
And that is as it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life.
It is life’s change agent, it clears out the old to make way for the new.Source 39
I’ve always felt that death is the greatest invention of life.
I’m sure that life evolved without death at first and found that without death, life didn’t work very well because it didn’t make room for the young.Source 17
Without death, there would be very little progress.Source 17
Steve believed that death was the greatest invention of life.
Quick story: It’s hard to agree with this when you lost someone.
For example, I lost my girlfriend when I was 22 and it was the most depressing thing that ever happened to me.
Now, perhaps Steve didn’t mean ‘losing someone’ as being the greatest invention of life. As a philosophical person, Steve certainly meant something more powerful.
But what is it?
It’s to kill your old and useless thoughts. Replace them with new ones. In other words, have the beginner’s mind.
See section on learning and meditation for more.
2 questions to improve your thinking and self-talk
- We have approximately 70 000 thoughts in a day. How many of yours are negative ones? Learn to observe yourself. Be at peace with your monkey mind.
- Do you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset?
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I’ve been rejected, but I was still in love.Source 39
I was lucky, I found what I loved to do early in life.
Woz and I started Apple in my parents’ garage when I was 20.Source 39
People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you’re doing and it’s totally true.
And the reason is because it’s so hard that if you don’t, any rational person would give up.
It’s really hard. And you have to do it over a sustained period of time. So if you don’t love it, if you’re not having fun doing it, you don’t really love it, you’re going to give up. And that’s what happens to most people, actually.
If you really look at the ones that ended up, you know, being “successful” in the eyes of society and the ones that didn’t, oftentimes, it’s the ones who were successful and loved what they did so they could persevere, you know, when it got really tough.
And the ones that didn’t love it quit because they’re sane, right?
Who would want to put up with this stuff if you don’t love it? So it’s a lot of hard work and it’s a lot of worrying constantly and if you don’t love it, you’re going to fail.
So you’ve got to love it and you’ve got to have passion and I think that’s the high-order bit.Source 45
That was one of the things that came out most clearly from this whole experience [with cancer].
I realized that I love my life. I really do. I’ve got the greatest family in the world, and I’ve got my work.
And that’s pretty much all I do.
I don’t socialize much or go to conferences. I love my family, and I love running Apple, and I love Pixar.
And I get to do that. I’m very lucky.Source 31
Steve was lucky. He found what he loved to do early in life.
But don’t worry if you haven’t find it yet. Most of us don’t found it until our twenties or even thirties.
So, what does this mean for you?
You don’t need to find what you love fast. You should simply focus on finding the right thing.
2 questions and tips about love
- Steve was diagnosed with cancer at 48 which made him more grateful for his life. Did you have the ‘chance’ to have tough challenges that make you love your actual life even more?
- Every time you wake up in the morning, ask yourself: ‘How can I love more today?’ I’ve been doing this for the last year and it helped me relax and appreciate life a lot more.
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On his father: He was a machinist by trade and worked very hard and was kind of a genius with his hands.
He had a workbench out in his garage where, when I was about five or six, he sectioned off a little piece of it and said “Steve, this is your workbench now.”
And he gave me some of his smaller tools and showed me how to use a hammer and saw and how to build things. It really was very good for me.
He spent a lot of time with me… teaching me how to build things, how to take things apart, put things back together.Source 15
I can tell you this: I’ve been married for 8 years, and that’s had a really good influence on me.
I’ve been very lucky, through random happenstance I just happened to sit next to this wonderful woman who became my wife. And it was a big deal.
We have 3 kids, and it’s been a big deal. You see the world differently.Source 27
I’ve never been so tired in my life.
I’d come home at about ten o’clock at night and flop straight into bed, then haul myself out at six the next morning and take a shower and go to work.
My wife deserves all the credit for keeping me at it. She supported me and kept the family together with a husband in absentia.Source 25
Steve had a family that cared for him.
He had a father that took the time to show him how things worked. And the best part? Steve was grateful for his family.
2 questions and action steps to have more gratitude
- Who are you grateful for? Your mother? Father? Sister? Remember that YOU will benefit for that gratitude too.
- How can you show your gratitude today?
- Just say it, ‘Honey, you know what I like about you? Your support and care. You’re the best wife I could ever have.’
- Write a letter or even better, write a poem. And don’t wait for a special occasion like Christmas, do it now.
- Don’t have time? Just say ‘thanks’ mentally.
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I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.
It is so hard. You put so much of your life into this thing. There are such rough moments in time that I think most people give up. I don’t blame them. It’s really tough and it consumes your life.
If you’ve got a family and you’re in the early days of a company, I can’t imagine how one could do it. I’m sure it’s been done but it’s rough. It’s pretty much an eighteen hour day job, seven days a week for awhile.
Unless you have a lot of passion about this, you’re not going to survive. You’re going to give it up.
So you’ve got to have an idea, or a problem or a wrong that you want to right that you’re passionate about, otherwise you’re not going to have the perseverance to stick it through.
I think that’s half the battle right there.Source 15
I’ve read something that Bill Gates said about six months ago. He said, ‘I worked really, really hard in my 20s.’
And I know what he means because I worked really, really hard in my 20s too.
Literally, you know, 7 days a week, a lot of hours every day. And it actually is a wonderful thing to do, because you can get a lot done.
But you can’t do it forever, and you don’t want to do it forever, and you have to come up with ways of figuring out what the most important things are and working with other people even more.Source 27
I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard on something, but working on Macintosh was the neatest experience of my life.
Almost everyone who worked on it will say that.
None of us wanted to release it at the end. It was as though we knew that once it was out of our hands, it wouldn’t be ours anymore.
When we finally presented it at the shareholders’ meeting, everyone in the auditorium gave it a five-minute ovation. What was incredible to me was that I could see the Mac team in the first few rows.
It was as though none of us could believe we’d actually finished it. Everyone started crying.Source 6
At Apple, people are putting in 18-hour days.Source 6
As it was clear that the Sixties were over, it was also clear that a lot of the people who had gone through the Sixties ended up not really accomplishing what they set out to accomplish, and because they had thrown their discipline to the wind, they didn’t have much to fall back on.Source 6
Pixar has been a marathon, not a sprint.
There are times when you run a marathon and you wonder, why am I doing this?
But you take a drink of water, and around the next bend, you get your wind back, remember the finish line, and keep going.Source 57
Always remember that you will have difficulties on the road to success.
And one of the best strategy you can use to face those difficulties is a stoicism.
3 great quotes about stoicism:
Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body. Seneca
You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. Marcus Aurelius
If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid. Epictetus
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As you may know, I was basically fired from Apple when I was 30 and was invited to come back 12 years later so that was difficult when it happened but maybe the best thing that could ever happen to me. […] you just move on, life goes on and you learn from it.Source 28 at 3m39
I feel like somebody just punched me in the stomach and knocked all my wind out.
I’m only 30 years old and I want to have a chance to continue creating things.
I know I’ve got at least one more great computer in me. And Apple is not going to give me a chance to do that.Source 58
We’ve done so many hardware products where Jony and I have looked at each other and said, ‘We don’t know how to make it any better than this, we just don’t know how to make it’.
But we always do; we realize another way.
And then it’s not long after the new thing comes out that we look at the older thing and go, ‘How can we ever have done that?’Source 56
Each year has been so robust with problems and successes and learning experiences and human experiences that a year is a lifetime at Apple.Source 6
When I was 12 or 13, I wanted to build something and I needed some parts, so I picked up the phone and called Bill Hewlett-he was listed in the Palo Alto phone book.
He answered the phone and he was real nice.
He chatted with me for, like, 20 minutes.
He didn’t know me at all, but he ended up giving me some parts and he got me a job that summer working at Hewlett-Packard on the line, assembling frequency counters.
Assembling may be too strong. I was putting in screws. It didn’t matter; I was in heaven.Source 6
I’ve never found anyone who’s said no or hung up the phone when I called-I just asked.
And when people ask me, I try to be as responsive, to pay that debt of gratitude back.
Most people never pick up the phone and call, most people never ask. And that’s what separates, sometimes, the people that do things from the people that just dream about them.
You gotta act. And you’ve gotta be willing to fail, you gotta be ready to crash and burn, with people on the phone, with starting a company, with whatever.
If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.Source 14
Steve was fired the company he started, Apple. He was only 30 years old.
Despite that, he still believed that it was the best thing that could ever happen to him.
Now, let me ask you a question: isn’t it the best way to face a challenge? You bet it is!
3 tips to face challenges and have more courage
- Start small. If something looks intimidating, find a way to diminish it. Don’t try a marathon first. Try a mile, then a 5k, then 10, then a half marathon. Don’t try to meditate 20 minutes every day. Start with one deep breath now. That’s it.
- Don’t think too much and ‘just do it’. Try using simple phrases like ‘Go’, ‘Love’, ‘Find a way’, ‘Move forward’, ‘It shall pass’, ‘Let’s go’.
- Warning: your life is, and will always be, a series of challenges and tests. Accept that fact now. Then, keep going forward when life hits you in the head with a brick. Remember that quote from Karl Pilkington:
A problem solved, is a problem caused. That’s the problem with problems, you sort one out and it makes another.
Moving forward is your only option.
On God and Beliefs
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Sometimes I believe in God, sometimes I don’t. I think it’s 50-50 maybe.
But ever since I’ve had cancer, I’ve been thinking about it more.
And I find myself believing a bit more. I kind of – maybe it’s ’cause I want to believe in an afterlife. That when you die, it doesn’t just all disappear. The wisdom you’ve accumulated. Somehow it lives on, but sometimes I think it’s just like an on-off switch. Click and you’re gone.
And that’s why I don’t like putting on-off switches on Apple devices.Source 59
But I believe life is an intelligent thing, that things aren’t random.Source 22
There’s no bottom line here.
People should be free to believe what they want. As long as it makes them happy.
3 tips for more ‘connections’
- Have more respect for life. Create the habit of stopping and looking at things closely.
- Don’t take things for granted otherwise, life will remind you quickly that you should not. Trust me on that.
- Before you go to bed, take the time to be grateful for something. What is it for today?
3. Steve Jobs Quotes To Improve Your Business
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Fortunately, my training has been in doing things that take a long time.
You know? I was at Apple 10 years. I would have preferred to be there the rest of my life. So I’m a long-term kind of person.
I have been trained to think in units of time that are measured in several years. With what I’ve chosen to do with my life, you know, even a small thing takes a few years.
To do anything of magnitude takes at least five years, more likely seven or eight.
Rightfully or wrongfully, that’s how I think.Source 57
I’m a tool builder.
That’s how I think of myself. I want to build really good tools that I know in my gut and my heart will be valuable.
And then, whatever happens, is… you can’t really predict exactly what will happen, but you can feel the direction that we’re going. And that’s about as close as you can get.
Then you just stand back and get out of the way, and these things take on a life of their own.Source 12
I remember many late nights coming out of the Mac building when I would have the most incredibly powerful feelings about my life.Source 61
On starting Apple with Steve Wozniak: We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a 2 billion company with over 4000 employees.Source 39
Building something that is important to you is a powerful way to bring more meaning into your life. And this is exactly what Steve did.
Here are the best business and entrepreneurship notes I have taken along the years:
- Give the fish fast. People don’t want to learn how to fish. They want the fish. Fast. Give them. I learned this lesson in the book the 100$ Startup by Chris Guillebeau.
- Over deliver. Give them the fish fast AND make that fish more beautiful and better tasting than any other fish.
- Ask yourself: how can I create useful value for people? How can I inspire them? Guide them? Help them? Solve their problem faster? Make them feel better?
- Use the Pareto principle, or 80/20. Which 20% of your actions will give me 80% of your results? Do only those. Now, imagine you take it a bit further. Try the 90/10. Even better, try ‘Hell yeah, or no!‘.
- Before starting a task, ask yourself: is this really important?
- Never give up, find a way.
- Ask yourself: which problems can I solve to make the world a better place?
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We used to dream about this stuff. Now we get to build it. It’s pretty great.Source 32
The smallest company in the world can look as large as the largest company on the web.Source 16
I think this is the start of something really big.
Sometimes that first step is the hardest one, and we’ve just taken it.Source 16
Another priority was to make Apple more entrepreneurial and startup-like.
So we immediately reorganized, drastically narrowed the product line, and changed compensation for senior managers so they get a lot of stock but no cash bonuses.
The upshot is that the place feels more like a young company.Source 30
But it’s a disservice to constantly put things in this radical new light – that it’s going to change everything.
Things don’t have to change the world to be important.Source 58
One of the keys to Apple is Apple’s an incredibly collaborative company.
You know how many committees we have at Apple? Zero. We have no committees.
We are organized like a start-up.
One person’s in charge of iPhone OS software, one person’s in charge of Mac hardware, one person’s in charge of iPhone hardware engineering, another person’s in charge of worldwide marketing, another person’s in charge of operations. We are organized like a startup.
We are the biggest startup on the planet.Source 49
We’re trying to use the swiftness and creativity in a younger-style company, and yet bring to bear the tremendous resources of a company the size of Apple to do large projects that you could never handle at a startup.Source 30
It’s hard to tell with these Internet startups if they’re really interested in building companies or if they’re just interested in the money.
I can tell you, though: If they don’t really want to build a company, they won’t luck into it.
That’s because it’s so hard that if you don’t have a passion, you’ll give up.Source 60
We are aware that we are doing something significant.
We’re here at the beginning of it and we’re able to shape how it goes.
Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future. Most of the time, we’re taking things.
Neither you nor I made the clothes we wear; we don’t make the food or grow the foods we eat; we use a language that was developed by other people; we use another society’s mathematics.
Very rarely do we get a chance to put something back into that pool. I think we have that opportunity now.
And no, we don’t know where it will lead. We just know there’s something much bigger than any of us here.Source 6
Starting something is the hardest part.
However, if you believe in your product and idea and do it for the good reasons, you’ll most likely succeed.
3 tips for starting up
- Learn the art of eliminating. In other words, learn the art of saying no. As a startup, you can do thousands of things, but which are the ones that will really bring value to your business?
- Learn the art of prioritizing. Once you have done #1, it’s time to order your tasks by importance. Start with the most important and keep doing it until you’re done. Then go to next task.
- Learn the art of collaboration. As an entrepreneur, you probably want to do it all by yourself. But remember that an entrepreneur is often a jack of all trades, and master of none. Thus, collaborating with someone who is a specialist could help you more than you think.
Bonus: Find a business partner like Steve did. You’ll grow your customers 2.9 times as fast and raise 30% more money.
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My model for business is The Beatles.
They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other, and the total was greater than the sum of the parts.
That’s how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.Source 29 at 41s
We have wonderful arguments. […]
If you want to hire great people and have them stay working for you, you have to let them make a lot of decisions and you have to, you have to be run by ideas, not hierarchy.
The best ideas have to win, otherwise, good people don’t stay.Source 49
I contribute ideas, sure. Why would I be there if I didn’t?Source 49
When you work with somebody that close and you go through experiences like the ones we went through, there’s a bond in life.
Whatever hassles you have, there is a bond.
And even though he may not be your best friend as time goes on, there’s still something that transcends even friendship, in a way.Source 6
You must find people that complement you in order to achieve really great things in life.
Steve did exactly that with his friend Steve Wozniak when they started Apple. Jobs was responsible for the business side, Woz for the engineering.
2 questions for great team work
- After years of research, a Google team found out that the number one personality trait for good teamwork was ‘being nice‘. Question is: is there someone on your team who is a rotten Apple?
- When was the last time you’ve done an activity with all your teammates? Why not try a bowling game? A golf game? An indoor golf game? A hike? A walk? Just something to build that team spirit so important to the success of your business.
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We are gambling on our vision, and we would rather do that than make ‘me-too’ products.
For us, it’s always the next dream.Source 4
There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.
And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very, very beginning.Source 46
When I got back here in 1997, I was looking for more room, and I found an archive of old Macs and other stuff. I said, ‘Get it away!’ and I shipped all that shit off to Stanford.
If you look backward in this business, you’ll be crushed. You have to look forward. Source 48
The hard part of what we’re up against now is that people ask you about specifics and you can’t tell them.
A hundred years ago, if somebody had asked Alexander Graham Bell, ‘What are you going to be able to do with a telephone?’ he wouldn’t have been able to tell him the ways the telephone would affect the world.
He didn’t know that people would use the telephone to call up and find out what movies were playing that night or to order some groceries or call a relative on the other side of the globe.Source 6
It’s not about pop culture, and it’s not about fooling people, and it’s not about convincing people that they want something they don’t.
We figure out what we want. And I think we’re pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too. That’s what we get paid to do.Source 47
On if he and Wozniak had a vision at first: No, not particularly. Neither of us had any idea that this would go anywhere.
Woz is motivated by figuring things out. He concentrated more on the engineering and proceeded to do one of his most brilliant pieces of work, which was the disk drive, another key engineering feat that made the Apple II a possibility. I was trying to build the company, trying to find out what a company was.
I don’t think it would have happened without Woz and I don’t think it would have happened without me.Source 6
More important than building a product, we are in the process of architecting a company that will hopefully be much more incredible, the total will be much more incredible than the sum of its parts.Source 2 at 4m37s
Even a great brand needs investment and caring if it’s going to retain its relevance and vitality and the Apple brand has clearly suffered from neglect in this area in the last few years, and we need to bring it back.
The way to do that is not to talk about speed and fees, it’s not to talk about bits and mega-hertz, it’s not to talk about why we are better than Windows. […]
The best example of all and one of the greatest jobs of marketing that the universe has ever seen, is Nike.
Remember, Nike sells a commodity. They sell shoes.
And yet, when you think of Nike, you feel something different than a shoe company.
In their ads, as you know, they don’t ever talk about the product. They don’t ever tell you about their air soles.
What does Nike do in their advertising? They honor great athletes, and they honor great athletics. That’s who they are, that’s what they are about.Source 24
Steve wanted Apple to be different and special. He wanted it to be an extension of himself.
That was his vision and he trusted it.
But here’s the kicker: this is the exact thing you must do if you want a fulfilling and meaningful life.
Trust your intuition and fight for it.
3 tips to have a better ‘vision’
- Yes, you need to know about your competition, but leaders are one step ahead of others. Ask yourself what’s that next step and then focus on it. Learn about new technologies. Stay connected to your industry. Even better, learn how other industries are innovating and try to integrate those ideas into your business.
- No, you don’t need to know exactly where you’ll be in 5 or 10 years. Steve didn’t know either.
- Perhaps the only thing you do need is to follow your dreams and your heart. What’s the ideal world to you? Which problem important to YOU would you like being solved? Build the greatest solution for that problem.
Bonus: Did you know that you have 2 ‘operating systems’? The subconscious (intuition or right brain) and the conscious (rational or left brain). Research suggests we should trust both to have more success in life.
On Ambition And Changing The World
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My dream is that every person in the world will have their own Apple computer.
To do that, we’ve got to be a great marketing company.Source 8
I’ll tell you what our goal is: our goal is to make the best personal computers in the world and to make products we are proud to sell and recommend to our family and friends, and, we want to do that at the lowest price we can.Source 62
Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?Source 8
None of the really bright people I knew in college went into politics.
They all sensed that, in terms of making a change in the world, politics wasn’t the place to be in the late Sixties and Seventies.
All of them are in business now, which is funny, because they were the same people who trekked off to India or who tried in one way or another to find some sort of truth about life.Source 6
We have a major opportunity to influence where Apple is going.
As every day passes, the work fifty people are doing here is going to send a giant ripple through the universe. I am really impressed with the quality of our ripple.
I know I might be a little hard to get on with, but this is the most fun I’ve had in my life. I’m having a blast.Source 63
We attract a different kind of person – a person who doesn’t want to wait five or ten years to have someone take a giant risk on him or her.
Someone who really wants to get a little over his head and make a little dent in the universe.Source 6
Steve wanted every person in the world to have an Apple computer.
That’s one hell of a goal!
But make no mistake about it: the higher your expectations, the higher your chance of disappointment.
2 tips for ambitious people
- Do you want to become a millionaire? Remember that making over 75 000$ per year will NOT make you happier.
- There’s 2 kinds of ambitions: a) The bad one: making more money, controlling more people. b) The good one: making the world a better place, helping people solve their problems. On which side are you? Choose people over profit.
On Management And Leadership
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Somebody once told me, “Manage the top line, and the bottom line will follow.”
What’s the top line?
It’s things like, why are we doing this in the first place? What’s our strategy? What are customers saying? How responsive are we? Do we have the best products and the best people?
Those are the kind of questions you have to focus on.Source 9
We’ve got 25,000 people at Apple.
About 10,000 of them are in the stores. And my job is to work with sort of the top 100 people, that’s what I do.
That doesn’t mean they’re all vice presidents. Some of them are just key individual contributors.
So when a good idea comes, you know, part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of 100 people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know – just explore things.Source 47
Companies, as they grow to become multi-billion-dollar entities, somehow lose their vision.
They insert lots of layers of middle management between the people running the company and the people doing the work. They no longer have an inherent feel or a passion about the products.Source 6
What I do all day, is meet with teams of people, and work on ideas, and solve problems, to make new products, to make new marketing programs, whatever it is.Source 49
On meetings: We don’t have a lot of process at Apple, but that’s one of the few things we do just to all stay on the same page.Source 47
What I’m best at doing is finding a group of talented people and making things with them.Source 7
The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay.Source 58
My job is not to be easy on people.
My job is to make them better.
My job is to pull things together from different parts of the company and clear the ways and get the resources for the key projects.
And to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better, coming up with more aggressive visions of how it could be.Source 47
(on why he is brutal to most colleagues)
I’m brutally honest, because the price of admission to being in the room with me is I get to tell you your full of shit if you’re full of shit, and you get to say to me I’m full of shit, and we have some rip-roaring fights.
And that keeps the B players, the bozos, from larding the organization, only the A players survive.
And the people who do survive, say, ‘Yeah, he was rough.’ They say things even worse than ‘He cut in line in front of me,’ but they say, ‘This was the greatest ride I’ve ever had, and I would not give it up for anything.’Source 54
Steve was not technically skilled but he was a powerful leader.
He was able to inspire people of doing things they themselves didn’t know were possible.
3 tips to be a better leader
- There are different styles of leadership. Don’t try to be like Steve. Find your own style. Do you lead with your words? With your commitment? With your generosity? With your ears? With your heart?
- There are different ways to motivate people. Don’t treat them all the same way. Some are slower paced, others like to get out their comfort zones. Be adaptable.
- Be the one that initiate things. Be the one that reunites people. Be the one people respect.
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They have to be really smart.
But the real issue for me is, are they going to fall in love with Apple? Because if they fall in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself.
They’ll want to do what’s best for Apple, not what’s best for them, what’s best for Steve, or anybody else.Source 47
We hire people who want to make the best things in the world.
You’d be surprised how hard people work over around here. They work nights and weekends, sometimes not seeing their families for a while.
Sometimes people work through Christmas to make sure the tooling is just right at some factory in some corner of the world so our product comes out the best it can be.
People care so much, and it shows.Source 60
All we are is our ideas or people.
That’s what keeps us going to work in the morning, to hang around these great bright people.
I’ve always thought that recruiting is the heart and soul of what we do.Source 44
The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.
And when you’re in a field where the dynamic range is 25 to 1, boy, does it pay off.Source 16
Recruiting is hard.
It’s just finding the needles in the haystack.
We do it ourselves and we spend a lot of time at it. I’ve participated in the hiring of maybe 5,000+ people in my life.
So I take it very seriously. You can’t know enough in a one-hour interview. So, in the end, it’s ultimately based on your gut. How do I feel about this person? What are they like when they’re challenged? Why are they here? I ask everybody that: ‘Why are you here?’
The answers themselves are not what you’re looking for. It’s the meta-data.Source 47
My number one job here at Apple is to make sure that the top 100 people are A+ players.
And everything else will take care of itself.Source 26
It’s painful when you have some people who are not the best people in the world and you have to get rid of them; but I found my job has sometimes exactly been that – to get rid of some people who didn’t measure up and I’ve always tried to do it in a humane way.
But nonetheless it has to be done and it is never fun.Source 58
Many times in an interview I will purposely upset someone: I’ll criticize their prior work.
I’ll do my homework, find out what they worked on, and say, “God, that really turned out to be a bomb. That really turned out to be a bozo product. Why did you work on that?…”.
I want to see what people are like under pressure.
I want to see if they just fold or if they have firm conviction, belief, and pride in what they did.Source 58
Recruiting great employees is THE key to your business success.
But remember one thing: finding great employees is hard.
And Steve knew it: he interviewed more than 5000 people during his career.
Quick story: In my experience, recruiting B players is indeed bad for a company.
John (fictive name), ended up working for us approximately 8 months. He was fired because he didn’t deliver results.
Now, let’s assume he was making around 30$ per hour. He worked 7.5 hours per day, 5 days a week, for 8 months. How much it makes? That’s 36 000$.
3 quick tips for hiring A+ players
- Yes, you have deadlines but don’t rush your hiring decisions. You could regret it (think -36000$). Opt for the long term.
- During the interview, don’t be scared to push the boundaries and surprise the interviewee with unusual questions. Don’t worry about the actual answer. Just see how he handle the unexpected.
- Worldwide, only 13% of people say they are engaged at work. So make sure you can offer challenging work, a great environment, and great colleagues too. A+ players like to hang around A+ players.
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It’s very interesting, I was worth about over a million dollars when I was 23 and over 10 million when I was 24 and over a hundred million when I was 25 and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.
I think money is a wonderful thing because it enables you to do things, it enables you to invest in ideas that don’t have a short-term payback and things like that.
But especially at that point in my life it was not the most important thing, the most important thing was the company, the people, the products we were making, what we were going to enable people to do with these products so I didn’t think about it a great deal, and I never sold any stock, just really believe that the company would do very well over the long term.Source 16
Bottom line is, I didn’t return to Apple to make a fortune.
I’ve been very lucky in my life and already have one.
When I was 25, my net worth was $100 million or so.
I decided then that I wasn’t going to let it ruin my life. There’s no way you could ever spend it all, and I don’t view wealth as something that validates my intelligence.Source 60
I’m not going to let it ruin my life.
Isn’t it kind of funny? You know, my main reaction to this money thing is that it’s humorous, all the attention to it, because it’s hardly the most insightful or valuable thing that’s happened to me in the past ten years.
But it makes me feel old, sometimes, when I speak at a campus and I find that what students are most in awe of is the fact that I’m a millionaire.Source 58
I still don’t understand it.
It’s a large responsibility to have more than you can spend in your lifetime, and I feel I have to spend it.
If you die, you certainly don’t want to leave a large amount to your children. It will just ruin their lives. And if you die without kids, it will all go to the Government.
Almost everyone would think that he could invest the money back into humanity in a much more astute way than the Government could.
The challenges are to figure out how to live with it and to reinvest it back into the world, which means either giving it away or using it to express your concerns or values.Source 6
On the money they made when starting Apple: It was giant! We did about $200,000 when our business was in the garage, in 1976.
In 1977, about $7,000,000 in business. I mean, it was phenomenal!
And in 1978, we did $17,000,000. In 1979, we did $47,000,000. That’s when we all really sensed that this was just going through the rafters.
In 1980, we did $117,000,000. In 1981, we did $335,000,000.
In 1982, we did $583,000,000. In 1983, we did $985,000,000, I think.
This year, it will be a billion and a half.Source 6
On making millions (see previous quote): Well, they’re just yardsticks, you know.
The neatest thing was, by 1979, I was able to walk into classrooms that had 15 Apple computers and see the kids using them.
And those are the kinds of things that are really the milestones.Source 6
None of those people care about the money.
I mean, a lot of them made a lot of money, but they don’t really care.
Their lifestyles haven’t particularly changed. It was the chance to actually try something, to fail, to succeed, to grow.Source 6
Steve was a millionaire at 23.
He had a net worth estimated of 10.2 billion at the time of his death. The best part though is that he couldn’t care less about money.
He really did it for the love of building great products.
2 quick tips on money
- The greatest source of happiness is not money but doing something you love. Don’t chase money, chase love.
- Yes, with lots of money you could buy anything: a new TV, a new smartphone, new pairs of shoes, a bigger house. However, more and more people are realizing that, on the contrary, it’s easier to be happy with less. Try searching Google for ‘tiny houses’, ‘minimalist living’.
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We don’t stand a chance of advertising with features and benefits and with RAMs and with charts and comparisons.
The only chance we have of communicating is with a feeling.Source 58
We do no market research. We don’t hire consultants.
We just want to make great products.Source 47
You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them.
By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.Source 9
To me, marketing is about values.
It’s a very complicated world. It’s a very noisy world.
And we not gonna get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is.
So we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us.Source 24
You saw the 1984 commercial. Macintosh was basically this relatively small company in Cupertino, California, taking on the goliath, IBM, and saying, “Wait a minute, your way is wrong.
This is now the way we want computers to go. This is not the legacy we want to leave. This is not what we want our kids to be learning. This is wrong and we are going to show you the right way to do it and here it is.
It’s called Macintosh and it is so much better.Source 58
Steve understood one thing: people don’t buy what you do, they buy who you are.
In other words, people will be more loyal to your brand because they know what you stand for.
So, if you believe in giving, generosity and helping people, then sell that idea first. This is what makes people come back.
What’s your ideal? What’s your dream?
5 great quotes on marketing:
Best way to sell something – don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, & trust of those who might buy. Rand Fishkin
The culture is your brand. Tony Hsieh
Make your marketing so useful people would pay you for it. Jay Baer
The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing. Tom Fishburne
The consumer is not a moron; she is your wife. David Ogilvy
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What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.Source 10 at 4m19s
I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer, should learn a computer language because it teaches you how to think.Source 16 at 21m
Talking about bicycles: Human are tool builders, and we build tools that can dramatically amplify our innate human abilities.
We actually ran an ad like this early at Apple that the personal computer is the bicycle of the mind and I believe that with every bone in my body that all the inventions of humans, the computer is going to rank near, if not at the top, as history unfolds and we look back.
And it is the most awesome tool that we ever invented.
And I feel incredibly lucky to be at exactly the right place in Silicon Valley, at exactly the right time historically where this invention has taken form.Source 16 at 1h5m5s
A computer is the most incredible tool we’ve ever seen.
It can be a writing tool, a communications center, a super calculator, a planner, a filer and an artistic instrument all in one, just by being given new instructions, or software, to work from.
There are no other tools that have the power and versatility of a computer. We have no idea how far it’s going to go. Right now, computers make our lives easier.
They do work for us in fractions of a second that would take us hours. They increase the quality of life, some of that by simply automating drudgery and some of that by broadening our possibilities.
As things progress, they’ll be doing more and more for us.Source 6
These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise.
You may have a child with a birth defect and be able to get in touch with other parents and support groups, get medical information, the latest experimental drugs.
These things can profoundly influence life. I’m not downplaying that.Source 18
I think it’s brought the world a lot closer together, and will continue to do that.
There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything. The most corrosive piece of technology that I’ve ever seen is called television – but then, again, television, at its best, is magnificent.Source 60
I do feel there is another way we have an effect on society besides our computers.Source 6
On how will the Web impact our society: We live in an information economy, but I don’t believe we live in an information society.
People are thinking less than they used to. It’s primarily because of television. People are reading less and they’re certainly thinking less.
So, I don’t see most people using the Web to get more information.
We’re already in information overload. No matter how much information the Web can dish out, most people get far more information than they can assimilate anyway.Source 18
But the next thing is going to be computer as guide or agent.
And what that means is that it’s going to do more in terms of anticipating what we want and doing it for us, noticing connections and patterns in what we do, asking us if this is some sort of generic thing we’d like to do regularly, so that we’re going to have, as an example, the concept of triggers.
We’re going to be able to ask our computers to monitor things for us, and when certain conditions happen, are triggered, the computers will take certain actions and inform us after the fact.Source 60
The point is that tools are always going to be used for certain things we don’t find personally pleasing.
And it’s ultimately the wisdom of people, not the tools themselves, that is going to determine whether or not these things are used in positive, productive ways.Source 6
Steve believed that the computer was the greatest thing ever invented.
He called it the bicycle of the mind.
But here’s the interesting thing: did you know that Steve’s kids were not allowed to use iPads at home? Maybe he knew how addictive these technologies were.
Here’s what he had to say about iPads:
They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.
2 tips for better technology management
- Try a technology fast for 1 day. It will help you realize your addiction.
- Go to your smartphone or tablet and disable all notifications. Do it now. This way, you won’t be tempted to check your (let’s be honest) useless updates. You and I should not be dopamine junkies. We should not waste the only thing we have: our time.
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One of the things that made Apple great was that, in the early days, it was built from the heart.Source 61
The roots of Apple were to build computers for people, not for corporations.
The world doesn’t need another Dell or Compaq.Source 58
What if Apple didn’t exist?
Think about it. Time wouldn’t get published next week. Some 70% of the newspaper in the U.S. wouldn’t publish tomorrow morning.
Some 60% of the kids wouldn’t have computers; 64% of the teachers wouldn’t have computers. More than half the Websites created on Macs wouldn’t exist.
So there’s something worth saving here. See?Source 58
What are the great brands? Levi’s, Coke, Disney, Nike. Most people would put Apple in that category.
You could spend billions of dollars building a brand not as good as Apple. Yet Apple hasn’t been doing anything with this incredible asset.
What is Apple, after all?
Apple is about people who think ‘outside the box’, people who want to use computers to help them change the world, to help them create things that make a difference, and not just to get a job done.Source 22
Apple’s the only company left in this industry that designs the whole widget. Hardware, software, developer relations, marketing.Source 58
Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.
It’s very fortunate if you can work on just one of these in your career.
Apple’s been very fortunate in that it’s introduced a few of these.Source 43
What we want to do is make a leapfrog product that is way smarter than any mobile device has ever been, and super-easy to use.
This is what iPhone is. OK?
So, we’re going to reinvent the phone.Source 43
I had this idea of being able to get rid of the keyboard, type on a multi-touch glass display, and I asked our folks, “Could we come up with a multi-touch display?Source 49
We designed iMac to deliver the things consumers care about most: the excitement of the Internet and the simplicity of the Mac.Source 58
It’s not about charisma and personality, it’s about results and products and those very bedrock things that are why people at Apple and outside of Apple are getting more excited about the company and what Apple stands for and what its potential is to contribute to the industry.Source 21
Talking about the iPod Nano: We’re in uncharted territory. We’ve never sold this many of anything before.Source 58
At the time of writing this, Apple is the most successful company ever created.
What’s the key to its success? Apple makes product people love and puts love into their products. That’s it.
4. Steve Jobs Quotes To Be More Innovative
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Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.Source 58
Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have.
When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money.
It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.Source 20
The doers are the major thinkers.
The people that really create the things that change this industry are both the thinker and doer in one person.Source 16
Leonardo [da Vinci] was the artist but he also mixed all his own paints.
He also was a fairly good chemist. He knew about pigments, knew about human anatomy. And combining all of those skills together, the art and the science, the thinking and the doing, was what resulted in the exceptional result.
And there is no difference in our industry.
The people that have really made the contributions have been the thinkers and the doers.Source 16
Actually, making an insanely great product has a lot to do with the process of making the product, how you learn things and adopt new ideas and throw out old ideas.Source 6
People get stuck as they get older.
Our minds are sort of electrochemical computers. Your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind.
You are really etching chemical patterns. In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns, just like grooves in a record, and they never get out of them.
It’s a rare person who etches grooves that are other than a specific way of looking at things, a specific way of questioning things.Source 6
You always have to keep pushing to innovate.
Dylan could have sung protest songs forever and probably made a lot of money, but he didn’t. He had to move on, and when he did, by going electric in 1965, he alienated a lot of people. His 1966 Europe tour was his greatest…
The Beatles were the same way. They kept evolving, moving, refining their art. That’s what I’ve always tried to do – keep moving.
Otherwise, as Dylan says, if you are not busy being born, you’re busy dying.Source 59, p. 570
Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes.
It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations.Source 64
I have a great respect for incremental improvement, and I’ve done that sort of thing in my life, but I’ve always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes.
I don’t know why. Because they’re harder. They’re much more stressful emotionally.
And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you’ve completely failed.Source 12
The people who go to see our movies are trusting us with something very important – their time and their imagination.
So in order to respect that trust, we have to keep changing; we have to challenge ourselves and try to surprise our audiences with something new every time.Source 58
Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem.
It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.Source 31
You can’t go out and ask people, you know, what the next big thing is.
There’s a great quote by Henry Ford, right? He said, ‘If I’d have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me ‘A faster horse’.Source 47
You know, my philosophy is – it’s always been very simple.
And it has its flaws, which I’ll go into.
My philosophy is that everything starts with a great product.
So, you know, I obviously believed in listening to customers, but customers can’t tell you about the next breakthrough that’s going to happen next year that’s going the change the whole industry.
So you have to listen very carefully. But then you have to go and sort of stow away – you have to go hide away with people that really understand the technology, but also really care about the customers, and dream up this next breakthrough.Source 7
According to Steve, innovation comes down to this: having knowledge and experiences in different fields and combining them to make a great product.
3 ways to reinvent yourself
- Don’t be attached to your successes. The world evolves every day so what works today will NOT work tomorrow. Famous chess player Gary Kasparov once said:
Many people think that if something worked yesterday and is still working today, it will work tomorrow. That’s wrong because people on the losing side will come up with a new strategy. I stayed on top for 20 years because I knew that even if you win, there are things to learn.
- Don’t be attached to your surroundings. Yes it’s good a have a place called home, but the more you’ll be comfortable with the unknown, the better you’ll be at reinventing yourself.
- Don’t be attached to your thoughts. Unfortunately, most of us have a lot of negative thoughts during the day. But remember this: most of them are useless. So try to observe and catch yourself when you have those. The calmer your mind, the easier it will be.
On Thinking Differently
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The theme of the campaign is ‘Think different’.
It’s honoring the people who think different, and who move this world forward.Source 24
Apple is built on refugees from other companies. These are the extremely bright individual contributors who were troublemakers at other companies.Source 6
The people who made Mac are sort of on the edge.Source 6
On if he is a nerd or a hippie: If I had to pick one of those two I’m clearly a hippie. All the people that I worked with were clearly in that category too.Source 6 at 1h8m7s
I think the artistry is in having an insight into what one sees around them.
Generally putting things together in a way no one else has before and finding a way to express that to other people who don’t have that insight.Source 15
Steve surrounded himself with smart and rebellious people.
In his famous ad campaign ‘Think different’, he said: ‘the people who were crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.’
Think about it, how can you create something extraordinary?
Yes, you’ll need extraordinary efforts, but most of all, you’ll need extraordinary and edgy people.
6 quotes on thinking differently
I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking. Albert Einstein
If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old. Peter Drucker
Obsession is the wellspring of genius and madness. Michel de Montaigne
First, they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. Mahatma Gandhi
Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. Oscar Wilde
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect). Mark Twain
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Creativity is just connecting things.
When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.
It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.
And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.Source 18
I don’t think that most of the really best people that I’ve worked with worked with computers for the sake of working with computers.
They worked with computers because they are the medium that is best capable of transmitting some feeling that you have, that you want to share with other people.Source 16 at 1h10m42s
Well, I don’t know what this Valley is.
I work at Apple. I’m there so many hours a day and I don’t visit other places; I’m not an expert on Silicon Valley.
What I do see is a small group of people who are artists and care more about their art than they do about almost anything else.
It’s more important than finding a girlfriend, it’s more important… than cooking a meal, it’s more important than joining the Marines, it’s more important than whatever.
Look at the way artists work. They’re not typically the most ‘balanced’ people in the world. Now, yes, we have a few workaholics here who are trying to escape other things, of course.
But the majority of people out here have made very conscious decisions; they really have.Source 3
One of my role models is Bob Dylan.
As I grew up, I learned the lyrics to all his songs and watched him never stand still.
If you look at the artists, if they get really good, it always occurs to them at some point that they can do this one thing for the rest of their lives, and they can be really successful to the outside world but not really be successful to themselves.
That’s the moment that an artist really decides who he or she is. If they keep on risking failure, they’re still artists.Source 58
It’s rare that you see an artist in his 30s or 40s able to really contribute something amazing.
Of course, there are some people who are innately curious, forever little kids in their awe of life, but they’re rare.Source 6
As you are growing and changing, the more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you that it thinks you are, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to go, “Bye. I have to go. I’m going crazy and I’m getting out of here.”
And they go and hibernate somewhere. Maybe later they re-emerge a little differently.Source 6
According to Steve, a successful artist is someone who stays young and weird.
And by the way, did you know that he thought himself to be more an artist than a businessman?
Remember in the ‘Thinking Differently’ section, he even said that he was ‘clearly a hippie‘, not a nerd.
3 simple ways to improve your creativity like Steve
- Walk. Steve was famous for his walking meetings. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) too, Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Charles Dickens, and Beethoven.
- Travel. Steve visited India in 1974 searching new experiences and a deeper meaning of life.
- Meditate. After his trip to India, Steve became a practitioner of Zen Buddhism and meditation. He even went to meditation retreats every few months. Try it yourself, you could improve your creativity, clarity, and focus.
Bonus 1: Sleep more, or LESS! I’ve found that insomnia is indeed a good way to spark creativity. Imagine if you could spend 2 or 3 hours solely dedicated to thinking.
Bonus 2: Spend more time alone like Albert Einstein, Mozart, Nikola Tesla.
On Design And User Experience (UX)
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We are very careful about what features we add because we can’t take them away.Source 38
Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.Source 30
To design something really well, you have to get it.
You have to really grok what it’s all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it.
Most people don’t take the time to do that.Source 58
When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it.
You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.Source 6
A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences.
So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem.
The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.Source 18
We spent some time in our family talking about what’s the trade-off we want to make.
We ended up talking a lot about design, but also about the values of our family.
Did we care most about getting our wash done in an hour versus an hour and a half? Or did we care most about our clothes feeling really soft and lasting longer? Did we care about using a quarter of the water?
We spent two weeks talking about this every night at the dinner table. We’d get around to that old washer-dryer discussion. And the talk was about design.Source 58
People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’
That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. Source 65
You’re asking, where does aesthetic judgment come from? With many things: high-performance automobiles, for example, the aesthetic comes right from the function, and I suppose electronics is no different.
But I’ve also found that the best companies pay attention to aesthetics.
They take the extra time to lay out grids and proportion things appropriately, and it seems to pay off for them.
I mean, beyond the functional benefits, the aesthetic communicates something about how they think of themselves, their sense of discipline in engineering, how they run their company, stuff like that.Source 9
It’s really hard to design products by focus groups.
A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.Source 21
Designing a product is keeping five thousand things in your brain, these concepts and fitting them all together in kind of continuing to push to fit them together in new and different ways to get what you want.Source 16 at 36m38s
Look at the Mercedes design, the proportion of sharp detail to flowing lines.
Over the years, they have made the design softer but the details starker. That’s what we have to do with the Macintosh.Source 58
You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backward to the technology.Source 58
The products suck! There’s no sex in them anymore!Source 19
What we’re trying to do is remove the barrier of having to learn how to use a computer.Source 61
This is what customers pay us for – to sweat all these details so it’s easy and pleasant for them to use our computers.
We’re supposed to be really good at this. That doesn’t mean we don’t listen to customers, but it’s hard for them to tell you what they want when they’ve never seen anything remotely like it.
Take desktop video editing. I never got one request from someone who wanted to edit movies on his computer. Yet now that people see it, they say, ‘Oh my God, that’s great!’.Source 30
On making simple designs: It’s insane: We all have busy lives, we have jobs, we have interests, and some of us have children.
Everyone’s lives are just getting busier, not less busy, in this busy society.
You just don’t have time to learn this stuff, and everything’s getting more complicated…
We both don’t have a lot of time to learn how to use a washing machine or a phone.Source 58
Our DNA is as a consumer company – for that individual customer who’s voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That’s who we think about.
And we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience.Source 47
Steve cared a lot about simple designs and customer experience.
On one hand, he made sure Apple products were super easy to use.
On the other, he made sure all little details were perfect, from his presentations to the product look and feel, to the ad campaigns. Everything!
He cared so much about details that he once spent 30 minutes debating the shade of gray Apple should use for the bathroom signs in Apple stores.
2 simple ways to improve your designs and user experiences
- Simplicity. People want fast results so make sure your product is easy to use. Remove any barriers between the user’s needs and the result. Ask yourself: is this step necessary? Could a 5 years old kid use my product?
- Soul. Ask yourself: how can I put more soul in my products and services so people really connect with my brand? Try using more emotions, stories, colors, personality, faces, smiles, love. In other words, try using more humanity.
3 great quotes on user experience:
Customer service is the new marketing. Derek Sivers
Customer service shouldn’t just be a department, it should be the entire company. Tony Hsieh
The single most important thing is to make people happy. If you are making people happy, as a side effect, they will be happy to open up their wallets and pay you. Derek Sivers
On Culture, Arts And Music
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We want to stand at the intersection of computers and humanism.Source 60
Apple is about something more than that, Apple, at the core, its core value, is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better.Source 24
Ultimately, it comes down to taste.
It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then try to bring those things into what you’re doing.
Picasso had a saying: good artists copy, great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas, and I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians and poets and artists and zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world.Source 16 at 1h6m56s
On why he made everybody sign the Mac cases: Because the people that worked on it consider themselves and I certainly consider them artists.
These are the people that under different circumstances would be painters and poets but because of that time that we live in this new medium has appeared in which to express oneself to one’s fellow species and that’s a medium of computing.
And so a lot of people that would have been artists and scientists have gone into this field to express their feeling and so it seemed like the right thing to do.Source 16
The key thing that comes true is that they had a variety of experiences which they could draw upon, in order to try to solve a problem or to attack a particular dilemma in a kind of unique way.Source 1
Leonardo da Vinci was a great artist and a great scientist.
Michelangelo knew a tremendous amount about how to cut stone at the quarry.
The finest dozen computer scientists I know are all musicians. Some are better than others, but they all consider that an important part of their life.
I don’t believe that the best people in any of these fields see themselves as one branch of a forked tree. I just don’t see that. People bring these things together a lot.Source 58
Anyway, one of our biggest challenges, and the one I think John Sculley and I should be judged on in five to ten years, is making Apple an incredibly great 10 or 20 billion-dollar company. ‘Will it still have the spirit it does today?’
We’re charting new territory.Source 6
If Apple becomes a place where computers are a commodity item, where the romance is done, and where people forget that computers are the most incredible invention that man has ever invented, I’ll feel I have lost Apple.
But if I’m a million miles away, and all those people still feel those things… then I will feel that my genes are still there.Source 58
You know, Dr. Edwin Land was a troublemaker.
He dropped out of Harvard and founded Polaroid.
Not only was he one of the great inventors of our time but, more important, he saw the intersection of art and science and business and built an organization to reflect that.Source 6
What are we, anyway? Most of what we think we are is just a collection of likes and dislikes, habits, patterns.
At the core of what we are is our values, and what decisions and actions we make reflect those values.Source 6
You need a very product-oriented culture, even in a technology company.
Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together.
Otherwise, you can get great pieces of technology all floating around the universe. But it doesn’t add up to much.Source 58
Besides Dylan, I was interested in Eastern mysticism, which hit the shores at about the same time.Source 6
Woz and I very much liked Bob Dylan’s poetry, and we spent a lot of time thinking about a lot of that stuff.Source 6
I started to listen to music a whole lot and I started to read more outside of just science and technology, Shakespeare, Plato. I loved ‘King Lear’.Source 59, Page 19
We did iTunes because we all love music.
We made what we thought was the best jukebox in iTunes. Then we all wanted to carry our whole music libraries around with us.
The team worked really hard. And the reason that they worked so hard is because we all wanted one. You know?
I mean, the first few hundred customers were us.Source 47
Steve wanted to build a great company at the intersection of computers and humanism.
And he made it. Apple is today the world’s largest information technology company by revenue.
But how was Apple able to do that? The answer is simple,
- They make great products.
- They put who they are at the forefront of their marketing.
But what does it mean for you?
People will find it easier to connect with you and your brand if you show them who you truly are.
8 quotes about culture and values
A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people. Mahatma Gandhi
Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with a passion. Brian Chesky
And sin, young man, is when you treat people like things. Terry Pratchett
Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first. Simon Sinek
I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without expectations of rewards or punishments after I am dead. Kurt Vonnegut
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. Henry David Thoreau
Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury – to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best for both the body and the mind. Albert Einstein
The aim of education is the knowledge not of facts but of values. William Ralph Inge
On Learning, Education, Meditation
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I think all of us need to be on guard against arrogance which knocks at the door whenever you’re successful.Source 28 at 3m11s
I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.
The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything.
It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.Source 39
Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.Source 39
The key thing to remember about me is that I’m still a student.
I’m still in boot camp. If anyone is reading any of my thoughts, I’d keep that in mind.
Don’t take it all too seriously. If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much.
You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away.Source 6
I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long.
Just figure out what’s next.Source 40
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country… I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this.
It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating. None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life.
But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me.Source 39
We wanted to more richly experience why were we were alive, not just make a better life, and so people went in search of things.
The great thing that came from that time was to realize that there was definitely more to life than the materialism of the late 50’s and early sixties.
We were going in search of something deeper.Source 51
Between my sophomore and junior years, I got stoned for the first time; I discovered Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas, and all that classic stuff.
I read Moby Dick and went back as a junior taking creative-writing classes.
By the time I was a senior, I’d gotten permission to spend about half my time at Stanford, taking classes.Source 6
You could get LSD fresh made from Stanford.
You could sleep on the beach at night with your girlfriend. California has a sense of experimentation and a sense of openness – openness to new possibilities.Source 6
Human minds settle into fixed ways of looking at the world and that’s always been true and it’s probably always going to be true.Source 17
There’s a phrase in Buddhism, ‘Beginner’s mind’. It’s wonderful to have a beginner’s mind.Source 18
I’m completely stunned.
I’m 19 years old, in a foreign country, up in the Himalayas, and here is this bizarre Indian baba who has just dragged me away from the rest of the crowd, shaving my head atop this mountain peak.
I’m still not sure why he did it.Source 6
I bought an apartment in New York, but it’s because I love that city.
I’m trying to educate myself, being from a small town in California, not having grown up with the sophistication and culture of a large city. I consider it part of my education.Source 6
I used to think that technology could help education.
I’ve probably spearheaded giving away more computer equipment to schools than anybody else on the planet.
But I’ve had to come to the inevitable conclusion that the problem is not one that technology can hope to solve.
What’s wrong with education cannot be fixed with technology. No amount of technology will make a dent.Source 18
The most important thing is a person.
A person who incites and feeds your curiosity; and machines cannot do that in the same way that people can.Source 15
One of the saints in my life is this woman named Imogene Hill, who was a fourth-grade teacher who taught this advanced class.
She got hip to my whole situation in about a month and kindled a passion in me for learning things. I learned more that year than I think I learned in any year in school.Source 6
I was pretty bored in school, and I turned into a little terror.
You should have seen us in third grade. We basically destroyed our teacher.
We would let snakes loose in the classroom and explode bombs.Source 6
Well, I was thrown out of school a few times.Source 6
School was pretty hard for me at the beginning.
My mother taught me how to read before I got to school and so when I got there I really just wanted to do two things. I wanted to read books because I loved reading books and I wanted to go outside and chase butterflies. You know, do the things that five-year-olds like to do.
I encountered authority of a different kind than I had ever encountered before, and I did not like it. And they really almost got me.
They came close to really beating any curiosity out of me.Source 15
Obviously, one of the great challenges of an education is to teach us how to think.
What we’re finding is that computers are actually going to affect the quality of thinking as more and more of our children have these tools available to them.Source 6
I know from my own education that if I hadn’t encountered two or three individuals that spent extra time with me, I’m sure I would have been in jail.Source 15
When you’re young, a little bit of course correction goes a long way.
I think it takes pretty talented people to do that.Source 15
As Steve showed us, the best way to learn in life is by experimenting life itself.
And to experience life to the fullest, you’ve got to have a beginner’s mind. You’ve got to have a mind that is fresh, in wonder and in a constant state of learning.
So, what’s a good way to have the beginner’s mind?
LSD and marijuana like Steve? Dropping out classes? Have fun and let snakes loose in the classroom?
Admittedly, there’s no right or wrong answer. But one thing I have found incredibly effective is meditation.
In his book Tools of Titans, Tim Ferriss said that more than 80% of the world-class performers he interviewed have some form of daily meditations or mindfulness practice.
So, it could be worth a shot if you haven’t try it yet.
By the way,
did you know that Steve also practiced meditation?
Here’s what he had to say about it:
If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is.
If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things – that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more.
Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment.
You see so much more than you could see before.Source 59
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I’m actually as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done.Source 47
That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity.
Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.
But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.Source 58
I have a very simple life.
I have my family and I have Apple and Pixar. And I don’t do much else.Source 35
Well, my favorite things in life are books, sushi and…
My favorite things in life don’t cost any money.
It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.
As it is, I pay a price by not having much of a personal life. I don’t have the time to pursue love affairs or to tour small towns in Italy and sit in cafés and eat tomato-and-mozzarella salad.Source 6
I end up not buying a lot of things, because I find them ridiculous.Source 38
Look at the design of a lot of consumer products – they’re really complicated surfaces.
We tried to make something much more holistic and simple. When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there.
But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can oftentimes arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions.
Most people just don’t put in the time or energy to get there. We believe that customers are smart and want objects which are well thought through.Source 41
What I found when I got here was a zillion and one products. It was amazing.
And I started to ask people, now why would I recommend a 3400 over a 4400?
When should somebody jump up to a 6500, but not a 7300? And after three weeks, I couldn’t figure this out. If I couldn’t figure this out… how could our customers figure this out?Source 58
Apple is a $30 billion company, yet we’ve got less than 30 major products.
I don’t know if that’s ever been done before.
Certainly the great consumer electronics companies of the past had thousands of products.
We tend to focus much more. People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all.
It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are.
You have to pick carefully.Source 47
We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.Source 31
Steve loved simple things.
So much, that design and simplicity were regular conversations in his family. He even refused to buy furniture in his house because they were badly design.
5 powerful quotes on simplicity:
People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results. Albert Einstein
The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook. William James
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Clutter and confusion are failures of design, not attributes of information. Edward Tuft
It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential. Bruce Lee
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Quality is more important than quantity.
One home run is much better than two doubles.Source 36
We had a fundamental belief that doing it right the first time was going to be easier than having to go back and fix it.
And I cannot say strongly enough that the repercussions of that attitude are staggering. I’ve seen them again and again throughout my business life.Source 9
We’re not going to be the first to this party, but we’re going to be the best.Source 50
The Lisa people wanted to do something great.
And the Mac people want to do something insanely great.
The difference shows.Source 58
People judge you on your performance, so focus on the outcome.
Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.Source 58
If they are working in an environment where excellence is expected, then they will do excellent work without anything but self-motivation.
I’m talking about an environment in which excellence is noticed and respected and is in the culture.
If you have that, you don’t have to tell people to do excellent work. They understand it from their surroundings.Source 9
I have to tell you there’s some stuff in our industry that we wouldn’t be proud to ship, that we wouldn’t be proud to recommend to our family and friends.
And we can’t do it, we just can’t ship junk.Source 52 at 42s
We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didn’t build the Mac for anybody else.
We built it for ourselves.
We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not.
We weren’t going to go out and do market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build.Source 6
Steve believed in building quality products.
This is why he focused so much on building just a few great products as opposed to building lots of good products.
3 unexpected ways to improve the quality of your products
- Quality goes hand in hand with simplicity. The more your spread your efforts on different things, the less awesome your products will be. So if you sell 30 different products, cut that down to 5. Make those 5 products the best in the industry. This is what Steve did when he returned to Apple in 1997. Now, ask yourself, how can I hit a home run with this product?
- Quality goes hand in hand with hiring A+ players. Hire linchpins. Hire people who care deeply about what they are doing. The more A+ players you have on your team, the more other A+ players will be attracted to your business.
- Quality goes hand in hand with empathy. The more you understand your users, the more you’ll be able to give them exactly what they want. So ask yourself, who is my ideal customer? What does he love? What does he hate? Why will he use my product? How will he use my product? Having a deep understanding of humans desires will help you improve the quality of your products and services.
And One More Thing… Steve Jobs Quotes On Microsoft And Bill Gates
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The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste.
They have absolutely no taste. And I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way, in the sense that they don’t think of original ideas, and they don’t bring much culture into their products.Source 16
I am saddened, not by Microsoft success, I have no problem with their success, they’ve earned their success, for the most part.
I have a problem with the fact that they just make really third-rate products. Their products have no spirit to them, their products have no spirit of enlightenment about them, they are very pedestrian.
The sad part is that customers don’t have a lot of that spirit either, but the way that we’re going to ratchet up our species is to take the best and to spread it around everybody so that everybody grows up with better things and starts to understand the subtlety of these better things.Source 16 at 57m27s
I wish him the best, I really do.
I just think he and Microsoft are a bit narrow.
He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.Source 23
Microsoft has had two goals in the last 10 years. One was to copy the Mac, and the other was to copy Lotus’ success in the spreadsheet – basically, the applications business.
And over the course of the last 10 years, Microsoft accomplished both of those goals. And now they are completely lost.Source 12
With our technology, with objects, literally three people in a garage can blow away what 200 people at Microsoft can do.Source 12
Our friends up north spend over five billion dollars on research and development and all they seem to do is copy Google and Apple.Source 42
Steve Jobs Last Words
Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.Source 53
Steve Jobs’ sayings were often provoking yet inspiring and profound.
That’s why I’ve used ‘Stay hungry, stay foolish’ almost every day since the first time I’ve heard it. I’ve found it helps me move forward and stay a little crazy when things get tough.
And since I’ve used so many of Steve’s quotes over the years, I wanted to present them back to you so you can benefit from them too.
Did I forget any great quotes by Steve? What is YOUR favorite quote? Please let me know in the comment section below!
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4 Apple product event for the first Macintosh computer, January 24, 1984
7 Newsweek, September 29, 1985
11 On the success of Bill Gates and Microsoft, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal – Summer 1993
25 The Three Faces Of Steve In this exclusive, personal conversation, Apple’s CEO reflects on the turnaround, and on how a wunderkind became an old pro. By Brent Schlender; Steve Jobs, November 9, 1998
32 Keynote address at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, June 2004
38 The Independent, October 29 2005
41 Newsweek, October 14, 2006
53 Steve Jobs’s last words: ‘Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow’, October 5, 2011
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Last update August 11, 2017