As most of you probably have heard already, Steve Jobs passed away at the age of 56 after a long battle with cancer. I have read some of the obituaries already, so I won't repeat any of what is already written about him. Suffice it to say that not only was he a brilliant innovator, he also had a lot of wise and inspirational things to say about life and working and doing what you love here in this short life on earth. I am posting some of his wise words here in honor of his life and many achievements. Rest in peace, Steve Jobs.
Perspective on life, on following your heart and on doing what you love
· 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.
· We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and everyone should be really excellent. Because this is our life.
· Life is brief, and then you die, you know?
· And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.
· 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.
On being different and standing apart from the crowd
· 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… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but 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 the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
· Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?
· I want to put a ding in the universe.
· 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.
· I was worth over $1,000,000 when I was 23, and over $10,000,000 when I was 24, and over $100,000,000 when I was 25, and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.
On working, management, quality, excellence and innovation
· Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
· My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better.
· Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
· A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.
· Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
· Recruiting is hard. It’s just finding the needles in the haystack. 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? I ask everybody that: ‘Why are you here?’ The answers themselves are not what you’re looking for. It’s the meta-data.
· We’ve had one of these before, when the dot-com bubble burst. What I told our company was that we were just going to invest our way through the downturn, that we weren’t going to lay off people, that we’d taken a tremendous amount of effort to get them into Apple in the first place – the last thing we were going to do is lay them off.
· I mean, some people say, ‘Oh, God, if Jobs got run over by a bus, Apple would be in trouble.’ And, you know, I think it wouldn’t be a party, but there are really capable people at Apple. My job is to make the whole executive team good enough to be successors, so that’s what I try to do.
· 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.
· 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.
· I think the key thing is that we’re not all terrified at the same time. I mean, we do put our heart and soul into these things.
· I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.
· Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.