One of the most inspirational characters of our time, it's difficult to know how to put Steve Jobs into words. So we've chosen to use the words of the man himself.
By Macworld staff
Millions upon millions of words have been written about Steve Jobs, and it is certain that millions and millions more will be written. However, Jobs was a fine orator and nobody has ever put it better than he himself did. Here are a selection of some memorable quotes from the great man.
From his Stanford commencement speech in 2005 – the full video of which is below – we’ve picked out these gems:
“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.”
“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 the subject of death and money, he also made the following comments in an interview with the Wall Street Journal in 1993: “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.”
At the All Things D conference in 2010, Jobs talked about what motivated him after his cancer diagnosis in 2005.
“There’s nothing that makes my day more than getting an email from some random person in the universe who just bought an iPad over in the UK and tells me the story about how it’s the coolest product they’ve ever brought home in their lives. That’s what keeps me going. It’s what kept me five years ago, it’s what kept me going 10 years ago when the doors were almost closed. And it’s what will keep me going five years from now whatever happens.”
In 2004, he treated BusinessWeek to the benefit of his wisdom on the subject of innovation and Apple’s approach to it.
“Innovation comes from saying no to a thousand things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. 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.”
He elaborated on this theme when talking to Nike CEO Mark Parker in 2006 https://www.macworld.co.uk/apple-business/news/index.cfm?newsid=3280389 . After telling Parker that Nike made “some of the best products in the world”, he added:
“But you also make a lot of crap. Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.”
In 1985 he made some predictions about the future of computing and the internet to Playboy:
“The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it to a nationwide communications network. We’re just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people – as remarkable as the telephone.”
“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.”
He told the same publication about what it was like to work on the Macintosh.
“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 any more. When we finally presented it at the shareholders’ meeting, everyone in the auditorium stood up and 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 that we’d actually finished it. Everyone started crying.”
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