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Famous Steve Jobs Quotes: His Life Experience in His Words

Steven P. Jobs, technology innovator and co-founder of Apple Inc., transformed computers, cell phones, music and movies. Jobs’ passion, brilliance and vision inspired a generation and will influence future generations. His legacy and impact is massive. As Apple said in a company statement, “The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.”

Steve Jobs died Wednesday, October 5, 2011.

For decades to come, people will talk about Steve Jobs and how he changed not only technology, but the world. Here, Steve Jobs himself speaks about life, work and the future:

On Life:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

- Stanford University commencement address, June 2005.

On Running Apple:
“We’ve never worried about numbers. In the marketplace, Apple is trying to focus the spotlight on products, because products really make a difference. Ad campaigns are necessary for competition; IBM’s ads are everywhere. But good PR educates people; that’s all it is. You can’t con people in this business. The products speak for themselves.”

- Playboy interview, 1985

“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.”

- BusinessWeek interview, May 1998

On Computers:
“The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it into 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.”

- Playboy interview, 1985

“Picasso had a saying: ‘Good artists copy, great artists steal.’ We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas…I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians, poets, artists, zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world.”

- 1994

“I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. Humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing about a third of the way down the list. That didn’t look so good, but then someone at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of lomotion for a man on a bicycle and a man on a bicycle blew the condor away. That’s what a computer is to me: the computer is the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.”

- Interview for the documentary “Memory and Imagination,” 1990

On Relationships:
“We’ve kept our marriage secret for over a decade.”

- Jobs’ answer to interviewer Kara Swisher asking about the “greatest misunderstanding” in Jobs’ relationship with Bill Gates. (May 2007)

On Product Design:
“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.”

- BusinessWeek interview, May 1998

On Business:
“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.”

- 60 Minutes interview, 2003

On Death: 
“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. Because 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. Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

- Stanford University commencement address, June 2005.

Steve Jobs’ achievements and legacy will never be forgotten. As a member of the great pantheon of technical innovators, he will live on as an inspiration to others…wherever minds aspire to create better lives for us all.


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posted by DMA Jordan in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments

Steve Jobs: His Achievements and Legacy

He is the Walt Disney for our age. In that Walt Disney truly turned cinematic arts into an entertainment industry, Steve Jobs has turned technology into a catalyst for invention and human connection.

A man like this only comes around once in a generation.

Without a doubt, Steve Jobs has done more than any other person to impact technological change and its advancement. Steve Jobs resignation letter to Apple sent shock waves through the tech community. And at the same time, it prompted comments from fans and business associates alike.

Words like “genius,” “innovator” and “visionary” were used to describe the co-founder of the most valuable and most admired company in the world. And like Walt Disney, Steve Jobs came from meager roots, to not only build an empire but innovate an industry.

The Man In Black
Forty years ago, Steve Jobs looked nothing like the skinny guy in the black turtleneck that people have come to know as Apple’s CEO. He was a college dropout with a thick mop top and an affection for calligraphy. In those days some may have even called him unmotivated: He quit one of his very first gigs – a job designing video games for Atari – to backpack around India. But he was very motivated, and those experiences Jobs would say years later shaped him as a person. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

In the early days of Apple, Jobs walked to meetings barefooted, and saw computers as much more than just machines. He was very much a driver of the “think different” mentality. In his Stanford University 2005 commencement speech, Jobs said, “You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Steve Jobs was born February 24, 1955. He was given up for adoption and grew up in a quiet little Northern California valley town called Cupertino. As a teenager, he tracked down the phone number for William Hewlett, the president of Hewlett-Packard. Jobs simply wanted a few parts for a school project. Mr. Hewlett was taken by the young man’s attitude and gladly sent over the parts, along with an offer for a summer job at HP.

The Genesis of Apple
At HP, Jobs became fast friends with a co-worker, Steve Wozniak. Wozniak impressed Jobs, “He was the only the only person I met who knew more about electronics than me,” Jobs would later say. They would soon form a company together and in the garage of Jobs’ parents home at 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos, they built the first Apple Computer in 1976. This was the same year Microsoft started making software. By today’s standards, the machine, which sold for $666.66, practically came from the Stone Age: It came with no keyboard or monitor, and customers had to put it together themselves.

The garage where the very first Apple computer was made. 

The following year Jobs and Woz introduced the Apple II at the very first West Coast Computer Faire. The machine which featured a mouse and monitor let users control it by clicking on graphics instead of writing text – the first shot in the computer revolution had been fired.

Introducing the Mac & Saying Goodbye to Steve
“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,”Jobs told Newsweek in 2006. “But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions.”

For Steve Jobs, that “elegant solution” was Apple’s groundbreaking Macintosh computer. Launched in early 1984, the Macintosh was a computer that Jobs (a multimillionaire by age 30) wanted for himself.

The Macintosh was introduced to the world via this now-iconic, Orwellian-inspired Super Bowl ad. 

The machine sold well, but Jobs butted heads with other high-ranking executives at the company he built and in 1986 he was shown the door. The event would become a life-changing experience for Jobs. He reflected it on it during his speech to Stanford graduates in 2005. “I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful-tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick.”

The NeXT Step
After he was ousted from Apple, Steve Jobs spent the next 10 years doing what he liked to do best, developing incredible technology. In 1988 he launched the NeXT Computer. This was the computer that hosted the world’s first web server software, and was also used to write the first web browser. The NeXT Computer also had the distinction on being the first computer to act as a web server for the Internet.

The cube-shaped computer had a quaint 256MB storage capacity and sold for $6,500, in 1988. It was adored by hobbyists but shunned by the average consumer. During this same period, Jobs also bought a struggling computer animation company called Pixar from George Lucas (he still sits on its Board of Directors).

Steve Jobs in 2001, introducing the iPod. 

In 1996, Apple bought NeXT and Steve Jobs was brought back into the Apple fold. He returned to the company he founded, but Apple was struggling in the marketplace and without direction. This was the emerging age of PC gaming, and then Apple computers were considered best used as tools for artists and magazine publishers.

Jobs was back running the company in less than a year, and four years later he was standing before a small audience introducing a device called the iPod. The tiny white music player turned the music world upside down, and marked the start of Apple’s comeback and massive growth. For the next decade, when Steve Jobs took the stage he blew audiences and the tech industry away.

In 2003, with iTunes. In 2006, with the MacBook. In 2007, with the iPhone. In 2010, with the iPad, and most recently, in 2011, with the iCloud and Apple’s new space age business complex.

A Dollar & A Dream
Steve Jobs will be remembered for many things: his ability to inspire a religious-like following, his skill as a pitchman, his “one more thing.” He sold people on ideas, his vision for tomorrow, and technology that truly made the future come to life in present day. He also did it on an annual salary of $1.

Money didn’t matter to Steve Jobs, who seemed truly happy when he was at Apple. “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,” he told the Stanford graduates in 2005.

Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs at work on the very first Apple computer.

Steve Jobs doesn’t give many interviews, but he did sit down with Walter Isaacson for his first (and most likely, only) authorized biography, which is scheduled to be published by Simon & Schuster in November. Even Jobs seems mindful of his legacy considering his health (he was diagnosed and treated for pancreatic cancer in the mid 2000s, and his recent resignation from Apple would indicate his health is, sadly, not improving).

Jobs, now 56 and married with four children, had a liver transplant in 2009 when he took a six-month medical leave from Apple. His obituary has been accidentally published by more than one wire service.

The Renegade
Jobs has always been a renegade. According to The Wall Street Journal, he once famously said, “It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.” And like a pirate, maybe he’s looking for one last port to pillage before he sails into the sunset. We don’t believe treasure is what Steve Jobs is focused on now: Apple has more than $70 billion in cash reserves and has recently overtaken Exxon to become the world’s most valuable company.

As Steve Jobs turns toward the sunset, he continues to inspire generations, and we have to believe that’s truly what he always intended. “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.”

We wish you the best, Steve, and thanks for the inspiration.



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posted by DMA Jordan in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments