Wired and the Wall Street Journal shared some great roundups of their favorite Steve Jobs quotes earlier this year when he stepped down from the CEO job, and we selected a few that were especially awesome.
On computers - Playboy, 1 Feb, 1985
It takes these very simple-minded instructions – ‘Go fetch a number, add it to this number, put the result there, perceive if it’s greater than this other number’ – but executes them at a rate of, let’s say, 1,000,000 per second. At 1,000,000 per second, the results appear to be magic.
On design - BusinessWeek, 25 May, 1998
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.
The best sales line ever? - The line he used to lure John Sculley into becoming Apple’s CEO, according to Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple
Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?
On character - Apple Confidential 2.0
I’m the only person I know that’s lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year…. It’s very character-building.
On good design - BusinessWeek, 25 May, 1998
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.
On his outlook - The Wall Street Journal, 25 May, 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.
On his role at Apple - BusinessWeek, 25 May, 1998
This is not a one-man show. What’s reinvigorating this company is two things: One, there’s a lot of really talented people in this company who listened to the world tell them they were losers for a couple of years, and some of them were on the verge of starting to believe it themselves. But they’re not losers. What they didn’t have was a good set of coaches, a good plan. A good senior management team. But they have that now.
Having pride in your product - Playboy, 1 Feb, 1985
Playboy: “Are you saying that the people who made PCjr don’t have that kind of pride in the product?”
Jobs: “If they did, they wouldn’t have made the PCjr.”
He’ll always come back - Playboy, 1 Feb, 1985
I’ll always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I’ll sort of have the thread of my life and the thread of Apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There may be a few years when I’m not there, but I’ll always come back.
Have faith in the future – Stanford commencement speech, June 2005
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.
On your working life – Stanford commencement speech, June 2005
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.
On the importance of death - Stanford commencement speech, June 2005
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. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Don’t sit still – NBC Nightly News, May 2006
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.