Today is a sobering day and marks a great loss to the world! Steve Jobs, the visionary genius behind some of the greatest technological innovations in the last 30+ years, died of pancreatic cancer. Steve Job’s death was announced in a personal letter to Apple employees by current CEO Tim Cook. Jobs, who resigned as CEO of Apple via a brief letter on August 24, 2011, lost his long-time battle at the age of 56. His family said he died peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones, at his home.
Steve Jobs described his condition and gave a very moving and often quoted commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005.
Some of the most often-quoted statements from Job’s speech that day include the following:
“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.
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.
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 others’ 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.
Steve Jobs was an incredible technologist, visionary, and leader who was responsible for some of the most well known, widely used, and best selling products and technologies of all time! Job’s greatest achievements included the following:
- Developed the Apple II
- The Macintosh computer which introduced the mouse and GUI
- Pixar, the largest animation studio in the world
- Mac OS X
Steve Jobs was a true spokesman for innovation, doing work that you loved, and living a life of fulfillment. Many great quotes are attributed to him, books have been written about his life, and articles describing his philosophy and innovative ability have been published. Some of the quotes, articles and books from or about Steve Jobs that I’ve found most revealing and most inspirational include:
Steve Jobs Quotes:
“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.” [The Wall Street Journal, May 25, 1993]
“It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.” [1982, quoted in Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple, 1987]
“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.”
— Interview with 60 Minutes, 2003
“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.”
“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.”
“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” – said to Pepsi CEO
Books About Steve Jobs:
So in saying goodbye to an iconic, if slightly eccentric, legend, here’s a fitting tribute to the man who redefined how we live and work in the world. Here is the ‘Think Different‘ ad that Job’s debuted September 28, 1997 right after becoming the “interim” CEO of Apple again. Rest in Peace Steve!!! You will be missed!