General

A Few of the Most Memorable Quotes of Steve Jobs

In addition to being a technological genius, it appears that Steve Jobs was also one heck of a wordsmith. The following is a collection of quotes originally published in an article from ABC News. One thing really stands out as you read this and it’s the fact that the majority of the quotes are from his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University. A strong case can be made that it was one of the greatest speeches in American history! Enjoy and hope you’re inspired. I know I was:

“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, 1998

“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.”

-Stanford University commencement speech, 2005

“I’m the only person I know that’s lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year. … It’s very character-building.”

-“Apple Confidential 2.0,” 2004

“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.”

-Stanford University commencement speech, 2005

“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, 1998

“Picasso had a saying. He said ‘Good artists copy, great artists steal.’ And 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 and poets and artists and zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world.”

-“Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires,” 1996

“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 speech, 2005

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

“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.”

– Stanford University commencement speech, 2005

“There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very very beginning. And we always will.”

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘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.”

– Stanford University commencement speech, 2005

“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, 1993

“I want to put a ding in the universe.”

“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, 1985

“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?

-Persuading John Sculley to become Apple’s CEO, “Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple,” 1987

“What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.”

-“Memory and Imagination: New Pathways to the Library of Congress,” 1991

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