The ever important keynotes of Steve Jobs have caught my attention since the introduction of the Apple iPhone 5. I had always read about his presentation style and simplicity in the past but never paid attention to those keynotes myself except for the iPod nano presentation.
You ever wonder what this pocket’s for? I’ve always wondered that. Well now we know. Because this is the new iPod Nano.” – Steve Jobs (at the iPod nano launch)
Inspired by this quote I decided to watch all his important keynotes. Started with the 1984 Mac followed by the iPod nano (once again), iPhone, iPad, and finally the iCloud. It’s all fantastic! It was again few days of total-inspiration for me and as I always say:
Entrepreneurship needs regular top-ups by way of motivation.
Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address (2005)
Steve Jobs Quotes On Leadership, Innovation, Life
I’m not an Apple fanatic but the keynotes coaxed me to compile a list of quotes by Steve Jobs [Wiki]. So, here are some of the famous and best inspirational quotes by Steve Jobs on Leadership, Innovation, Life, Design, Change, Entrepreneurship, Money, Marketing etc.
- “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”
- “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.”
- “Sometimes I believe in God, sometimes I don’t. I think it’s 50-50 maybe. But ever since I’ve had cancer, I’ve been thinking about it more. And I find myself believing a bit more. I kind of – maybe it’s ’cause I want to believe in an afterlife. That when you die, it doesn’t just all disappear. The wisdom you’ve accumulated. Somehow it lives on, but sometimes I think it’s just like an on-off switch. Click and you’re gone. And that’s why I don’t like putting on-off switches on Apple devices.”
- “I was worth about over a million dollars when I was twenty-three and over ten million dollars when I was twenty-four, and over a hundred million dollars when I was twenty-five and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.”
- “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”
- “I’m the only person I know that’s lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year…. It’s very character-building.”
- “Picasso had a saying: Good artists copy, great artists steal, and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”
- “It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.”
- “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.”
- “The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
- “The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. They have absolutely no taste. And I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way, in the sense that they don’t think of original ideas, and they don’t bring much culture into their products.”
- “Our friends up north spend over five billion dollars on research and development and all they seem to do is copy Google and Apple.”
- “I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If that was the case, Microsoft would have great products.”
- “Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. It’s very fortunate if you can work on just one of these in your career. … Apple’s been very fortunate in that it’s introduced a few of these.”
- “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. 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.”
- “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.”
- “Nobody has tried to swallow us since I’ve been here. I think they are afraid how we would taste.”
- “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.”
- “It’s not a faith in technology. It’s faith in people.”
- “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.”
- “It’s hard to tell with these Internet startups if they’re really interested in building companies or if they’re just interested in the money. I can tell you, though: If they don’t really want to build a company, they won’t luck into it. That’s because it’s so hard that if you don’t have a passion, you’ll give up.”
- “We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.”
- “The problem with the Internet startup craze isn’t that too many people are starting companies; it’s that too many people aren’t sticking with it.”
- “Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.”
- “And it comes from saying no to 1,000 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.”
- “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.”
- “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.”
- “I think we’re having fun. I think our customers really like our products. And we’re always trying to do better.”
- “Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.”
- “Older people sit down and ask, ‘What is it?’ but the boy asks, ‘What can I do with it?’.”
- “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”
- “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.”
- “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.”
- “My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.”
- “Let’s go invent tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened yesterday.”
- “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.”
- “If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”
- “Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.”
- “An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator. An iPod, a phone … are you getting it? These are not three separate devices, this is one device, and we are calling it iPhone.”
- “Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.”
- “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.”
- “We’re gambling on our vision, and we would rather do that than make “me, too” products. Let some other companies do that. For us, it’s always the next dream.”
- “We’re not going to be the first to this party, but we’re going to be the best.”
- “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
- “Start small, think big. Don’t worry about too many things at once. Take a handful of simple things to begin with, and then progress to more complex ones. Think about not just tomorrow, but the future. Put a ding in the universe.”
- “We’re just enthusiastic about what we do.”
- “You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.”
- “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”
- “Real artists ship.”
- “We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.”
- “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”
- “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.”
- “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.”
- “The computer is the most remarkable tool we’ve ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.”
- “I don’t really care about being right, I just care about success. I don’t mind being wrong, and I’ll admit that I’m wrong a lot. It doesn’t really matter to me too much. What matters to me is that we do the right thing.”
- “Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
- “I’m as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done. Innovation is saying no to a thousand things.”
- “When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”
- “I hate the way people use slide presentations instead of thinking. People would confront a problem by creating a presentation. I wanted them to engage, to hash things out at the table, rather than show a bunch of slides. People who know what they’re talking about don’t need PowerPoint.”
- “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. It is so hard.”
- “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did.”
- “You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers.”
- “When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.”
- “One more thing…”
What You Might Not Know About Steve Jobs
- He was a vegetarian and PETA praised him for his vegetarianism.
- He was offered an internship with Hewlett-Packard … in eighth grade.
- He fathered a child when he was just 23 but denied paternity by claiming he was sterile.
- He was homeless and slept on the floor in friends’ rooms.
- He patented the glass staircase in the Apple Store.
- He dumped all of his Apple stock when he was fired.
- He drove his Mercedes-Benz SL55 for years without a license plate.
- His keynotes were often punctuated by memorables “One more thing…”.
Video Credit: Every Steve Jobs Video
5 Insanely Great Keynotes by Steve Jobs
Apple Macintosh ‘1984 Ad’ & Keynote
On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like “1984.”
Apple iPod nano Keynote
You ever wonder what this pocket’s for? I’ve always wondered that. Well now we know. Because this is the new iPod Nano.
Apple iPhone Keynote
Today, we’re introducing three revolutionary products of this class.
The first one: is a widescreen iPod with touch controls.
The second: is a revolutionary mobile phone.
And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device.
So, three things: a widescreen iPod with touch controls; a revolutionary mobile phone; and a breakthrough Internet communications device.
An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator. An iPod, a phone … are you getting it?
These are not three separate devices, this is one device, and we are calling it iPhone.
Apple iPad Keynote
The question has arisen lately, is there room for a third category of device in the middle?
Something that’s between a laptop and a smart phone?
And of course, we’ve pondered this question for years as well.
The bar is pretty high.
In order to really create a new category of devices, those devices are going to have to be far better at doing some key tasks.
Apple iCloud Keynote
Keeping these devices in sync is driving us crazy,
We’ve got a great solution for this problem, and we think the solution is our next big insight.
We’re going to demote the PC to just being a device,
iCloud stores your content in the cloud and automatically pushes it to all your devices.
BONUS: Steve Jobs Funniest Moments (1978–2011)
Steve Jobs: One Last Thing (2011)
Have I missed your favorite quote by Steve Jobs? If so, let me know as a comment below!
First Published: 2012; Last Updated: Thursday, December 25, 2014