We’ve gathered together 60 of Steve Jobs’s brilliant sayings. Wise, clever, moving and always smart, at The Best You magazine, we hope he’ll prove an inspiration to you in whatever you do!
1. 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.
2. Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.
9. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
10. 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. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.
11. 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.
12. Things don’t have to change the world to be important.
13. Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future.
14. Stay hungry, stay foolish.
15. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.
16. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
17. 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.
18. Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.
19. Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
20. Our DNA is as a consumer company – for that individual customer who’s voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That’s who we think about. And we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it’s not up to par, it’s our fault, plain and simply.
21. I have a great respect for incremental improvement, and I’ve done that sort of thing in my life, but I’ve always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes. I don’t know why. Because they’re harder. They’re much more stressful emotionally. And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you’ve completely failed.
22. Bottom line is, I didn’t return to Apple to make a fortune. I’ve been very lucky in my life and already have one. When I was 25, my net worth was $100 million or so. I decided then that I wasn’t going to let it ruin my life. There’s no way you could ever spend it all, and I don’t view wealth as something that validates my intelligence.
23. I want to put a ding in the universe.
24. 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.
25. I’m sorry, it’s true. Having children really changes your view on these things. We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much – if at all.
26. 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.
27. Computers themselves, and software yet to be developed, will revolutionize the way we learn.
28. 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.
29. I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that 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, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
30. I believe life is an intelligent thing: that things aren’t random.
31. I think it’s brought the world a lot closer together, and will continue to do that. There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything. The most corrosive piece of technology that I’ve ever seen is called television – but then, again, television, at its best, is magnificent.
32. Our goal is to make the best devices in the world, not to be the biggest.
33. This is what customers pay us for – to sweat all these details so it’s easy and pleasant for them to use our computers. We’re supposed to be really good at this. That doesn’t mean we don’t listen to customers, but it’s hard for them to tell you what they want when they’ve never seen anything remotely like it.
34. My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each others’ negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts.
35. The desktop computer industry is dead. Innovation has virtually ceased. Microsoft dominates with very little innovation. That’s over. Apple lost. The desktop market has entered the dark ages, and it’s going to be in the dark ages for the next 10 years, or certainly for the rest of this decade.
36. I think we’re having fun. I think our customers really like our products. And we’re always trying to do better.
37. The engineering is long gone in most PC companies. In the consumer electronics companies, they don’t understand the software parts of it. And so you really can’t make the products that you can make at Apple anywhere else right now. Apple’s the only company that has everything under one roof.
38. I think right now it’s a battle for the mindshare of developers and for the mindshare of customers, and right now iPhone and Android are winning that battle.
39. So let’s not use a stylus. We’re going to use the best pointing device in the world. We’re going to use a pointing device that we’re all born with – born with ten of them. We’re going to use our fingers. We’re going to touch this with our fingers. And we have invented a new technology called multi-touch, which is phenomenal. It works like magic.
40. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.
41. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service. The iMac is not just the color or translucence or the shape of the shell. The essence of the iMac is to be the finest possible consumer computer in which each element plays together.
42. And no, we don’t know where it will lead. We just know there’s something much bigger than any of us here.
43. Microsoft has had two goals in the last 10 years. One was to copy the Mac, and the other was to copy Lotus’ success in the spreadsheet – basically, the applications business. And over the course of the last 10 years, Microsoft accomplished both of those goals. And now they are completely lost.
44. Japan’s very interesting. Some people think it copies things. I don’t think that anymore. I think what they do is reinvent things. They will get something that’s already been invented and study it until they thoroughly understand it. In some cases, they understand it better than the original inventor.
45. As individuals, people are inherently good. I have a somewhat more pessimistic view of people in groups. And I remain extremely concerned when I see what’s happening in our country, which is in many ways the luckiest place in the world. We don’t seem to be excited about making our country a better place for our kids.
46. Most people have no concept of how an automatic transmission works, yet they know how to drive a car. You don’t have to study physics to understand the laws of motion to drive a car. You don’t have to understand any of this stuff to use Macintosh.
47. When you’re young, you look at television and think, there’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want.
48. Throughout my years in business, I discovered something. I would always ask why you do things. The answers that I would invariably get are: ‘Oh, that’s just the way things are done around here.’ Nobody knows why they do what they do. Nobody thinks very deeply about things in business.
50. In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains and the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design.
51. But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem.
52. The system is that there is no system. That doesn’t mean we don’t have process. Apple is a very disciplined company, and we have great processes. But that’s not what it’s about. Process makes you more efficient.
53. I’m an optimist in the sense that I believe humans are noble and honorable, and some of them are really smart. I have a very optimistic view of individuals.
54. We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didn’t build the Mac for anybody else. We built it for ourselves. We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. We weren’t going to go out and do market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build.
55. An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator… these are NOT three separate devices! And we are calling it iPhone! Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone. And here it is.
56. We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.
57. The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay.
58. These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. You may have a child with a birth defect and be able to get in touch with other parents and support groups, get medical information, the latest experimental drugs. These things can profoundly influence life. I’m not downplaying that.
59. So when these people sell out, even though they get fabulously rich, they’re gypping themselves out of one of the potentially most rewarding experiences of their unfolding lives. Without it, they may never know their values or how to keep their newfound wealth in perspective.
60. Who wants a stylus. You have to get em and put em away, and you lose em. Yuck. Nobody wants a stylus.
61. What we want to do is make a leapfrog product that is way smarter than any mobile device has ever been, and super-easy to use. This is what iPhone is. OK? So, we’re going to reinvent the phone.