Steve Jobs passed away four years ago today. The tech visionary, who created both Apple and reimagined Pixar, shaped much of the world we find ourselves in now, certainly as far as the technology we use.
Jobs’ genius came from a deep understanding of human nature, and this is reflected in his quotes, many of which capture the essence of what it is to be successful, to fail, and to live.
One of the most famous Jobs quotes is “Stay hungry, stay foolish,” a motto that followed him through life.
However, Jobs also had many other sayings that are equal parts inspirational and profound. Here are some of the best to commerate his passing.
'Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful (at Apple), that's what matters to me.'
'My favourite things in life don't cost any money. It's really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.'
Jobs emphasises that time should be spent on the things that matter, such as family, and this usually doesn't correlate with earning money.
'(The) 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.'
Jobs talks about his move from Pixar to Apple where his goal was to create beautiful products, not wealth. The result of this was the iPod, Mac, iPhone, iPad and, to an extent, Apple Watch.
'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 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.'
Jobs was, at heart, an artist. His sensibilities extended beyond what the consumer could and couldn't see. On Jobs' insistence, the circuit board on the inside of the original Mac was laid out beautifully because he felt it improved the overall product, even though no one would ever see it.
Jobs was unusual as a CEO because he was also an artist who cared deeply about how the product worked, often having a hand in designing it alongside Jony Ive, one of the highest ranking people in Apple currently.
'You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. 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.'
Retrospectively, Jobs' life looks made: he dropped out of college, started Apple, went to Pixar and the rest is history. At the time, however, things likely seemed different and he reflects on that here.
'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 genesis of this quote is from Henry Ford, the American industrialist, who proclaimed: 'If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.'
This resonated with Jobs who believed that Apple should create products and then tell people why they needed them.
'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.'
One of Jobs' main focuses in life -- especially toward the end -- was death, and how the lifetime of a human is limited to a specific period of time and all that you can achieve is limited to that time.
'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.'
Design is about making choices, and Jobs made the right choices. The original model for the iPhone included an iPod-style click wheel, for example.