15 inspirational quotes from Steve Jobs

Steve JobsJustin Sullivan / GettySteve Jobs on stage.

It’s coming up to four years since Steve Jobs passed away. The tech visionary, who created both Apple and reimagined Pixar, shaped much of the world we find ourselves in today, 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.

'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.'

Ann Yow-Dyson
Steve Jobs on stage at a 1980s PC Forum conference.

Despite amassing a fortune of over $US10 billion, Jobs' focus was on creating great products, not lining his pockets.


'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.'

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On stage at Apple's first iPad event demoing how easy the device is to use.

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.


'Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.'

RIA Novosti
Dmitry Medvedev photographed with Steve Jobs in 2010.

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.'

Justin Sullivan/Getty
Steve Jobs.

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.'

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Steve Jobs and Walt Mossberg looking at an original iPad.

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.'

Apple Computer
Steve Jobs and a colourful iMac on stage.

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.


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