The movie Jobs, about the late, great, Steve Jobs premiered this weekend. From what I’ve seen at IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, and other places, the reviews for Jobs aren’t looking so great. This was kind of disappointing news since I like bio-pics and like many people find Steve Jobs’ life pretty fascinating.
A few months ago I wrote about the reasons why Steve Jobs was a successful entrepreneur and CEO, but failed to mention any quotes of his over the years. Since the movie Jobs is apparently lacking in character development and shows more about Apple than his life, I thought I’d share a few of his nuggets of wisdom. Here are some of my favorite Steve Jobs quotes on life and business.
Steve Jobs on life.
“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.”
“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.”
“It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.”
“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 and try not to bash into the walls too much…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…shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just going to live in it versus make your mark upon it. Once you learn that, you will never be the same again.” Don’t just live a life; build one.”
“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.”
“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.”
“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.”
“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.”
Steve Jobs on business.
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
“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.”
“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”
“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.”
“Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is better than two doubles.”
“My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each others 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.”
“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.”