20 inspiring and insightful Steve Jobs quotes

By: Mark Williams

Date: 7 October 2011

1 “What made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians and poets and artists and zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world”

2 “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

3 It’s not the consumers’ job to know what they want.”

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 other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

5 “Things don’t have to change the world to be important.”

6 “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.”

7 “We don’t do market research. We don’t hire consultants. We just want to make great products.”

8 “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.” (speaking in 1985)

9 “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.”

10 “My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each other's negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are not done by one person, they are done by a team of people.”

11 “What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.”

12 “I'm the only person I know that's lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year. It's very character-building.”

13 “You can’t just ask the customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”

14 “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.”

15 “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.”

16 “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.”

17 “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.”

18 “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. It's ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.”

19 "I don't think I've ever worked so hard on something, but working on Macintosh was the neatest experience of my life. Almost everyone who worked on it will say that. None of us wanted to release it at the end. It was as though we knew that once it was out of our hands, it wouldn't be ours anymore. When we finally presented it at the shareholders' meeting, everyone in the auditorium stood up and gave it a five-minute ovation. What was incredible to me was that I could see the Mac team in the first few rows. It was as though none of us could believe that we'd actually finished it. Everyone started crying.''

20 “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”

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