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Photo via Albert Watson, 2006
In some minds, the name Steve Jobs is equivalent to innovation, creativity, and greatness. The late co-founder of Apple (AAPL), Jobs, who died in 2011 from pancreatic cancer, led a storied and successful life, and is remembered by many as being candid and outspoken on many subjects.
Earlier this month marked the fourth anniversary of Apple’s former CEO’s death. Let’s take a look at 10 of Jobs’ most inspiring and thought-provoking quotes, collected from various speeches and interviews.
1. On getting fired: “Getting fired was the best thing that could ever happened to me…I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love” (from Jobs’ Stanford University commencement address, 2005).
2. On trust: “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” (from Jobs’ Stanford University commencement address, 2005).
3. On innovation: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower” (from the book The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs).
4. On team work: “My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s 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” (from an interview with 60 Minutes, 2003).
5. On being rich: “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” (in a Fortune article, 1993).
6. On computers: “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” (from the film Memory & Imagination, 1990).
7. On focus: “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things” (at Apple’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference, 1997).
8. On influence: “I want to put a ding in the universe” (said to writer and critic Phil Patton, 1981).
9. On success: “I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next” (from a 2006 interview with NBC’s Brian Williams).
10. On death: “Remembering that are you going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart” (from Jobs’ Stanford University commencement address, 2005).
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