Steve Jobs Quotes on Life, Leadership and Success

Find all the quotes by Steve Jobs in one place. Steve Paul Jobs, born 24th Feb 1955 was the Cofounder of Apple Inc; an American business tycoon, industrial designer, investor, and tech visionary. Jobs was born in San Francisco and was raised by adoptive parents Paul and Clara Jobs. He died on October 5, 2011, Palo Alto, California due to pancreatic cancer. Let’s see all the famous Steve Jobs quotes on life, leadership, and success.

Quotes by Steve Jobs

Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

What is Apple, after all? Apple is about people who think ‘outside the box,’ people who want to use computers to help them change the world, to help them create things that make a difference, and not just to get a job done.

The doers are the major thinkers. The people that really create the things that change this industry are both the thinker and doer in one person.

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.

Sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

You have to believe that the dots will somehow connect in your future.

If you don’t love it, you’re going to fail.

Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.

Why join the navy if you can be a pirate? .

It’s not a faith in technology. It’s faith in people.

Now, as you graduate to begin a new, I wish that for you, ‘Stay hungry, stay foolish.

My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.

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.

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.

The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again.

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.

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.

Computers themselves, and software yet to be developed, will revolutionize the way we learn.

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.

Of all the inventions of humans, the computer is going to rank near or at the top as history unfolds and we look back. It is the most awesome tool that we have ever invented. I feel incredibly lucky to be at exactly the right place in Silicon Valley, at exactly the right time, historically, where this invention has taken form.

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.

Part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians, poets, and artists, and zoologists, and historians. They also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world. But if it hadn’t been computer science, these people would have been doing amazing things in other fields.

Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.

Well, Apple invented the PC as we know it, and then it invented the graphical user interface as we know it eight years later (with the introduction of the Mac). But then, the company had a decade in which it took a nap.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

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.

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

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.

I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.

We’re just enthusiastic about what we do.

This is what customers pay us for – to sweat all these details so it’s easy and pleasant for them to use our computers.We’re supposed to be really good at this. That doesn’t mean we don’t listen to customers, but it’s hard for them to tell you what they want when they’ve never seen anything remotely like it.

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.

If you’re gonna make connections which are innovative… you have to not have the same bag of experiences as everyone else does.

The reason that Apple is able to create products like the iPad is because we’ve always tried to be at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts.

We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? So this is what we’ve chosen to do with our life.

I’m an optimist in the sense that I believe humans are noble and honorable, and some of them are really smart. I have a very optimistic view of individuals.

Japan’s very interesting. Some people think it copies things. I don’t think that anymore. I think what they do is reinvent things. They will get something that’s already been invented and study it until they thoroughly understand it. In some cases, they understand it better than the original inventor.

I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.

I was worth about over a million dollars when I was 23 and over ten million dollars when I was 24, and over a hundred million dollars when I was 25 and… it wasn’t that important – because I never did it for the money.

Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.

My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

You’ll see more and more perfection of that – computer as servant. But the next thing is going to be computer as a guide or agent.

Here’s to the crazy ones — the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

I’ve always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes. I don’t know why. Because they’re harder. They’re much more stressful emotionally. And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you’ve completely failed.

There’s no other company that could make a MacBook Air and the reason is that not only do we control the hardware, but we control the operating system. And it is the intimate interaction between the operating system and the hardware that allows us to do that. There is no intimate interaction between Windows and a Dell notebook.

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.

I think money is a wonderful thing because it enables you to do things. It enables you to invest in ideas that don’t have a short-term payback.

My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each others’ negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts.

Microsoft has had two goals in the last 10 years. One was to copy the Mac, and the other was to copy Lotus’ success in the spreadsheet – basically, the applications business. And over the course of the last 10 years, Microsoft accomplished both of those goals. And now they are completely lost.

Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

Who wants a stylus. You have to get em and put em away, and you lose em. Yuck. Nobody wants a stylus.

The engineering is long gone in most PC companies. In the consumer electronics companies, they don’t understand the software parts of it. And so you really can’t make the products that you can make at Apple anywhere else right now. Apple’s the only company that has everything under one roof.

We’re going to be able to ask our computers to monitor things for us, and when certain conditions happen, are triggered, the computers will take certain actions and inform us after the fact.

You know, my main reaction to this money thing is that it’s humorous, all the attention to it, because it’s hardly the most insightful or valuable thing that’s happened to me.

The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it to 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.

For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.

In the broadest context, the goal is to seek enlightenment – however you define it.

I think it’s brought the world a lot closer together, and will continue to do that. There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything. The most corrosive piece of technology that I’ve ever seen is called television – but then, again, television, at its best, is magnificent.

Throughout my years in business, I discovered something. I would always ask why you do things. The answers that I would invariably get are: ‘Oh, that’s just the way things are done around here.’ Nobody knows why they do what they do. Nobody thinks very deeply about things in business.

To turn really interesting ideas and fledgling technologies into a company that can continue to innovate for years, it requires a lot of disciplines.

I don’t care about being right. I care about success and doing the right thing.

The manual for WordStar, the most popular word-processing program, is 400 pages thick. To write a novel, you have to read a novel – one that reads like a mystery to most people. They’re not going to learn slash q-z any more than they’re going to learn Morse code. That is what Macintosh is all about.

I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, such as getting my girlfriend pregnant when I was 23 and the way I handled that.

I get asked a lot why Apple’s customers are so loyal. It’s not because they belong to the Church of Mac! That’s ridiculous.

It takes these very simple-minded instructions – ‘Go fetch a number, add it to this number, put the result there, perceive if it’s greater than this other number’ – but executes them at a rate of, let’s say, 1,000,000 per second. At 1,000,000 per second, the results appear to be magic. .

I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.

Each year has been so robust with problems and successes and learning experiences and human experiences that a year is a lifetime at Apple. So this has been ten lifetimes.

As individuals, people are inherently good. I have a somewhat more pessimistic view of people in groups. And I remain extremely concerned when I see what’s happening in our country, which is in many ways the luckiest place in the world. We don’t seem to be excited about making our country a better place for our kids.

We think Android is very, very fragmented, and becoming more fragmented by the day. And as you know, Apple strives for the integrated model so that the user isn’t forced to be the systems integrator.

Most people have no concept of how an automatic transmission works, yet they know how to drive a car. You don’t have to study physics to understand the laws of motion to drive a car. You don’t have to understand any of this stuff to use Macintosh.

Apple took the edge off the word ‘computer ‘.

I think we’re having fun. I think our customers really like our products. And we’re always trying to do better.

I’m very excited about having the Internet in my den.

There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Woz is living his own life now. He hasn’t been around Apple for about five years. But what he did will go down in history.

Pretty much, Apple and Dell are the only ones in this industry making money. They make it by being Wal-Mart. We make it by innovation.

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.

Death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent, it clears out the old to make way for the new.

I’ve been rejected, but I was still in love.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

Apple’s market share is bigger than BMW’s or Mercedes’s or Porsche’s in the automotive market. What’s wrong with being BMW or Mercedes?

I think the things you most regret in life are things you didn’t do. What you really regret was never asking that girl to dance.

If you want it, you can fly, you just have to trust you a lot.

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.

Our DNA is as a consumer company – for that individual customer who’s voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That’s who we think about. And we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it’s not up to par, it’s our fault, plain and simply.

People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you’re doing and it’s totally true. And the reason is because it’s so hard that if you don’t, any rational person would give up.

It’s really hard. And you have to do it over a sustained period of time. So if you don’t love it, if you’re not having fun doing it, you don’t really love it, you’re going to give up.

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.

And no, we don’t know where it will lead. We just know there’s something much bigger than any of us here.

An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator… these are NOT three separate devices! And we are calling it iPhone! Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone. And here it is.

The most precious thing that we all have with us is time.

The only thing you have in your life is time. If you invest that time in yourself to have great experiences that are going to enrich you, then you can’t possibly lose.

I’ve always felt that death is the greatest invention of life. I’m sure that life evolved without death at first and found that without death, life didn’t work very well because it didn’t make room for the young.

That was one of the things that came out most clearly from this whole experience [with cancer]. I realized that I love my life. I really do. I’ve got the greatest family in the world, and I’ve got my work. And that’s pretty much all I do. I don’t socialize much or go to conferences. I love my family, and I love running Apple, and I love Pixar. And I get to do that. I’m very lucky.

If you’ve got a family and you’re in the early days of a company, I can’t imagine how one could do it. I’m sure it’s been done but it’s rough. It’s pretty much an eighteen hour day job, seven days a week for awhile. Unless you have a lot of passion about this, you’re not going to survive. You’re going to give it up.

Most people don’t get those experiences because they never ask. I’ve never found anybody that didn’t want to help me if I asked them for help.

I hate it when people call themselves “entrepreneurs” when what they’re really trying to do is launch a startup and then sell or go public, so they can cash in and move on.

About Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was put up for adoption immediately after his birth; he was born to Abdulfattah Jandali and Joanne Schieble. His biological father Abdulfattah grew up in Syria and was from an Arab Muslim family. While studying in America, he met with Joanne Carole Schieble; her parents were not happy with her dating a Muslim, which is the reason she had to put Steve up for adoption. She searched for a suitable family; however, the selected family backed out right before adopting him. After which Jobs was placed under the care of Paul and Clara Jobs.

Schieble, wanted a stable and educated family to adopt her son; however, the Jobs family fought and promised to give Steve a college education, which is when Schieble agreed to provide full custody to the Jobs Family. Steve’s adoptive father, Paul Jobs was a Coast Guard mechanic. After having left the Coast Guard in 1946, Paul Jobs married Clara Hagopian in 1946. Clara was the daughter of Armenian immigrants who grew up in San Francisco.

Childhood, School and College

Paul and Carl adopted a girl in 1957 and moved to Mountain View, California. During this time, Paul built a workbench for Steve so that he could learn more about mechanics. Steve’s father helped build the fence around the house and also build a garage; by the age of 10, he had found his love for electronics and had befriended many engineers. Jobs attended Homestead High near his place. He did enroll and go to Reed college; however, he ended up dropping out as his parents were unable to afford his education. Even then, he attended various classes but was no longer an official student. Later in an interview, he also quoted “If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.”

In 1973, Steve Wozniak designed an upgraded version of video game Pong. Wozniak gave this board to Jobs, who went to Atari, Inc. in Los Gatos, California and landed himself a job as a technician. In early 1974, Jobs was still working at Atari and was saving up money for a trip to India.

Jobs did finally travel to India in 1974 to meet the famous Neem Karoli Baba. However, he could not reach him as he had already passed away by the time he got there. He did, however, meet with Haidakhan Babaji after taking a long trek up the riverbed to his ashram.

After having stayed in India for over seven months in search of spiritual enlightenment, he returned to the US changed his look entirely and practiced psychedelics. He then moved to a commune in Oregon and was joined by Brennan and both became practitioners of Zen Buddhism under the Zen master Kōbun Chino Otogawa. Jobs practised meditation throughout his life and even considered taking up monastic residence at Eihei-Ji in Japan, and maintained a lifelong appreciation for Zen.

Jobs then returned to Atari and was assigned to create a circuit board for the arcade video game Breakout. Jobs then contacted Wozniak, and they started developing various prototypes together.

Jobs and Wozniak attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club in 1975, which acted as a stepping stone towards the development of the very first Apple computer.


Wozniak designed the Apple I computer in 1976, and showed it to Jobs, who then suggested that they sell it; that was the year when Jobs, Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne founded Apple Computer; which is now known as called Apple Inc. in the garage of Jobs’s Los Altos home on Crist Drive. Most of the early work was done at Job’s house. They received funding from then-semi-retired Intel product marketing manager and engineer Mike Markkula.

Primarily designed by Wozniak, Apple II was introduced to the world at a West Coast Computer Faire. It one of the first consumer products sold by Apple Computers and was one of the very first successful mass-produced microcomputer products in the world.

Even after creating huge success and generating curiosity amongst people, the first Macs were underpowered and expensive. Apple did however steadily improve the machine so that it eventually became the company’s main product; however, Jobs’ failure to tap into the problem quickly led to tiffs in the company and Sculley in 1985 convinced Apple’s board of directors to remove Jobs from the company.

NeXT And Pixar

Steve Jobs famously rebooted and started another firm called NeXT Inc that primarily designed powerful workstations for students. It was then funded by Texan entrepreneur Ross Perot and Canon Inc., a Japanese electronics company. Even though Next Computers created great designs, they were cost-effective. After this, Jobs shifted his focus on software – NEXTSTEP.

Around 1986, Jobs acquired a stake in Pixar, which was a computer graphics company. Over the years, Jobs kept improving and developing the animation studio. It got funding from Lucasfilm Ltd and was eventually turned into a complete animation studio, making films such as Toy Story, in 1995. Pixar’s public stock offering that year made Jobs, a billionaire. He eventually sold it to the Disney Company in 2006.

Helping Apple

Apple, on the other hand, was facing substantial financial losses and was on the verge of collapse. Which is when Apple hired Gilbert Amelio, to bring about a change; however, it was still not successful. To bring in innovation and success into the company, Amelio decided that NEXTSTEP would be the right replacement for Mac’s aging OS; buying Job’s company for more than $400 Million.

This routed Steve Jobs back to Apple; at this point, Apple was still struggling as a firm, after which jobs took over and changed the course of action entirely. He simplified the company’s product line, and created the award-winning and super successful advertising campaign “think different”. Jobs strongly believed that Apple was the only major personal computer maker with its operating system, was in a great preposition to innovate.

After which he changed the face of Apple, created and designed pioneer products that were way ahead of their time, under his leadership the world was introduced to iMac, iPod, iTunes; and By 2006 more than one billion songs and videos had been sold through iTunes; after which Jobs officially changed the name of the company to Apple Inc. on January 9, 2007. His revolutionary keynote speech at the Macworld Conference and Expo in January 2007, quoted the ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky:

“There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very, very beginning. And we always will.”

After that, Steve Jobs officially launched the iPhone and the rest as we know it is history.

Steve Jobs has led an inspirational life, a true pioneer of innovation some of his most inspirational, thought-provoking quotes on leadership, life and work include:

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

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