Top 10 Steve Jobs Quotes

1. “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.”

According to Malcolm Gladwell, a “professional” is someone who has spent 10,000 hours on a single area. A chess grand-master who practiced chess for over 10,000 hours. A pro-golfer who practiced golf for over 10,000 hours. The mastery concept has come under fire recently, as the 10,000 hours works well for sports, chess, and other repetitive fields. And contrastingly does not serve as a proper measurement for creative fields such as art, writing, and music. Steve Jobs is what is known as a master generalist. A master in various fields, and being create new value by connecting the dots among multiple disciplines.

2. “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.”

People don’t know what they want. And great minds think alike, as each generation a visionary reminds of our cluelessness, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. Ford disrupted horses as transportation through automobiles, Sean Parker disrupted the physical music distribution industry through Napster, and Steve Jobs disrupted the cellphone market through the iPhone.

3. “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 a terrible stigma against publishing your work online. Your’re terrified that suddenly all the trolls on the Internet will unite and downvote your post to oblivion. Steve Job’s response to such unwarrented fear is: So what? You only have one life. You only have one chance to chase your dream.

4. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”

Life doesn’t have a step-by-step guide called “How to Live Your Life”. We have no idea what we’re doing, where we’re headed, and if we’re wasting our time. Who knows if you’ll meet the love of your life on the next corner? Who knew that taking a random calligraphy class, at the college you dropped out of, would change the world of personal computing?

5. “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.”

When you’re introduced to a new acquaintance, one of the first questions you ask is, “What do you for a living?” Which is quite a logical question as you get a grasp of who your talking to. An economics professor, a developer at Google, a personal fitness trainer. What we should also be asking is, “Why did you choose that profession?” Work is not simply a means of survival. What kind of work we choose to do, defines us. We work over 40 hours a week. We spend more time at work, than we do with our families. Steve Jobs perspective on “work” is If you’re going to spend the majority of your time at work, choose a self-satisfying profession.

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.”

Sometimes I’m perplexed by people choosing a profession for purely financial reasons. Because of their stable salary policies, despite being a brain-dead task. Because of their high-salary, despite having to work 18 hours a day. Choosing a profession for money seems like a means of “survival” and not “living”. Doing work that your proud of everyday, and living the life you were meant to live is beautiful.

7. “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.”

The basic premise of the movie “Yes Man” is that by saying “Yes” to everything, you’ll encounter new experience that you were hesitant to experience. While being a Yes Man, helps isolated hermits, when you’re running a multi billion dollar company, strategically saying “No” is more important. Deciding which innovations “not” to develop seems to be the more difficult decision. As you have to optimize your resource allocation.

8. “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.”

Finding a silver lining, after being fired from the company you built from your garage is a monumental task. Fired from Apple, Founder of Pixar, then being reinstated as Apple’s CEO is like a hero’s journey. Would Apple, be the Apple of today, without Steve Jobs being fired?

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

At peak content, with more than 100,000 blog posts published daily! There are two strategies you can take. Either receive massive funding and produce gargantuan quantity of content like BuzzFeed. Or spend massive amount of time creating high quality content like WaitButWhy. Steve Jobs approach is create the highest quality of products, and blowing the competition out of the water.

10. “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.”

A simple model of following your passion is to ask if this is what you would want to do on your last day on Earth? On my last day on Earth, I wouldn’t spend time at the bank, running on a Sisyphean treadmill, or grinding my teeth smiling at my co-worker’s snide comments. I would spend time crafting beautiful content, spending time with my family, or walking my dog next to the river.