Steve Jobs on the awesome viral power of storytelling

“The most powerful person in the world is the story teller.”

While researching my new book, How to Go Viral and Reach Millions, I read through dozens of books, articles, and posts on communications and storytelling.

But I came across far too many must-have quotes to try to work them seamlessly into the text of a 200-page book.

So I put 3 quotes at the start of each of the 11 chapters (and Introduction and Epilogue).

I guarantee if you read the book, you’ll find several that you use in your own posts and speeches and life.

My favorite quote on storytelling comes from Steve Jobs (via Quora) in 1994, when he was CEO of Pixar:

The most powerful person in the world is the story teller. The storyteller sets the vision, values, and agenda of an entire generation that is to come, and Disney has a monopoly on the storyteller business. You know what? I am tired of that bullshit, I am going to be the next storyteller.

Jobs understood the power of storytelling.

Indeed, his desire to match Disney’s “monopoly on the storyteller business,” as he put it, led him to acquire the Graphics Group from the Lucas film computer division for $5 million and re-launch it as a separate company, Pixar Animation Studios, in 1986 — the year after he was fired from Apple Computer.

Pixar’s first full-length animated film, Toy Story, was released in 1995 (the year after the quote).

Under Jobs, Pixar set the standard for animated storytelling, with viral hits like Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc, Up, and the Toy Story sequels. Jobs sold Pixar to Disney in 2006 for $7.4 billion in stock.

Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 and became CEO. He then led the company, which had been near bankruptcy, on a journey to become the most valuable brand in the world with a series of viral, game-changing and indeed, world- changing products, including iPod, iTunes, iTunes Store, Apple Store, iPhone, App Store, and the iPad. But equally important, Jobs brought his storytelling skills to sell those products and create incredible brand loyalty,

Through Pixar and Apple, Jobs did set the “vision, values, and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.”

If you want to master story-telling, go viral, and change the world like Jobs, you can find the most important secrets of history’s greatest story-tellers in my book, How to Go Viral and Reach Millions.