What I learn from all time favorite Steve Jobs

The personality equally revered and hated for his achievements and misdemeanors – Steve Jobs. Without him Apple would’ve died in 1990’s. Remembered for Apple and for making this world a better place to live. His life was a roller coaster ride and he made every moment of it as exciting as his products.

His qoutes have the meanings deep down. Every quote reflects his passion to drive the change and make this world a beautiful place to live.

Some of my all time favorite quotes from Jobs:

“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?
(A comment he made in persuading John Sculley to become Apple’s CEO, as quoted in Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple)

Its Jobs’ uncanny ability to inspire , mesmerize and made people believe that working at Apple would be the biggest purpose of their life. They would be contributing to the larger than life products and would make the world a better place to live.

Your work will definitely make a dent in the universe if you have passion and purpose.

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
(Quoted in Steve Jobs, the Journey Is the Reward (1988) by Jeffrey S. Young)

Admit your mistakes. They teach you how not to fail again. Learn from them and move on. The world will remember you for your success. Mistakes will be soon forgotten. Even Apple had many miserably failed products like Lisa (1983-1986), Mac Portable (1989), Newton PDA (1993), Rockr (2005), and many more.


“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.
(Interview with Inc. Magazine for its “The Entrepreneur of the Decade Award” 1 April 1989)

Unconventional by modern management perspective where customer is king and knows what he wants. Knowing the unknown, catching the pulse is the key. Jobs audaciously tinkered with the deeply hidden needs; or I can say, succeeded in creating the needs by delivering unexpected experience every-time.

“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.
(On the success of Bill Gates and Microsoft, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Summer 1993)

There’s a purpose to every life. In the mad race to elite club, we forget the meaning of life. At the end of the day, think if you have added something wonderful to this world. Cemetery is the place where it doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor. Jobs kept on contributing his bit to the world till his last days. What a great soul he was!!!

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.
(As quoted in Fortune, 9 November 1998)

R&D spending is not proportional to the extent of innovation you can bring to the table. Its only the leadership and quality of people that matters. Recruit people meticulously and nurture them to make them bring their best to work. No wonder, Apple in its early days itself, gave shivers to bigger corporations.

“We think basically you watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on.”
(Interview in Macworld magazine.)

Watching television even moderately makes you dumb. Scientific research also endorsed the fact. Spend your quality time not only on computers for something useful, but on reading, on your hobbies, with your children. Keep on honing your professional and personal skills. TV is a strong no-no!!

“Because I’m the CEO, and I think it can be done.”
(On why he chose to override engineers who thought the iMac wasn’t feasible, as quoted in TIME magazine, 24 October 2005)

This one is my personal best. All said and done, you need authority to push through something substantial. Steve Jobs was one such executive who, once confirmed, executed his decisions brutally. In the power politics of organizations, innovations need strong advocates like Jobs. Innovations don’t happen by treading the path of conventional management principles.

“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.”
(Jobs: Iconoclast and salesman” by Brian Williams, at MSNBC, 25 May 2006)

Don’t rest on your past laurels. Competition always catches you faster than anticipated. Keep on delivering unexpected. Keep on excelling. iMac. iPod, iPhone, iPad… Apple kept its competitors on toes. Delivering the best every-time, never sitting on its past laurels.

“A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.”
Interview with the New York Times (5 June 2007)

Denominator managers have mushroomed who downsize to improve productivity but forget that this will not prevent doomsday to occur sooner or later. Committed employees and great products are the only path to success. Jobs knew and implemented this from the core.

“Sometimes I believe in God, sometimes I don’t. I think it’s 50-50 maybe. But ever since I’ve had cancer, I’ve been thinking about it more. And I find myself believing a bit more. I kind of – maybe it’s ’cause I want to believe in an afterlife. That when you die, it doesn’t just all disappear. The wisdom you’ve accumulated. Somehow it lives on, but sometimes I think it’s just like an on-off switch. Click and you’re gone. And that’s why I don’t like putting on-off switches on Apple devices.”
(Quoted by his biographer, Walter Isaacson)

Believe in one supreme power. It will give you strength. You will have something big to achieve. Your wisdom and thoughts will remain forever in form of your work.

Jobs had this tendency to switch the environment off whenever he wants. Things ceased to exist for him. He denied their very presence. He accepted the fact that cancer gripped him only after it started showing its effects. Towards his end he was still groping for the answers about god, afterlife and spirituality.

Jobs was at his best during commencement address at Stanford university in 2005. Amongst my personal favorite of speeches by great leaders:

This world is missing you Jobs…….

Article Courtesy: biztekmantra.com

Hardeep Handa

Hardeep Handa

I am a seasoned marketing professional. I am ardent reader and avid writer. Management and technology equally excite me. I write regularly in my blog www.biztekmantra.com and www.virginwords.com

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