In his own words: 15 inspiring Steve Jobs quotes

In his own words: 15 inspiring Steve Jobs quotes

By Rob Crossley

October 6th 2011 at 12:00PM

Below youâ??ll find some of the most defiant, most philosophical and most emboldening verses from Jobs's life

The electronic entertainment world has lost Steve Jobs, but his ideas live on. Below are fifteen inspirational quotes from the iconic tech entrepreneur, narrowed down from hundreds on offer.

Steve Jobs passed away yesterday in his California home following a private battle with Pancreatic cancer. Tributes from the games industry have flooded in and can be found here.

“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.

“Because 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. 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.

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.”
Commencement speech at Stanford University, 2005

“Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realised something that shoots holes in how we've been thinking about a problem. It's ad-hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.

“And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much.”
Interview with Business Week, 2004

“In most people's vocabularies, design means veneer. It's interior decorating. It's the fabric of the curtains and the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.”
Interview with Fortune magazine, 2000

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."
Interview with Wall Street Journal, 1993

"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."
Interview with Business Week, 1998

"At Pixar when we were making Toy Story, there came a time when we were forced to admit that the story wasn't great. It just wasn't great. We stopped production for five months.... We paid them all to twiddle their thumbs while the team perfected the story into what became Toy Story. And if they hadn't had the courage to stop, there would have never been a Toy Story the way it is, and there probably would have never been a Pixar.

"We called that the 'story crisis,' and we never expected to have another one. But you know what? There's been one on every film. We don't stop production for five months. We've gotten a little smarter about it. But there always seems to come a moment where it's just not working, and it's so easy to fool yourself - to convince yourself that it is when you know in your heart that it isn't.
Interview with Fortune, 2008

"The problem with the internet start-up craze isn't that too many people are starting companies; it's that too many people aren't sticking with it. That's somewhat understandable, because there are many moments that are filled with despair and agony, when you have to fire people and cancel things and deal with very difficult situations. That's when you find out who you are and what your values are.

"So when these people sell out, even though they get fabulously rich, they're gypping themselves out of one of the potentially most rewarding experiences of their unfolding lives. Without it, they may never know their values or how to keep their newfound wealth in perspective."
Interview with Fortune magazine, 2000

"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."
Stanford commencement speech 2005

"You think I'm an arrogant [expletive] who thinks he's above the law, and I think you're a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong.”
Speaking to New York Times reporter when asked about his health, 2008

"We've had one of these [recessions] before, when the dot-com bubble burst. What I told our company was that we were just going to invest our way through the downturn, that we weren't going to lay off people, that we'd taken a tremendous amount of effort to get them into Apple in the first place -- the last thing we were going to do is lay them off. And we were going to keep funding. In fact we were going to up our R&D budget so that we would be ahead of our competitors when the downturn was over. And that's exactly what we did. And it worked. And that's exactly what we'll do this time."
Interview with Fortune, 2008

"You can't just ask the 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, 1989

“I want to put a ding in the universe.”
Source disputed.

“The problem is I’m older now, I’m 40 years old, and this stuff doesn’t change the world. It really doesn’t.

“I’m sorry, it’s true. Having children really changes your view on these things. We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much — if at all.

“These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. You may have a child with a birth defect and be able to get in touch with other parents and support groups, get medical information, the latest experimental drugs. These things can profoundly influence life. I’m not downplaying that.

“But it’s a disservice to constantly put things in this radical new light — that it’s going to change everything. Things don’t have to change the world to be important.”
Interview with Wired, 1996

“Click, boom, amazing!”
Demonstrating the first iPhone at Macworld, 2007

“My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better.”
Interview with Fortune, 2008