The death yesterday of Steve Jobs — called by many this era’s Thomas Edison — inspired collective mourning, but also an outpouring of appreciation for the insights and inspiration he brought to bear. Jobs contributed much more than his brilliant iProducts: His words touched the hearts and minds of many as well. Our Diane Vacca smartly thought we should wake up with this glimpse of his spoken legacy. — Ed.

Steve’s advice to the 2005 graduating class at Stanford, one year after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer:
  • “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” [The line he used to lure John Sculley into becoming Apple’s CEO, according to Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple]
  • “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.”     [BusinessWeek, May 25, 1998]
  • Playboy: “Are you saying that the people who made PCjr don’t have that kind of pride in the product?”

Jobs: “If they did, they wouldn’t have made the PCjr.”    [Playboy, Feb. 1, 1985]

  • “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, June 2005]


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