Last week, the world was rocked with the news that Steve Jobs passed away from cancer. Immediately memorials popped up at Mac Stores around the world; tweets and Facebook messages were filled with thoughts for the deceased. Obituaries were written and blog posts filed. All of this due to the vision and hard work of a single man.
The world needs more people like Steve Jobs. We need people who have vision and foresight; who have determination and the will to pursue a dream. We need more people who pursue excellence in all they do. Stories abound of his consistent demand for more and better. It’s been said he rejected several proto-types of the third generation iPhone because none of them were up to the high bar he set for the new product. He’s also said to have pushed the Pixar animators to be more creative as they worked at creating the digital masterpiece Toy Story. He saw something that no other could envision.
Sure, Steve Jobs was hard and exacting. Sometimes he was even caustic in his approach towards those that worked for him. But his ethic and business prowess helped create a loyal employee base as well as faithful consumers.
And better yet, he encouraged others to be pioneers in their own right. His speech for the 2005 Stanford University Commencement Address is the perfect example of this. His closing words to the graduates, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
The world would be completely different without him. Imagine no Mac computers, no iPod, iPad, iTunes or iPhone. Other things may have cropped up in this time that met some of these niche markets, but Steve Jobs managed to push everyone to excellence.
Some great words from Steve Jobs’ speech:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking back… Believing the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads down the well-worn path.”
“Sometimes life’s gonna to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”
“You’ve got to find what you love. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do great work and the only way to do great work is to love what you do… if you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, don’t settle.”
“Remembering 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 let the noise of others’ pinions drown out your own inner voice.”