This collection of Steve Jobs quotes has something for everyone. His impact on many industries is legendary.
From personal computers to phones, from music to digital publishing, Steve Jobs’ fingerprints are all over a series of innovations that revolutionized businesses in a variety of fields. He changed the way we lived. He was the heart and soul of Apple. Oh, and he could present very effectively, too.
Check out some of his insights on design, innovation, and life. To make it easy for you, our expert panel selected the top dozen quotes and listed them first. Here they are.
Top Quotes from Steve Jobs
1.) One more thing… (A trademark Jobs’ line when presenting Apple’s new line of products. He would frequently save something spectacular for last, and introduce it after saying, “One more thing…”)
2.) Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.
3.) If anybody’s going to make our products obsolete, I want it to be us.
4.) Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.
5.) My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.
6.) It’s better to be a pirate than to join the navy.
7.) Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
8.) 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.
9.) I’m as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done. Innovation is saying no to a thousand things.
10.) 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.
11.) Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
12.) The greatest thing is when you do put your heart and soul into something over an extended period of time, and it is worth it.
13.) Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.
14.) My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.
15.) The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
16.) I want to put a ding in the universe.
17.) Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… The ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
18.) Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.
19.) Ultimately, it comes down to taste. It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then try to bring those things into what you’re doing. Picasso had a saying: good artists copy, great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas, and I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians and poets and artists and zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world.
Steve Jobs Quotes Image
20.) I don’t really care about being right, I just care about success. You’ll find a lot of people that will tell you I had a very strong opinion, and they presented evidence to the contrary and five minutes later I changed my mind. I don’t mind being wrong, and I’ll admit that I’m wrong a lot. It doesn’t really matter to me too much. What matters to me is that we do the right thing.
21.) We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and everyone should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.
22.) 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. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
23.) For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
24.) The amount of time you spend shopping and preparing and eating food is enormous. The amount of energy your body spends digesting the food in many cases exceeds the energy we get from the food.
25.) I end up not buying a lot of things. Because I find them ridiculous.
26.) You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. 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.
27.) 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.
28.) Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
29.) 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.
30.) You always have to keep pushing to innovate. Dylan could have sung protest songs forever and probably made a lot of money, but he didn’t. He had to move on, and when he did, by going electric in 1965, he alienated a lot of people. His 1966 Europe tour was his greatest. The Beatles were the same way. They kept evolving, moving, refining their art. That’s what I’ve always tried to do — keep moving. Otherwise, as Dylan says, if you are not busy being born, you’re busy dying.
31.) When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can oftentimes arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions. Most people just don’t put in the time or energy to get there. We believe that customers are smart, and want objects which are well thought through.
32.) When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
33.) 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.
34.) 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.
35.) Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is 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. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
Steve Jobs Sayings on Design
36.) When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.
37.) It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.
38.) Making an insanely great product has a lot to do with the process of making the product, how you learn things and adopt new ideas and throw out old ideas. But, yeah, the people who made Mac are sort of on the edge.
39.) But then, the rewarding thing isn’t merely to start a company or to take it public. It’s like when you’re a parent. Although the birth experience is a miracle, what’s truly rewarding is living with your child and helping him grow up.
40.) Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
41.) 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.
42.) Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.
43.) Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.
Steve Jobs Quotes On Innovation
44.) I’m a big believer in boredom. Boredom allows one to indulge in curiosity and out of curiosity comes everything. All the (technology) stuff is wonderful, but having nothing to do can be wonderful, too.
45.) 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.
46.) I’ve always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes. I don’t know why. Because they’re harder. They’re much more stressful emotionally. And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you’ve completely failed.
47.) What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.
48.) If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away.
49.) I’m convinced that to give away a dollar effectively is harder than to make a dollar.
50.) There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very very beginning. And we always will.
51.) I’m an optimist in the sense that I believe humans are noble and honorable, and some of them are really smart. I have a very optimistic view of individuals. As individuals, people are inherently good. I have a somewhat more pessimistic view of people in groups. And I remain extremely concerned when I see what’s happening in our country, which is in many ways the luckiest place in the world. We don’t seem to be excited about making our country a better place for our kids.
52.) My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each others’ negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts.
53.) Good PR educates people; that’s all it is. You can’t con people in this business. The products speak for themselves.
54.) Somebody once told me, ‘Manage the top line, and the bottom line will follow.’ What’s the top line? It’s things like, why are we doing this in the first place? What’s our strategy? What are customers saying? How responsive are we? Do we have the best products and the best people? Those are the kind of questions you have to focus on.
55.) The system is that there is no system. That doesn’t mean we don’t have process. Apple is a very disciplined company, and we have great processes. But that’s not what it’s about. Process makes you more efficient.
Steve Jobs Quotes on Success
56.) Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is 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. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
57.) My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better.
58.) Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
59.) I like interacting in the world of ideas, though somehow those ideas have to be tied to some physical reality. One of the things I like the most is dropping a new idea on a bunch of incredibly smart and talented people and then letting them work it out themselves. I like all of that very, very much.
60.) The people who built Silicon Valley were engineers. They learned business, they learned a lot of different things, but they had a real belief that humans if they worked hard with other creative, smart people, could solve most of humankind’s problems. I believe that very much.
61.) 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.
62.) You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.
63.) Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.
64.) I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.
Tip: These Steve Jobs Quotes make great additions to emails. Pick one you like and add it to your sign-off.
Notable Steve Jobs Quotes
65.) We did iTunes because we all love music. We made what we thought was the best jukebox in iTunes. Then we all wanted to carry our whole music libraries around with us. The team worked really hard. And the reason that they worked so hard is because we all wanted one. You know? I mean, the first few hundred customers were us.
66.) I’m just a guy who probably should have been a semi-talented poet on the Left Bank. I sort of got sidetracked here.
67.) It’s more than publishing. It’s commerce. People are going to stop going to a lot of stores. And they’re going to buy stuff over the Web!
68.) I think it’s brought the world a lot closer together, and will continue to do that. There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything. The most corrosive piece of technology that I’ve ever seen is called television – but then, again, television, at its best, is magnificent.
Short Steve Jobs Quotes
69.) Real artists ship.
70.) We’re just enthusiastic about what we do.
71.) You’ve baked a really lovely cake, but then you’ve used dog shit for frosting.
72.) Things don’t have to change the world to be important.
73.) Details matter, it’s worth waiting to get it right.
Bonus Steve Jobs Quotes
74.) If you don’t love it, you’re going to fail.
75.) The products suck! There’s no sex in them anymore!
76.) That’s been one of my mantras: focus and simplicity.
77.) I’m actually as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done.
78.) Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice.
79.) The most precious thing that we all have with us is time.
80.) Let’s go invent tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened yesterday.
81.) 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.
82.) You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.
83.) For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.
Unfiltered Steve Jobs Quotes
84.) Details matter, it’s worth waiting to get it right.
85.) I do not adopt softness towards others because I want to make them better.
86.) You can build your own things that other people can use. And once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.
87.) We do no market research. And, we don’t hire consultants. We just want to make great products.
88.) Don’t get hung up on who owns the idea. Pick the best one, and let’s go.
89.) The products suck! There’s no sex in them anymore!
90.) When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life.
91.) Death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent, it clears out the old to make way for the new.
92.) 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 realized 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.
93.) Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there.
94.) The doers are the major thinkers.
95.) In the broadest context, the goal is to seek enlightenment – however you define it.
96.) If you’ve got a family and you’re in the early days of a company, I can’t imagine how one could do it. I’m sure it’s been done but it’s rough.
97.) 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.
By Mike O’Halloran
Curated by Mike O’Halloran, a Mac fan for some 30 years and editor of Greeting Card Poet. O’Halloran’s past work includes working as marketing director for MECC, creators of The Oregon Trail, and other educational software that Apple linked to in order to establish itself in the school market.
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