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.
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.
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.
Bottom line is, I didn’t return to Apple to make a fortune. I’ve been very lucky in my life and already have one. When I was 25, my net worth was $100 million or so. I decided then that I wasn’t going to let it ruin my life. There’s no way you could ever spend it all, and I don’t view wealth as something that validates my intelligence.
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.
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.
Things don’t have to change the world to be important.
What is Apple, after all? Apple is about people who think ‘outside the box,’ people who want to use computers to help them change the world, to help them create things that make a difference, and not just to get a job done.
I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.
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.
Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
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.
We’re just enthusiastic about what we do.
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.
The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
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.
Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.
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.
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.
Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
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.
Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.
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.
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.
My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.