Steve Jobs: How to Live before you Die

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Adventures in Awesome Living

by Sunil Bali, Chief Energy Officer, 28-08-11

Upon hearing that Steve Jobs had stepped down as CEO of Apple this week, Stephen Fry commented,

“I don’t think there is a human being on the planet who has been as influential in the last 30 years in the way culture developed and has proved quite so conclusively that passion and taste and belief are more important than a hard business head.”

Whatever your thoughts about Jobs, the facts are unambiguous. Jobs has led the field in three separate industries:

Music– the iPod has revolutionized the way music is delivered;

Movies– Pixar is one of the world’s most successful animation studios (they made “Toy Story”);

Computing– the Mac and the iPad lead the way when it comes to design, functionality and ease of use.

Jobs leaves his CEO role just as Apple becomes the most valuable company in the world with a market capitalisation of nearly $340bn.

I admire Jobs not because of his financial success, but because he lives with passion and this passion is reflected in his products. Jobs has never sought to create products which people like. He has sought to create products and a support service which people LOVE and are passionate about.

When he was asked what made the Mac OS X operating system so good he replied, “When we designed the buttons on the screen, we made them look so delicious that you want to lick them”. Not a word about gigabytes, megahertz or any technical.

When Jobs tried to lure John Sculley from Pepsi he said, “Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life, or do you want to change the world?” Sculley promptly joined Apple and helped to change the world.

Jobs has often said that he doesn’t seek to compete, because he knows that in an age of excess supply, true competition comes from actually not competing but being different and running your own race. As Jobs says in the inspirational video below “Our 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.”

Every time he is faced with a big choice, Jobs asks himself, “What would I do if this was the last night of my life?” He met his wife, Laurene like that.

He was giving a university address and Laurene was sitting in the audience. He fell for her and approached her after the event. Laurene gave him her number. He wanted to take Laurene out for dinner that very night but had an important business meeting. On his way back to his car, he asked himself “What would I do if this was the last night of my life?” He ran back to the auditorium, found Laurene and took her out to dinner.

They’ve been together ever since.

Steve Jobs: How to Live before you Die

Quotes

I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser than he was yesterday – Abraham Lincoln

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance – Benjamin Franklin

Stay hungry and foolish – Steve Jobs

Always be in the state of becoming – Walt Disney

Humour

Insults, Put Downs & Come backs

– Which do you think is my best side?
– My dear, you’re sitting on it.

        Mary Anderson, actress & Alfred Hitchcock

– Is Ringo Starr the best drummer in the world?
– He’s not even the best drummer in The Beatles.

        Reporter & John Lennon

– Winston, you’re drunk.
– Bessie, you’re ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober.

        Bessie Braddock & Winston Churchill

– You’re hit writers; one letter short, but still.

        Clive Anderson to The Bee Gees

– Two tickets reserved for you for the first night of my new play. Bring a friend. If you have one.
– Cannot make first night. Will come second night. If you have one.

        George Bernard Shaw & Winston Churchill

– If I were you were wife, I’d put poison in your coffee.
– If I were your husband, I’d drink it.

        Nancy Astor & Winston Churchill

– Could you tell me the way to the House of Commons loo?
– First left, go along the corridor. You’ll see a door marked Gentlemen, but don’t let that deter you.

        J.H. Thomas, M.P. & F.E. Smith, M.P.

To your success,

Sunil

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