Steve Jobs, the former CEO and Co-founder of Apple who died this October, has influenced millions of people all around the world through his products and presentations, and as a person. And although I never met the man, he has certainly influenced and impacted my life.
Much could be said about such an innovative, influential, and inspiring man. (And much has been said by many brilliant people around the world.)
Below are a few of the many lessons Steve Jobs taught me about life and work. This is not a master list by any means, just a few things I have learned and observed from Steve. (His 600+ biography will offer MUCH more wisdom and life lessons, I’m sure.)
I hope you find this short list helpful:
1.Take responsibility for your own education
- Steve Jobs attended Reed college, only to drop out soon after. Although he didn’t really drop out. He continued to take classes at Reed college even though he wasn’t officially an enrolled student there. As Steve put it in his Standford Graduation Speech, he dropped out so he could drop in on the classes that really interested him. (Somehow, he convinced the dean to allow him to attend classes without having to pay the insane tuition prices.) He took classes that interested him, and these classes would later influence the design of the Macintosh. It would have been easy for Steve to forget about school after dropping out, but he still took the initiative to learn, even though he wasn’t an enrolled student. This self-education of sorts helped him design Apple products, which would go on to sell millions and millions.
2. Privacy is often a good policy
- Jobs was known for keeping his private life secret from the rest of the world, and this privacy also played out in Apple. Apple is known for their privacy – for not announcing to the world what products they are working on, what the new features will be, and other elements of their business until their live events. This privacy keeps Apple from over-promising and under-delivering, as well as builds anticipation and extreme excitement in Apple customers whenever a new product launch is soon to be announced. Privacy also keeps Apple from saying things that they will later regret. Jobs is to credit for this privacy-policy.
3. Your best work will come from doing work you love
- Throughout numerous interviews Steve repeatedly confessed that he absolutely loved what he did, and that the love he had for his work produced motivation, passion, and the many masterpieces we have today (i.e. the iPhone, iPad, Mac, iTunes, etc.) Jobs showed us that our best work will come from doing work we love.
4. Great vision is key to great innovation
- It is not a secret that Steve Jobs was an incredible visionary. He knew what people wanted before they wanted it. He knew what would be hot even when others doubted. Most people – myself included – doubted the iPad would be a success when Jobs announced the new product. But now, the iPad is one of Apple’s hottest selling items, and is the hottest selling tablet on the market. His bold innovation was rooted in his bold vision. Great visions is key to great innovation.
These four lessons are only four of the many that could be talked about. Steve taught all of us much about business, inspiration, influence, presenting, and life. He was an incredibly influential, inspiring, and innovative man, who will be missed by many people (myself included). I definitely plan on purchasing and reading his biography, where there will be many more lessons to learn from Steve.
How did Steve Jobs impact you? Will you read his biography? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!