Of the thousands of remarks attributed to the late Steve Jobs, nearly all of them deliver pretty much the same message: listen to your heart! This excerpt from his famous speech at Stanford University in 2005 is no different. However, this one has more than a single lesson embedded in it.
“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Jobs has been equally revered and berated by those who knew them, either personally or simply by reading about him in the press. But as he himself said in another iconic rant (about misfits like himself), the only thing you can’t do to the people who are bent on changing the world is ignore them. Innovators tend to go above and beyond to fulfill their lifelong mission, and for Jobs, sometimes that meant stepping on a few corpses.
Apple’s best days are often associated with Jobs’s leadership, especially after his triumphant return to a nearly-bankrupt business in 1997. Apple today is worth more than $740 billion and has stashed close to $200 billion in the bank. Admittedly much of this growth is owed to the company’s current CEO (formerly the COO of Apple), Tim Cook.
Key moments in Jobs’s career that even millennials should be well aware of include the legendary iPhone unveiling in 2007 (along with his prank call to Starbucks – “4,000 lattes to go”), the launch of the original iPad (of which the Wall Street Journal said “Last time there was this much excitement about a tablet, it had some commandments written on it.”), and his vexed open letter “Thoughts on Flash,” in which he ripped Adobe a new one.
You’ll find the Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech embedded below for your viewing pleasure.