Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has faced plenty of adversity – and controversy – during his lifetime. While his road to success wasn’t a simple one, he inspired many people to embrace their uniqueness and follow their passions, as he had done. Even after his death, he is still remembered as one of the most iconic men to influence the way we view technology today.
Steve Jobs: Early Life
Born to parents Abdulfattah “John” Jandali and Joanne Carole Schieble on February 24, 1955, the then unnamed Jobs was put up for adoption after his birth. Although it wasn’t an easy decision for his biological parents, several factors (such as them being only 23 at that time and Joanne’s parents being against their union) contributed to that fate. He was later adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs, and given the name Steven Paul Jobs.
It was obvious even during his youth that he was an intelligent and gifted child. Jobs would play pranks on his teachers, and fought with constant frustrations with formal schooling. Jobs’s adoptive father, Paul, would spend time with him working on electronics at their family garage. This activity would in fact, awaken his interest in computers and pave the way for the future Steve Jobs.
After some effort into getting him to take his studies seriously, the family decided to move to Los Altos, California to allow Jobs to change schools. It was here that he met Bill Fernandez, an electronics hobbyist and his first friend at his new school. It was also Bill who introduced Jobs to Steve Wozniak, future Apple co-founder.
During this time he would cultivate two primary interests: electronics and art. Although his friendship with Bill wouldn’t last, Jobs would manage to keep Wozniak inside his small circle of friends, which also included his first girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan. After graduating from Homestead High School, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon but dropped out six months later. However, he did keep on attending creative classes, one of which was calligraphy taught by Robert Palladino.
Sometime around 1973, Steve Jobs was hired by Atari as a technician. He saved up his money and went on a trip to India to seek enlightenment. He went home after seven months and came back to work for Atari, reuniting with Wozniak as well. When Wozniak developed ‘the blue box’, a contraption that allowed for free long-distance phone calls, Jobs realized that they could take on the world.
Steve Jobs: Later Years
The partnership between Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak was magical: Wozniak would develop the hardware and Jobs would sell them. Apple was born at the garage of Jobs’ Los Altos home. Their first successful commercially sold product, the Apple II, was introduced in 1977 at the West Coast Computer Faire. It was also one of the first successful mass-produced microcomputer products at that time.
Jobs and Wozniak revolutionized not only the way that computers are sold to the mass market, but they also broke an ‘age glass ceiling’ for starting their own business at a young age.
Even though Jobs left Apple in 1985, he returned to revive the company and transform the way people consume electronic products. Apple’s most popular products, the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, continue to set the stage for what modern electronics should look and how they should perform.
Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011 after a hard battle with pancreatic cancer for almost 10 years. Though his life was riddled with controversy, he left a legacy that millions of young dreamers and entrepreneurs follow today. See what wisdom you can glean from these Steve Jobs quotes.
30 Steve Jobs Quotes That Will Inspire You To Follow Your Passion
“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 them 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 that do.” – Steve Jobs
“I want to put a ding in the universe.” – Steve Jobs
“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?” – Steve Jobs
“Remembering 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’s no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs
“I’m the only person I know who’s lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year…it’s very character building.” – Steve Jobs
“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.” – Steve Jobs
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.” – Steve Jobs
“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’ve found it.” – Steve Jobs
“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.” – Steve Jobs
“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, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
“Stay hungry, stay foolish.” – Steve Jobs
“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” – Steve Jobs
“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.” – Steve Jobs
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.” – Steve Jobs
“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.” – Steve Jobs
“I like to believe there’s an afterlife. I like to believe the accumulated wisdom doesn’t just disappear when you die, but somehow it endures. But maybe it’s just like an on/off switch and click—and you’re gone. Maybe that’s why I didn’t like putting on/off switches on Apple devices.” – Steve Jobs
“In my perspective…science and computer science is a liberal art, it’s something everyone should know how to use, at least, and harness in their life.” – Steve Jobs
“I think humans are basically tool builders, and the computer is the most remarkable tool we’ve ever built.” – Steve Jobs
“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” – Steve Jobs
“Things don’t have to change the world to be important.” – Steve Jobs
“I would trade all of my technology for an afternoon with Socrates.” – Steve Jobs
“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.” – Steve Jobs
“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.” – Steve Jobs
“Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.” – Steve Jobs
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs
“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.” – Steve Jobs
“We’re just enthusiastic about what we do.” – Steve Jobs
“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” – Steve Jobs
“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. – Steve Jobs