Lessons I Learned From Steve Jobs

The Internet is still topsy over the death of Steve Jobs. The company he cofounded changed the way we view and use technology. I was never an Apple fan boy. In fact, I used to make fun of Apple products. The main reason for getting my fist Macbook was to remove the MacOS and replace it with Windows. However, I made the mistake of trying out MacOS for a week to see what the fuss was about. Now, all the computers in my house are Macs, I call up friends with an iPhone, play music with an iPod and travel with an iPad.

Steve was more than a great leader and visionary. He was also one of the greatest teachers. Anyone wishing to succeed can take the following lessons from Steve Jobs’ life.

Live Each Day Like It’s Your Last

They say a man only truly lives when he knows he’s about to die. Also, keep in mind the following: If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right. Steve’s Stanford Commencement Speech in 2005 pretty much summed it up.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. 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.”

Surround Yourself with Great People

While Apple is known for Steve Jobs, he did not build the company alone. Apple is made up of 1000’s of talented people. Steve’s genius was his ability to find these people and use them to the best of their abilities.

Many people are questioning if Apple will survive without Steve. If they truly know Steve Jobs, that questions wouldn’t even come up. Steve knew that Apple was not just him. Success is a team sport. A great leader is only as great as his supporting cast and thanks to Steve Jobs, Apple has one of the best supporting casts in the world.

You can not build an empire alone, and you shouldn’t even try. To reach the top of the success ladder, you will need help along the way. Don’t be afraid to ask for it.

It Doesn’t Matter What You Think!

One of my favorite WWE characters is The Rock. One of the things he used to do is ask an opponent what he thought of this or that, and when the person is to about answer, The Rock interrupts with, “It doesn’t matter what you think!”

Too many people live life based on what other people think. They’re concern over what their friends or neighbors will think of them if they downsize their home or buy a new car. To be truly free, you need to think for yourself.

Who would have thought a computer company could change the entire music industry, or the phone industry? When Steve introduced the iPad, most thought it was just a giant iPod and would never take off. When Steve came back to Apple, Michael Dell recommended he sell off the company and return the money to the shareholders.

Don’t live your life based on what others think. Live it based on what you think.

Find Your Passion

Steve was really good at what he did because he was really passionate about it. He lived and breathed Apple. He was Apple. It was this passion and drive that drove him to make Apple the most valuable company in the world.

No matter what it is you’re doing right now, if you’re not passionate about it, then it’s not worth doing. As Steve said, our time here is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.

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.


103 thoughts on “Lessons I Learned From Steve Jobs”

  1. Well said, John. Thanks for sharing this one~

    1. 100% agreed. Steve Jobs was an inspirational leader who lived and breathed Apple & his Standford Speech is one of the most famous speech’s ever.

      1. Erwin Miradi says:

        Steve Jobs is my huge inspiration. I was really shocked when I heard about his death. It’s really a great loss.

        1. Hey John,

          Thanks for sharing the lessons you’ve learned from Steve Jobs. They are great lessons that I enjoyed reading and learning from too.

          Time is so limited and worrying too much about what others will think is futile.

          It’s so sad that Steve had to go so soon. Too early at 56. The only consolation is that he managed to do so much and didn’t waste his time like so many of us are prone to do.

  2. Ryan says:

    I love that speech. I occasionally go back and listen/watch this speech to make sure that I am living like that. Thanks John. Steve will be greatly missed.

  3. Jonathan says:

    I like your post, especially your 2nd lesson (surround yourself with great people) but… I still tease apple products!! (hehe)

    Keep up the good work!

  4. Raymond says:

    Yep, it’s all true.

    I read the speech he gave back in 2005 at Stanford for the first time today and found it very inspiring. So many of us do what I do – sit in some office all day doing stuff you’re not particularly crazy about. Gee, what would the world be like if we all did something we were passionate about?

    I’ve not been a big fan of Apple, but at least, I must say, Steve has provided me great inspiration for my site hehe.

    I remember his presentation at the Cupertino city council. The way he talked about Apple’s new head quarters, just great. It’s a shame he won’t be there to see it.

    Well everyone, let’s go out and find a new Steve somewhere, inside or outside of ourselves.

  5. Sud.L says:

    Steve was a great mind.
    All marketers should ‘thank to him’ for every single app they created!
    The Q:
    Will Apple continue survive after his death?
    The A:
    Only time got the answer…

    1. Dave Doolin says:

      Sud, if history is a guide, we’ll get about 5+ years of momentum as Tim Cook continues the tradition. After Cook retires, my hunch is that the board/shareholders will loot the company. Think of IBM post Tom Watson. Other examples abound.

      1. Dzulhelmee says:

        Tim Cook , considered a logical eventual successor to the late Jobs, could be in charge for a long time, perhaps permanently. The momentum should be and on going process. Looting Apple will be a big mistake. Will Bill Gates takes over Apple?
        When he do, than Apple will be transform into MICROPPLESOFT.
        Hehe..
        Come to think about it, not a bad branding name hah !

        1. If that were to occur, I’d like them to be called AppleSoft lol.

          Introducing the AppleSoft Ipad XIV….now only $4999
          Sporting Windows 57 and comparable hardware to other similar devices that retail for a fraction of the cost.

    2. Did you read the article? Apple corp. is not only Steve, it’s thousands of passionate people who are ready to go further. And they will continue the Steve’s route.

      1. Erwin Miradi says:

        Yeah. Steve didn’t do things all by himself. He’s good in finding the finest men to work with him and that’s how he made Apple corp. like this today.

        1. Of course, but there is no indispensable people. Maybe today another one visionary was born.

  6. John, Great Post! We definitely lost a tech icon and one of the great visionaries of our time. His life was an inspiration, and I aspire to learn and act on the lessons and legacy he has left with us all. http://martykornegay.com/2011/10/steve-jobs-a-lesson-in-legacy/

    1. Erwin Miradi says:

      Thanks for sharing the link Marty. I will surely check that out soon.

  7. Jason B. says:

    The Mac was the first computer to inspire creativity, not just productivity. Yes, I hammered out a lot of college papers on computer lab Macs, but from the beginning, the Mac was built for more than typing or number crunching. This was the vision of Steve Jobs.

  8. Best recapitulation I’ve seen of an extraordinary life. I think of Steve Jobs not as a great executive, but as a great architect. Frank Lloyd Wright was in his 90’s when he finalized his design for the Guggenheim. Jobs would have amazed us for decades yet if he’d had the chance. A terrible loss.
    Apple should carry on. Mercedes-Benz, Disney, and Ferrari all continue onwards and upwards with no end in sight. The systems and cultures that visionaries create can enrich the world long after they depart.

  9. Very sad. May he rest in peace.
    I hope I can do the same in a much smaller way and make my kids proud.

  10. Tim says:

    Just added that to the “motivational” playlist

    Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish….

    1. Erwin Miradi says:

      Yeah I like that one.

      1. Did you saw the house where Steve lived?
        It’s very modest house and that’s all after receiving such a big money.

  11. Candy says:

    Amazing post John, Steve was really a genius! All his thoughts and life lessons will remain forever R.I.P Steve Jobs

  12. Mariegrace says:

    Thanks for sharing these valuable lessons. It speaks to all of us. We can all learn from what Steve Jobs shared. He’s truly an iconic legend! I admire him for what he has done. He has touched millions of lives including me with the products that brings a smile to everyone holding an iphone, an ipad, an imac, a macbook, etc. I look at my iphone differently now – its not just a phone, its a tribute to the man who changed the way we look at technology – and that is Steve Jobs- that is Apple! May he live in our hearts forever!

  13. Fred Tracy says:

    Absolutely. Great article.

    The graduation speech was incredible.

    1. Erwin Miradi says:

      Yeah it was actually posted here too like 2 weeks before Steve passes away. I really like how Steve showed the fresh graduations that even a dropped out guy can be success. While I bet most of the graduates were thinking to become a 9-5 guy for the rest of their life.

  14. Kimani says:

    Great lessons John, Thanks a ton!!

  15. raluca says:

    One man show goes to sleep. RIP Steve! Take care Apple!

  16. Thx for this post Johen, the Stanford speech is a great piece of inspiration and humor.

    More than designing products, Jobs took care about our daily experiences and practices. He was (and is still) behind all these mini-experiences surrounding his devices, that are part of our routines today.

    My son is about to be 2 years old and his vision on interacting with things is well far ahead than what I could never have been experienced… He’s so fast on the iPad!
    Cheers

    1. Dealbulous says:

      Wow, 2 years old and he has learned to be on iPad well. My nephew has been 4 and never touched or seen and iPad before.

  17. Buck Inspire says:

    Great post on a once in a lifetime visionary. Really liked your lessons, especially the Rock reference, “It doesn’t matter what you think!” Steve Jobs lived that way, too. My guess is this is the only place where you can find a comparison with Steve Jobs and the Rock. Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. A very sad day for the world … !

    RIP Steve Jobs .

  19. Ari Laksemi says:

    Well written John, very inspiring.

  20. craig says:

    A little early to be cashing in on his death, don’t you think john? This could have waited a week

  21. Sad to see Steve go. Excellent lessons we can learn from him, thanks.

  22. fazal mayar says:

    Great artilce, he is right, we cant deny it. 🙁

    what a great man, RIP

  23. daniel says:

    The world lost a visionary. We will miss what he would potentially invent. Sounds strange but it is true. I hope the business world finds out another visionary like Steve Jobs.

  24. DC says:

    Many more legends may come, but I think Jobs is irreplaceable! His contribution is endless!

    “God Sent Men To The Earth For Eating An Apple and Now He Called The Apple Man Back To Heaven As He Changed The Earth”

  25. Dealbulous says:

    Without Steve, I am not sure if the talents would love to stay in Apple to work. Competitors would think of ways to pull these people over. Good luck Apple!

  26. Brillian, John!

    Thanks for your thoughtful acknowledgement of a life well spent.

  27. eric webb says:

    I admire Steve and his team of coming up with great products in a very successful company. I have to admit, I was one of those who once made fun of Apple and was a windows only guy. That was, until I repaired a windows computer for a friend, and was paid with a dusty old unused 1999 crt iMac. The very computer model that saved Apple from financial ruin. I installed OS 10.4 (Tiger) just to see what OS X was all about. I found myself very interested and enjoying the simplicity of the OS compared to the high maintenance nightmare that windows has become lately. After experiencing the headaches and many glitches of windows Vista, I moved over to Apple for good. Yes, I am a heretic for abandoning windows after being a die hard windows user for 15+years. I admire Apple and they have come a long ways since the financially troubled mid 1990s. Their computers are better then ever, and with Recyclable aluminum casings, I am even more proud of Apple winning an EPEAT Gold award from the EPA for environmentally friendly manufacturing processes and recyclable computers… it is about time. Steve will be missed as the greatest entrepreneur of the decade… whether you hate him or like him, he did make Apple into the hit it is today…..

  28. Eric says:

    Great words! Everything one we learned from steve will make you live better and better and have a more valuablle life!

  29. stargaterich says:

    Another great aspect about Steve Jobs is that he is a true visionary , a guy who is able lead his Apple group of creative and talented engineers to create products that sells. All too often we find many companies with lots of talented resources working on the wrong thing and trying to market a product which they create. while gets his engineers to create products that sells.

  30. Travis says:

    Great post. He will surely be missed that’s for sure.

  31. Luke Tran says:

    Great lessons John, Thanks a lot!!

  32. Honestly I learn from him that “money can’t save you from death”

  33. Lawrence Ku says:

    This is a great collection John, thanks! And RIP Steve…

  34. Ome says:

    He was The Man … someone who was up, crashed and risen up again, personally and professionally. We can learn a bit from him. R.I.P Steve.. you will still live, in the Web 😀

  35. Twicat.com says:

    Left a note about your great post (somehow got removed by you not sure why?)

    But anyway Steve had a great vision and was willing to bring it to everybody

    thnx
    for this video

  36. RIP Steve Jobs. We will never see another like him

    1. Why are you so confident in it? Every some amount of years become a new guru and visionary that will follow the industry.

  37. Great Post. RIP Steve Jobs

  38. hong says:

    Hi, John
    I like your post very much.
    I hope that everyone is concerned about health.

  39. He was a truly inspirational man…

    Here’s my tribute to him:

    A Tribute to Steve Jobs, February 24, 1955 – October 5 – 2011

    1. Erwin Miradi says:

      Hey Yee. Thanks for the link. I’ll chech that one out soon. 🙂

  40. Ronald says:

    RIP Steve Jobs. He was an icon and one of the greatest leaders of his generation. I saw that Stanford speech as well and it really inspired me a lot.

  41. Man of Honor, integrity and much more, i just shock after hearing this news, what a massive blow.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      Agreed, the news saddened me and I’m still sad about it. Steve has made such an impact in my life and so many others. The day I got my first Apple II GS molded who I am today. It’s the reason I was able to start learning young, get into Stanford, and major in computer science. Thanks Steve for this and so much more.

  42. Shipping says:

    The man who was thinking differently in the audio system or video system. I like him because of his memorable products.

  43. Ken says:

    Great article, John. I worked at Apple in 2000, and Steve Jobs was like a rock star to Apple employees. When he lead the employee meetings wearing his trademark black turtleneck shirt and worn blue jeans, you saw the visionary at work as he talked about what Apple was doing. Just amazing, and a real loss not just for Apple, but the world.

  44. Pst. Bless says:

    thanks for bringing the exploits of this great man of the internet to us in these days.

  45. Panha says:

    I felt sad when I heard that Steve Jobes passed away. He is one of good human resource over the world. Hopefully, his spirit disappeared peacefully.

  46. Steve jobs was an inspiration to all and will continue to be an inspiration for years to come. His attitude to innovate and never get satisfied with an achievement is a real motivation for young entrepreneurs like me.

  47. Cheryl Jones says:

    That is tremendous and timeless wisdom from Steve Jobs. Thanks for posting the video.

  48. knev` says:

    Do you know Bill gates worked as consultant for Steve,
    Steve you are the greatest inventor.

    1. I didn’t know that. When it was?

  49. Wayne says:

    RIP Steve Jobs.

    You were one of the great visionaries of our time and have left an indelible mark on society.

    History will remember you fondly.

  50. I like Steve’s words: “I don’t want to be the richest dead man in the cemetery”

  51. marcus says:

    Great post John, we will truly miss one of the greatest innovators of our time.
    RIP, Steve Jobs and thank you for providing such greatness into our daily lives.

  52. fas says:

    Steve jobs will be really missed. He has done so much among industries that not many can think of. 300 + patents and his love for attention to detail was amazing.

  53. Peter Hutyr says:

    This speech changed my life and I dropped a college career I was studying just because I was to called an engineer. Titles don’t matter, what matters is that life should be lived to the fullest with the greatest results.

  54. wintergurl says:

    He is really great man ever .May he rest in peace

  55. Great post , Steve jobs was a great man , all the world gonna miss him
    Thank you steve for all what you did for us

    Good bye Steve Jobs .

    1. Erwin Miradi says:

      Yeah. There is no many people who can give as precious lessons of life like Steve does. He was truly a rare man.

      1. Totally agree with you, I’m not a fan of Apple products but a fan of the Person behind it.

  56. PPC Ian says:

    Awesome post John. I truly enjoyed reading it. We will all miss Steve Jobs, a true hero.

  57. Hey John,
    You did it again. Maybe you can start your own personal development blog because as I said before I like it when you write these inspirational posts.

    Steve Jobs did an outstanding job with Apple and I also wonder if by him being gone will Apple continue to be such a great company. Only time will tell.

  58. dadispen says:

    Great post! I admire the guy too and have my own tribute for him in my blog. Thanks for sharing!

  59. Steve was really a genius! Great post John

  60. drhowell says:

    He was indeed someone who was not afraid to think differently. Not many people are willing to be different in my experience. Many people say that they do but practically nobody does.
    To think different you have to be willing to stand alone from the crowd. To be alone in blame if it doesn’t work. To risk being wrong and mocked.
    That is the lesson I learned from Apple’s ex-chairman. You will be missed Steve.

  61. This is actually the first post about Steve Jobs that has really touched me. I know he was a genius, but I really didn’t see the big deal. You made it easy to understand why everyone loved him so much. I highly doubt the world will react the same way to Bill Gates’ passing.

    1. John Chow says:

      Oh, the reaction will be even greater when Bill passes. As great as Steve is, he never set up a foundation to give away all his money. Bill did.

  62. Cheolsu says:

    Thanks for sharing this, John! Steve jobs has inspired me in many ways. I was really sad when I heard the news.

  63. Steve Jobs was definitly an inspiration to us all and will be deeply missed

  64. The greatest creation of the century iphone , ipad and the apple family products.http://www.simplyrichhome.com Great words from a great man Steve.

  65. Helene says:

    John, thank you for posting Steve Jobs’ speech and what I would call, his “inspirational words to live by.” His mantra for life reminds me of Randy Pausch, another amazing person.
    Your post allows us all to feel closer to great people, your post actually allows us to surround ourselves with good people, in a virtual sense.

    Thank you,
    Helene

  66. Patrick says:

    Nice tribute to Jobs!

    What especially resonates with me is your observation that Apple is not Jobs. That it takes a team to do what Apple does, a very talented team. If nothing else, Jobs could recognize and keep some of the best talent in the world.

    In Apple’s case, that essential talent was Jonathan Ive.

    Apple without Jobs will do just fine. Apple without Ive would cease to be.

  67. Tarun says:

    steve jobs was a big inspiration for me too. I miss him a lot. he was great personality. thanks for posting about him here. thanks john.

  68. Rajiv says:

    Inspirational, some have compared him to Edison for innovations.

    1. Lalit says:

      Rajiv, I agree to you. He was indeed an innovative person, who thought about technology and made it a reality.

  69. Erwin Miradi says:

    Steve is my hero. There’s a lot I can learn from his point of view about life. Requiescat in Pace, Steve,

    1. Was a genuine source for my inspiration as well. Sad that he is gone.

  70. Alden says:

    What a very inspiring quotes from Steve Jobs.He became an inspiration to many.Rest in peace Mr. Jobs. Thank you for your contribution to the world.

  71. Eugene says:

    Great Job on this one.

    “Living each day as your last”… Yup.. Something that I need to start doing.

  72. ‎”Ten years ago we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.
    Now we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash”

  73. Beautiful speech. Some of the greatest and accomplished men in the world have been high school and college drop outs….It is quite interesting.

    I think talking about death makes some people uncomfortable, especially if they are afraind of it. But Steve’s speech was incredibly appropriate, colored with both truth and experience. He will be missed.

  74. steve famous commencement speaker was an inspiration for those drop outs and everyone. his death shock me, and it seems he is already struggling his health when i saw him introducing ipad 2 in yerba buena theater last march.

  75. Stanford speech video has gone viral now.
    Steve was not only one of the greatest inventor and thinker of this era, he was one of the greatest leader.

  76. Steve was an great man we all miss him a lot

  77. steve the best man Apple company had its very big loss for them and we all miss him too

  78. james says:

    I am inspired by the part where he mentioned about able to connect the dots of the past, present and to the future. Ability to do is inspiring….

  79. Hi! I found your post nice and interesting.

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