No doubt, Steve Jobs is no stranger to you. The world renowned Apple CEO sold dreams not products. He was one of the greatest corporate storytellers in the world stage. People loved everything about him , from his presentation style, quotes or facts about his personal and professional life.
In 2005, he delivered a remarkable speech to Stanford Graduates in which he shared 3 stories. The first story was about connecting the dots. He talked about his biological mother who was a young, unwed college student, whom put him up for adoption. She felt that he should be adopted by college graduates. When a lawyer couple turned down the adoption, his mother had no choice but to give him up to a couple who had never graduated from college but with the promise that they will put him through college.
And 17 years later, he did go to college but he did not see the value in it. So, he dropped out. He stopped taking classes that didn’t interest him and dropping in on the ones that looked interesting. He didn’t have a dorm room, so he slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, returned Coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and walked 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple.
At that time Reed College offered perhaps the best calligraphy programme in the country. He decided to take a class where he learned how to make typography great and found it fascinating. He had no idea then, how he was going to use calligraphy for practical applications. 10 years later, Macintosh, the first personal computer designed by Apple had beautiful typography thanks to 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.” said Steve.
His second story was about love and loss. He found what he loved to do early in life. At 21, he co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak in his parents’ garage back. Within 10 years Apple had grown into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. But, a clash of vision left Jobs unemployed at 30. “What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating,” he recalls. For months, he struggled with his fate and began to feel like a public failure. But, slowly, Jobs began to realize that although he was fired, he still had a passion for computers and so he decided to start over.
“The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything.” says Jobs.
His last story was about death. He was diagnosed with a cancer. The doctors told him that he should expect to live no longer than six months because it was an incurable. Fortunately, after the biopsy, it turned out to be curable with surgery. The near death experience made him realize that remembering death is the most important tool he has ever encountered to help him make the big choices in 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. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” says Jobs.
Steve Jobs, billionaire co-founder of Apple and the mastermind behind an empire of products that revolutionised computing, telephony and the music industry, died in California at the age of 56.
He left behind an estimated $8.3 billion in fortune, but he often dismissed others’ interest in his wealth. “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” he said.
Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.
Thank You Steve Jobs!