Steve Jobs: Inspirational quotes and 7 principles of innovation

>> Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I don’t use any of Apple products, not the Macbook, iPad or even iPhone, but I do recognize that Steve Jobs was a very influential figure in the digital technology industry, an inspiring visionary.

Here are some of his quotes that I really like, all of which comes from a Stanford University commencement speech in 2005:

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 find it.

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 other’s 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.

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.

An excerpt on creativity from his interview with the Wired magazine (1995):

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.

Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.

And here are the 7 principles he says innovation is based on.

- Do what you love
- Put a dent in the universe (aim to make a real change)
- Kick-start your brain (build experiences)
- Sell dreams (not products)
- Say ‘no’ to 1,000 things
- Create insanely great experiences
- Master the message (to get others onboard)


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