Life of Steve Jobs: 9 Lessons That We Can Learn From

The death of Steve Jobs rocked the world as he was considered one of the world’s most innovative men. Under his leadership, Apple has never been short of creating beautifully designed products that has wowed the world and also becoming of the world’s most valuable company (US $341 Billion as of 10 August 2011).

When I first heard the news that he passed away, in my mind I was asking my friends, “Are you kidding?” A quick search on the Internet yielded much talk about his demise and even apple website created a webpage for him.

Here are some life lessons that I have personally learnt from him:

1. Its not about how well you start in life

Steve Jobs was born out of wedlock and put up for adoption for birth. In fact, he mentioned in one of his talks that he was so poor that he had to sleep in the floor of friends’ rooms during his college days. In addition, he earned little money for food after returning Coke bottles. Furthermore, he had to walk seven miles every week across town to the Hare Krishna temple for the Sunday feast. If such a person like Steve Jobs could face adversity and still make it in society, what is our excuse?

2. Education level is not the most important.

For the man who ran the most valuable company in the world, interestingly, he actually did not finish his degree education. In fact, he dropped out of Reed College after only one semester. Steve mentioned that his short stint in college was an impactful one because “If I had never dropped in on that single calligraphy course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.”

A little known fact about Steve Jobs was the fact that he was listed as either primary inventor or co-inventor in 338 US patents or patent applications related to a range of technologies from actual computer and portable devices to user interfaces (including touch-based), speakers, keyboards, power adapters, staircases, clasps, sleeves, lanyards and packages.

3. It’s not what life throws at you but how you make out of it.

The experiences faced by Steve were also rather dramatic and could be a potential storyline of a soap opera. In 1985, two years after recruiting Apple’s new CEO, John Sculley, Jobs was literally kicked out of the company out of the company he founded. This was due to deterioration in Job’s working relationship with Scully and resulted in an internal power struggle that Jobs lost. However, Jobs claimed that being fired from Apple was the best thing that could have happened to him. He said, “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

The time away from Apple also gave Jobs time to start a new company called NeXT, which was to develop high-end computers at expensive prices. The company did not do so well in sales but it influenced future software developments, particularly the MAC OS X.

In 1986, Jobs bought The Graphics Group from Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division for the price of $10 million. The company decided that it would give up selling its unprofitable Pixar Image Computer and concentrate its efforts into computer-animated films. This company was later renamed as Pixar.

Pixar’s partnership with Disney was a commercial success and it bought many great films such as Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Wall-E and Toy Story 3. Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up and Toy Story 3 each received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

None of this would have happened if he were not fired from Apple.

4. Live each day as if it was your last.

When he was much younger at the age of 17, he read a quote which affected him a lot, “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” Since then for the past 33 years, Jobs looked into his mirror every day of his life to ask, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” If the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, he knew that he needed to change something.

He also mentions in his address to Stanford students in 2005, “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.”

Jobs also reminded them that “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life” and “have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

We are constantly being surrounded by people telling us what to do with our lives and also we may also at times in our lives, want to live the lives of other people. Live a life that you really want and have courage to live it.

5. Connect the dots in life.

Jobs reminds us to connect the dots in life. Every thing that has happened in our lives happened for a reason. We have to “trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” Perhaps you have gone through many things in life and wondered why it had to happen? It could be repeating another semester in school, studying the wrong course, wasting 3 years in a company that didn’t improve your career or getting a lousy boss that treated you like dirt. All these ‘negative’ incidents in your life could actually be the turning point of your life from that point on!

It is my firm belief that every thing that happens to us right now is to prepare us for the future. In one of my blog articles, I mentioned about how at the age of 17, I started off as a volunteer of a youth organisation and did a lot of program planning and emceeing. I wouldn’t dare to say that every program I ran was incredibly successful but learnt a lot from the ones that failed or didn’t generate interest from participants. Later did I know that all these were necessary to prepare me for the role as a trainer and then much later to transit into being a public speaker.

Everything happens for a reason, the only thing we need to do in our lives is to make sense out of our experiences and try to connect the dots.

6. To be a trendsetter, you can’t rely on focus groups.

Steve Jobs was one of the few people that didn’t really believe in focus groups. This was contrary to most business philosophies that you had to ask people on what they wanted in their products.

“None. It’s not the consumers’ job to know what they want.” – Jobs responding to whether he did market research for the iPad.

However, most people in life don’t know what they want, especially if they have never seen it or even conceptualised a new product before. Steve relied a lot on his intuition about how people liked things and the way they operated them. This sense of intuition that he had was really ahead of his time as he could see into the future and helped created demand for products that were in his head.

For example, before the launch of iPad, most people were skeptical of Apple’s ability to compete in the market and its lack of experience in producing such devices. Even the internet was flooded with comments on the name of the iPad. However, when it was launched, it created a storm of people who wanted to own a piece of it. It was one of the best selling products Apple has ever created and is believed to dominate the market share for the next 5 years.

7. Always acknowledge the work of your staff in front of the rest.

In most of the Macworld keynotes of Steve Jobs, I recall watching many times where Jobs will usually ask everyone in the hall to give a huge round of applause for his staff who has worked so hard to make things happen. He even thank their families, loved ones, spouses, partners for being there to support his staff in their work.

In a lot of the team building activities that I run with my corporate clients, I ask members of the team to publicly acknowledge and give each other praise. This meaningful activity has helped team members to express what they always wanted to say but yet have no opportunity for it. This also created a moment where some people actually cried and hugged each other. It created a sense of belonging and appreciation for the work that they have done.

8. Show passion in what you are doing

Steve has always showed passion in what he does. In all his keynotes, he always talks about Apples products and “hopes that you will love it as much as we do”. You realise that they are not sharing just a product, but a labour of love that resulted in a product.

9. Set out to change the world

“I want to put a ding in the universe.” – Steve Jobs

“People sometimes have goals in life. Steve Jobs exceeded every goal he ever set for himself.” – Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder, on Steve Jobs

“Here’s to the crazy ones,

the misfits, the rebels, the trouble makers,

the round pegs in square holes.

The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules,

and they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About 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 people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,

are the ones who do.”

Apple’s 1997 ‘Think Different’ ad

I believed that Steve completely managed to fulfill his wish of changing the world. Many of us today are living so much differently with how much he influenced society with its gadgets.

My question to you is whether you have found your purpose in living and made up your mind to change the world. Well, if you think you are crazy enough to think you can, you might just be the one to do it.

Change the world, one step at a time.

Kenneth Kwan is an International Speaker and has traveled to six different countries speaking to thousands of clients on Mindset and Attitudes shift as well as Building Teams. You can get your free report of “7 Transformational Secrets to Creating a Dynamic and Cohesive Team in your workplace” from http://www.DeepImpactOnline.com/blog

Steve Jobs is dead

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, the founder and former CEO of Apple computers, died this evening at age 56. He had been battling pancreatic cancer for eight years.

Barely one month ago Jobs resigned from his position at Apple to pass it on to Tim Cook, who was on stage at Apple headquarters yesterday to announce details on the iPhone 4S. Jobs himself had unveiled the original iPhone back in 2007.

Apple released a statement today which became available to the media at around 7:30 pm ET this evening that reads, “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.”
rt.com

Steve Jobs On Medical Leave – What’s Next for Apple?

The media is rife with speculation about Steve Jobs health after it has been announced that he will be taking another medical leave. What is the future of the company? What effect will Steve Jobs absence from Apple have on its stock performance? What ails Jobs and how serious is it?

Steve Jobs has requested that his privacy be respected during his period of recuperation. Let’s hope his wishes are respected and there’s no prying into his medical records or personal family affairs by sleazy bloggers or “journalists” looking to get some kind of “scoop.”

It is not out of line, however, to speculate on Apple’s future, as many pundits and analysts are already doing. Unfortunately, Much of the speculation about the whole thing involves needless handwringing if not downright hysteria. It’s time for a few cool heads to set the record straight.

Let’s examine some of the realities and misconceptions surrounding Steve Jobs and Apple’s future.

No one can truly speculate on Steve Jobs health except his doctors.

Although cancer is certainly no minor matter, it is not the death sentence it once was. Steve Jobs was diagnosed with a cancerous pancreatic tumor in 2004 and had a liver transplant in 2009. This was successful, but the drugs needed to keep the body from rejecting such a transplant can cause side effects and other medical problems.

Steve Jobs is still with Apple.

Although Steve Jobs is on medical leave, he will continue on as CEO and be involved in strategic decisions with Apple.

Steve Jobs is a genius.

During his career Steve Jobs has revolutionized not one industry but several: computers with the Apple II and later the Macintosh, operating systems with NeXT, animation with Pixar, music and entertainment with Apple’s iTunes, the cell phone industry with the iPhone and now the entire world of tablet PCs with the iPad. Steve Jobs has had an amazing ability to intuitively grasp what the public wants and to see opportunities that others have missed. In addition, the strength of his personality and reputation had given him and Apple considerable heft when it comes to negotiation.

Steve Jobs ego has gotten in the way at times.

Certainly, much of the speculation surrounding Apple after Steve Jobs is not surprising. Steve Jobs has presented himself as Apple’s public face. He has run the keynotes, given most of the big announcements, and made Apple a very personality-driven company. Although this has built the Apple mystique over the years, it had the downside of leading to speculation about Apple’s future after Jobs is no longer with the company. Certainly, Jobs’ ego is one of the things that led to his original ouster from Apple back in 1985.

Steve Jobs is not Apple.

Apple is a multibillion dollar, multinational corporation which, according to Wikipedia, has 46,600 full time employees and 2,800 temporary full time employees worldwide, and worldwide annual sales of $65.23 billion.

Apple is much bigger than one man. In fact, Apple continued to enjoy a wide user base and popularity during the time between Steve Jobs ouster and his eventual return. Although Jobs is a unique technology visionary, runs Apple in a very hands-on fashion, and is, in fact, the public face of the corporation, it would be a mistake to think that he is the only one keeping it going.

Steve’s recent health problems have not come suddenly, nor have they been a big surprise.

Steve Jobs has been suffering from health issues for a number of years now. Being the forward-thinking guy he is, Jobs has certainly not overlooked the fact that he will not be around forever. Steve Jobs knows what it takes to succeed in business and has surrounded himself with an excellent team of very talented people. He has been careful to groom Tim Cook as his right-hand man, making sure that there will be someone available to maintain operations of the company if he should ever have to leave.

Apple has an incredible management team consisting of Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, Peter Oppenheimer, Phil Schiller, Jonathan Ive, Ron Johnson, Sina Tamaddon, Bertrand Serlet, Scott Forstall and Bob Mansfield. Ive, who has been with Apple since 1992 has been the Senior Vice President of Industrial Design since 1997.

Steve Jobs has been gone from Apple before.

It is easy to forget that Steve Jobs has not always been with Apple. He was ousted from the company in 1985, just one year after the introduction of the Macintosh, and did not return until 1997, over 10 years later.

During that time, Apple was not stagnant, either. The company introduced many innovative products, such as the Newton, a groundbreaking handheld computer; the PowerBook, which established the modern ergonomic layout and form factor of the laptop computer; System 7, a major advance in operating systems; the PowerPC processor, a new computing architecture using Motorola and IBM hardware; and TrueType font technology, an open standard for fonts that greatly simplified font management.

Sure, Apple has had some missteps during that time, but it would be a mistake to think that everything Steve Jobs touches has turned to gold either; the Xserve has been discontinued, the Macintosh Cube flopped and the Apple TV has yet to really take off.

Apple has an incredible momentum going with the Mac, iTunes, the iPod, the iPhone and now the iPad.

Apple enjoys millions of loyal customers and users. Apple store openings often draw crowds of thousands, some of whom wait in line for as long as a day before the opening, and some of whom even fly in from other countries for the event. The cube-shaped store on Fifth Avenue in New York drew crowds half a mile long for its grand opening; some of the visitors even took the opportunity to propose marriage at the event. Mac users have been fiercely loyal to their machine because of the ease of use of the operating system and applications and the industrial design of the devices themselves.

Mac users are intensely loyal.

The Macintosh has enjoyed a “halo effect,” as users of the iPod, iPhone and other Mac products have been inspired to try Apple’s other offerings, including its desktop computers. This means that the Mac user base has been growing over the past several years. The loyalty of Mac users has inspired the phrase “Cult of Macintosh.” Users of Macs and Apple’s other products love their devices because of Apple’s innovative industrial design, software made to be easy to use from the ground up, advanced operating system, award-winning support, compatibility with PCs and third-party hardware, ability to work with Microsoft Office and other PC files, and non-susceptibility to PC viruses.

In short, Apple has a public image, brand loyalty, reputation for innovation and user base that would make most of the world’s biggest corporations green with envy. No matter what may happen in the future, one thing is certain: Apple’s future as a technology leader is secured.

You might get the impression that the Mac is the forgotten stepchild of the Internet marketing industry. But did you know that some of the top names in Internet Marketing use Macs? Get a FREE 75-page ebook that covers everything you need to know about running your Internet business using a Mac, iPhone and iPad here: http://internetmacmarketing.com/10tools.html

The Mac Aqua GUI

The Macintosh, commonly known as the Mac, is a range of personal computers developed by Apple Inc. The Graphical User Interface (GUI) of the Mac’s Operating System version 10.4 is referred to as Aqua. It is the successor of Platinum which was used in Mac version 8 and 9. As is suggested by the names, Aqua GUI is based on the theme of water. It makes use of droplet-like-elements and also avails of reflective and translucent effects. In the words of Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc., “One of the design goals (of Aqua GUI) was when you saw it, you wanted to lick it”.

The water themed user interface first made its introduction at the January 2000 Macworld Conference and Expo, San Francisco. The debut appearance of the Aqua GUI in a commercial product was during the July 2000 release of the iMovie 2. In that the scroll bar and the buttons had the Mac Operating Systems’ all-new Aqua look. Its second appearance was in the Mac OS X Public Beta in September of the same year. This was followed by a feature in iTunes in January the following year. Aqua was made Mac’s official graphical user interface after the release of the Mac OS X. The two basic colours which highlight Aqua’s style are blue and white.

Two of the main features of the Aqua GUI are:

  1. The gel-like buttons that control wind, which come in red, yellow and green colours.
  2. The dock which helps to launch and navigate between applications. David Pogue, a technology columnist for the New York Times, described the scrollbars as “lickable globs of Crest Berrylicious Toothpaste Gel”.

The brushed metal windows and the standard pinstriped are the two basic types of windows that come with Aqua. Both these styles seem to have the navigational button embedded into the window but in versions of Mac before 10.2, the buttons appear on top of the pinstriped windows.

As newer versions are released, the Aqua GUI has been made increasingly subtle. For instance the pinstripes have been made fainter. Also the menus as well as the system dialogs have been made more translucent. Even the appearances of the buttons and the widgets have been made softer.

Quartz Compositor which handles the underlying graphics management of the user interface powers Aqua.

To find out more about the Mac, as well as tips, downloads and reviews, visit: http://www.macintosh-tools.com

For more great Mac articles, resources, tools and downloads, visit: Macintosh Tools. You can also visit our blog for the latest industry news and tips.

The Mac Aqua GUI

The Macintosh, commonly known as the Mac, is a range of personal computers developed by Apple Inc. The Graphical User Interface (GUI) of the Mac’s Operating System version 10.4 is referred to as Aqua. It is the successor of Platinum which was used in Mac version 8 and 9. As is suggested by the names, Aqua GUI is based on the theme of water. It makes use of droplet-like-elements and also avails of reflective and translucent effects. In the words of Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc., “One of the design goals (of Aqua GUI) was when you saw it, you wanted to lick it”.

The water themed user interface first made its introduction at the January 2000 Macworld Conference and Expo, San Francisco. The debut appearance of the Aqua GUI in a commercial product was during the July 2000 release of the iMovie 2. In that the scroll bar and the buttons had the Mac Operating Systems’ all-new Aqua look. Its second appearance was in the Mac OS X Public Beta in September of the same year. This was followed by a feature in iTunes in January the following year. Aqua was made Mac’s official graphical user interface after the release of the Mac OS X. The two basic colours which highlight Aqua’s style are blue and white.

Two of the main features of the Aqua GUI are:

  1. The gel-like buttons that control wind, which come in red, yellow and green colours.
  2. The dock which helps to launch and navigate between applications. David Pogue, a technology columnist for the New York Times, described the scrollbars as “lickable globs of Crest Berrylicious Toothpaste Gel”.

The brushed metal windows and the standard pinstriped are the two basic types of windows that come with Aqua. Both these styles seem to have the navigational button embedded into the window but in versions of Mac before 10.2, the buttons appear on top of the pinstriped windows.

As newer versions are released, the Aqua GUI has been made increasingly subtle. For instance the pinstripes have been made fainter. Also the menus as well as the system dialogs have been made more translucent. Even the appearances of the buttons and the widgets have been made softer.

Quartz Compositor which handles the underlying graphics management of the user interface powers Aqua.

To find out more about the Mac, as well as tips, downloads and reviews, visit: Macintosh Tools.