Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

Steve Jobs Quotes – Top 10

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Now, why didn’t I do this before! A perfect way to combine my love of management philosophy and all things Apple, by churning out a playlist of Jobs’ Top 10 quotes.

What started it all, was this recent article in Fortune Magazine that comes on the heels of Apple being selected as America’s Most Admired Company.

But what I unearthed there was a slew of golden quotes from Jobs himself, who has quickly replaced Jack Welch as the one business celebrity I’d like to meet (although I came pretty close to that in the past).

To make it easier to consume, I’ve broken down the quotes into two sets of five each (one set on Management and the other on Leadership). Read and Learn, my friends!

Steve Jobs’ Top 10 Quotes (after the jump)

Steve Jobs Top 10 Quotes

Steve Jobs' Top 10 Quotes

5 Management Mantras

#10. On Management

My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better. My job is to pull things together from different parts of the company and clear the ways and get the resources for the key projects.

And to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better, coming up with more aggressive visions of how it could be.

#9. On Hiring

Recruiting is hard. It’s just finding the needles in the haystack. You can’t know enough in a one-hour interview.

So, in the end, it’s ultimately based on your gut. How do I feel about this person? What are they like when they’re challenged? I ask everybody that: ‘Why are you here?’ The answers themselves are not what you’re looking for. It’s the meta-data.

#8. On Firing

We’ve had one of these before, when the dot-com bubble burst. What I told our company was that we were just going to invest our way through the downturn, that we weren’t going to lay off people, that we’d taken a tremendous amount of effort to get them into Apple in the first place — the last thing we were going to do is lay them off.

#7. On a CEO succession Plan

I mean, some people say, ‘Oh, God, if [Jobs] got run over by a bus, Apple would be in trouble.’ And, you know, I think it wouldn’t be a party, but there are really capable people at Apple.

My job is to make the whole executive team good enough to be successors, so that’s what I try to do.

#6. On Product Strategy

It’s not about pop culture, and it’s not about fooling people, and it’s not about convincing people that they want something they don’t. We figure out what we want. And I think we’re pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too. That’s what we get paid to do.

We just want to make great products. (I think he means “insanely great products!“)

5 Leadership Mantras

#5. On Leadership

So when a good idea comes, you know, part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of 100 people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know – just explore things.

#4. On Evangelism

When I hire somebody really senior, competence is the ante. They have to be really smart. But the real issue for me is, Are they going to fall in love with Apple? Because if they fall in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself.

They’ll want to do what’s best for Apple, not what’s best for them, what’s best for Steve, or anybody else. (this actually reiterates my oft-repeated mantra of “ubiquitous evangelism” in companies)

#3. On Focus

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.

#2. On the User Experience

Our DNA is as a consumer company — for that individual customer who’s voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That’s who we think about. And we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it’s not up to par, it’s our fault, plain and simply.

#1. On Creativity

That happens more than you think, because this is not just engineering and science. There is art, too. Sometimes when you’re in the middle of one of these crises, you’re not sure you’re going to make it to the other end. But we’ve always made it, and so we have a certain degree of confidence, although sometimes you wonder.

I think the key thing is that we’re not all terrified at the same time. I mean, we do put our heart and soul into these things.

And, my favorite, which nails the ethos of living the dream at your job (that I’ve written about here)

We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life.

Life is brief, and then you die, you know?

And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.

amen.

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Filed under: Miscellaneous,

91 Responses

  1. Neha says:

    hmm.. good post.. but i actually expected a few of his witty sayings as well, over here. But the post is interesting, nevertheless. 🙂
    heard his ‘last lecture’?

    Like

  2. Mario Sundar says:

    Thanks, @neha! Glad you found it interesting.

    “Last Lecture”? C’mon! I’m sure we’ll see many more lectures of his.

    Like

  3. Suyashkumar S Pendam says:

    I can just say that everything relevant to him is just “INSANELY GREAT”

    Like

  4. Chris says:

    Great qotes from a great person….

    Like

  5. bruce says:

    where was the scrolls like butter?

    Like

  6. Jeriko says:

    What about this one:

    “If you legally acquire music, you need to have the right to manage it on all other devices that you own.”

    This quote was made before iTMS, and with it one of the strictest DRM-models ever were introduced.

    And for quote #7, recent happenings showed that there is no real successor to Jobs (Appe shares lowered their value), and this is for the most part his own fault.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do like Apple products, I just don’t like the hype around them, respectively the hype around Jobs in particular. It’s just a company like every other.

    Like

  7. apple fan says:

    I dont understand why these quotes are great … very vaguely verbalized thoughts actually !!!

    Like

  8. Yez says:

    How about

    “Great artists ship”.

    That one is one my wall.

    Like

  9. Steve Lee says:

    Steve Jobs- A very Sharp business strategist.
    When he launched the i-Phone on the pre-3G ATT network people wondered why he did that.

    The object was to lock-in the “first adopters” for two years so they wouldn’t be able to migrate to the new Blackberry when it came out.

    Now Palm also has a new device available.

    All these smartphones are enticing but the bills can run over a hundred dollars a month, Click Link:
    Cancel Unfair Cellphone Fees

    Like

  10. Bobby D says:

    You missed his best quote:

    “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”

    Chicago Computer Repair

    Like

  11. a yeatman says:

    “boom”

    Like

  12. Jay R says:

    your missing the best quote of all… when he introduced iPhoto he said “It scrolled like butter”…now that is “INSANELY GREAT”

    Like

  13. Wazman says:

    You forgot to mention that quote wher he thought Bill Gates should have done drugs like he was doing when he started Apple, MS would have been a better company now according to him. Makes you think twice about supporting a company where the boss probably still takes heavy drugs (probably where his problems comes from?).

    Also, there is a famous quote from him at a show when the Amiga was released, something along the line “Colors, who needs that?”.

    Like

  14. Kristian says:

    Steve jobs is truelly inspiring and i’m not saying this as a Apple fan since i don’t own a Apple computer. The company history is really interesting and it’s funny to see how he “raised” the company back after John Sculley’s time. I would love to see a serious movie about his life that depicts his life more than the company (like in silicon valley) because it seems like this man has words of wisedom.
    Btw, i loved that last qoute ^^

    Like

  15. […] you’d want to be involved in. Computing, Software, Film, Telecommunications and Audio. WOW. addthis_url = ‘http%3A%2F%2Fmutenagen.com%2F%3Fp%3D305’; addthis_title = […]

    Like

  16. I love these quotes. I posted the 4 on hiring and recruiting on my Recruiting & HR Humor blog.

    I’ve added links back to this blog post and your blog in general.

    You can see here: http://humor.talentspring.com/2009/01/steve-jobs-top-quotes-about-hiring-firing.html

    Like

  17. ymsim says:

    This is a list. Thanks!

    Like

  18. ymsim says:

    This is a GOOD list! Thanks!

    Like

  19. Rob says:

    I was expecting something like “Boom!” hehe. good post tho.

    Like

  20. baltimoresbest01 says:

    HEY GUYS PLEASE SIGN THIS DOCUMENT IN REGARDS TO STEVE’S HEALTH. SPREAD THE WORD!

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/getwellsteve/index.html

    Like

  21. mista joey says:

    my favorite quote of his was something like –
    “in 198? we invented the mouse… today, we’ve invented the phone.”

    I’m a pretty big nerd,but not a super apple nerd, and that nearly made me burst into tears…

    i really think that there was a hell of alot more out there for phones than was on the market, and apple led the way, and all the others followed…

    i’m looking forward to the comanies that will do that with cars, and powerplants !

    Like

  22. Guy Lusignan says:

    These quotes suck.

    Steve has had plenty of better quotes. Also, these are only recent ones.

    Like

  23. Glenn Feiner says:

    “We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life.

    Life is brief, and then you die, you know?

    And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.”

    How true. I’m trying to instill that into my kids.

    Dave Matthews “Lie in Our Grave” delivers the same message.

    “I can’t believe that we would
    lie in our graves
    Wondering if we had
    spent our living days well
    I can’t believe that we would
    lie in our graves
    Dreaming of things that we
    might have been”

    Heres a video of the Dave & Tim Reynolds playing it:

    Like

  24. Ted says:

    This all sounds very “great” but you are aware of the other side of the mirror at Apple aren’t you? That it isn’t in fact a great place to work at all. That some people consider Steve a deeply selfish, arrogant and very unlikeable person in real life.

    That a lot of people at Apple consider the company far from noble, some even call it’s Mac vs PC ad line dishonorable, as it shows Apple cannot simply get on with making great products without also trying to verbally ridicule it’s opponents.

    Or that Steve built the iphone the way it is for profit. (i.e. no FM module, no fast HSDPA 7.2 mbit internet, no DVD video recording, no videophone functionality, etc) as he knew people would buy it no matter what the functional shortcomings. (and even defend them)

    Like

  25. Amrit says:

    “…one more thing”

    Like

  26. Bill Gates says:

    “Or that Steve built the iphone the way it is for profit.”

    What!?!?! A company building a product to make a… PROFIT?? How dare they! I know let’s build products and try not to make a profit. We’ll call ourselves GM…

    Like

  27. Tj says:

    I think this should be in there, it’s a great quote by Steve.

    “”I wasn’t alive then, but from everything I’ve heard, Babe Ruth only had one home run. He just kept hitting it over and over again.”

    Like

  28. […] user experience. And if it’s not up to par, it’s our fault, plain and simply." -Taken from Top Ten Steve Jobs Quotes 09:17 PM DavidDedden.com and all contents copyright 2008 by David Dedden, unless otherwise […]

    Like

  29. Andre Richards says:

    @Jeriko

    First off, DRM is rapidly falling away from iTunes. It’s already official for the major labels. Some of the smaller ones are jumping on as well. Try to keep up.

    And secondly, you are showing some ignorance when you say “recent happenings showed that there is no real successor to Jobs….” You clearly don’t know much about Apple’s history. Jobs left the company previously once before for cancer treatment and it didn’t go off the rails then. Obviously, the people under Jobs can step in an fill his shoes. They’ve already done it once.

    Like

  30. Brad Spry says:

    “You can’t solve behavioral problems with technology” –Steve Jobs

    Like

  31. Anthony says:

    What about this one?
    “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.”
    -steve jobs.

    Like

  32. reddy says:

    Good and timely one

    Like

  33. anon says:

    “Good artists copy, great artists steal. We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

    Like

  34. “Blu-ray is just a bag of hurt.”
    Best quote ever.

    Like

  35. Str1f3 says:

    you forgot the best one:
    “computers are like bicycles for your mind” speech

    Like

  36. madme says:

    I think this should be in there, it’s a great quote by Steve.

    “”I wasn’t alive then, but from everything I’ve heard, Babe Ruth only had one home run. He just kept hitting it over and over again.”

    Like

  37. Great article. Words of wisdom from Steve Jobs 🙂

    Like

  38. […] pueden ayudarte a reflexionar sobre tu empresa o tu carrera profesional. Las han seleccionado en Marketing Nirvana, y yo me limito a traducirlas. Mi trabajo no es ser simpático con la gente. Mi trabajo es hacerles […]

    Like

  39. Ken Burns Effect says:

    “[He] should be selling Kleenex at a discount store in Idaho”

    S Jobs about Segway marketing chief

    Like

  40. stirletz says:

    Good and timely one..

    Like

  41. ietambayan says:

    great collection!

    i’ve also researched about this guy esp w/ the latest news about him stepping down. (you can check http://itpinoy.blogspot.com)

    his life truly is inspiring…

    Like

  42. Timothy says:

    Yea, I like that last quote about life. It’s pretty on-key.

    Like

  43. Steve Mathew says:

    My personal best: “In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.” Steve Jobs

    Like

  44. […] te zgromadził Mario Sundar na swoim blogu. Wszystkie dzisięć jest po angielsku, ale warto je przeczytać i zrozumieć jakimi kategoriami […]

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  45. […] Top 10 Steve Jobs Quotes […]

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  46. ashok nair says:

    You people sound as if there was no life before Apple came along with their wisdom. Please understand, there was , and it was better than today in a lot of ways.

    Like

  47. […] can drive. Anyways, for those of you wondering what exactly the post was all about – it was “Top 10 Steve Jobs quotes“, which happens to be one of the keywords that brings traffic to my blog (the other 2 being […]

    Like

  48. Gibi says:

    This is a GOOD list! Thanks!!

    Like

  49. Prashant says:

    regarding hiring:
    class A people hire class A guys, class B guys hire class C guys – is my favourite

    Like

  50. […] one of my heroes indeed.  Here is a great post of quotes from Steve Jobs. Share and […]

    Like

  51. […] Top 10 Steve Jobs Quotes « Marketing Nirvana "To make it easier to consume, I’ve broken down the quotes into two sets of five each (one set on Management and the other on Leadership)." (tags: apple stevejobs) […]

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  52. J says:

    “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 to former Pepsi President John Sculley when trying to hire him at Apple.

    Like

  53. […] et une grosse attente du prochain nouveau produit qui va révolutionner notre vie.. Ci joint les 10 meilleures citations de Steve Jobs, à imprimer sur du A3 et à afficher au-dessus de son lit… J’ai découvert le blog […]

    Like

  54. Alezz says:

    These quotes suck.

    Steve has had plenty of better quotes. Also, these are only recent ones..

    Like

  55. […] Top 10 Steve Jobs Quotes: Mario Sundar lists the top 10 Steve Jobs quotes […]

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  56. […] Marketing Nirvana has the Top Ten Steve Jobs Quotes. I will post them one at a time. Here is number 10: #10. On Management […]

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  57. […] el blog Marketing Nirvana han recopilado las mejores frases de Steve Jobs relacionadas con lo que es la gestión diaria de […]

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  58. […] el blog Marketing Nirvana han recopilado las mejores frases de Steve Jobs relacionadas con lo que es la gestión diaria de […]

    Like

  59. Ashesh says:

    A really nice compilation. Good job 😀

    Like

  60. […] More from Steve Job’s Top Ten Quotes: 9. Recruiting is hard. It’s just finding the needles in the haystack. You can’t know enough in a one-hour interview. […]

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  61. […] us this day our daily kool-aid Posted in February 10th, 2009 by dizzle in sheer kool-aid More of the Top Ten Steve Jobs Quotes: #6. On Product […]

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  62. […] sobresalir de la media. Como muestra un botón, bueno, en realidad son diez botones, y es que en Marketing Nirvana recogen el Top 10 de las mejores citas de Steve Jobs (y no, no se refieren las aventuras de Jobs […]

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  63. […] us this day our daily kool-aid Posted in February 17th, 2009 by dizzle in sheer kool-aid Continuing with the list of the Top Ten Steve Jobs quotes: #7. On a CEO succession […]

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  64. […] us this day our daily kool-aid Posted in February 22nd, 2009 by dizzle in sheer kool-aid Again continuing with the Top Ten Steve Jobs Quotes: #6. On Product […]

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  65. […] el blog Marketing Nirvana han recopilado las mejores frases de Steve Jobs relacionadas con lo que es la gestión diaria de […]

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  66. […] en Curiosidades, Informática, Internet ·Etiquetado frases, mejores, Steve Jobs En el blog Marketing Nirvana han recopilado las mejores frases de Steve Jobs relacionadas con lo que es la gestión diaria de […]

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  67. […] Posted an item Yung-Hui Lim: Top 10 Steve Jobs Quotes « Marketing Nirvana (via Diigo) […]

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  68. PC says:

    The last quote is my favorite..

    Cool collection..

    Like

  69. […] The top and the best quotes from Steve Jobs – of all time. […]

    Like

  70. Curt says:

    Jobs’ on the fact that his obituary was prematurely published… “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”! (WWDC Keynote address) Now that’s a funny quote…

    Like

  71. Susanna Wallwork says:

    I read these quotes and Jobs is a genius. When he was kicked out of Apple it was close to be extinct but he came back in with even a bigger swing and made the world today. No other company or man could of made the technology he has made. It would of taken years.

    Like

  72. […] [Marketing Nirvana] Tweet This!Digg this!Share this on del.icio.usShare this on RedditStumble upon something good? Share it on StumbleUponShare this on FacebookAdd this to Google BookmarksBuzz up!Share this on Mixx Related Entries: Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Leave Until JuneApple Announces Final MacWorld Without CEO Steve JobsApple CEO Steve Jobs Missing MacWorld Due to Health IssuesSteve Jobs Says He Doesn’t Have CancerSteve Jobs Liver Transplant ConfirmedWWDC 2008 is Sold OutMac Cloner bites the dustBlack Friday Apple Event AnnouncedPicasa Now Available For MacTime to Jump Over to The Mac Side? Apple […]

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  73. […] licht zien, getuige artikelen met de titel The Day Steve Jobs Showed Me the First Mac. Wie kent de tien geboden van Steve Jobs niet? En soms zendt hij (of moet ik zeggen: Hij) één van zijn engelen met een […]

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  74. […] Recruiting is hard. It’s just finding the needles in the haystack. You can’t know enough in a one-hour interview. So, in the end, it’s ultimately based on your gut. How do I feel about this person? What are they like when they’re challenged? I ask everybody that: ‘Why are you here?’ The answers themselves are not what you’re looking for. It’s the meta-data.(Steve Jobs Top Ten Quotes) […]

    Like

  75. Adam Aulner says:

    I think the difference between Apple and Microsoft is that apple really genuinely cares about what they make and of course there in it for the profit otherwise they wouldn’t be doing it the reason why apple products work better and have hype is because all there previous products have been so revolutionary everyone wants to know what there going to make next.

    Like

  76. Strunt says:

    @Curt

    ‘Jobs’ on the fact that his obituary was prematurely published… “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”! (WWDC Keynote address) Now that’s a funny quote…’

    Yeah, by Mark Twain in 1867 😉

    Like

  77. […] Top 10 Steve Jobs Quotes of All Time […]

    Like

  78. Ajay says:

    I too like this quote:

    “I think the key thing is that we’re not all terrified at the same time. I mean, we do put our heart and soul into these things.”

    He is the best CEO I have ever heard of.

    Like

  79. […] – Pare che stiano già facendo il coccodrillo di Steve Jobs: ecco una top ten delle sue migliori citazioni. […]

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  80. […] Ah, one of my heroes indeed.  Here is a great post of quotes from Steve Jobs. […]

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  81. noah green says:

    I did not know that Apple and Microsoft worked together to create software.

    Like

  82. Sarpaharaj katra says:

    I appreciate steve but on the other corner he is not as good as compared to Billgates if you look at personal character wise.

    End of the day what is left out in life my dear friends
    The glory of the path leads to heaven.

    Like

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