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Steve Jobs on love, death and passsion to create

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on September 29, 2005

I missed an amazing speech Steve Jobs gave at Stanford this summer and caught up to it yesterday. It kept me up most of the night because it was so revealing. Jobs, of course, is a mercurial man, intensely private, so his public words are all that more powerful. For all those CEOs and top managers who constantly say they want to be “more like Apple,” this speech is essential reading.

Jobs told three stories about himself. The first was about serendity, curiosity and trust. He said “You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

The second story was about love and passion for work. “You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

The thid was about death and time left. He said “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.”

I don’t know who who exactly invited Jobs to talk. He’s old friends with David Kelley, co-founder of IDEO, who teaches at Stanford. Kelley is building a new D-School that embodies the philosophy and methodologies that make Apple the most innovative company in the world, according to a recent BCG survey. Jobs’ speech reveals some of why it has those strengths. And perhaps hints at why it has a few weaknesses as well. Read it.

Reader Comments

Julie Tsuchiya

October 1, 2005 12:05 AM

Where can I find a transcript of this speech? Thank you.Regards,
Julie TsuchiyaWhere can I find a transcript of this speech? Thank you.Regards,
Julie Tsuchiya

bhawna prajapati

March 7, 2007 5:25 AM

hats off to Steve Jobs!!!!
speech is wonderful!!!! any sense down to earth and one that would creep into the hearts of none as can awaken the dead and call forth failures as real challenge!!!!!
he has really boosted me!!!!
thank you sir!!!!!
your words have made a difference.

Greg Olsen

March 8, 2007 12:27 AM

Your spelling is terrible...especially for an 'editor'. Like your articles though.


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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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