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The Vision that Steve Built

I wrote this post just after Steve Jobs resigned from Apple, but it’s become more poignant now that he has passed. Personally, I never developed the militant fanaticism for Apple that Mr. Jobs had so successfully cultivated in others but I’ve always been a honest admirer of the man’s ability to communicate his vision.

A vision that built, and continuously reinvented, what is today the world’s biggest and most valuable brand.

I’ve always had the habit of jotting down great quotes from leaders that inspired me in a business journal and among the online chatter and articles written that speculated “what’s next” for the brand in the weeks after Mr. Jobs resigned from Apple,  I was reminded of one that I documented a little while ago:

Don’t waste time living someone else’s life. Stay hungry. Stay Foolish. ~ Steve Jobs

And when I skimmed through the other quotes, I realized that many were attributed to Mr. Jobs. They have served me well over the years; helping me successfully manage business and teams and so I’m presenting my list of Steve’s most impactful leadership quotes in hopes that they may inspire you as they do me. This is the vision that Steve built.


  • You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new. ~ Steve Jobs
  • Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. ~ Steve Jobs
  • The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay. ~ Steve Jobs
  • Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations. ~ Steve Jobs
  • Kick-start your brain. New ideas come from watching something, talk to people, experimenting, asking questions and getting out of the office! ~ Steve Jobs
  • Your customers dream of a happier and better life. Don’t move products. Enrich lives. ~ Steve Jobs
  • We think the Mac will sell zillions, but we didn’t build the Mac for anybody else. We built it for ourselves. WE were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. WE weren’t going to go out and do the market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build. ~ Steve Jobs
  • It’s only by saying ‘no’ that you can concentrate on the things that are really important. ~ Steve Jobs
  • That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. ~ Steve Jobs
  • Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently – they’re not fond of rules…because the ones how are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do. ~ Steve Jobs
  • It took us three years to build the NeXT computer. If we’d given customers what they said they wanted, we’d have built a computer they’d have been happy with a year after we spoke to them – not something they’d want now. ~ Steve Jobs
  • Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design IS how it works. ~ Steve Jobs
I’m a PC. However, the visionary Steve Jobs has always served as an example of what beliving in your vision can do for a business, which has impacted my career. Thank you Mr. Jobs. RIP.
Sam Fiorella
Feed Your Community, Not Your Ego
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This post has been modified from my original version posted on the 12Most Blog site. 


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