Steve Jobs' big lesson: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

Steve Jobs' big lesson: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

Summary: Steve Jobs' 2005 commencement speech at Stanford says a lot about his life and the "great change agent" known as death.

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Steve Jobs has passed away and what you'll find on these pages and many Web pages like them are planned storylines about the life Apple's co-founder.

That's life in the news business. You plan ahead. Now that we're posting stories, video packages and other pieces of content it all just feels off. Like way off.

Why? You don't quite know what your reaction will be until the moment actually comes. We all knew Jobs' day would come. We also knew it would come soon. That's why the thoughts that emerged when Jobs stepped down as CEO came out like obits. Few of use wanted to totally acknowledge it, but Jobs' fate was obvious when he stepped down as CEO.

Those CEO stories primarily focused on the business side of Jobs. His first tour at Apple. The Next diversion. Pixar. And then the rebirth at Apple, which appears to be set up for a nice post Jobs run. Frankly, setting Apple up to thrive beyond his tenure may turn out to be Jobs' greatest business accomplishment.

When Jobs stepped down as CEO I chose to look at his ride through the lens of Apple products. It's was a natural path to take. Now that Jobs has passed it isn't.

Whether you love or hate Apple---or fall somewhere in between---it's hard not to acknowledge that Jobs was a brilliant man. He's also a man that we don't really know a lot about. But he's also a man that changed a lot of lives.

Here's what stuck out about Jobs for me:

  • Innovative.
  • Quirky.
  • Stubborn as hell.
  • Controlling.
  • Great leader.
  • An artist eye for design with an engineer's brain.
  • Amazing legacy.
  • "Stay hungry, stay foolish."

I'd argue that Jobs is my generation's Walt Disney. He entertained. He delighted. And he built something enduring. Jobs was a disruptive force. Given the Disney comparison, it's a bit ironic that Jobs wound up being Disney's largest shareholder via the Pixar acquisition.

More importantly, Jobs loved what he did. And pursued that love with a passion. In a 2005 Stanford commencement speech, Jobs 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 and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

For now, Jobs' passing is garnering a bevy of statements---mostly canned like a lot of the stories tonight. But all you really need to know about Jobs and what he left behind can be found in his Stanford commencement speech from 2005 (full text). As you ponder Jobs it's worth adapting some of these life lessons for your days ahead.

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Topics: Banking, Apple, CXO, Enterprise Software

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57 comments
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  • We were reading from the same page on this one.

    I just posted a comment on David's blog (a very poignant statement and well appreciated) which also cited Steve's Stanford Address.

    Great Commencement Address, wasn't it.
    kenosha77a
  • RE: Steve Jobs' big lesson: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

    Rest in peace buddy, you have given vision to world and helped shape her for betterment, a true innovator and a great person. <a href="http://mobilephones.pk/reviews/steve-jobs-died-5-october-2011/"> Steve Jobs</a>, i pray that you soul rest in peace, whole world mourn today.
    drfixit
  • Good luck Steve

    nt - I am lost for words this is so sad.
    guihombre
    • RE: Steve Jobs' big lesson: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

      Now the only thing we could do is trying to remind the outstanding achievement he did, and memory him by buying a Steve Jobs Toy Figurine here, http://www.dealsteady.com/_p5535.html
      This is the thing I could do to miss him.
      tradesteady
  • I don't feel anything.

    Because basically I'm a very logical man and once Steve stepped down as CEO I knew that and his medical history meant he was soon to be passing. I also don't feel sad for Steve cause such a driven man would of course have wanted more time but ONLY if he could have kept doing what he loved to do, and it would seem that was not to be so I think all in all leaving on such a high note for himself and his company could not be better timed. God Speed Steve Jobs... And thank you.<br><br>Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • RE: Steve Jobs' big lesson: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

      @James Quinn
      [i]I knew that and his medical history meant he was soon to be passing.[/i]

      I didn't think it would be this soon. I thought he had years left in his life.
      LoverockDavidson_-24231404894599612871915491754222
      • RE: Steve Jobs' big lesson: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

        @LoverockDavidson_ We all did, Lovey. This was waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too soon.
        Champ_Kind
      • RE: Steve Jobs' big lesson: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

        @LoverockDavidson_ Sure didn't expect to see him go so soon. It really did come as a shock. I'm not a big Apple fan, though I had a lot of fun programming especially on the Apple ][, but I do have a lot of respect and admiration for the man. RIP Steve.
        boomchuck1
      • RE: Steve Jobs' big lesson: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

        @LoverockDavidson_ takes Jobs to unite us ... I agree buddy ... this was quite a surprise and shock ... one expects a few more years at least.
        antonfh
      • RE: Steve Jobs' big lesson: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

        @LoverockDavidson_ Sadly, so did I. But in retrospect, the numbers were against him. The survival rates for even the "good" pancreatic cancer are less than 20% after 5 years, or so I have been told. We got extra years from Steve and we should be grateful for that. And let's then remember that obviously Steve Jobs worked himself to the very last for the benefit of his company. Imagine what personal will Jobs had to possess to accomplish what he did just in this last year. An amazing human being.
        His_Shadow
    • RE: Steve Jobs' big lesson: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

      @James Quinn You the Apple shareholder don't feel anything? HA HA, Soon you will feel a hole in your pocket.
      markbn
      • I bought a single share for $12.00 back in the day.

        @markbn ... I"m not going to suffer any as the stock drops a few points due to an over reaction by the masses. Nor do I think even if it does drop will it likely see $12.00 again anytime soon:) So no... No hole in my heart about this or Steve's passing. The man lived well and did more and effected more in his short 56 years than you or I would or could do if we were to live a thousand years. Waht is there to morn. No a celebration is more in order than a grieving process.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • RE: Steve Jobs' big lesson: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

        @markbn Too soon.
        Champ_Kind
      • RE: Steve Jobs' big lesson: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

        @markbn you are an ass hole, now flag me to mommy
        keel
      • RE: Steve Jobs' big lesson: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

        @markbn Sad statement from a small man!
        murving
      • RE: Steve Jobs' big lesson: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

        Over a million people from all over the world have shared their memories, thoughts, and feelings about Steve. One thing they all have in common ??? from personal friends to colleagues to owners of Apple products ??? is how they???ve been touched by his passion and creativity.

        Now the only thing we could do is trying to remind the outstanding achievement he did, and memory him by buying a Steve Jobs Toy Figurine here, http://www.dealsteady.com/_p5535.html
        This is the thing I could do to miss him.
        tradesteady
    • RE: Steve Jobs' big lesson: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

      @James Quinn - it's "godspeed".
      HypnoToad72
    • RE: Steve Jobs' big lesson: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

      @James Qui

      AGREE is a pity, a great loss to us all! Godspeed Steve! rest in PEACE!
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      nn
      instalacaoar
  • RE: Steve Jobs' big lesson: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish'

    Average lifespan for his type of cancer is 5 years, so he lasted 2 more than the average.

    BTW - whatever you may feel for him, that speech is pure gold.
    goombawa
    • Indeed

      @goombawa <br><br><i>" ... Your time is limited, so dont waste it living someone elses life. Dont be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other peoples thinking. Dont let the noise of others opinions drown out your own inner voice ... "</i><br><br>As you rightly say, his speech at Stanford is pure gold. It is something that each and every person present on that day must surely be thankful for. Why? Because the words weren't uttered by some VP .. or other corporate drone ... it was spoken by the one man in industry (besides a precious few others) who is in an absolute position to know <b>how</b> to achieve greatness in the professional world.<br><br>The words he spoke have even reverberated deeply enough with me ... yes, a not so big a fan ... as to inspire me on to pursue something big - ideas-wise - which i guess I've had buried deep down in my sub-conscience. To that end, i am truly beholden to the late, greatest, technological visionary of the era. <br><br>I have to freely admit to never having been a great fan of Apple or Jobs. I'm the first to admit that i have even been a very harsh critic of almost all things Apple. But the one thing i could never do, is deny that Job's was a marketing, design and conceptual genius. That, unfortunately, is the one thing Apple will never have again - not without Jobs sheer electricity to charge and energize Apple.<br><br>... I'm gonna go now and enjoy some music on my 4G iPod .. and marvel at the fact i own a piece of Steve's lofty dreams. For the privilege, i consider it an honor to own such a fine piece of craftsmanship.<br><br>Peace to one 'n all at this solemn time.</b>
      thx-1138_