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Steve Jobs: Quotes on Life, Death and Technology

On 5th October 2011, Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple passed away at the age of 56. As tributes continue to pour in from all corners of the world, we’re left to reflect on the life of one of the most influential individuals of modern times. He not only influenced minds but also touched many hearts, and this is perhaps what marked Steve Jobs as unique amongst other technological innovators.

All of us at macProVideo.com want to express our sadness at the passing of Steve Jobs as well as our heartfelt thanks for the incredible contribution he has made to the world. Much of what we do and has inspired us are based on products and ideas that he dared to dream. And to celebrate the life of this amazing visionary, we’re taking a look at some of his most inspiring quotes on life, death, technology, design and business:


“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.”

(Wired, 1996)

“I’m an optimist in the sense that I believe humans are noble and honorable, and some of them are really smart. I have a very optimistic view of individuals. As individuals, people are inherently good. I have a somewhat more pessimistic view of people in groups. And I remain extremely concerned when I see what’s happening in our country, which is in many ways the luckiest place in the world. We don’t seem to be excited about making our country a better place for our kids.”

(Wired, 1996)

“I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.” 

(NBC Nightly News, 2006)

“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.”

(Speech at Stanford University, 2005)


“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. 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.”

(Speech at Stanford University, 2005)

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.

(Speech at Stanford University, 2005)


"I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. Humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing about a third of the way down the list....That didn't look so good, but then someone at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle and a man on a bicycle blew the condor away.

That's what a computer is to me: the computer is the most remarkable tool that we've ever come up with. It's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds."

(Documentary ‘Memory and Imagination, 1990)

"These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. You may have a child with a birth defect and be able to get in touch with other parents and support groups, get medical information, the latest experimental drugs. These things can profoundly influence life. I'm not downplaying that. But it's a disservice to constantly put things in this radical new light— that it's going to change everything. Things don't have to change the world to be important.''

(Wired, 1996)

“Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything. … One is very fortunate if you get to work on just one of these in your career. Apple’s been very fortunate it’s been able to introduce a few of these into the world.” 

(iPhone Announcement, 2007)


"In most people's vocabularies, design means veneer. It's interior decorating. It's the fabric of the curtains and the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.''

(Fortuned Magazine, 2000)

"Design is not just what it looks like. Design is how it works."

(New York Times, 2003)


"My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other's kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That's how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they're done by a team of people."

(60 Minutes, 2003)

"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."

(BusinessWeek, 1998)

Rounik Sethi

Rounik Sethi | Articles by this author

Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & the macProVideo Hub. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic (and a self-confessed Mac fanatic) he's taught teachers, professional musicians and hobbyists how to get the best out of Apple's creative software. He has been a visiting lecturer at Bath Spa University's Teacher training program, facilitating workshops on using music and digital media tools in the classroom. If you're looking for Rounik, you'll most likely find him (and his articles) on Ask.Audio & macProVideo.com.


Oct 06, 2011
One of the few people to whom the word "genius" can honestly be applied. Without his ideas and the products they created the world would be a poorer place. RIP Steve.
Oct 06, 2011
Ian James
great collection of quotes. Thanks
Oct 06, 2011
Christian L
A giant has passed away. Goodbye Mr. Steve Jobs. The world will miss you.
Oct 06, 2011
Truly a very sad moment. A great visionary, anyone here would agree, our lives are better because of Steve Jobs.
Oct 06, 2011
Steve Jobs isn't gone? He lives on on my desktop. He'll often sit on my lap and he'll always be here in my pocket.
Oct 06, 2011
The Death of Steve Jobs, at the pinnacle of his personal success, is truly messianic ...

macProVideo.com, from day one, has been dedicated to the ecosystem that Steve Jobs built. Without this inspirational and brilliant man, there would be no macProVideo.com.

Thank you Mr. Jobs ... we will mis you ...
Oct 07, 2011
I owe Steve a lot. As a creative spirit, I can not only visualise my concepts, but I can bring them to life with the tools laid out by Apple. There is something inherently simple about the complexities underneath the hood of their products. & the philosophies mentioned above, run right through them.

R.I.P. Steve & thank u.
Oct 07, 2011
AJ Duncan
Thanks for these quotes, he was a great entrepreneur and a brilliant man.
I do what I do on a daily basis because of his products. I love what I do and it is a joy to work with Apple's products.
Thank you Steve Jobs.
Oct 07, 2011
Thanks to Steve for gracing us with his "geniusness".

A man who will be greatly missed by those of us left behind.

Ta very much Steve
Oct 07, 2011
The world has lost one of its brightest candles.

A true visionary who has given pleasure to many millions of people - either through Apple or Pixar.

Although no longer with us, I'm sure he will be looking after the iCloud whilst he is in iHeaven...

R.I.P. Steve Jobs.
Oct 07, 2011
Oct 08, 2011
we will miss this mastermind of the modern time.
he gave us innovations and visions ...

Thank You Steve! ;)

RIP Steve ...
Oct 09, 2011
Thank you for this collection of quotes from a man who was truly the embodiment of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

Your whole, Steve Jobs, blesses and lives on eternally on Earth, and throughout the Heavens.
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