My Favorite Steve Jobs Quotes

August 25, 2011

Here are a few of my favorite Steve Jobs quotes:

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.

I once had an employee of mine say that I don’t give enough compliments on people’s work. That’s because I expect good work to be done. That’s why I pay you.

In the same vein,

My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better.

One reason I’m not a huge fan of user requirements:

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.


It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

A huge problem at a lot of companies, including a few I’ve worked at:

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.

This is appropriate for where I’m at right now. I’ve started a lot of entrepreneurial projects and finished few.

I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.

Can you imagine being 28 years old or so and saying this to the guy running Coke or Pepsi today?

Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?

I think a lot of companies get this one wrong, putting their tails between their legs in tough financial times:

The cure for Apple is not cost-cutting. The cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predicament.

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