Steve Jobs

Two students in a Media Writing class interviewed me today about the legacy of Steve Jobs.

My answer focused on his uncanny ability to create elegant products that excited people’s technological imaginations, leading Apple at one point this year to surpass Exxon Mobil as the most valuable company in America.

Time magazine even stopped the presses this week to remake its cover, shown here.

Jobs was imminently quotable. Here are four worth rereading:

Being creative: “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)

The little things: “This is what customers pay us for—to sweat all these details so it’s easy and pleasant for them to use our computers. We’re supposed to be really good at this. That doesn’t mean we don’t listen to customers, but it’s hard for them to tell you what they want when they’ve never seen anything remotely like it.” (Fortune, 2000)

Mainstream media: “I don’t want to see us descend into a nation of bloggers. I think we need editorial oversight now more than ever. Anything we can do to help newspapers find new ways of expression that will help them get paid, I am all for.” (D8 conference, 2010)

Don’t settle: “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. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.” (Stanford University commencement address, 2005)

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