Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Steve smarter than his look

This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother20was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure= it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped=2 0out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we desi gned it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was= a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. 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 y ears roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

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.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to20heaven 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 ch= ange agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

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.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park , and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs對史丹佛畢 業生演講全文

Apple CEO St eve Jobs對史丹佛畢業生演講全文

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish (求知若飢,虛心若愚)




我在里德學院(Reed College)待了六個月就辦休學了。到我退學前,一
共休學了十八個月。那麼,我為什麼休學?(聽眾笑)這得從我出生前9 B起。


一對律師夫婦收養。但是這對夫妻到了最後一刻反悔了,他們想收養= ��孩。


高中畢業也沒有。 她拒絕在認養文件上做最後簽字。直到幾個月後,我的養


麼,也不知道唸大學能對我有什= ��幫助,只知道我為了唸這個書,花光了我
父母這輩9 0的所有積蓄。所以,我決定休學,相信船到橋頭自然直。



Krishna 神廟吃頓好料,我喜歡Hare Krishna 神廟的好料。

B 0這樣追隨我的好奇與直覺,大部分我所投入過的事務,後來看來都成了無
比珍貴的經歷(And much of what I stumbled into by following my
curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on )。


serif sanserif 字體,學到在不同字母組合間變更字間距,學到活字印刷



如果我沒沉溺= ��那樣一門課裡,麥金塔可能就不會有多重字體跟等比例間距



明白那些點點滴滴是如何串在一起的(you can ' t connect the dots look
-ing forward; you can only connect them looking backwards )。

東西,直覺也好,命運也好,生命也好,或=E 8業力。

這種作法從來沒讓我失望,我的= ��生因此變得完全不同。(Jobs停下來喝水)


我很幸運-年輕時就發現自己愛做什麼事。我二十歲時,跟Steve Wozniak

我們拚命工作,蘋果電腦在十年間從一間車庫裡的兩個小夥子擴展! 成了一





我見了創辦HPDavid Packard跟創辦IntelBob Noyce,跟他們說很



成功的沉重被從頭來過的輕鬆所取代,每件事情都不那麼確定,讓我=E 8由進

接下來五年,我開了一家叫做NeXT 的公司,又開一家叫做Pixar 的公司,

Pixar接著製作了世界上第一部全電腦動畫電影,玩具總動員(Toy Story



I ' m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that
I loved what I did)。


是偉大的工作,而唯一做偉大工作的方法是愛你所做的事(And the only
way to do great work is to love what you do EF

如果你還沒找= ��這些事,繼續找,別停頓。盡你全心全力,你知道你一定會


天,你就會輕鬆自在。(If you live each day as if it was your last,
someday you ' ll most certainly be right )」(聽眾笑)

這對我影響深遠,在過去33 年裡,我每天早上都會照=E 9子,自問:「如果


ing 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 embarras sment or failure -these things just fall away in the
face of death, leaving only what is truly important )。

提醒自己快死了,是我所知避免掉入畏懼失去的陷= ��裡最好的方法。人生不




我打了鎮靜劑= ��不醒人事,但是我老婆在場。她後來跟我說,當醫生們用顯
用手術治好。所以我接受了手術,康復了。(聽眾B C掌)



現在你們是新生代,但是不久的將來,你們也會逐漸變老,被送=E 5人生的舞


不要被教條所侷限-- 盲從教條就是活在別人思考結果裡。

the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow
already know what you truly want to become),任何其他事物都是

在我年輕時,有本神奇的雜誌叫做《Whole Earth=2 0Catalog》,當年這可
是我們的經典讀物。那是位住在離這不遠的Menlo ParkStewart Brand

Google 出現之前35年就有了:這本雜誌很理想主義,充滿新奇工具與偉大

Stewart 跟他的團隊出版了好幾期的《Whole Earth Catalog》,然後很
自然的,最後出了停刊號。當時是1970 年代中期,我正是你們現在這個年
=E 9的時候。在停刊號的封底,有張清晨鄉間小路的照片,那種你四處搭便車
求知若飢,虛心若愚(Stay Hungry , Stay Foolish)。


求知若飢,虛心若愚(Stay Hungry , Stay Foolish)。



  1. Steve, Bill and many successful folks in our generation are college drops-out. 3 pillars of success: genes, hard work, and luck. Very smart folks do not really have to go to college to waste 4 years of opportunity. For most of us, it is a credential to get a job.

  2. * If Steve learned Chinese, the calligraphy has spirit and meaning, not just a beautiful face. Use your imagination to figure out the PC that has spirit.

    * He is too centered to say the PC will not have type fonts without him.

    * From his typos in the speech, you can tell he is a college drop-out, haha. There are many classes that teach us how to be a better man, and nothing to do with our career or making money.

    * For an innovative company, why they hired a Pepsi guy to run a company and expected him to provide technical vision of the company?

    I do not agree 'living as your last day', as I do not spend all my money today. It is one of the best speeches I have.