Steve Jobs at Stanford

PALO ALTO, Calif. (June 12, 2005) —

Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc., gave a commencement address at Stanford University earlier today.  For Jobs, who attended Reed College in Portland, Ore. for six months before dropping out, this was his first time attending a college graduation.  In his address, Jobs mentioned this fact to encourage the graduates.

 

Jobs broke his speech up into three different stories about his life.  Jobs titled his first story “Connecting the dots.”  The main idea in this first story was why he decided to drop out of college.

 

Jobs started out the story by giving background on his parents, both biological and adoptive, and why he was put up for adoption.  He mentioned that his biological mother felt strongly that he should be adopted by college graduates.  His potential adoptive parents never graduated from college, and Jobs’ mother refused to sign the final adoption papers until the adoptive parents promised to send Jobs to college.

 

17 years later, Jobs went off to college.  After six months, Jobs says he didn’t see the value in wasting his working-class parents’ savings.  He mentioned the fact that he was very afraid of the future, but that he does not regret the decision to drop out now.

 

Wandering around campus, looking for empty soda bottles to return for money, allowed Jobs’ curiosity to get the best of him.  This curiosity would benefit him immensely in the future.

 

Jobs recalls taking a calligraphy class because of a poster he saw on campus.  They taught him about the different typefaces and what makes great typography.  “It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.”

 

At the time, calligraphy didn’t have any benefit to Jobs’ daily life.  However, ten years later when he was building the first Macintosh, Jobs used the techniques he learned in the calligraphy class to create a computer with impressive typography.

 

“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward…So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

 

Jobs then moved on to talk about love and loss.  He states that he was lucky because he found what he loved to do early in his life.  Jobs and Wozniak, the other co-founder of Apple, started the massive company in his parents’ garage when Jobs was 20.

 

As Apple grew and the profits and employees increased, Jobs was fired from his own company.  The partner he hired didn’t see eye to eye with Jobs, and the Board of Directors sided with the partner.  Jobs was devastated.

 

Even though being fired from his own company almost broke him completely, Jobs said he still loved what he did.  Eventually, Jobs created NeXT and also Pixar.  Jobs states that being fired from Apple was the best thing that could have happened to him.

 

During this period, Jobs met and fell in love with his future wife, Laurene.  Remarkably, Apple ended up buying NeXT so Jobs returned to his original company.

 

“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.”

 

Jobs’ third and final story is about death.  “…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.”

 

Jobs talked a lot about living life to the fullest and about his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer.  The doctors told him he had three to six months to live and that he should go home and prepare.

 

After having a biopsy, the doctors discovered Jobs had a rare form of cancer that was curable by surgery.  “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

 

At the age of 50, Steve Jobs looks forward to continuing to do what he loves with his family.

Published in:Uncategorized |on October 26th, 2015 |No Comments »

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