Oct 12, 2011Science and Technology
Listen Up! Words of the wise (and dead): A Steve Jobs Tribute

"A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I'll sell them for a dollar/ They're worth so much more after I'm a goner/ And maybe then you'll hear the words I been singin'/ Funny when you're dead how people start listenin'"  -- The Band Perry, "If I Die Young"

As the country song "If I Die Young" says, people suddenly take an immense interest in the meaningful words of those now deceased. Steve Jobs died young. At 56, he still had a great many more decades of inventing to offer. Up until last week, when Steve Jobs’ death was announced, I never saw any of my friends on Facebook mention his name or post his inspiring words; now that he is gone, everyone is listening. Fortunately, though, he sold his thoughts for many dollars and people heard the singing of his iPod technology.

People around the globe can agree that during his 35-year career as an innovator, entrepreneur, and creative genius, Steve Jobs’ was the epitome of a visionary.  Among the most popular innovations under the Apple umbrella were the forever-popular iPod and now, the iPad.  Over the past 10 to 15 years, I’ve witnessed the explosion of the Apple brand as a specialty technology retailer in shopping malls around the country selling unheard-of quantities of not only computers, but unique, drool-worthy gadgets and gizmos.  I suspect in the next 5 years, iPad and iPod will be added to the American dictionary!

Here are just a few words of wisdom from Steve Jobs worth sharing.

“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.”

“I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.”

“The people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."

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


Here are some of my favorite quotes from other deceased, American icons. 

“What seems to physicists to be a hopelessly complicated process may have been what nature found simplest, because nature could only build on what was already there.” -Francis Crick

“Chance favors the prepared mind. -Louis Pasteur

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” -Benjamin Franklin

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
-Thomas Jefferson

Sometimes we may not get the message right away; it may take a lifetime, or even the death of the messenger, for us to really hear the words and understand their meaning.  My hope is that we learn from our successors and the wisdom they have passed on to us.  Better yet, I say listen up!  Listen and learn from innovators who are still alive, like Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Bill Gates.  Speaking of Bill Gates, here’s a quote of his to stick with you.  May this inspire the next generation of innovators. 

“Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.”
– Bill Gates



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