Nine Powerful Lessons from Steve Jobs’ Biography

I recently re-read Walter Isaacson’s biography, Steve Jobs and found some powerful lessons that I think is worth sharing. While there are many lessons in the book about Steve Jobs’ life, these are the nine that stood out for me.

Image courtesy of Google images.

Lesson#1: “I’ve learned over the years that when you have really good people, you don’t have to baby them. By expecting them to do great things, you can get them to do great things.”

Lesson#2: “The main thing in our design is that we have to make things intuitively obvious.”

Lesson#3: “When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.”

Lesson#4: “We all have a short period of time on this earth. We probably only have the opportunity to do a few things really great and do them well. None of us has any idea how long we’re going to be here, nor do I, but my feeling is I’ve got to accomplish a lot of these things while I’m young.”

Lesson#5: “Your thoughts construct patterns like scaffolding in your mind. You are really etching chemical patterns. In most cases, people get stuck in those patterns, just like grooves in a record, and they never get out of them.”

Lesson#6: “You have to be ruthless if you want to build a team of A players. It’s too easy, as a team grows, to put up with a few B players, and they then attract a few more B players, and soon you will even have some C players. The Macintosh experience taught me that A players like to work only with other A players, which means you can’t indulge B players.”

Lesson#7: “I discovered that the best innovation is sometimes the company, the way you organize a company. The whole notion of how you build a company is fascinating. When I got the chance to come back to Apple, I realized that I would be useless without the company, and that’s why I decided to stay and rebuild it.”

Lesson#8: “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do. That’s true for companies, and it’s true for products.”

Lesson#9: “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 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.”

Question: What other lessons from Steve Jobs are worth mentioning here? You can leave your comments below.

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