Even though I had never met Steve Jobs, I felt devastated when I heard the news of his passing. Much more so than than the death of JFK Jr., Princess Diana, or Michael Jackson, or any other icon I can think of, Steve Jobs's death seems to strike right at my heart. All night and this morning I've been pondering why this is so. I believe that like many teachers, Jobs inspired us in profound ways that we will not even realize for another generation. From memories of my first Mac, which seemed like pure magic to me, to my current Apple laden life (iPhone, iPad, iPod and my precious MacBook Pro) Steve Jobs has been a strong presence on and off for most of my adult life. He seemed to anticipate what I wanted before I even knew. My first computer lab was cluttered with his Think Different posters. Students would always ask, what's with the Think Different? I would always reply that the posters should be inspiration for you to think differently than you ever have, be uncomfortable, go down another path, think differently. While his influence on design will be felt for some time, more importantly his influence on how we think will be the real game-changer.
These are the top ten lessons that Steve Jobs taught me:
"I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance."
2. KEEP IT SIMPLE
"That's been one of my mantras-focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains."
3. DON'T SETTLE-FIND WHAT YOU LOVE TO 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"
4. COLLABORATE AND STAY FOCUSED
"My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each other's negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts."
5. KNOW YOUR COMPETITION
"We've kept our marriage secret for over a decade."
-- Jobs' answer to Kara Swisher asking about the "greatest misunderstanding" in Jobs' relationship with Bill Gates. (May 2007)
6. BE A NOTICER
“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.”
7. LISTEN TO YOUR GUT
"It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them."
8. KEEP YOUR HEART OPEN & BE CREATIVE
"Picasso had a saying: 'Good artists copy, great artists steal.' We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas...I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians, poets, artists, zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world."
9. DON'T BE COMPLACENT
"Stay hungry. Stay foolish."
10. THINK DIFFERENTLY
Thank you Steve Jobs. May you rest in peace.