Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address (with intro by President John Hennessy) | Summary and Q&A

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May 14, 2008
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Stanford
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Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address (with intro by President John Hennessy)

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Summary

This video features Steve Jobs' commencement speech at Stanford University. He shares three stories from his life, emphasizing the significance of connecting the dots, finding what you love, and embracing the inevitability of death. Jobs encourages the graduates to trust in their own intuition and to not settle for anything less than their true passion in life.

Questions & Answers

Q: How did Steve Jobs drop out of college and eventually return to pursue his passions?

Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College after six months because he couldn't see the value in it and didn't know what he wanted to do with his life. He decided to drop in on the classes that interested him and took a calligraphy class that ended up having no practical application at the time. However, when designing the first Macintosh computer ten years later, Jobs' knowledge of calligraphy became valuable, leading to the creation of beautiful typography. If Jobs had not dropped out and taken that calligraphy class, personal computers might not have the typography they have today.

Q: How did getting fired from Apple turn out to be a positive experience for Steve Jobs?

After growing Apple into a successful company, Steve Jobs was fired when his visions for the future clashed with his partner. Initially devastated by the public failure, Jobs realized that he still loved what he did and decided to start over. He co-founded another company named NeXT and also became involved with Pixar Animation Studios. Eventually, Apple bought NeXT and Jobs returned to Apple, kickstarting its current success. Getting fired from Apple allowed Jobs to enter one of the most creative periods of his life and find success in other ventures.

Q: How does Steve Jobs view death and its role in decision-making?

Steve Jobs believes that facing the inevitability of death is an essential tool for making big choices in life. By remembering that life is short and that we have nothing to lose, external expectations, pride, and fear all fall away. Jobs emphasizes that death is the destination that we all share and views it as the single best invention of life. This perspective gives us the courage to follow our hearts and intuition and not waste time living someone else's life or being trapped by others' opinions.

Q: What does Steve Jobs mean when he says "stay hungry, stay foolish"?

"Stay hungry, stay foolish" is a phrase that Steve Jobs borrowed from the farewell message of the Whole Earth Catalog. It serves as a reminder to always be curious, never stop learning, and maintain a sense of adventure. Jobs wishes this for himself and the graduates as they embark on new journeys in life. Staying hungry means to maintain a thirst for knowledge and continuous improvement, while staying foolish implies embracing a willingness to take risks and not conforming to societal expectations.

Q: What is the main takeaway from Steve Jobs' speech?

The main takeaway from Steve Jobs' speech is to trust in your own intuition and follow your heart. He encourages individuals to not settle for anything less than what they truly love and to have the courage to pursue their passions even if it leads them off the well-worn path. Jobs also emphasizes the importance of embracing the brevity of life and making the most of every day. By staying hungry, staying foolish, and finding what you love, you can make a difference and leave a lasting impact on the world.

Takeaway

Steve Jobs' commencement speech at Stanford University highlights the importance of connecting the dots, finding what you love, and embracing the inevitability of death. He encourages the graduates to trust in their own intuition, follow their hearts, and not settle for anything less than their true passion in life. By staying hungry and foolish, they can embark on a creative and fulfilling journey, making a difference in the world.

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