Steve Jobs’ best quotes about innovation, design and fixing Apple

His name is Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs was an American entrepreneur and inventor, best known as the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc.

Interesting Article ➤ Have you ever read about Apple’s core values?

Here’s a selection of some of the most insanely great things the man has said, organized by topic: innovation and design, fixing Apple, his greatest sales pitches, life’s lessons, taking the fight to the enemy and Pixar.

On Innovation and Design

“It’s rare that you see an artist in his 30s or 40s able to really contribute something amazing.”
— At age 29, in Playboy, February 1985

“I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.”
— BusinessWeek Online, Oct. 12, 2004

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.” — Fortune, Nov. 9, 1998

“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.” — BusinessWeek, May 25 1998

“It comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much.”
— BusinessWeek Online, Oct. 12, 2004

“(Miele) really thought the process through. They did such a great job designing these washers and dryers. I got more thrill out of them than I have out of any piece of high tech in years.”
— Wired magazine, February 1996

On Fixing Apple:

“The products suck! There’s no sex in them anymore!”
— On Gil Amelio’s lackluster reign, in BusinessWeek, July 1997

“The cure for Apple is not cost-cutting. The cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predicament.”
— Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World’s Most Colorful Company, by Owen W. Linzmayer

“If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it’s worth — and get busy on the next great thing. The PC wars are over. Done. Microsoft won a long time ago.” — Fortune, Feb. 19, 1996

“You know, I’ve got a plan that could rescue Apple. I can’t say any more than that it’s the perfect product and the perfect strategy for Apple. But nobody there will listen to me.” — Fortune, Sept. 18, 1995

“Apple has some tremendous assets, but I believe without some attention, the company could, could, could — I’m searching for the right word — could, could die.” — On his return as interim CEO, in Time, Aug. 18, 1997

Coming up: His greatest sales pitches; Scully’s sins“It wasn’t that Microsoft was so brilliant or clever in copying the Mac, it’s that the Mac was a sitting duck for 10 years. That’s Apple’s problem: Their differentiation evaporated.”
— Apple Confidential 2.0

“The desktop computer industry is dead. Innovation has virtually ceased. Microsoft dominates with very little innovation. That’s over. Apple lost. The desktop market has entered the dark ages, and it’s going to be in the dark ages for the next 10 years, or certainly for the rest of this decade.” — Wired magazine, February 1996

“Nobody has tried to swallow us since I’ve been here. I think they are afraid how we would taste.”
— Apple shareholder meeting, April 22, 1998

Greatest Sales Lines Ever:

“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”
— The line he used to lure John Sculley as Apple’s CEO, according to Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple, by John Sculley and John Byrne

“We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.”
— Jobs, on Mac OS X’s Aqua user interface (Fortune, Jan. 24, 2000)

“There are sneakers that cost more than an iPod.”
— On the iPod’s $300 price tag, Newsweek, Oct. 27, 2003

“It will go down in history as a turning point for the music industry. This is landmark stuff. I can’t overestimate it!”
— On the iTunes Music Store (iTMS), Fortune, May 12, 2003

“What’s new is this amazingly efficient distribution system for stolen property called the internet — and no one’s gonna shut down the internet.”
— On how he sold iTMS to the music industry, Rolling Stone, Dec. 3, 2003

“IMac is next year’s computer for $1,299, not last year’s computer for $999.”
— iMac introduction in Cupertino, Calif., May 6, 1998

“The G4 Cube is simply the coolest computer ever. An entirely new class of computer, it marries the Pentium-crushing performance of the Power Mac G4 with the miniaturization, silent operation and elegant desktop design of the iMac. It is an amazing engineering and design feat, and we’re thrilled to finally unveil it to our customers.”
— Macworld Expo, July 19, 2000

“It’ll make your jaw drop.”
— On the first NeXT Computer, in The New York Times, Nov. 8, 1989

“We believe it’s the biggest advance in animation since Walt Disney started it all with the release ofSnow White 50 years ago.” — On Toy StoryFortune, Sept. 18, 1995

On Life’s Lessons:

“It’s better to be a pirate than to join the Navy.”
— Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple

“I feel like somebody just punched me in the stomach and knocked all my wind out. I’m only 30 years old and I want to have a chance to continue creating things. I know I’ve got at least one more great computer in me. And Apple is not going to give me a chance to do that.”
— Playboy, September 1987

“I’m the only person I know that’s lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year…. It’s very character-building.”
— Apple Confidential 2.0

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
— Stanford University commencement address, June 12, 2005

Taking the Fight to the Enemy:

“John Sculley ruined Apple and he ruined it by bringing a set of values to the top of Apple which were corrupt and corrupted some of the top people who were there, drove out some of the ones who were not corruptible, and brought in more corrupt ones and paid themselves collectively tens of millions of dollars and cared more about their own glory and wealth than they did about what built Apple in the first place — which was making great computers for people to use.”
–The Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Program oral history, April 20, 1995

“It is hard to think that a $2 billion company with 4,300-plus people couldn’t compete with six people in blue jeans.”
— On Apple’s lawsuit following his resignation to form NeXT (Newsweek, Sept. 30, 1985)

“My opinion is that the only two computer companies that are software-driven are Apple and NeXT, and I wonder about Apple.” — Fortune, Aug. 26, 1991

“Why would I ever want to run Disney? Wouldn’t it make more sense just to sell them Pixar and retire?”
— Fortune, Feb. 23, 2004

“The subscription model of buying music is bankrupt. I think you could make available the Second Coming in a subscription model and it might not be successful.” — Rolling Stone, Dec. 3, 2003

“The Japanese have hit the shores like dead fish. They’re just like dead fish washing up on the shores.”
— Playboy, February 1985

On Pixar:

“They’re babes in the woods. I think I can help turn Alvy and Ed into businessmen.”
— On Pixar co-founders Alvy Ray Smith and Ed Catmull, in Time, Sept. 1, 1986

“If I knew in 1986 how much it was going to cost to keep Pixar going, I doubt if I would have bought the company.” — Fortune, Sept. 18, 1995

“I think Pixar has the opportunity to be the next Disney — not replace Disney — but be the next Disney.”
— BusinessWeek, Nov. 23, 1998

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