[Steve] Jobs at Stanford
Steve Jobs gave the commencement address this year at Stanford University.
It was a sideways motivational speech. Instead of giving the traditional pat on the back, he pushed the go-your-own-way mentality by showing how his life steps became clear only in the rearview.
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.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I retuned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
And the best part of the speech was his challenge to the graduates:
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
I don’t remember who spoke at my graduation. I do remember the speech being unspectacular and not motivating. And I think it comes down to a culture thing for an institution. Catholic University? Conservative wasteland. Stanford? Liberal hotbed.
You do the math.
Do any of you remember your graduation address? Was it even worth listening for those 15 minutes?