I recently read this quote from Steve Jobs, which is an excerpt from his Stanford Commencement speech in 2005.
This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
To this date I have not read about an entrepreneur that comes even close to Steve Jobs. His company is the only computer manufacturer that lasted from the period of the late 70’s and early 80’s when the PC was invented. He proved his ability to excel in a completely unrelated industry: Pixar. It’s inconceivable but although Apple had tens of thousands of employees, and thousands of vendors, one man made the difference and turned an almost bankrupt company into what will soon be the most valuable company on Earth. And with Ipod, Iphone and Ipad he created completely new consumer product categories.
Isn’t it kind of odd that the US is a capitalist country, but we don’t recognize the birthdays of any of our great entrepreneurs? Hopefully Steve Jobs recovers from his illness, but in the future I would support a day recognizing the World’s greatest entrepreneur.