Steve Jobs

Don’t Settle: Inspiring Steve Jobs Quotes and Personality Traits


These inspiring Steve Jobs quotes and personality traits will show you why he became one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.

Steve Jobs is an icon of success for many aspiring entrepreneurs. His genius helped him become one of the most successful businessmen of all time and build Apple Inc. into the world’s most valuable company.

Jobs is admired by entrepreneurs and business people because of his aggressive business strategies and unique personality traits that never failed to attract attention and often created controversy throughout his career.

Born on 24 February 1955, in San Francisco to Abdulfattah Jandali and Joanne Schieble, he was given up for adoption to Clara and Paul Jobs and named Steven Paul Jobs.

In his 56 years on the planet, this technological visionary became the Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc., and managed to “put a dent in the Universe,” as he liked to say.

“We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise, why else even be here?” ~ Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Quote
Steve Jobs shows off the iPhone 4 at the 2010 Worldwide Developers Conference. By Matthew Yohe, CC BY-SA 3.0

Steve Jobs’ personality traits and characteristics include being extremely intuitive, unorthodox, curious, creative, persistent, intense, and a perfectionist.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple in his parents’ garage in 1976, but Jobs did not have a smooth entrepreneurial journey. In 1985, he was ousted as CEO of Apple, and in 1997 he was asked to come back and rescue it from near bankruptcy.

Along the way, he started Pixar (which he sold to Disney) and helped disrupt multiple industries. If the price of greatness is being independent of the good and bad opinions of others, then Jobs was an expert at that.

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Inspiring Steve Jobs Quotes & Personality Traits

In this article, you’ll learn all about Steve Jobs’ quotes and personality traits that will continue to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs:

1. He had a passion for excellence

Steve Jobs had a passion for excellence in everything he did. He had a strong desire to be in control and was capable of inspiring and motivating others to follow his vision.

He had a high intensity of focus and is known to have been obsessive, needing 100% perfectionism in his work. He demanded the same from his employees at Apple Inc. which made them both love and hate him.

2. He was a perfectionist

Steve Jobs wanted things done right and took responsibility for perfecting the things he was involved with. He enjoyed pushing himself extremely hard and expected the same from others.

He was said to not have much patience and expected the best from others, which did not endear him to some of his co-workers.

3. He believed that it’s important to love what you do

One of the most famous Steve Jobs quotes about work is from his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

4. He had a relentless desire for innovation

Like other great innovators, Steve Jobs had a relentless desire for innovation and a passion for breaking new ground. He was not afraid of being criticized and had an amazing ability for visualizing products that did not exist.

Jobs saw ideas everywhere and would often become obsessed with just one idea. This explains why he was able to create so many revolutionary products despite not always getting them right.

5. He loved simplicity

From his wardrobe to his product designs, Steve Jobs loved simplicity, even when creating complex products. Although his obsession was seen as both good and bad by people who knew him well, it showed most in his need for simple and minimalist design.

Jobs believed design is not just how it looks and feels, design is how it works, and he believed in designing the inside of something just as well as its outside.

He had an eye for the way things should look and his obsession with simplicity made him constantly iterate and re-iterate product design. In an interview with Business Week, he said:

“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.”

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Jobs on stage at Macworld Conference & Expo, San Francisco, January 11, 2005. Image by mylerdude – Flickr, CC BY 2.0

6. He believed in his products 100%

Steve Jobs didn’t just want to design good products. He wanted to design great ones. His top priority was to design products that were beautifully designed and he believed that Apple’s products were superior to all other personal computers.

He paid great attention to detail and wanted his products to give users pleasure. He had a prescient ability to design products that he knew customers would love (even though he didn’t get it right 100% of the time). As he famously said:

“Some people say, “Give the customers what they want.” But that’s not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse!’

Steve Jobs Quote
Steve Jobs Photo by Bernard Gotfryd

7. He was the world’s greatest corporate storyteller

Steve Jobs knew that even excellent products don’t sell themselves. Because he understood and believed in his products 100%, he was able to speak about them with great conviction.

His presentation skills gave him the reputation of being the world’s greatest corporate storyteller, even inspiring a book by Carmine Gallo called The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience.

As the book description says, whether he was introducing the latest iPad or delivering a keynote presentation, Steve Jobs electrified audiences with his incomparable style and showmanship.

He didn’t just convey information in his presentations; he told a story, painted a picture, and shared a vision.

Watch this famous Steve Jobs presentation where he introduced the iPhone At MacWorld in 2007 and see how he gave his audience a transformative experience that was unique, inspiring, and unforgettable.

8. He believed in the power of collaboration

Steve Jobs believed that a lot of what makes a product great is the team you work with. He felt that if he got everyone in his company rowing in the same direction, then all he had to do was keep them going.

He also believed in hiring smart people who had great ideas and letting the best ideas win as shown by his quote and video below:

“If you wanna hire great people and have them stay working for you, you have to be run by ideas, not hierarchy. The best ideas have to win, otherwise good people don’t stay.”

9. He believed in thinking out of the box

Steve Jobs was critical of the status quo. He didn’t like rules and had no problem challenging the norms of the day. One of his famous quotes is:

“What is Apple, after all? Apple is about people who think ‘outside the box,’ people who want to use computers to help them change the world, to help them create things that make a difference, and not just to get a job done.”

10. He had a spiritual side

Steve Jobs had visited India and learned meditation. He believed it helped him take the long-range view, instead of having a short-term focus.

This famous quote shows his spiritual side:

“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.”

Steve Jobs was one of the greatest innovators of our time and his vision and philosophy are still inspiring entrepreneurs and innovators today to aspire to greater heights.

Want to know your core strengths and weaknesses, how much money you can earn in your perfect career, and more? Answer this free online career test and get your career report.

So, which of these Steve Jobs quotes and personality traits did you find the most inspiring? Do comment and let us know.

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Featured image source: Jobs unveiling the iPhone at MacWorld Conference & Expo on January 9, 2007, by Blake Patterson – originally posted to Flickr as Img0061, CC BY 2.0.

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