GCSE results stay with you for life, but if you are 16 and worrying that your future will be dictated by your score of A to Cs, you can take some inspiration from someone forty years older than you.
Steve Jobs stood aside today, aged 56 and a half. The man who brought you the i-pod, the i-phone, the i-pad and hundreds of other inventions has finally handed Apple over to a successor.
Forty years ago Steve Jobs was a 16-year-old high school student who struck up a friendship with a 21 year old called Steve Wozniak who had a gift for electronics. Jobs got Wozniak interested in building a computer and selling it.
However, it would be five years before the two teamed up to form a small company called Apple with a third friend Ronald Wayne.
The five years between the first meeting and Apple’s formation saw Jobs drop out of college, travel to India in search of his guru and do some paid work alongside Wozniak at the games company Atari.
The 21-year-old Jobs could have had a fairly straight forward resume from then on, but he fell out with fellow Apple directors in 1984 and left the company he had helped to create.
Away from Apple, Jobs concentrated on two new projects. He created a computer company called NeXT and he bought Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division and developed it into Pixar, the company that brought you Toy Story. NeXT was bought by Apple for $429 million in 1996 and ten years later Pixar was bought by Disney for $7.4 billion.
However, Jobs has often observed that none of his successes were foregone conclusions and that he has often succeeded by striking out in new directions that may not always make sense at the outset.
He likes to quote the ice hockey star, Wayne Gretsky, who put his own success down to a simple philosophy:
“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.”
When Steve Jobs shares the lessons he has learned along the way, many of his gems of wisdom hark back to his days as a Californian college drop-out, but one who believed in himself and wasn’t afraid to be different.
Five short quotes from Steve Jobs:
- “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”
- “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
- “You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever…”
- “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”
- “Get your thinking clean to make it simple.”