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The HBS Community Reflects on Steve Jobs’s Legacy

Steve Jobs

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked – there is no reason not to follow your heart. - Steve Jobs (1955 - 2011) /// Photo by Joi Ito

Steve Jobs was a visionary whose genius transformed how we experience technology.  Generations of Apple fans (if not fanatics) understand that what has distinguished everything from the iPhone to the iPad was Jobs’s relentless focus on making tasks and activities not just simple, but downright intuitive replica breitling – and more fun as a result.  It’s hard to imagine many others in this century whose legacy will be so large or whose impact so widespread.
–         Nitin Nohria, Dean of Harvard Business School

The ultimate anti-MBA — a vegan who shunned formal schooling, dropped acid in India, and converted to Buddhism before he built the highest market-cap company in the world. Equal parts vicious competitor and unabashed aesthete, Steve Jobs championed products that were too beautiful and too expensive, that we said we’d never use. And then showed us that, actually, he knew us far better than we knew ourselves.
–         Colin Barry, HBS ’12, Chairman of the Board, Harbus News Corporation

Steve was a revolutionary in all senses of the word: through his charisma, his brilliance, his leadership, and even his abrasiveness, he transformed four industries — computing, music, cellular telephony, and computing a second time with the iPad.
–         David B. Yoffie, Professor of International Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean, Chair, Executive Education

At my 2005 Stanford commencement, Steve Jobs reminded us that ‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.’  Leading by example, Jobs showed us that ignoring the noise of other people’s opinions and pursuing one’s true passion not only brings meaning and self-fulfillment, but is itself a path to success.
–         Peter Coles, Assistant Professor

Steve Jobs was an inspiration to us all. He steadfastly pursued his vision by building tools – hardware, software, and systems – that enabled us to not just think different, but live better. His legacy reminds us how powerful it is to love what we do, and to do what we love.
–         Andrew Rosenthal, HBS ’12, Co-Founder, HBS Startup Tribe

Steve Jobs had an extremely complex personality, yet his products were paragons of clarity, simplicity, and elegance.  He had a single-minded focus, yet he was able to learn and radically evolve after his failures.  In short, he was both a glaring cautionary tale and a tremendous role model for the next generation of founders. In the end, Jobs did indeed leave the large ‘dent in the universe’ to which he aspired replica watches uk, one that was at least as big as that left by any other founder of his generation.  We will be much the poorer for having lost him too soon.
–         Noam Wasserman, Associate Professor

Steve Jobs was an inspiration. His legacy is about looking beyond the familiar. His commitment to innovating by finding the connection between diverse subjects, disciplines, and perspectives is a lesson for all business leaders. It was through this approach that he achieved such a deep and meaningful understanding of the consumer experience, which in turn led us all to see the power of emotional intelligence in business.
–         Jon Dick and Funa Maduka, HBS ’12, Co-Presidents, HBS Student Association

Steve Jobs revolutionized the relationship between people and technology through design. Along the way, he changed the world and inspired generations to think different.
–         Stefan Thomke, Professor of Business Administration

Steve Jobs is that rare business leader that didn’t fall off an assembly line.  He’s had the pleasure of inspiring millions, and many will fall short in trying to replicate his methods and success.
–         Josh Yang, HBS ’12, Chief Innovation Officer, HBS Student Association

From a business perspective, Steve showed us that technology companies don’t actually compete on technology. Apple wins because of a relentless focus on how its products interface with their users on both a physical and emotional level.
–         Matthew Noble, HBS ’12, Co-President, Entrepreneurship Club

From a business perspective, I really take to heart that Steve took risks with mixed results but persevered.  He started Apple, started NeXT, started Pixar, sold Pixar to Disney for billions, sold NeXT to Apple for next to nothing, regained control of Apple, drove Apple to become the most valuable company in the world over this past summer.  If Steve hadn’t failed numerous times would he have been able to be as successful an Apple CEO the last time around?  I don’t think so.  Jobs deserves a place on the podium of great American inventors with Edison, Ford, and Einstein.
–         Robert Uhlemann, HBS ‘12, Apple Global Supply Manager Intern

His passion was certainly felt throughout Apple’s campus.  On any given day, Apple employees very much strove to live up to his vision and creativity.
–         Juan Felix, HBS ’12, Apple Finance Intern

User-centricity had become a throwaway line. Jobs restored its meaning. More broadly, what a wonderful reminder of the positive way in which business – and business leaders – can impact society.
–         Bharat Anand, Professor of Business Administration

Steve Jobs’ accomplishments and impact are a testament to the power of one driven individual to change the world as a result of the strength of his convictions and his willingness to break the mold.  We should all be so bold.
–         Will Clayton, HBS ’12, Board Member, Harbus News Corporation

October 7, 2011

2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “The HBS Community Reflects on Steve Jobs’s Legacy”

  1. Quentin Patch says:

    He advocated do your own thing, listen to the inner voice. One of his bibles was the Whole Earth Catalog.
    Should a Christian nation honor one who adopted a bit apple as his logo? This symbol of the tempter of the Bible, the author of all mankind’s and Christ’s suffering was more sophisticated than a raised middle finger, but the same in essence.
    What should it profit to gain the whole earth (satan’s to give but lose one’s eternal soul.
    We are made beings. Makers are rulers by right. Do your own thing at your own peril.

  2. Rajendra Aneja says:

    The passing away of Mr. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple and a technical titan, is a monumental loss to his family, his company and to his consumers. He founded a company that became renowned for innovation, he gave us top-class, elegant products to use like the i phone and i pad. He has changed forever, how the world calculates, computes and communicates.

    Above all, Mr. Steve Jobs battled hard in life. He fought an epic battle with cancer and took some career breaks, but continued innovating and delighting consumers with new product offerings. He changed market paradigms with his products.

    His speech wherein he counseled graduates at Stanford University during a speech in 2005 to follow their hearts will always be remembered as one of the finest speeches in the corporate world. He advised, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down. 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.”

    He recommended to the students “Stay hungry, stay foolish!”

    Steve Jobs was also a great speaker and presenter. He held audiences spell bound with his oratory at Apple meetings, attired in a simple black T shirt/turtle neck shirt and jeans.

    He was an innovator, entrepreneur, leader, but above all he was a very fine and sensitive human being who did not let adversities blunt his enthusiasm and drive for achievement. Though he was a corporate leader, he personally touched the lives of his consumers in a unique way, as evident by the outpouring of grief of his fans at his passing away.

    This is the only instance of a CEO of a company being mourned by his consumers, as a movie star or a political leader would be, across the globe.

    Rajendra Aneja, AMP 175

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RECENT COMMENTS
  • Quentin Patch says:

    He advocated do your own thing, listen to the inner voice. One of his bibles was the Whole Earth Catalog.
    Should a Christian nation honor one who adopted a bit apple as his logo? This symbol of the tempter of the Bible, the author of all mankind’s and Christ’s suffering was more sophisticated than a raised middle finger, but the same in essence.
    What should it profit to gain the whole earth (satan’s to give but lose one’s eternal soul.
    We are made beings. Makers are rulers by right. Do your own thing at your own peril.

  • Rajendra Aneja says:

    The passing away of Mr. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple and a technical titan, is a monumental loss to his family, his company and to his consumers. He founded a company that became renowned for innovation, he gave us top-class, elegant products to use like the i phone and i pad. He has changed forever, how the world calculates, computes and communicates.

    Above all, Mr. Steve Jobs battled hard in life. He fought an epic battle with cancer and took some career breaks, but continued innovating and delighting consumers with new product offerings. He changed market paradigms with his products.

    His speech wherein he counseled graduates at Stanford University during a speech in 2005 to follow their hearts will always be remembered as one of the finest speeches in the corporate world. He advised, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down. 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.”

    He recommended to the students “Stay hungry, stay foolish!”

    Steve Jobs was also a great speaker and presenter. He held audiences spell bound with his oratory at Apple meetings, attired in a simple black T shirt/turtle neck shirt and jeans.

    He was an innovator, entrepreneur, leader, but above all he was a very fine and sensitive human being who did not let adversities blunt his enthusiasm and drive for achievement. Though he was a corporate leader, he personally touched the lives of his consumers in a unique way, as evident by the outpouring of grief of his fans at his passing away.

    This is the only instance of a CEO of a company being mourned by his consumers, as a movie star or a political leader would be, across the globe.

    Rajendra Aneja, AMP 175

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