The Steve Jobs Archive: 3 Key Lessons From the Apple Co-Founder’s Inspiring Writings

More than a decade after his death, Steve Jobs continues to inspire entrepreneurs around the world. At Vox Media’s Code 2022 conference, close friends and family members of the business icon and Apple co-founder, including the widow of Laurin Powell Jobs, Apple chief Tim Cook and iPhone designer Jony Ive, announced that they had recently released the Archive Steve Jobs , an online collection of inspirational writings by Jobs.

At the conference, Powell Jobs said she hoped the Archive could be “a place to draw inspiration from Steve’s life and work, pushing new generations to make their own contributions to our shared future.”

Here are three key life and business lessons from the Archive:

1. Be grateful for those around you

In an email Jobs sent to himself in September 2010, a year before his death, he acknowledged his dependence on those around him, writing that he did not grow his own food, make his own clothes, or invent the most of the technology he worked with in his life. “I love and admire my kind, living and dead, and I am utterly dependent on them for my life and well-being,” wrote the founder.

The founder was said to sometimes take credit for ideas he didn’t originate, which led to conflict with the likes of Ive. The email is a reminder from Jobs to himself, and now to the rest of us, to remain humble and remember that no human being can thrive without the help of countless others, friends and strangers alike.

2. Make mistakes and then keep working

In a 1984 interview with Sequoia Capital partner Michael Moritz, then a journalist, Jobs said that your personal aesthetic becomes more refined as you make mistakes, so giving yourself the space to make a lot of mistakes is essential to to do something really great.

Jobs added that you don’t need more energy or money to make something great. “All it takes is a little more time—not that much—and a willingness to do it: a willingness to persevere until it’s really great.” The lesson? Be patient. It may not seem like you’re making progress, but every mistake and failure will give you a deeper understanding of what makes your business unique.

3. Don’t lose your beginner’s mindset

During his Stanford University speech in 2005, Jobs told the graduating class that one of the most creative periods of his life began in 1985 when he was fired from Apple. Jobs said he didn’t see it at the time, but being fired was the best thing that could have happened to him.

Said Jobs, “the weight of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure of everything.” The loss of the company he founded jolted Jobs out of a comfortable routine and forced him to rethink the industry he had revolutionized. By approaching problems from a beginner’s perspective, you can think of solutions that deviate from the previously agreed upon way of doing things.

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