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Александра Костенюк

January 9th, 2006

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Александра Костенюк
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January 9th, 2006

Eto mozhet pokazat'sia interesnym...
Stay hungry, stay foolish
Daily Herald
Last June 12 at Stanford University, Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computer Inc., gave one of the best graduation speeches ever. As graduates earn midyear degrees, I'd like to convey what Steve said.
He began by saying, "I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today, I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories. The first story is about connecting the dots."
He explained why he dropped out of Reed College after only six months. The school was consuming his working-class parents' life savings. The parents had adopted Steve, and he couldn't stand their life savings being depleted. But he stayed around Reed "as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit."
During that time, he audited only those courses he found interesting. He took a calligraphy class because the subject fascinated him, and Reed "at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country." The course seemed to have no purpose in his life, until "10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography." It influenced all other computers, and beautiful typography became the industry standard in personal computers.
"If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later." That's why Steve maintains, "You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."
Steve's second story was about "love and loss." He loved computers and found his passion for them early in life. He and a partner started Apple Computer in his parents' garage when he was only 20. Ten years later, it was a company with $2 billion in sales and 4,000 employees. Shortly thereafter, he got fired from his own company. The board of directors forced him out.
He felt despair. He figured he had let the "previous generation of entrepreneurs down." He felt like running away, but something dawned on him: He still loved what he did. So he founded NeXT, which later merged with Apple Computer, started another company named Pixar, and met and married the woman with whom he'd start a family. Pixar produced the first computer-animated film, "Toy Story," and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. The technology developed at NeXT fueled the current renaissance at Apple under Steve, who was invited back to take the helm by the board that fired him. His current stint at Apple is considered the greatest second act in American business.
"Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did."
"My third story is about death." Steve was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was told to go home and put his affairs in order. "This," he said, "is doctor's code for prepare to die." Later that evening he had a biopsy. When the doctors examined under a microscope the pancreatic cells they'd retrieved with an endoscope, they started to cry, "because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery, and I'm fine now."
But this brush with death reminded Steve to live every day like it was his last. It also brought to mind a favorite slogan he'd first encountered in the back cover copy of "The Whole Earth Catalog," a mid-'70s informational bestseller that was like a mini-Google in book form. Beneath a photo of an early morning country road were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."
Steve said he had always wished that for himself, and then he wished it for the graduates.
Me, too.
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