A friend just sent me this nice quality version of me nervously asking Steve Jobs a question at All Things Digital (D5) a few years back. I asked him for his advice for entrepreneurs like me…on how to try to build an awesome company like Apple.

Transcript Of What Steve Jobs Said:

“Yeah, people say you have a lot of passion for what you’re doing, and it’s totally true and the reason is because it’s so hard that if you don’t any rational person would give up.

It’s really hard and you have to do it over a sustained period of time. So if you don’t love it, if you’re not having fun doing it, if you don’t really love it, you’re going to give up.

And that’s what happens to most people, actually.

If you really look at the ones that ended up being successful in the eyes of society, and the ones who didn’t, often times it’s the ones that are successful love what they did so they could persevere, you know, when it got really tough.

And the ones that didn’t love it, quit. Because they’re sane, right? Who would want to put up with this stuff if you don’t love it?

So it’s a lot of hard work and it’s a lot of worrying constantly and, if you don’t love it, you’re gonna fail.

So, you gotta love it, you gotta have passion.”

[The video above cut off before he finished his answer but he went on to add the below thoughts which you can find in this (lower-quality) video: Steve Jobs & Bill Gates Answer Rob Kelly Question At D5 — you have to watch Bill Gates answer my question first]

Steve Jobs Transcript Continued:

“…And I think that’s the high order bit.

The second thing is, you’ve gotta be, you’ve gotta be a really good talent scout because no matter how smart you are, you need a team of great people.

And you’ve got to figure out how to size people up fairly quickly, how to make decisions without knowing people too well and hire them, see how you do, and refine your intuition,and be able to help build an organization that can eventually just build itself.

Because you need great people around you.”

By the way, that was the first time I had heard the term “high order bit.” Being non-technical, I had to look it up. Wikipedia’s definition:

In computing, the high-order bit (also called the most significant bit (msb)) is the bit position in a binary number having the greatest value. The msb is sometimes referred to as the left-most bit on big-endian architectures, due to the convention in positional notation of writing more significant digits further to the left.

by in Entrepreneurship

One Response to “What Steve Jobs Said When I Asked Him For Entrepreneurial Advice”

  1. Anonymous

    Isn’t there something else missing? I thought there were other factors:

    * Be in an industry that is rapidly changing and relatively low barriers of entry. It’s takes a lot more time to succeed in the airline industry as opposed to PCs in the late 70s/early 80s.

    * A solid, fundamental understanding of the market. Apple treated PCs as consumer electronics, while Microsoft used “architectural strategy” (old idea, new name coined by Charles Ferguson/Charles Morris). Things became reversed when Jobs finally ended up competing in the consumer electronics markets.

    * Microsoft has people who love what they do. So why is the Zune something your college marketing professor would make?

    * A lot of people go into business doing what they love and fail. Coffee shops and cafes are examples. They never figure out how to reduce costs without sacrificing quality. They avoid anything too techie and solve everything with human labor.

    * Plenty of people succeed with jobs they are not enthusiastic about. Look at all the CEOs who barely know about technology, hate technology, and make lots of money producing mediocrity in high volume: Wal-Mart suppliers vs. Target suppliers.
    More proof by Mike Rowe on following your passion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=r-udsIV4Hmc#t=721s

    You have nothing to worry about though. You are interested in markets where the stuff your love overlaps with:
    * low risk (relatively compared to brick/mortar)
    * high reward (financial, emotional, etc).
    * and the cool factor of helping people and changing lives.


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