On June 12, 2005, Steve Jobs gave his first—and only—commencement address, to the 114th graduating class at Stanford University, an audience of approximately 23,000. They witnessed history: Jobs’ 22-minute prepared speech subsequently reached 26 million online viewers worldwide. It is by far the most popular commencement address in history, framed with “three stories” that succinctly summed up the most important lessons Jobs learned in life. Life-changing lessons, he explained, can only be connected when looking back, which he had done in preparation for his talk.
Steve Jobs’ Life by Design starts with Jobs’ own words in the text of his talk and expands outward from there. In the address, Jobs gave us the dots, but he didn’t have the luxury of time to connect them. So much about his life, his viewpoint, and his personal and business philosophies were mentioned but not explained. We know what he said, but what actually did he mean? What can we learn from him?
This book connects those dots. We see Jobs’ life and career through his own eyes, in context, and in proper perspective. His process of looking back illuminated his life—and by doing so, he serves as an inspiration to illuminate our lives as well.